Fumerie Turque goes on the skin in a swirl of smoke and honey. Regarding the smoke, I'm not talking about tobacco, as the official notes would suggest, but instead incense. However, this incense is not the myrrh which seems to be a staple of every other incense perfume. If you have ever burned honey incense, you will recognize it from the outset here (and possibly be struck by visions of the room you tended to burn it in, like I was!). As the honey incense smoke swirls around and tries to distract you, a hint of leather comes to the front. It manifests itself in occasional notes of stubbornness that seem, to me, almost oud/bandagey, but in a pleasant and not antiseptic way.
But no matter how stubborn and precise it seems at first, that's not all Fumerie Turque has to offer, by any means. After an hour or so, the smoke dies to reveal more of a honeyed rose, which gradually combines oddly but beautifully with the balsam and juniper. The resulting drydown leaves me with the scent memory of being in the woods in summer, in the sun, (wearing mosquito repellent!) and feeling utterly blissful.
Again, this is a wax sample, like so many of my Serge Lutens reviews will be, so I suspect using the actual Fumerie Turque will be an entirely different experience. But I also suspect it's accurate enough for me to know that I would enjoy owning and using this fragrance.
Fumerie Turque, Serge Lutens, 2003 Notes: currants, white honey, candied Turkish rose, Egyptian jasmine, smoked leather, beeswax, strong Balkan tobacco, Peru balsam, patchouli, Tonka bean, styrax, juniper oil, vanilla