Posse Darlings! This is a Kevlar Bite Sleeve. It’s useful for safely evaluating and training dogs. I used to wear leather bite sleeves but Kevlar (knitted Kevlar – who’dathunkit?) is lighter, more flexible…
…and why am I banging on about Kevlar bite sleeves in a post about Amouage Attars? Well. We’ll see, won’t we. Hang tight, petunias. We’ll get back to these sleeves in a minute.
So. a few weeks back I was in Chicago, viztin’ with Andy Adams, my longtime SA at Neiman Marcus, when he said ‘ did you see the new display?’ (gesturing towards the back corner of the fragrance section)… I sidled over there and nearly fell down. Laydeez and Gennulmen! Neiman Marcus is carrying Amouage!!! Not all of it, but a goodly portion. However, I couldn’t tell you much about that ‘goodly portion’ other than the new attars because…NEW ATTARS!
First off, all the elegance in packaging Amouage is known for is still there. Differently shaped but still hefty crystal bottles, gorgeous black stoppers, elegant boxes (I prefer the white boxes but these are lovely). All there which, considering the pricepoints of Amouage, is comforting (can you imagine paying Amouage prices for drugstore packaging? That would thoroughly chap my cheese!!!).
So. Ya wanna know how they smell? Why? Because it’s a bleedin’ PERFUME BLOG? Oh, yeah. Right. It’s a perfume blog. So.. okay. Let’s talk about three of them.
Rose Aqor. Evocative of the lush Al Aqor Oasis, the notes are rosa centifolia, frankincense and sandalwood. I’ve never been able to grow Centifolia roses in my zone 5b garden but I have smelled them and can attest to their creamy, soft, antique rosiness. This attar makes rose the star but not in a tea rose sort of way – that creaminess of the Centifolia puts rose almost adjacent to itself – obviously, it’s rose. And you smell rose. But it isn’t the ‘rose’ we are used to. The sandalwood and frankincense transport it to another dimension. There’s not a green note in there, nor does it have any green ‘feeling’ about it; nevertheless, it has a young rose feel about it, flittering about rather than landing on you like an ICBM. It’s not as hefty as my beloved Homage and Tribute but I think it will work better for those who find those two powerhouses too much. It’s very much a skin scent, not venturing into Godzilla Sillage territory. Amouage definitely knows its roses and that knowledge resounds in this attar. I like it!
Vanilla Barka. I hate vanilla perfumes. At least I did. Vanilla Barka may have changed that for me. Crafted by the incomparable Dominique Ropion (one of my favorite perfumers) this takes the vanilla closer to the actual bean (which comes from an orchid, don’tchaknow) rather than a confection (which is why I dislike so many vanilla-based scents). Named after the ancient Omani seaport it’s rather solidly grounded, with Tonka Bean and Frankincense balancing it out while still paying homage to the subtle bitterness in the vanilla pod. In fact, it’s so subtle that it took 3 tries before I even realized I’d gotten some on my skin (I’d had 2 martinis at lunch. Bite me. I’ve got my sleeves on! ;-).
Saffron Hamra (which I’ve been calling Saffron Mamba because I’ve been reading about Black Mambas and you know how my brain….. oh, never mind. Cecile Zarokian is the perfumer.
Anyway – this? THIS? THIS! Even more beautiful than that snake, Saffron Hamra is one of the most stunning scents I’ve come across – ever. Ev. er. It must be the Cade wood that gives it this unctuous, green note – and unctuous and green aren’t two words I would’ve ever thought to use together. But here, it works. Perfectly. Even though the notes say rosa centifolia I get zero rose – and that’s fine! What I get is this indescribably beautiful ‘desert after a downpour’ scent, especially at an oasis when everything is at its greenest, lushest…but there’s still the sense that it’s transitory in ways not found in less arid environments. You can sense the desert just waiting to desiccate that greenery. But not quite yet. It’s a delicate balance, tipping first one way, then the other. Hamra defies an easy, solid description – and that’s what makes it so beguiling. I’m smelling green…but also a dry, golden floral note from the saffron. Simply stunning.
And now we’re to the woven Kevlar Bite Sleeves – these attars stay very close to my skin. But! I put a scrab on a cotton ball and once home rubbed it on for further testing. Then I forgot about it – and put on the bite sleeves, which stayed on for the rest of the day (I’m doing eval and training with a young foster, so Bite Sleeves). Around 9p I put the pup to bed in his crate, then got my exhausted self ready for bed (working with a bratty, goofy 2yr old Mastiff is like wrangling a rhinoceros!)… the minute I pulled those bite sleeves off? O.M.G. Hamra unfolded with a beauty that was absolutely breathtaking! And that’s when I remembered that for me all of these attars work best when skin comes into contact with fabric. I took the bite sleeves and cotton ball and rubbed them on my top bedsheet – good thing I shower each night… because these sheets aren’t coming off the bed right away. I feel like royalty, sliding into sheets with the essence of Saffron Hamra still faintly clinging to them. And… the bite sleeves must’ve really concentrated that scent on my wrist because I could smell it on my skin for hours! after. Even after a shower (to be fair, I didn’t wash my wrist. Would you?). Y’know, for all my expensive ways I rarely lust after what Humphrey Bogart called ‘f*ck you money’… until I run across delights like Miette chocolate sables, Burt Foster knives… and Amouage Saffron Hamra. Then? Then I wanna!!!
Have any of you tried the new attars? Your thoughts? I wish I could afford that Saffron Hamra but it’s $540/12ml and I need both a new roof and a new vehicle (so I feel your pain, Tom!). Oh, Mr Bogart! Where are you (and your ‘f*ck you money) when I need you?
photos: mine. Except the snake: www.wallpaperaccess.com (hey, it’s a Black Mamba. Not a lot of those around here but omg. isn’t he gorgeous? and lethal. My favorite combo!!! 😉