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Amouage - page 2

Short olfactive-attention span? Give these a sniff!

in Reviews by

Small disclaimer, I have a very minute, undocumented case of ADHD. It rears its little head in the most obscure facets of my life, like, my sense of smell. I love fragrances, obviously, but what I do not love, are fragrances that tend to be linear. No matter how beautiful. No matter how masterfully executed. If any fragrance smells the same at hour two and hour five, ten or even thirty-six on my skin, :cough: Bois d”Argent :/cough: then I might as well wear lotion pour le corps from aisle 13. KEEP ON READING

Amouage Epic Woman: Made to Make Your Mouth Water

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Science & Technology
Chinese Black Dragon – Images

Anybody here remember Opal Fruits? The tagline was: “Made to make your mouth water” – and sure enough whenever an ad for those tangy, sherbet-y little suckers came on TV, my mouth would begin pumping out saliva. Like Pavlov’s dog.

Well, I just have to glance at my dark green bottle of Amouage Epic Woman for my mouth to start to water. Like pickles, umeboshi (Japanese salted plums) and sourpatch gummies, there is an almost physical pleasure to be had in their wincingly tart flavor. It is a credit to Amouage that Epic Woman contains so many piquant green notes and still manages to be so inviting. It smells like something pickled in brine! And yet sweet! KEEP ON READING

Comme des Garcons Black: Home Fires Burning

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Reaching through the smoke images – Photography images

I left Ireland for Bosnia when I was 22, without so much as a backwards glance. Over the following 16 years when people asked me if I missed home, I would always be startled and say yes – automatically – but it wasn’t quite true. I just never thought of home as being anywhere other than wherever I was right then.

I never realized that the gene for “home” was carried deep within my DNA until one dark night when I stepped out of a snow-stalled car into the deserted crossroads of a tiny village in Bosnia and was hit in the solar plexus by a waft of smoke from a coal fire. KEEP ON READING

Mini Reviews on New Perfumes (3)

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Testing some of the new launches in the Niche Perfume Land that becomes larger each day I’m sharing with you my first thoughts about them

Another Oud Juliet Has a Gun

The latest release of Juliet Has a Gun ironically named as a statement tries a lot to be a different oud but it doesn’t. My curiosity to test it was raised while reading the notes – raspberry with oud and by the fact that I really enjoyed their first oud scent – Midnight Oud.

How is it? I get in the beginning a huge synthetic mutant raspberry that smells like strawberries with oud notes. This is not a soft oud perfume but a harsh oud one probably due to the large quantity of aromachemicals and I think that is one of the sweetest oud fragrances that I tested up to now. The entire composition is not so complex and remains linear with some a little bit animalic musk in the base note. KEEP ON READING

Creed’s Royal Mayfair: Nobility, Bottled

in Reviews/Thoughts by

Finally, due to popular demand, Creed has released a new version of Windsor that will be included in their permanent collection. Unfortunately for many, distribution is extremely limited at the moment due to exclusivity arrangements. It’s still difficult to obtain samples, but yours truly has managed to obtain a few samples in order to offer impressions for FragranceDaily. I have now thoroughly tested the fragrance and bring this review to you, dear readers. Enjoy!

“Top note: British Gin, Jamaican Lime and a touch of Scottish Highland Pine
Middle note: Fragrant Duke of Windsor Roses
Base note: Bahamian Orange, Canadian Cedar and Australian Eucalyptus” KEEP ON READING

GREEN!

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It’s no secret to my best fraggy friends that this year I’ve been on a particular perfume quest…..

……The Quest For GREEN

Everyone has certain notes and accords that resonate and add ‘flavour’ to the whole olfactory experience. Some like their patchoulis, roses, ambers, smokeys, etc etc.   Others are partial to categories such orientals, soliflores, chypres, floral, aromatics. What about colour? There are no ‘reds’, no ‘purples’, no ‘blues’ in perfumery (yet!), but there are mos def greens. And I love ‘em. KEEP ON READING

Three Amouage Masculines: Memoir Man, Journey Man, and Jubilation XXV

in Reviews by
Omar Sharif. Movie-Fan / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Jubilation XXV: Fit for a king, they say – and in this case, they mean it quite literally, because the Sultan of Oman frequently gifts bottles of Jubilation and Gold to other monarchs when they pay official state visits to his sultanate. And if I were a visiting monarch, I too would be delighted to find a bottle of this resting on my pillow.

Jubilation is a richly spiced oriental that has the best of everything in it – an opulent Frankincense, jammy fruit (orange and blackberries), warm pie spices, a hot, smoking oud, and a superbly salty musk and ambergris reconstruction extending it all at the tailbone. The opening, in particular, has a berry and dark chocolate effect going on that’s interesting (I assume it’s the patchouli interacting with the fruit and incense).  It’s very balsamic, from the myrrh, opoponax, and Frankincense, smoky thanks to the labdanum and guaiacum, and very sweet – almost syrupy sweet actually – thanks to the big dollops of honey.  Sweet enough for a woman (this woman included). I love it. KEEP ON READING

Immortelle Beloved: My Top Four Immortelle Fragrances

in Reviews by
Immortelle Tree Quinten Questel / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Etat Libre d’Orange Afternoon of a Faun: Afternoon of a Faun muscles its way into the green chypre category with an overall vibe halfway between a drenched forest and a bowl full of crushed iris roots. It’s described as an aromatic, spicy scent on Fragrantica, but actually, it comes off as a scorched-earth chypre. It shouldn’t work. But the contrast of wet, bitter green iris and the dry woods is all kinds of addictive.

