As Serge Lutens puts it, Ambre Sultan is not an Oriental, but an Arab and a Lutens. The point of departure was a scented wax, found in a souk and long forgotten in a wooden box. The amber only became sultanesque after Serge Lutens reworked the composition using cistus, a herb that sticks to the fingers like tar, then added an overtone that nobody had ever dreamed of: vanilla. Why? Because vanilla is sticky, too, and it clung to his memory.