Autumn Rose

by Musette

On Friday, Nava asked if any of us noticed the subtle change in the weather, with slightly shorter days and that strange shift in the blue of the sky..I’ve felt it for the past 2 weeks or so and lay blame on the insane heat of  late June – July,  incessant 100+F, drought-plagued days and nights.  A sudden cooling rain, followed by a drop in temps to the mid-80s  now has me thinking Autumn…weird, but true.  Remember when August was the Dog Days of Summer?  Well August is the New Fall, baby.  You heard it here first.


So what did my autumn-turning mind turn to, when the temps dipped into the frigid 80s?  I went to Amouage Ubar.   I got a  bottle of the original in the last Swapmania and it was sitting right in front on the shelf and I was curious.  I had a little sample of current Ubar from Luckyscent but to be honest, I’d done that Maggot Broth thing I do, where I just Make Stuff Up – and apropos of nothing decided that Ubar was a masculine and I would get to it when I got to it.

Okay.  Not saying a man couldn’t wear Ubar – it’s just that he would have to fight me to the death for it.  Both the original and the current are gorgeous.  I was too lazy  having difficulties coming up with definitive notes on the original, so I went to the incredibly charming and gracious Christopher Chong (yet another Maggot Broth Moment, where I just assumed he would be difficult to reach and haughty when I did reach him.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  So delightful to chat with!  Ubar, Marketing, roses, how do you hold a moonbeam in your hand…..I could’ve yakked with him for hours, even though he promises there will never be a Tribute Attar cream (sob!)…but I digress…

On to Ubar!  Ubar was a long-lost, fabled (and fabulously wealthy) city  located on the overland incense trail.  According to legend it was the Arabian version of Sodom and Gomorrah – destroyed by God for bad doin’s, it became the Atlantis of the Sands.  Well, bad doin’s or not, the original perfume conjures an aura of ancient luxe, lush life in the Arabian desert, with incense-scented silken draperies opening onto carefully cultivated roses and citrus trees surrounding splashing fountains in jealously guarded, high-walled gardens.  A veritable oasis.

Bergamot, lemon, lily of the valley, damascene rose, jasmine, civet, vanilla – those are the notes of the current Ubar.  It’s a much warmer and softer version and….don’t bite me!  I might just like it a tad more than the original (no, I have not been podded – I said “I might’.  We’ll see…)  Christopher Chong says there is more focus in the floral heart in the new one, which is probably what I’m attracted to.  I get a lot more incense-y sandalwood in the original.  Robin compares the original to sandalwood fragrance decorated with a few flowers…and I agree.  The reformulation focuses more on the rose.    I don’t overlove rose but Amouage has such a way with it….witness how they ripped my soul to shreds with the vaunted Tribute Attar.

But sharper or smoother, both are absolutely gorgeous.  Originally I wrote that ” The notes say ‘summer’  in reference to both iterations but I slept on it (and in both) and came up with this instead:  the reformulation has the brightness of an early summer day  but the original reminds me of fresh-picked, tangy cider apples and peaches ready for canning (yeah, me in my Manolos, canning peaches).  Original Ubar doesn’t smell like those things – it smells like what those things mean – the early advent of Autumn, when the roses are full-blown and the peaches are ripe and ready for picking, as I did this very afternoon.  It’s still summer…but it’s the heartbreaking beauty of a mature summer.  The roses are abloom behind the walls of the oasis…but the first nip of autumn leaves just a touch of lacy rust on the velvet petals.  New Ubar is a soft Summer day.  Original heralds the Fall.


source:  Original (mine own, my preciousssss), current: Luckyscent sample

  • Emma White says:

    I must say, the picture is awesome! Reminds me of my favorite pheromore’s pheromone scents. Where is this picture taken?

  • Faris says:

    Anita, you’ve managed to make me want to try Ubar again, and we both know I should know better. Lol. Big ol mess on me. Still, on this side of the pond, it is same ol same ol,ie what summer? :) keep well!

