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sábado, 27 de fevereiro de 2016

Amouroud Safran Rare: Sexy & Well Mannered

by: Miguel Matos

Have you ever met anyone whose body odor you actually like and eventually become addicted to? If so, isn't this a baffling experience of carnal seduction? Well, that's what this perfume reminds me of: Safran Rare by newcomer brand Amouroud.
I have been following the development of this brand for over a year and a half since I first met the Amouroud team in the TFWA expo in Cannes back in 2014. Since then I've met them several other times and had the opportunity to test the scents and give my humble opinion about the various modifications to the original formulas until the creators found the perfect combination. This may come as a surprise to some, but Amouroud is a new brand from Perfumer's Workshop, a company with more than 45 years of experience in the mass market and mainstream perfume industry, responsible for the masterpiece Tea Rose. They are now entering the niche segment with an exotic but easy to understand line. The Amouroud perfumes are mainly inspired by the Middle Eastern trends of sultry woods, spices, flowers and agarwood. All the perfumes come in regal, black, luxurious bottles with metallic details.
I have tried all the perfumes from this line and frankly all of them are good. Some are more original than others, but I have my favorites. Again, they are all within familiar styles of other niche offerings, not really groundbreaking, but solid in the workmanship they demonstrate. They do not present any flaws and are exceptionally well blended and long lasting. I fell in love with two of them: Dark Orchid and Safran Rare. I shall dwell a little bit on Safran Rare and leave Dark Orchid for an upcoming article.
Safran Rare, composed by Claude Dir, is an uncommon example of how to perfectly mix sexual attraction and elegance. Safran Rare can be sexy but also rich and refined. It is capable of making me blush but it also makes me feel like a gentleman. How to achieve this balance? It's their secret. I just tell you what I smell. And maybe you will smell it differently, I am not the regular perfumista and always make crazy associations, as you may know. I also tend to like darker and deeper scents.
Safran Rare is a balance between the sultry and the subtle. First of all, this is a leather and saffron centered fragrance and that's mainly what I smell through all of the development. At first the saffron is very pungent. At this point it reminds me a lot of Tom Ford's Tuscan Leather or The Merchant of Venice's Byzantium Saffron It also comes with a nutty feeling, something oily and sweet, refreshed by a touch of citrusy notes. The florals are not noticeable at the top. This is not my favorite stage and I like it better after 10 minutes or so, when the spices and florals come into play and that sweet thing is gone. That's also when there emerges an effect that reminds me of cumin, and you know that cumin has this body odor element. It can boost or ruin a perfume depending on the dosage and combination. In this case, I couldn't find a better example of well done cumin (cumin is not listed, but I feel it and it can be an effect caused by the blend of other notes). Other good examples of a nicely done cumin is Cartier's Declaration and the modern reformulation of Rochas Femme.
Cumin actually entices me as it reminds me of the smell of sex, the smell of hot, aroused bodies. Fortunately, Safran Rare is not dirty, but burning and sweaty. And yes, it is very masculine. I would even say butch. You know the macho thing inKouros? Well this is a very different scent but the level of manhood is similar. And I think that this animalic character comes from a natural oud that is used in a small concentration, but just enough to make it funky. After this arousing olfactive experience, my brain is stuck with this erotic depiction of a perfume but there is more to come. The fragrance is again refreshed by transperent tones of incense, vetiver and rose. But another element is about to come to surface: A strong, woody accord made with sandalwood and cedarwood, warming it up again. The result is a perfume that works with the tension and balance of elements. And this drydown of woods is really pleasant and elegant.
This is a good case of a brand that wants to choose a trend like the Middle Eastern perfumery and decides to make something different out of it. So the ingredients may have a link to Arabian attars, but the composition is not particularly reminiscent of a specific place. Instead, it is contemporary and universal, even if Safran Rare appeals to a bolder type of man (or woman). The sillage of this perfume may be discreet but it lasts very long through the day. I would say that this is a fragrance for a seductive, rich gentleman in a tailored suit with good manners but killer eyes and ravishing habits in private circumstances.
p.s.: After writing this review I started worrying. What if Safran Rare didn't actually have cumin? Would I be leading my readers in error? I started thinking that maybe my nose and brain were making this up about the cumin effect. So I emailed Amouroud to see if they could help me. They contacted the perfumer who told them he had included a natural organic compoud called cuminaldehyde that actually smells spicy, green and cumin-like with herbal nuances. 
cuminaldehyde molecular structure
Cuminaldehyde is a constituent of the essential oils of eucalyptus, myrrh, cassia, cumin and others. So, here it is: even though the cumin note is not in the list, it works its magic. And I can rest assured I'm not fooling you with my olfactive impressions.

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