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Sample Impressions: Al Kimiya’s Hayat

in Reviews by

Tom Ford’s Oud Wood, Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Oud, Creed’s Royal Oud—each of these are great examples of fragrances that seek to make oud pleasing to the masses, with very little (if any) oud. Standing in stark contrast to those tame beauties, Al Kimiya’s Hayat is an example of what can be crafted when a talented perfumer attempts to make an actual oud palatable.

Upon first spray, it is clear that Hayat is a different animal entirely. From the outset, I can smell the quality oud clearly and without obstruction. The oud note here smells similar to the one used heavily in the fragrance “Ilm”, also from Al Kimiya. The best I could describe it, which may sound a bit odd, is the smell of a piece of fragrant bleu cheese sitting on a wet, mossy log. For the uninitiated, it will smell strange, perhaps a bit weird, but never unpleasant or disturbing as the oud is always accompanied by other elements. To make it less conspicuous and enveloping (you’ll have to try Ilm for a pure oud in all its alien glory), Hayat buries the lovely oud in mounds of cedar, spices (cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron), patchouli, and cypriot, all rounded out with a traditional dash of lavender. KEEP ON READING

Al Kimiya’s Aurum: Glitter and Gold

in Reviews/Thoughts by

The Al Kimiya (Kemi Blending Magic) line is another magnificent collection from Sergio Momo, the genius behind such titanic collections as Xerjoff, Casamoratti, and Sospiro. The first two I’ve experienced from the line (Aurum and Aqua Regia) are both gorgeous, and truly manage to capture the collection’s theme. With these beautiful compositions, the perfumers have captured the essence of “alchemy”, the mystical art of transforming the simple into the extraordinary.

The opening of Aurum is a blast of strawberry and tart citrus. Both of these elements remain for almost the entire duration of the fragrance and are tempered only by a crystal clear jammy rose and sweet heliotrope. Incense is present in the notes, but is not a major player on my skin. The composition rests on a green, oily base of patchouli and dark chocolate, all drizzled with the “warm skin” effect that is brought by labdanum. Unlike many fragrances of this style, the ingredients smell worthy of the price. KEEP ON READING

Al-Kimiya – Layla

in Reviews by

Al-Kimiya-LaylaThis fragrance is beautiful. For me, this one has got the lot: Warm spicy amber with cloves, nutmeg and cedar. It has a gourmand note, but not too strong or too sweet due to the added spicyness. It is a unique fragrance which is strong to start with (no citrus or fresh flowers anywhere) and then mellows beautifully with some added ylang-ylang, musk, ambergris and patchouli.

This one is definitely not for the heat wave or the gym, but otherwise I would wear this to any outing as it is a very well made perfume. Perfect for a big occasion and to leave quite an impression, but all in class. KEEP ON READING

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