The opening is wood-based, a wood that initially reminds me of an unusual wet oak and then takes on a rosewood-like turn; all this is enhanced by a fairly soft and restrained musky undertone.
The drydown brings out a rose note that is not exactly bright, but less deep or dark than the classic Damascene varieties tend to be. There is a subduedly pleasant sweetness to it that remains present until the end, with a gentle spice note added in the base.
I get soft sillage and moderate longevity, and throughout it remains very close to my skin and remains a touch lacking the full exuberance of colours this house is known for. Nonetheless, I get a splendid ten hours of longevity.
A good office-worthy autumnal creation, maybe less restrained on others than on me, made of high quality ingredients. 3/5
This opens with a dried fruity aura of dahn al oudh before lightening up a more fresh fruity and musky heart with some woods thrown in for good measure. It's hard for me to review this objectively as it's personally not in the sphere of something I'd wear normally, but if you get exited about how a fragrance reminds you of your favourite yummers juicy fruit shampoo, this'll have you spitting out your cupcakes with fevered excitement.
Jeez Louise, enough with the freaking wildflowers, you good people at Abdul Samad Al Qurashi! I just spotted this in the Basenotes notes list, and I. Can't. Even.....
This fantasy (read = does not exist) note aside, this is an interesting perfume - much more interesting than its notes might suggest. It is interesting because it is a fragrance of two distinct halves, the first half being a sweet, tarry, woods and oud accord with musky undertones, and the second being a rich, bittersweet rose oriental in the mold of Coco, the original Fendi, and Theorema. The way the scent transforms from one scent into the other is fascinating, and will appeal to anyone who likes rich, woodsy, 'twisty' orientals.
The first half is all about the woods and musk. It opens on a sweet, tarry, sticky, dense note that recalls the use Josh Lobb makes in the Slumberhouse scents, and here I am particularly thinking of Vikt. The woods here - cedar, sandalwood, and a touch of aged oud - do not have a raw, 'new woods' feel like you get in Tam Dao EDT - which is good because I hate walking around smelling like the wooden plank section of a hardware store. Rather, the woods smell deep, treacly, ancient, almost disintegrated like the inside of those oak barrels they use to age fine liqueurs. There is a boozey smell to the wood, but not that of raw booze exactly, more like spilled liquor that smells sticky and deep. If this is the touch of aged oud that is supposedly in here, then this sure is one intoxicating, deep smell, reaching into the dark places of my brain where I struggle for a frame of reference for a smell. The closest I can come is to something from Slumberhouse, a house whose tarry, mysterious accords often have others struggling to come up with adequate terminology to describe them.
The woods are not alone in this first half of the scent: there is a heavy duty musk here too. It is not a dirty musk - in fact, it throws out an almost antiseptic twang over the entire first half of the scent - but it is not exactly a clean smell either. It provides a sort of gently animalic muskiness to the aged woods. I find it very agreeable indeed, even though at the same time I suspect that this is the same heavy duty 'clean' musk that is used in Ajeeb Musk Blend, which I thought was unpleasantly 'nuclear' and hospital disinfectant-like. It's a matter of blending, I guess. I like the fact that the woods and musk throw out this general tarry, aged sweetness without being too sugary or feminine.
The scent transitions into an almost completely different animal during the second half of its life, and it is kind of head-spinning, to be honest! Al Lolo Al Maknoun (try saying that when you're drunk) takes on this bittersweet, orange-peel and spices accord that reminds me of those big, stuffed to the gills spice orientals that people instinctively like to wear around Christmas, like Noir Epices by Malle, Coco EDP by Chanel, Theorema by Fendi, and even that civet-ylang wonder that is Joop Pour Femme. It's kind of feels like one of those medieval desserts like panforte or pain d'epices where you have a basic dough stuffed to the rafters with booze-soaked dried fruits, nuts, and so much spice that it basically preserves the dough until a century later. I find the same effect displayed, in a softer and more modern way, in Teo Cabanel's Alahine. I should mention, though, that this scent does not contain any amber, and most of the scents I have just mentioned do. I am just pointing out that there are similarities in the basic density of these scents, their orientalism, and their spiciness.
I think that anyone who likes the balsamic, tarry woodiness of the Slumberhouse signature would love the first half of this scent, and anyone who likes those big, 1980's style, stuffed, orange-y orientals will love the second half. And if you know someone who happens to love both, then run, don't walk to buy this perfume.
The Exotic Blends from ASAQ are meant to provide small steps for western noses to become accustomed to middle eastern blends, especially to the use of real ouds. With that in mind I suspect many will enjoy this one but on me it's an overly sweet attar with a sweet powdery floral vanilla musk. To be fair, though, when I first put it on I really liked the syrupy tropical floral thing going on, which was like Fire Island in extrait or something - a rich sum of florals with a touch of sun, sand, and skin. That period just didn't last long enough, though, and unfortunately I got little to no oud out of this - not enough for my tastes. Instead this finished as a floral-musk with the powder and vanilla coming out later. It's extremely feminine even though I know men could pull this off. While this may not be to my tastes, I know many will enjoy this one and for those looking to branch out into eastern oils and blends, this is a great place to start.