After the seemingly overnight unabashed cult-like following and manic success of Lattafa perfumes most impressive perfume offering Raghba-on everyone’s favorite oriental to do list of 2014-15-not much could be heard or said about Lattafa perfumes except for a few Raghba flanker offerings that the truly faithful truly followed after the popularity finally peaked.
The flankers were Raghba Wood Intense, released somewhere in the middle of Raghba’s reign in 2014. Raghba Wood Intense was good with a bevy of hard oudh and cedar notes but the intensity did not live up to the billing of the original Raghba. Then there was Raghba for men which I found hard to resemble Raghba at all even though it did smell like a cross between Arabian Oud’s Kalemat and Creed’s Green Irish tweed with shallow green cambodian oudh like notes. Raghba Classic found a niche audience who somehow discovered that they had a love for politically correct oudh which Gulf perfume houses have perfected by literally engineering the smell to another level which Lattafa is still famous for. Raghba classic was a success with its heavy reliance on Benzoin, Vanilla and Ambergris. The Ambergris is really something special in Raghba Classic. Finally, there was Raghba Muski, in the spirit of Raghba but much more toned down with soft white florals, sugar, lemon and clear musks, however this was something to continue the Raghba commercial wave which came to a halt in the fall of 2015.
Finally it seemed like Lattafa the house with the infamous moniker to describe all their perfumes…”Sweet woody oudh Bakhoor or Woody notes, agar wood (oud) and Incense” had run out of steam. But there were a few notable releases after Raghba that kept them on the radar. The Just Oud-Just Oudh Boulevard Collection which for some unknown reason has become wildly popular in Brazil after speaking with a few Gulf perfume wholesalers who describe its popularity due to the semblance of the modern Oudh trend captured by Tom Ford and the numerous likewise houses dabbling in the ‘modern’ compositions. Just Oud and Just Oud Boulevard turned into a viable option following Raghba.
The truth is…Lattafa has legions of perfume and I do mean many legions as in the context that they are possessed. Some say they have over 70 perfumes! They literally produce compositions as they day is long. But the question still remains what could Lattafa possibly introduce next to capture the appeal or at least make it look like an honest attempt. Fast forward to late ending 2015 and early 2016, Lattafa released a slew of perfumes showcasing their new ‘Prestige’ line of perfumes, that are really quality-driven powerful western-oriental modern hybrids and a few Arabian creations for the hardest of the hardcore Raghba crowd. The Khaltat Al Arabia collection: Gold & Silver are really handsome modern Arabian scents smelling of heavenly Oudh, Amber and Musk blends for the Gold followed by Incense, Indian Oudh, Citrus with Aquatics-(ambergris) for the Silver. Their ‘Prestige’ line features two oudh perfumes; Amwaaj Al Oudh and Nakahat Al Oudh which finally, after much anticipation proves that there is… life after Raghba, FINALLY!
Amwaaj Al Oud– The Oudh in this fragrance smells so unique and wonderful that is is really hard to describe at first but when it settles you can taste the Cambodian elements in followed by Golden sandalwood and Indian Oudh. Amwaaj meaning waves, tells the story of waves of smooth oudh notes that shift into many different notes. In the beginning you smell palpable buttery notes, very light florals and something which I can only describe as smelling like creamy alfredo sauce and even olive oil. Amwaaj Al Oudh smells so good you want to eat it. Since Lattafa is very good concerning not releasing notes don’t fall for the ‘Agarwood (oudh)-Woody-Incense’ mantra. This is oudh more suited for fine cuisine. The smoky notes of the various oudh and sandalwood results in a toasted bread smell like if it were straight from the toaster. I can smell either English muffin or French Bread. Thats how good Amwaaj Al Oudh smells. Following the toast, you will encounter a faint sweet smell as if its not there but it remains. The sweetness resembles Marshmellows, not toasted, but left in the bag. Lattafa is excellent at blending notes and their experimentation with Oudh that one should expect more depth in the layering of the Oud scents as Amwaaj smells really futuristic! Lattafa brings you the future of Oudh with Amwaaj
Nakahat Al Oud– This picks up where Raghba left off. Nakahat Al Oudh is so 2016 while Raghba is 2014. When I mentioned earlier that Lattafa has done something different to change the depth of smell in the Oudh and ancillary ingredients I really mean it. If you loved Raghba you will worship at the alter with Nakahat Al Oudh. It takes the sweetness of Raghba and transforms into a more ethereal and woody scent having slight powder effect…very slight indeed. You smell just hints of cinnamon,sticky honey notes and just like Amwaaj Al Oud the combination of Oud, which i guess is Kaliamantan-White Oudh, presents a fresh toasted bread smell again but this time its medium brown toasted wheat. Medium brown toasted wheat with lightly salted whipped butter, sugar, cinnamon and that ingenious marshmallow sweet smell lingering in the background. Nakahat has more of a lighter feel-like cotton-and deft touches than Raghba but its presence is stronger than Raghba. After about an hour you will then encounter the smell of dry dates with pleasant musk and amber on top of what you’re smelling already. It is indescribable of how heavenly Nakahat Al Oud tastes! You will have to experience it yourself. Just be Prepared to be impressed as Lattafa Perfumes has done it again with some impressive experimentation with their Gulf style of mixing Oudhs. Both Amwaaj and Nakahat are unisex and are finally safe to wear by those who once considered any oud scent to be heavy, Even Oud Wood by Tom Ford. Lattafa has finally solved that problem with smooth futuristic oudh and delicious Oriental elements.