What an interesting rose note this is. It smells exactly like rose mixed with green olives to my nose. Odd! But...I kind of like it! The opening brings a little more rose for the first few minutes but then the green olive marinated smell gets stronger. The dry down softens the green olive smell up as the mysore sandalwood and amber bring a smooth ending which is my favorite part. Not sure if I'd invest in a bottle but a decant might be worth the investment.
The Rose opening is beautiful. A Damascene Taif Rose starts it off, staring with an intense rose note, with a bit later brings out the rose leaves and stems more, resulting in a more vegetal character. The Indian rose remains in more in the background.
Soon the vegetal rose is modulated by an oud that is merging with the rose pleasantly. This oud is less loud and shrill and many modern ouds are and fit is well with the rest. A lovely dark musk is added soon, adding a faecaloid element that works well with the oud. A saffron undertone adds further depth.
The base sees the rose rescind a bit, and a resinous benzoin note moving into the foreground. Is has an ambery touch to it, and develops a night balsamic side on me. A sandalwood softens the benzoin towards the end. Finally, the sandal and the resinous notes merge to a refined finale.
I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a superb thirteen hours of longevity on my skin.
This is a delicious rose composition for cool spring evenings; rich, intense but refined and with good texture. 3.75/5
Taif rose is one of my least favorite rose essential oils. Its a damascena rose grown in a specific area of the world and in a specific environment that brings out the green aspect of rose, along with a kind of tart or lemony note, a sort of geranium character. Its kind of angular, which I dont mind at all, but it has a built-in bugaboo Ive always had with the damascena rose, especially the distilled oil. It often has, to my nose, a sort of vegetal note, an old dying rose water in a vase swampy note. It effectively ruins an essential oil for me when thats present. Taif rose can highlight that note because of its character and bring a sort of metallic edge in also. Many dont have this swamp note problem. Its specific to the person. But it makes taif rose a bit of a landmine for me.
Malik al Taif has this presence and note. I struggled to smell the rest of the fragrance while this was going on, but had difficulty. I applied it to a card which made it a little better, but only a little, so I could try and discover this fragrance more. It has a classic combo of taif rose, saffron and oud I would have liked to explore; and see where the rounder, softer note of the Indian rose fit in, along with the musk. On the card, the rose did soften in the drydown, become less sharp, and make a marriage with the musk in a long-lasting drydown, so on some this may be beautiful. But I smelled the dying rose note until the end. If youre one who has difficulty with natural taif rose, this fragrance may be, like for me, ultimately unwearable.
Buying a sample of a taif rose fragrance was a risk, but it was still worth it. Though its thumbs-down for me, Im giving it a neutral for the pleasure of the ride through the landscape of an old-style, non-French fragrance.