Amouage (2021)

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Reviews of Material by Amouage

Big fat amber. For Material, perfumer Cécile Zarokian really does seem to be saying ‘look at the materials that go into this most traditional of accords’, by dovetailing ingredients whose scents overlap considerably. Around the warm, sweet, vanillic, slightly fruity and leathery labdanum are layered vanilla, tonka, benzoin, elemi, all cousins, some closer than others. So, it’s no surprise that Material smells a bit like the apothecary’s shop crossed with the tobacconist’s – all rich, dark, sweetish, cured tones mingling together, with added shade thrown by an earthy patchouli. The slight shrieky edge of elemi is a bit of a relief as is the plume of incense smoke running through the composition; otherwise, this does feel unrelentingly brown. May appeal to people who like these unguent-like winter warmers, but I find myself tiring of it quite rapidly. The ingredients, though, do smell entirely natural, but that is not enough redemption for me in this essentially sticky genre.
Aug 12, 2021

Material is a very safe all-occasion Amouage with slight projection and top notes that rapidly dissipate. Broadly speaking this is a nicely done but basic vanilla oriental featuring recognizable Amouage frankincense towards far dry down. For me there was a little too much jazz hands during release. The outer box looks dated compared to its interior which feels a bit Malle-like by featuring Cecile Zerokian’s commentary as the nose. Transposing the exterior and interior might have resulted in a more elegant presentation. Material’s ad copy is—at best—awkward, written like an introductory paragraph to a mime’s dissertation. Skip over the nonsense and Material is enjoyable if you are ready to accept it for what it is at its price point. Much like Boundless, Material is safe, high-quality, and suitable for many occasions. I do own a full bottle but do not believe I will purchase another once finished.
Jun 2, 2021

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