Is that a camel I see there sleeping lackadaisically in my bed? ……………………ARABIE… SERGE LUTENS (2000)




















Celery, prunes, dates, vanilla, spices: at the time this seemed an affront to decency

(“Horrible…………………………………..vile pronounced my mother) – a smell that belonged to a restaurant and not on a human.



Years later, with the proliferation of anything goes in the niche industry, Arabie’s shock value has decreased (by about 10%), and the big-hearted heaviness of its familiar orientalist contours, with its gorgeous warmth of Iraqi dates, cumin and figs, along with its nutmeg, mandarins and clove, and that cloyed, clogged, foul rug of sweet, so very foreign sweetness, should ensure its survival as an eccentricist’s classic, a scent to don on; and dance, waywardly and obstructedly, the drunken Salomé Dance Of The Seven Veils.




Twirl. Surrender. But remember: this perfume’s main feature is a caramelized celery; and it is wild; and it is sick, and it really is not for the sheepish.






















Filed under Camel, Celery, Perfume Reviews, Prune, Spice

23 responses to “Is that a camel I see there sleeping lackadaisically in my bed? ……………………ARABIE… SERGE LUTENS (2000)

  1. Uhn… seems interesting, if not to use, at least to “dissect” and enjoy it as artistic expression. but… only a question remains, (at least for me): why “caramelized celery”? Is it at least “Arabian”?

    • ginzaintherain

      I don’t know the answers, but caramellized celery is what I smell in the heart, and despite the clever overall balance of this perfume, that note remains deeply problematic!

  2. Marina

    This is an excellent review.

  3. brie

    I think I might very well be too “sheepish” for this one!!

    • ginzaintherain

      God me too. Celery as a note in perfume is woefully problematic for me, much as I love eating it all the time.

      Arabie is kind of gorgeous though….on a camel.

  4. Great review! Funny, another one of my favorites also has notes of celery and plum/prune: Carner Barcelona Tardes. It’s noticeable, but I never think it’s too weird to wear though.

    • brie

      Really! I LOVE Tardes! Had a sample that leaked all over my pjs and scented my bed so tremendously that I had to wash the sheets the next day b/c hubby said the “stench was making him sick”- yet I found Tardes to be so soothing and a perfect bedtime scent and I was always curious as to the notes in it (for some reason I kept thinking almond) Celery and prune? I never would have guessed! do you know the other notes?

    • ginzaintherain

      I am very interested in that as I have never remotely heard of it: pray tell more and titillate my impossible nostrils. Prune is great in perfumes. I think Arabie is great in a way too, which I hoped came across a bit in this ridiculous mess.

      • brie

        Gosh I am not sure…I actually had a decant sent by a friend and I did look up where to find it (and saw that a FB was out of my price range). I was having a “clumsy” moment when I spilled it all over myself….(you know all about those!). Wish that I had not, given your interest in this one!

      • I love it! And I think you will too . . . but I’ll let you be the judge of that in person . . . NYC Fairy Surprise Forthcoming 🙂

  5. Hilarious review! From the drunken Salomé to the “sheepish” comment right above the photo (do they really have fangs that are that sharp?) I enjoyed every bit of it!

  6. Stephen

    My ‘not a work day’ scent has celery in abundance-Grains du Paradis by Maitre P.G., a BIG celery note on top of a slightly Pledgy lemon. Love it so much I’m on my second 100ml bottle, and it’s never discounted!

    • ginzaintherain

      I was hoping someone would mention Maitre: they use celery in an entirely different way that is fresh and very beautiful: in fact the whole line is constantly underdiscussed. I would love to get back to that shop again…I am sure there was another celery perfume they do as well that intrigued me….

      It is not the fresh celery note, it is that creamy, celery soup thing that also features in the Comme Des Garcons Patchouli that turns my stomach.

      I am sure Grains du Paradis must smell very distinctive on you. How do you feel when you are wearing it?

  7. No, it’s a celery eating zebra.

  8. Arabie is such an unique scent, one I am only able to wear at certain times. When it wears well it is heavenly, when it is not a great day for it I end up with headache. I do not know why this occurs, but it does. I still am enamored of it though.

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