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quarta-feira, 4 de novembro de 2015

AMOUAGE: SOME MASCULINES



Memoir Man (2010)


One of the nicest frankincense openings on the market: bright, rich, deep, resinous, masterfully blended with bitter green leaves, citrus, something pungent and candied-fruity (like elemi), vetiver, sandalwood, and something on the base which reminds me of castoreum, although it may simply be the “side effect” of vanillin plus woods, leather and citrus notes. Genius touch of dark rose coming and going. A sophisticated hybrid halfway contemporary woody-incense scents like Gucci pour Homme I and resinous-brighter ones like Maria Candida Gentile Exultat, with discreet echoes of classic “barbershop” masculine colognes – mostly because of a soft, and kind of “dark” touch of earthy lavender. Utter pleasure: Memoir Man is a balsamic, refined and cozy gem, stylish and crowdpleasing without smelling dull, shallow or generic, at the same time showing a really peculiar a nondescript sort of “enigmatic” charm. Creative but totally safe, appealing and versatile. Perfect leathery-balsamic greenish drydown with a prominent vetiver-tobacco accord, mellow and again, totally classy, on darker balmy-mossy notes - keeping that abovementioned barbershop-fougère inspiration. Raw but civilized, shady and fascinating, and totally well made and solid... still unworthy the crazy price tag, but really nice.

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Beloved Man (2013)


Beloved Man opens as a pleasant sort of contemporary aromatic-fresh fougère, a woody scent with spicy-floral notes, a green accord (not listed, but I do smell something herbal, balsamic and pine-y). I also get something like a soft, smooth and subtle leather note underneath. The opening is fresh and vibrant, with a nice head accord of round and fruity citrus and bergamot notes (and elemi, which is basically only a generic candied feel), well blended with cedar and the aromatic, salty earthiness of vetiver. In the middle, violet, amber, spices (cloves, cumin), perhaps other flowers. Amber and violet above all provide a cozy sense of mellow warmth. As other Amouage scents, it has an “expensive-smelling” radiant brightness, and is surely pleasant and refined, although also quite a bit synthetic (not in a good way). Plus, nothing really original: again, like other fragrances by this brand, it shows a quite evident inspiration from several late 90’s/early 2000s masculine mainstream scents. Moving on from the opening, once the fresher side tones down, it becomes a darker woody-spicy scent which to me seems pointing towards a couple of “golden-era” Gucci scents. Notably, underneath Beloved Man I feel a sort of faded ghost of Gucci pour Homme I; just fresher, a bit more flashy, and with more Iso E Super, but the "spiced pencil sharpener" is quite totally there. For a while, the similarity smells quite clear to me, then on the very drydown Beloved takes a (slightly) different direction, becoming a bit more dry, herbal, with a more nostalgic and austere feel. Not bad for sure, so keep it and treasure it if someone gifts it to you; but nothing really new and surely unworthy the insane price.

6,5/10

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Journey Man (2014)


The opening of Journey Man is fantastic: a zesty, vibrant citrus-green accord with fresh herbs, pine needles, pungent spices (mostly juniper and pepper), a subtle fruity note on a velvety, shady tobacco-woody-leathery base – that common type of nowadays’ leather, glossy and “clean”, chemical and bright, yet mellow and pleasant, blending with tobacco to create a refined feel of black smoke well contrasting with herbs and citrus notes. This scent is peculiar indeed: it’s “black” and smoky on one side, but somehow it smells really crisp, bright and vibrant, almost radiant even if it’s mostly about "shady" notes. The feel is like going out dressed in black leather on a sunny spring day, with your dark outfit being enlightened by the sunrays and the azure sky. It also has a really clean look and texture, this meaning it smells quite simple and neat (not a flaw for me, as long as it smells good). Also, as many reviewers already noted, the connection to classics is evident, as Journey Man’s roots are clearly and strongly dating back to several leathery-smoky-herbal fougères, from Krizia to Eucris by Geo Trumper. The only thing I don’t enjoy is a slight but persistent sort of chemical-metallic aftertaste, but overall it’s really pleasant, especially for the first hour or so. Being quite linear, though, after a while it starts to smell a bit boring, losing a bit of the first-sniff “sensation”. Shortly a nice and well-executed tribute to an era, with a contemporary feel, undoubtedly good-quality ingredients and a solid composition. Sophisticated and “smelling expensive”, yet versatile, easy-going and safe all-year ‘round. The price is completely insane, but at least the scent smells nice, so you won’t regret it (that much).
7,5-8/10

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Interlude Man (2012)


The structure of Interlude Man is of a classic leather-velvety fougère with herbal and incense notes (on the polished-synthetic-woody side), reminding me of other contemporary niche fougères for man like Fetish pour Homme by Roja Dove. Decent and pleasantly plain, and a bit derivative too, as it basically smells like the drydown of any leathery masculine scent from the '70s or the '80s, even if (obviously, I'd say) less powerful and compelling. Nonetheless, it is surely balanced and pleasant, the leather is refreshed by balsamic notes and softened by incense, green notes and a hint of amber - all a bit plain and synthetic to my nose to be honest, but pleasant, refined and classy ("it smells expensive", shortly). Given the pretenses and the price, it's just not that worth it in my opinion.
6,5/10

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Jubilation Man (2008)


A jubilation indeed! Rich, balsamic, fruity, floral, masculine, dense, spicy... bittersweet tasty berries, foggy mist, honey, resins. Boozy vanilla drydown. A real circus of notes and accords, perfectly-balanced in a light-and-shadey, crisp and elegant scent, more consistent than one may think judging from the complex composition. Somptuous and sensual Oriental decadence at its best. Moderate projection and great persistency.
8/10

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Fate for Man


Fate Man opens with pepper, cumin, immortelle, a sandalwood-cedar note (“sweet pencil sharpener”, basically), softened by a warm balsamic-ambery accord, resins, incense (nice, rich, dusty olibanum), sweet anisic-licorice notes and saffron, well blending with a tiny rose note. I also get tonka and vanilla on the base. Basically Fate Man is a warm and spicy balmy-woody scent with a powdery-sweet breeze, essentially built around the “pencil sharpener” woody accord played on a darker, spicier tone - earthy-boozy immortelle, incense, saffron, dark balmy notes. Soft, smoky, spicy. The drydown is a bit cheap in my opinion, it lasts long but showing some unpleasant sort of rubbery-petrol nuances. Fairly pleasant overall, but also a bit uninspired and “already-smelled” (think of any niche scent with woods and immortelle), plus with a couple of “plastic” nuances that in my opinion lower the overall quality. It’s nice, but among the safest and least fascinating Amouage masculine scents for me.
6,5/10

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