A pending release from Amouage like Amouage Beloved always sparks a lot of speculation and interest. The vaunted Omani house, created to celebrate the tradition of Middle Eastern perfumery, has been responsible for some blockbuster perfumes: Gold, Jubilation25, Epic…and it would be easy to want to peg the house as ‘Arabian’ but, in my opinion, that would be incorrect. In hiring Christopher Chong as their Creative Director they employed an artistic talent with a global worldview who is pushing the Amouage concept beyond the souks and serails that so many of us (me) think of when we think of Amouage. Cultural bases are great anchors but it’s presumptuous to forget that creative inspiration can come from across the globe (and beyond). Honour took us into a Puccini opera and the Library series is specifically designed to, as the website says,”defy categorization”.
And now, with Amouage Beloved, we are lunching with a Bergdorf Blonde. But not the callow babes of Plum Sykes’s novel. This is a Grace Kelly/Dina Merrill scent, all elegance and refinement. It’s got that Golden Glow that all Amouage perfumes possess but here the glow is mellower, softer. This woman has been coddled and cosseted, yes – but she’s not stupid and she’s had a fair share of experiences that have left their marks – the marks aren’t severe enough to require “procedure” and they heighten her character. I wore Amouage Beloved four days straight and each day there was something quietly, elegantly interesting revealed to me. This is not a scent to give up its secrets in a screechy moment. You won’t find this blonde, drunk and stumbling, on the front page of the Enquirer. She has a deeply passionate side but it won’t be plastered all over the Internet. She belongs to an exclusive club where people keep their personal lives to themselves. Yet…every now and then, in the turn of a coiffed head or the flash of an eye you catch a beguiling glimpse of what the private woman just might be like.
I was surprised to find myself so captivated by Amouage Beloved. It’s not the spicy, walled garden beauties that tend to define Amouage for me. I was pleasantly surprised to be able to pick out the clary sage, even with the lavender sliding about therein. The quiet forwardness of clary sage may be why I find this perfume so restful, without being sedative. The vanilla channels the elegance of Guerlain’s Shalimar without smelling one bit like it. It conjures the vision of the elegant women of Jacques Guerlain’s time, while bringing that elegance into our new millenium. But she’s still wearing grown up clothes and her hair is brushed. No Walk of Shame for this woman. Ever.
The notes, from Amouage:
The aromatic top notes are dominated by the rose and the jasmine, with a blend of spicy white flowers in the heart. The leather and vanilla warm base is underlined with rich woods, resin and animalic notes, increasing the intensity of the composition.
Additional notes include lavender, clary sage, clove, chamomile, cardamom, ylang ylang, violet, everlasting, cistus, benzoin, olibanum, patchouli, cedar, sandalwood, castoreum, civet, musk, maltol and amber.
Amouage Beloved smells like all of this. And none of this. It’s perfectly blended, perfectly seamless. It’s pretty. It’s quietly compelling. It smells like gold and pearls. And a beautiful, privileged Bergdorf Blonde. Who knows quite a bit about Life.
So…..since this makes no sense at all and tells you nothing, why don’t I share a little bit with you? Giveaway Time! I’d love to know what you think about these notes – what do they say to you? If you’re note-phobic (or think you know too little), tell me what you think about the direction Amouage seems to be headed…..or just tell me why you want to try this!
photo/Beloved: courtesy Amouage
photo/Tiffany bracelet : I stole it (the photo, not the bracelet)
4 May/2012 4p CST. DRAW IS NOW CLOSED. WILL ANNOUNCE WINNER NEXT WEEK.