    • Musette says:

      You goofball! =)) We’re going to find you your Holy Grail..did you try the new Ubar? Totally different animal.

      it’s the weirdest post-storm day-into-evening here – it started out cool, then hit mid 90s :((, now it’s breezy and vaguely cool…probably because it was 95 just 3 hours ago. Strange…:-?

      xoxo >-)

      • Faris says:

        I think I shall…next time I get down to London. :( My HG sandalwood might just be some vtg – a rabbit hole I am not supposed to go down! Ha ha.

  • Flora says:

    Evocative words, these, and I am feeling some fall-ish signs around here too – dew actually fell the other night – except that “real” summer has just gotten started over here in the Upper Left Coast! First cukes and green beans of the season? Picked just last week! First tomatoes? Just cherries, no big ones yet! They better get cracking before the fall rains start or I shall be QUITE cross.

    Original Ubar is one of my all-time top 10 Holy Grails – the new version is lovely and I am SO happy it was brought back, but the old one is all about that gorgeous base, of which I simply cannot get enough. If I could afford it I would hoard every bottle I came across, just to be sure of a lifetime supply. It’s My Preciousssss too…..

    • Musette says:

      If you need tomatoes, honey, I have yet another 60 or so on the vines, ripening away….I thought Nature was gonna hose us on the produce this year but between the tomatoes, peppers, corn and peaches, I’m sort of anxious for a few days’ break in between the bounty, knowmean? #:-s

      xo >-)

  • Tamara*J says:

    Musette~ I heart you.
    Your musings on fall feel like my own.
    Take care scent sistah<3

  • Teri says:

    Ok, I really DO need to start addressing the Amouages. I’ve done a little cowardly dance around them, thinking about how expensive they are and how much I’m sure I’ll love them and thinking my finances would be safer if they and I were never introduced. But ignoring them isn’t working so well, since I read the fume blogs and see them praised everywhere.

    Oh well, that new roof I need can wait until next spring, right? lol

    I’m going to commit. I’m going to order some samples today. But I do reserve the right to blame all of you if I like them and buy a few. \:d/

    • HemlockSillage says:

      Uh, oh! You will fall down the rabbit hole with Amouage. They are dense, lovely, eveloping fragrances, all. So well made. I foolishly ordered a Homage Attar sample, and fell madly in love with the scent. The great news is a samlple lasts and lasts, as these are very powerful.

      Homage Attar finally joined my FB collection. It is my Preciousssss. I wear it year-round. My pocketbook hurt, but my heart sang. I own Lyric Woman as well, and love it; just not in my current 100F+ weather. I’d buy Epic and Ubar in a heartbeat if money were no obejct. Alas, I will eke out my tiny sample vials. . .

      Hope you enjoy them! Be well.

      • Musette says:

        My darlings –

        This is why Floyd made splits! Like Hemlock said re Ubar and Epic, I would split Tribute Attar in a heartbeat. And she’s right, they are dense scents, so a little does go a lonnnnng way. Of course, I’m quaking in my thong stilettos, imagining the beauty of Homage Attar. HS, how is it, compared to Tribute. No! DON”T TELL ME!

        Okay – tell me! 😉

        xo >-)

        • HemlockSillage says:

          Dear Musette, if you’ve not tried Homage Attar, email me, and I’ll send you a sample. It’s yours, in finest perfume enabling style.

          It is the most heartstoppingly lovely thing I’ve ever smelled.

          Citrus up top, vague lemony/bergamot atop the most lush rose, jasmine, oud and frankincense. The citrus makes this thing sparlke, and the rose seems dewy, lush, smoothly blended with the jasmine, which gives it loft. . .then the rose turns wine-like and deep, paired with the oud and incense. It is oddly more airy than most oud scents, more western in its vibe than most oud roses. I’ve sent out samples to friends just because I want someone else to know how amazing this pefume is. Proselytizing for perfume. It’s that amazing.

          My collection is far too vast, embarrassingly so–from Malle and Lutens to Guerlain and Chanel to indies like SmellBent and so many in between. This is the crown jewel in my collection.

