I don’t know if you all follow the brilliant but recently departed series ‘True Blood’ or not, but if you don’t you should check it out. It follows a group of foul-mouthed fairies, vampires, werewolves, and shapeshifters who are duking it out for survival in the backwaters of deep Louisiana. Penned by Alan Ball who also did the brilliant Six Feet Under, it’s actually an allegory for the fight by gays for their basic civil rights (in the opening sequence, you see a billboard that reads “God Hates Fangs” – swap out the spat-upon vampires for gays and you’ve got the key to the allegory).
The heroine of the story is Sookie Stackhouse, a white trash gal who can read minds and has just found out that she is half-fairy. All the vampires and supernaturals of Bon Temps, Louisiana are attracted to Sookie, her fairy blood, and her mysterious ball of light, which when released has the power to blitz everything and everyone in sight.
(I am pretty sure that Sookie’s ball of light is a metaphor for Sookie’s vagina – the vampires can’t tear their gaze away from it and yet it has the power to devour and destroy them all).
Anyway, to me, Amouage’s Fate for Women is the olfactory equivalent of Sookie’s Ball of Light. It’s incredibly radiant, shoots out gold and yellow streaks of light, and is powerful enough to quell a man at twelve paces. It gets you noticed. People want to know what that scent is. So rudely does Fate Woman transgress the personal space of anyone in your immediate orbit, you have to carefully consider the time and place for wearing it. It brings to mind what Spiderman’s uncle told him: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
The first time I wore it, a colleague got up from her desk and opened the two doors that connected her part of the office to mine, and simply said, “That perfume is so glorious that I want to keep the doors open so that I can smell you.” It leaves such a heavy trail behind you that you can almost visualize thick, heavy ribbons of gold streaming out behind you, entangling itself around the feet of passers-by in your wake.
Its colors are lemon, gold, and yellow – all the way through. I like the way the citrusy, lemony tone is carried on through the fragrance through a series of clever ‘yellow’ bridges dotted about, from the citrusy, bright bergamot in the opening, to the earthier yellow narcissus in the floral heart, to the resinous, lemony feel of raw frankincense in the base. It is massively spiced, too, particularly in the first half of the fragrance, when the bergamot does a little dance with hot chili pepper. Behind the bright opening, a complex floral heart slowly emerges, rose and narcissus evident above all others. The sturdy base – leathery labdanum, slightly animalic hints of castoreum, and the superbly resinous, powdery amber – is there more to support the golden bergamot and frankincense than do any serious heavy lifting of its own.
People say that Fate Woman is animalic. Not for me – well, not really. Only in the sense that Shalimar is also animalic. For me, Fate Woman is defined primarily by its incredibly bright, spicy radiance and by its almost fizzing, resinous powder feel. It’s a big ole Ball of Light. To be deployed with caution.