While recently in Dubai I was feeling more like the hailed CNN-TeleJournalist Anthony Bourdain in the cult masterpiece show ‘Parts unknown’ but in this particular situation there is only a slight twist, I would like to call it Parfum unknown, After spending endless hours sniffing and re-sniffing all the latest Gulf perfumes from UAE and imports from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatr at several locations inside Dubai/UAE: (Dubai Mall, Perfume Souq, Sharjah, Fujairah, Deira, Mall of the Emirates and Global Village). My curiosity led me to an upcoming niche brand that blended both the Traditional as well as the modern Arabian-Oriental scent with the intricacies of modern French perfumery as.
After smelling so many Oudhs, Ambers, Saffron and Rose mixes along with Cedar, Frankincense and Many endless variations of musks, the defining question was what else is left to sample. Dubai is the ‘New Paris’ when it comes to Perfume. There is hyper competition within every half a block. Perfume stores are vibrant and abound as they line-up aside one another or even across the street. One must be selective when entering the gauntlet of possibly over zealous perfume sales advocates demanding you to try this AND try that..it is a good problem to have if you ponder in the irony of it all.
My particular interest was fulfilled when I encountered My Perfume Group line of scents; The Royal Perfume. at first sniff, they seemed so familiar that I could name that perfume instantly after thinking very hard. But I couldn’t, not yet anyway. However, as time and the notes lingered on the Familiar become unknown and wildly something different. in fact, quite enjoyable. This is largely responsible from the pristine quality of their oils and the craftsmanship of Gulf Style perfumes: Arabic-Oriental-French-which are gaining in notoriety. When it comes to Gulf perfumes fusion is evident but the common denominator is the sheer dominating village that people rave about endlessly in the on-line forums like Basenotes and Fragrantica, The Royal Perfume line is no different.
Currently, there are four perfumes with the theme of Royalty. Prince, His Highness, Her Highness and Princess. All four have distinct personalties along with beautiful projection that you can’t ignore. They really are that good, tantalizing good.
Prince– A Heavy and hard blast of Grapefruit, Mandarin and Mint that leaves you in aromatic bliss. Minutes later in transforms into a moist powdery light musk. Then, enter Cinnimon and Secret spices which is not divulged, probably, for competitive purposes. In Prince, the Cinnamon-Spice duo is key. It literally turns the perfume around to escape the monotony of fresh comparisons. This is more of an evening scent. Forget fresh for a bit but think Nocturnal. It is a powerful evening scent: Bewitching.
His Highness– A line-up of Saffron, Thyme, Raspberry and Olibanum. Automatically, such an assembly of notes brings commonality but not really. All four are heavy and intense but once you smell the Oudh, Vanilla and white musk it turns mildly Oudh and mildly Vanilla. Just a touch..but with reinforcements; some Jasmine. The Jasmine rounds out everything. Smoothing any rough edges if there are any, complementing anything that moves in this fragrance but most of all making it interesting. Consider this an oriental-oudhy perfume with a touch of grain. Splendid!
Her Highness– Oudh, Ylang, Turkish Rose and Orange Blossom set this up nicely. Bergamot is present but it blends in so well with the Oudh, Ylang and rose that it needs no further explaining. The usual White Musk + Vanilla combo is present to keep it tame but the Pachouli brings the finishing touch. Labeled as Her Highness for the ‘Femme’ but this can easily be a unisex perfume for the more daring of souls.
Princess– Pure unbridled austerity this is. They list Oud and Rose as the main ingredietns but it has a creamy-woody scent as if they managed to slip some Vanilla, Musk and ambergris to where it smells like pumpkin ice cream with Oudh & Rose. The hint of pumpkin smell is from the Oudh which i think is a blend of Indian Oudh-Sandlewood-and a thrice distilled batch of Cambodian oudh. Cambodian Oudh can either knock you stiff or leave you in ecstasy depending on the distillation extract. I gather Princess engineered a special blend of Cambodian for the hallowed pumpkin effect. It is strong, commanding but very pleasant. It is a very shape shifting scent to have only 2 notes. However, simplicity still sells so one need not feel totally out in the cold with this uplifting elixir.