          Okay, that’s enough rhapsodizing for one rant :D Thanks, you guys for this community where I can learn about these things. In these years of serious blog/book/article reading about perfume, I’ve found so many treasures. It’s fun to hear what you liked and loved, even when we disagree. Be well.

          • Musette says:

            Are you serious? Oooh, let’s talk. I probably have a little fun thing to swap with you (you know nobody on here can just say ‘oh, thank you!’ and be done with it. that’s why nobody’s collection ever actually reduces! ;))

            xo >-)

  • ggperfume says:

    I only wish August were the new fall. . . though it’s true, the angle of the light begins to change. But in a Mediterranean climate, fall waits until October to arrive. Late October.

    Anyway – what a fabulous review! Ubar the fragrance, Ubar the place, the difference between summer and late summer. . . love it.

    • Musette says:

      I agree, the angle of the light really is more of a herald than the temps – that, and the difference in sound. Crickets nonstop rather than just in the evenings, the absence of children’s voices (I’m right next to the local park) – and when they DO get out of school it’s a ‘different’ kind of noise, now.

      One of my favorite exotic autumn moments was standing on the beachside terrace at Hotel Des Bains (Lido), looking across the Adriatic….there is an amethyst fog that appears in the early autumn – just breathtaking!

      xo >-)

      • KirstenMarie says:

        Ooooh, amethyst fog? You don’t happen to have a picture of that, do you? I’d love to see it! Today I was feeling fall-ish, so I broke out the Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu – a warm sweater scent to me. Spicy and comforting and cozy..with a slight edge. It has that heavy, ripe peach scent that you mentioned above, along with a good dose of cinnamon on me. Not that it’s gourmand – it has too many other things going on for that. But in the spirit of today’s post, those notes are what struck me.

        Thanks so much for today’s post. Part of the reason I so enjoy this blog is that, like life, it turns with the seasons. I can sit down with my cup of tea and spend time with you girls and just BREATHE. Taking the time to notice the subtle seasonal changes, the nuances in our perfume, even just finding the time to write about these things and read what others have to say…. all of it is a slowing down, a “noticing” what is going on in the sensory world around us. Too easily and too often that sensory connection is lost in today’s busy and virtual worlds. So again, Musette, thanks for being you and taking the time to write. And I agree with the others – that is a beautiful autumn rose picture!

        • Musette says:


          Wow. Your comment just took my breath away!

          Thank you for those incredibly beautiful, kind and eloquent words. I agree – reading (and writing) posts like this cause everybody to just slow down and ‘be’ for a few minutes.

          Gorgeously expressed, my dear.

          Alas, no, on the fog. I suspect a much better photographer than I could capture it (and may have) but this was one of those tricks of light, I suspect. It was midday and sunny – but a strange, amethyst mist hung over the mid-horizon…I’ve never seen it in this part of the world..and haven’t seen it there since, either (the sighting was 30 yrs ago, in mid-September. I refuse to go anywhere ‘touristy’ like Venice in the high summer months)

          But it was an ethereal vision.

          xo >-)

  • FragrantWitch says:

    You had me at ‘early advent of autumn’ …I will have to sample this! You definitely have a way of creating a lemmings. :)

    On a side note, will I still be in time to submit my courgette lemon cake to the Posse Cookbook?

  • maggiecat says:

    Fall? Why yes, it is only 104 here today….I guess I’ll have to wait for Fall here in Dallas, but it is nice to think about what I will wear when you can’t literally fry an egg on the sidewalk. Lovely review, and I may just need to get a sample of this!

  • Rappleyea says:

    “It’s still summer…but it’s the heartbreaking beauty of a mature summer.”

    I just love that! So beautifully said. I love the change of seasons with the now slightly longer and cooler nights, the bluer skies, and the energy of Fall in the air.

    Great review – thank you!

