This was from my second time of testing at a department store, as well as my first at-home test with samples I ordered (the next day). I found one of my true perfume loves in these notes.
Please note that my taste changes fast and that this may not reflect my current opinions on these fragrances.
Serge Lutens Santal Blanc
Do not like the opening. Heart is foody but balanced. Very comforting but light enough for cool summer day. A bit like Jeux de Peau. Reminds me of Chanel when it goes into heart/drydown - cool amber resin-like stuff. Grew on me eventually (loved it); someone else said it smelled like fermented eggplant! Ends up smelling - hours later - like a really yummy wooden pencil.
Note: I eventually bought a bottle of this, and love it so much that I sometimes spray my pillow with it to comfort me when I'm down.
Serge Lutens Daim Blond
Acidic and short-lasting. Don't smell much. Sweet soft drydown.
Note: I must retry this - I was kind of testing a million perfumes that day.
Serge Lutens Douce Amere
Unimpressed. Smells like foody-faded drydown, but in the opening notes and heart. Soft vanilla? Like it more when not comparing to Santal Blanc. (Perhaps a perfume for Mummy?)
Serge Lutens Datura Noir
Goes from toiler freshener, to wearable toilet freshener. Very linear. Floral (violet)
Note: What?! Violet?! Blasphemy. Readers, please excuse my ignorant past-self from calling this a violet scent (I happen to adore violet scents).
Very Arab, strong heady opening. Goes creamy, but I realise this is the exact type of white floral I do not like (Note: I simply do not like white florals, but I did not know this at the time as I had never dissected a note or worn anything other than fruity florals). Sharp high sweet note I do not like.
When tested later on: Do not like a certain flower in opening at all. It's a creamy candy syrupy (bad syrup) powder flower that is just strikingly bright. Giving me headache. Softens with less sharpness, some resin. Don't like it, gets similar to Amouage Reflection, but still don't like it.
Watery and floral heaven. Sharpness I don't like, might be that I put on too much. Watermelony.
When tested later on: Watermelon, freshness. Really like it but for certain cool summer moods. Like dewdrops. I suspect I can get something similar for much cheaper.
Love the opening. Ambery vanilla softness counters occasional lemon in heart. Try again. Sharp.
After trying again: Frankincense in heart, reminds me of Chanel Coco. Drydown is like Shalimar. Starting to like civer note, when balanced out with resin.
Note: Please excuse my terrible note dissection. The "lemon" and "sharp" is all civet, I now know. I no longer get much of the opening notes, and smell only civet and something sweet. Not bothered to dissect such a piece of heaven. I LOVE IT. One day I will get myself a full bottle. When I first tried this all over, I was doing some work at home, but found myself putting on nicer clothes and some make-up - as well as doing my hair and wearing pearls (fake)! Ubar truly is royal material, and it makes me feel royal too.
Soft roses with very light wood. Crisp scent but with substance. Gets softer and creamier. Has a "rich" scent, but stays fruity and sour. Nice for day + night. Sudden food/cake cream smell, not sure I like (Note to past-self - it's called "gourmand"). Then slightly spicy, then soft white flowers.
When tested again: Too sweet, almost candy-like in heart. Slight animalic drydown with spices. Slight rose in heart/drydown, very nice. Not worth waiting through sickeningly sweet opening.
Note: I suspect I might like this now; should test it again.
Candy note after a few minutes that literally made me say "Ooh!" out loud. That note is now incensey/smokey and slightly spicy. I LOVE THE SWEET SMOKE. Also, licorice!! Suddenly, there's a powdery yum floral! Licorice and smoke keeps coming back, soft fruits also make a slight appearance.
Note: This is my all-time favourite perfume. Every time I go into a new phase in perfumes, I suspect I might stop liking it, but after trying it again from my samples, I realise this perfume may never be beaten in my books. I can - and do - wear it in any weather, any occasion (preferably one were I *should* feel like I'm awesome, as that is its effect).