I love the way it takes me on a ride every time I put it on. It reminds me somewhat of a vintage No. 19 pure parfum I had from the 1950’s which had turned badly – it shares something of that singed woods and burned coffee smell the parfum had. But in contrast, Afternoon of a Faun smells really good to me. KEEP ON READING

34 Boulevard St. Germain by Diptyque: Easy Parisian Chic

in Reviews by
Off the Boulevard Shawn Clover / Foter / CC BY-NC

34 Boulevard St. Germain by Diptyque is one of the reasons I am glad I don’t have access to many new perfumes where I live. It was greeted with such dismissal in the blogosphere – a collective sneer or a collective yawn depending on which blog you read – that it might well have colored my judgment had I been able to test it there and then. Instead, as always, I came to this perfume several years after it was released and with absolutely no expectations one way or another.

I first smelled it in a department store in Dublin in August 2013, heavily pregnant and making a mad dash around the shops to collect “essentials” before my two-year-old son awoke from his nap. We had left him in the car with his grandmother, whom I absolutely insist volunteered for the job (no matter what she says). It was my first real crack at a well-stocked perfume department in years, because, as I think I’ve mentioned, I live in Montenegro, which is about ten thousand kilometers away from the nearest niche perfumery. KEEP ON READING

Short Reviews of New Launches (I)

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Having the chance to test some of the latest arrivals in the Perfume Land I was tempted to write short reviews about our first encounter. Here are my first thoughts and I m pretty sure that for some of the perfumes tested probably a deeper relationship will develop between us in the future.

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Guerlain’s Nahema: Not as Good as it thinks it is?

in Reviews/Thoughts by

Nahema, one of the most famous rose creations by any perfume house, let alone the hallowed house of Guerlain, is a perfume that I am struggling to wrap my head around. Part of the problem is that it smells nothing like the image I had built up in my head based on descriptors used over and over in the many reviews on this famous perfume, words like “lush”, “honeyed”, “sexy”, and “bombastic”. On my skin, it reads as a pale, vegetal rose choked back by a bush of oily green thorns and the pale green talc of hyacinth. In fact, it bears more than a passing resemblance to the spicy, resinous green floral of Chamade than to other perfumes in the fruity, oriental rose category such as Amouage’s Lyric Woman. KEEP ON READING

Puredistance M-to Roja or not to Roja?