    • Musette says:

      you are so welcome! and thanks for ‘getting’ it. I watch my hummingbirds hit the feeder 20x a day now, in prep for their long flight south…=((

      xo >-)

      • Rappleyea says:

        Yeah, I hear you. I worry that’s it going to be as bad a winter as it was a summer. My longer haired cat is already getting really fluffy and I noticed just this week that the mama squirrel that lives inside the wood wall in front of my balcony (she hollowed out a carpenter bee hole!) is building her nest already! Seems early for all of that winter prep activity! Although I’m ready for Fall perfume!

        • Tamara*J says:

          Anita yes! The hummingbirds bring such simple joy watching them.
          I will them terribly too.

          Rapple I’m with you on the fall perfumes but seeing as I hardly had a summer I’m not surprised.
          I love autumn very much but I feel cheated this year.

  • Ann says:

    Hi, sweetie! Love the photo with this post — just gorgeous! Wish August was the New Fall here; autumn likely won’t arrive until late September.
    As for fragrance, I envy you being able to carry off the big guns like this, Mitsy, etc. I tried Ubar a while back and it was just, well, way too BIG for me. Have a great day, everyone!

    • Musette says:

      Well, I’m a big gal – like Jane Russell. Only not quite as gorgeous :(( nor quite as HAWT, alas….:(( …..and not a movie star…..:((….and not the paramour of a billionaire…..:((

      but I’m a big gal!

      xo >-)

      • tammy says:

        I dunno, I think you have to have a certain amount of moxie, style, presence? to carry off some of these Amouages.

        I am a fairly big girl myself….5’8″, big boobs, big hips, and redheaded to boot, but all in all, I am forced to admit that the Amouage line is just not impressed with my big bad self. (They can probably tell I can’t afford them)

        I can carry off loud (Bandit and Fracas purr like kittens on me, and I rocked Opium, Fendi and Cinnabar back in the day) but I can’t manage the Big scents.

        • Tamara*J says:

          I just wanna say that your my kinda woman. Bring it!
          Always enjoy your comments<3

          I can kick it in Amouage and not give a damn that I can't afford them.
          Memoir Woman is my favorite.

          • tammy says:

            Right back at ya, baby girl! How’s your RA been in the NON-Summer?

            I need to try Memoir. (NOT a hint!) The heart and base notes sound really good, though truthfully, their roses generally don’t work for me.

          • Musette says:

            Try Tribute. They smoke the livin’ daylights out of that rose. SO gorgeous.

            xo >-)

          • Ann says:

            Hi Tamara, I love Amouage Memoir Woman, too! Can’t wait for chilly temps to wear the heck out of it.

      • rosarita says:

        That is so funny, Ms A! The photo I posted on my makeupalley profile page is one of Ms Jane Russell in her curvacious, gorgeous heyday. I labelled it *my ideal look*. I refuse to understand why I can’t sashay around my life dripping diamonds and wrapped in satin. So I don’t have diamonds and the satin would be trailing, oh I don’t know, corn silk maybe? Ha!


        • Musette says:


          I know just what you mean! I just peeled and pitted 150 peaches (another half bushel to go, though I suspect we will be eating most of those)….and I wore a dress and a pair of stiletto thong sandals, just because I felt like it. El O was mystified (he was the slicer and wore sensible sandals and Sat Down, the cheater)

          xo >-)

      • Ann says:

        Well, I’m not tall but I am larger (as in a plus size) and I still can’t pull off the big guns. But that’s OK, there are lots of other beauties I can wear well.

        • tammy says:

          Yep, me too…Dos Equis above, Uno Equi below!

          And Epic Woman, Gold and Lyric all laughed right in my juicy, zaftig face!

          Thank God for The Party in Manhattan.

          • Musette says:

            You guys are KILLIN’ me! =))

            It ain’t the size of the boat….

            you lovelies are all rockin’ Persackly what you need/want to rock. I can’t wear a ‘sweet’ fragrance – people look at me really oddly when I try that one, like the time I wore a ruffled blouse! /:) you’d’ve thought I’d shown up nekkid!

            xo >-)