When I first tried something from the house, in fact, I absolutely hated them. I consciously avoided the house for several years because of it.
The first three Serge Lutens scents I tried were Chergui, Daim Blond, and Ambre Sultan. I chose them because of reviews I read on Basenotes, basically, thinking they would be a good place to start. Most people seemed to love them. Instead, I found all three unbearably sweet and cloying. "Treacly" was the word I used at the time, I think.
Ambre Sultan has the distinction of being the only perfume to make me physically ill. Granted, I had been out with a friend the previous night drinking kamikazes so was generally very hung over when I tried it first. However, the scent still makes me queasy whenever I smell it.
Fortunately, I discovered some fragrances that I liked in the house. I think Gris Clair... was the first Serge I bought. Then Chêne. Borneo 1834 and Muscs Koublaï Khän came out in the export line. So I learned to love some things in the house and generally paid attention more than I had in the past.
Why have I gotten so many bottles this year, though, is the big question. By my own count, I have gotten ten Serge perfumes this year, most in the past few months. Part of it is the availability of the bell jars in the US in recent years. Part, too, is the availability of the export line at discounters more recently, at fairly reasonable prices.
I got two of my hated scents, Chergui and Daim Blond, recently, as they had been on sale at a discounter for each under $50. Hell, Bvlgari's Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge is going for more than that. 100 ml of the Bvlgari used to be easily found for less than $30. It must be getting rarer.
The odd thing is, I don't find them as sweet as I remember them. Reformulation? Maybe. Maybe my tastes have changed. I still don't think either is the best of the house by a long shot. Chergui made #4 in Basenotes' recent list of the greatest modern perfumes, based on Basenotes data. I really don't get why it is so popular. Unless, of course, that it smells of baked goods. Or maybe just the bandwagon.
Ambre Sultan I still can't abide. I recently received a mini of Ambre Sultan from Serge Lutens when I ordered something directly from the Serge web site. I didn't throw it away in scorn or give it away. I think I'll hang onto it because -- who knows? -- I may end up liking it at some point down the line.