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image

Aahh, Roja Dove! Cannot help a smile when  I think of this perfumer. God forbid, not because his work is silly, far from it and in fact quite the opposite, but because we share a love of sequins, colorful silks and more than anything, an enthusiastic appreciation of the oriental and chypre fragrance genres.
And what is Puredistance M, if not a leather oriental almost on the verge of transforming itself in a leather chypre. But almost is the key word as the mossy character of any chypre worth its salt is barely present on my skin. That  doesn’t mean M is less impressive because of it, but it’s certainly less aggressive. M is just as much of a chypre as Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin is, which means it’s an incredibly smooth one and very oriental in nature.
Roja Dove, who composed Puredistance M, prior to launching his own independent career as a perfumer and luxury products PR specialist, had been steeped for 20 years in the finest Guerlain tradition and heritage, and I believe it shows. From what I’ve smelled his perfumes are deliciously old school: multilayered and opulent, formulated with good quality raw materials.
M is no exception: it is multilayered, opulent and formulated with good quality raw materials. It is also a very balanced kind of leather: not too soft, not too harsh, not excessively smoky, or sweet or dry. It is just right, in perfect equilibrium of nuances. And it’s beautiful and a pleasure to wear from the first moment until the very last, many hours later. It unfolds slowly, it’s like it knows it’s gorgeous and it takes its own time,bencasing the skin in stupidly perfect after perfect layer.
It has a way of making you feel better dressed or undressed (depending on circumstances), more sophisticated and with a bigger bank account. Alas,it’s only olfactory illusion, at least in my case.
M is not only a leather fragrance, depending on the approaching angle it could also be a spicy floral, a woody incense and a vanillic amber, but somehow they all combine to give the impression of supple, thick, luxurious hide, the impeccable type that Hermès use in their lusted over leather goods.
Puredistance don’t release an official list of notes with their fragrances. My nose and I enjoy a challenge and I think I can identify some of the things M is made of: bergamot first of all, with its softly floral citric undertones, jasmine for sure voluptuous, sweet and slightly indolic, rose maybe, not sure about this one, definitely spices possibly cinnamon or cloves or both, anyway spices with a sweet facet, certainly vanilla, 100% certain about labdanum, patchouli, leather, and some animalic, musky notes plus a whiff of incense smoke. There’s a kind of slightly acrid, green bitterness, very faint, it could be the mossy layer that perhaps would justify the inclusion of M in the chypre category. One fragrance that it reminds me strongly of is Papillon Perfumery Anubis, but M is more suave and refined, a bit more complex and better blended, not necessarily more lovable though. Anubis is rougher, smokier, more indolic floral, more animalic, and with saffron instead of cinnamon and M is softer, sweetly spiced and woodier. It has fantastic longevity and good projection, one or two spray are usually enough for a full day’s wear.
M is suited, buttoned up, not a hair out of place, shiny shoes, perfect trouser crease, all together impeccable. There’s a hint of sex in the only fetish element of his attire: the honey colored pilot leather gloves. This man reeks of money, success, good taste and high quality fashion, and yet I feel there’s a little something missing. Not in terms of image, that is flawless and beyond improvement, but maybe in terms of spirit. It would be unfair to judge M outside of  the Puredistance line up, which is one of extreme refinement and elegance, and yes of distance. I cannot imagine losing my head over any of their fragrances, because those perfumes reject the very notion of it. They’re all about poise, composure, a kind of luxurious restraint, not really in sink with my personality. Basically I was unable to connect emotionally to this perfume, in spite of its remarkable shape and beauty. I know this sounds stupid, because for most people perfume is only another fashion accessory. Well, not in my case.
I do own perfumes that I consider to be perhaps on the same level of sumptuousness as Puredistance M, namely Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin and Amouage Fate(woman) and just to make things clear I’ve bought the last one with a fantastic 50% discount, but I consider Chypre Palatin friendlier and Fate deliciously over the top, and as such both a lot more likable.
I also cannot give an answer to the question contained in the post title: to Roja or not to Roja? In some ways yes ,because he does a bloody fantastic job in showing us how perfumes were and can still be made, but on the other hand, no because of the, frankly, ludicrous pricing. After all, I’m convinced good perfumery can be produced at a reasonable cost, and anything beyond a certain point becomes a bit cynical.
Mr.Roja Dove is a legendary nose, but in my view he has yet to make a legendary perfume. Partly because he financially excluded a large chunk of the possible audience and partly because he’s not a revolutionary. He’s the loving custodian of a very polished, elegant, refined, classical French way of making perfume and I don’t think that is the realm of future perfume legends, and I believe this even if I’m a traditionalist and classicist at heart. His world is too rarefied, snob and luxury orientated. It is also true that perhaps to create perfume legends is not possible anymore.The niche perfumes have too little exposure and are a lot of times too expensive and the mainstream ones are too numerous and more often then not, too little thought and time goes into their creation. There’s also the issue of audiences, which have been fed so many mediocre perfumes in the last decade or two, that now they simply don’t know any better.
Only time will tell if we’ll witness the birth of another Shalimar or Chanel no.5. KEEP ON READING

Shalimar: The Original Golden Girl

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Sitting down to write a review of Guerlain’s Shalimar is like looking up at the top of Mount Everest and wondering how the hell you even begin the climb. It seems to cover (in one single bottle) a lot of the themes and notes people go looking for in separate perfumes – if you want vanilla, it’s the textbook example, if you want smoke and incense, well you got that too, if you want amber, then Shalimar is the mother of all modern ambers, and if you want animalics and leather, ditto. If you also happen to be the type of person who is interested in freaky notes, like baby diaper, burning tires, tar, and slightly rancid butter, then, why yes, Shalimar also has you covered. KEEP ON READING

A 48-hour Love Affair with an Amouage Attar

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My sample of Amouage’s Badr al Badour was tiny – a few drops only. I knew going into it that it would be a one-day affair, and I was ok with that. Impatient, I squeezed all the contents of the miniscule plastic cone onto my skin and waited. I had tested other Amouage attars before – four or five perhaps – among them the famous (or infamous) Tribute and Homage attars, and thus far, they had been, well,….. nice. But nothing that I would sell my soul for, let alone pay upwards of €400 for 12mls. KEEP ON READING

Amouage Journey Woman and LM Parfums Ultimate Seduction: The Dangers of the Fruity-Floral

in Reviews/Thoughts by

Amouage’s Journey Woman opens with a radiant osmanthus – a delicate yellow flower famous for smelling of apricots and often used in the Far East to add a subtle floral note to black tea. And true enough, this does smell of apricots, or some other delicate stone fruit perhaps, like peaches or plums, lightly dusted with nutmeg and cardamom. I have to admit, the opening accord caused a brief rush of emotion in me, but before long, this fragrance had settled into a firm ‘like’ rather than a ‘love’. I think it’s because a whole pot of honey was poured over the already sweet osmanthus accord in the heart, making it quite unbearably sweet and heavy to my nose. Anything delicate captured in the opening minutes of the fragrance – the gentle osmanthus, the apricots, the light spices – were immediately weighted down and made doughy by the onslaught of honey. KEEP ON READING

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