Material fragrance notes

  • Head

    • Elemi, Patchouli
  • Heart

    • Vanilla Madagascar Absolute, Benzoin Resinoid
  • Base

    • Guaiac Wood, Oud, Osmanthus Absolute, Frankincense Resinoid, Labdanum Absolute, Tonka Bean Absolute

Where to buy

Latest Reviews of Material

Despite all the other lukewarm reviews, I like this one a lot. It has some spice and depth to it, with a bit of vanillic sweetness that I find just right. Not syrupy, not too oudy. And worth the $200 I paid at a discounter. I like it better than Grand Soir.
26th November 2022
Other reviewers have discussed this in sufficient detail, so I'll simply say that as far as vanillic ambers go, Material isn't unpleasant (it's thankfully not too sweet), but it doesn't distinguish itself in a crowded field.
1st January 2022

The lack of innovation here is real,for that price it's kind of absurd,as i want a scent to 'wow' me.the opening is similar to other niche amber fragrances.the perfume is quite simple,but not flat.warm and a little sexual.this type of scents something you would wear while sharing intimate moments with a loved one.

It starts off very sweet it isn't a gourmand,but it almost feels like a gourmand,especially after a couple of hours.firstly vanilla pod,then resinous amber,after that warm woodiness. unfortunately it turns into a skin scent rather rapidly,and at this price point it just doesn't justify the purchase.totally different not enough from other resinous amber dominant scents to warrant attention.
15th December 2021
This is a sweet, resinous, traditional amber, full stop. If that's all you need to hear in order to run out and grab a bottle then read no further, since knowing more about Amouage Material (2021) than that may dissuade you from purchase. Material is one of a new pair in a "feminine" bottle, with the other half consisting of Amouage Boundless (2021) in the "masculine" bottle, both of which are a return to roots for the brand after a dropping of 4 really designer-like releases that didn't thrill many longtime fans. Boundless was a woody/spicy incense thing that tried to be the second coming of Interlude Man (2012) but more gender-neutral, while Material shoots more for being like Maison Francis Kurkdjian Grand Soir (2016) in its gummy display of Middle Eastern amber. To be fair, I quite like this genre when it isn't overly sugared like you find in cheaper, designer or big cosmetic-brand ambers that are loaded down either with ethyl maltol or ethyl vanillin, depending on the era and brand. Untouchable classic ambers like Dana Tabu (1932) or the really unique amber profiles like what Avon has used for a century notwithstanding, most of the amber-based scents I've smelled that have any kind of westernization on them whatsoever end up smelling like baked goods or Big Red bubblegum, so I tend to be critical of when this happens within the purview of a Middle Eastern brand like Amouage. Thankfully, they understood the assignment and rounded off the corners to keep this from entering Duncan Hines frosting land, but is that really enough?

The opening of Material is pretty dense and heavy, with a bit of sweetness and spikiness out of the gate. Patchouli and elemi resin tell the tale that is later passed down to vanilla and benzoin in the heart. Things are fairly academic at this point in the story, with sweet spices and resins mixing with vanilla and what feels like a bit of cinnamon. The patchouli is fairly light and deconstructed, so I think it's some fractionate material and not full raw patchouli, although the vanilla and benzoin feel sufficiently natural. The woodiness of the base eventually furthers the spikiness, with guaiac wood mixed with some kind of Cambodian medicinal oud material (real or synthetic is moot because it is so small), and eventually smoothed by a gooey tonka bean note. This tonka bean is going to be the make or break material for most amber lovers investigating this scent, as it brings that Western designer feel to the fragrance, since literally everything in the 2010's or 2020's that isn't a fresh bomb loaded with ambroxan or Iso E Super is a sticky tonka bomb typically stuffed with woody-ambers to boot. I don't really get much of a cynical woody-amber molecule vibe, which is good, but I do get wood and amber independently mixed into the fragrance. Olibanum and labdanum are claimed in Material, but if they're here, they are just shaping things and not taking any sort of limelight away from the benzoin and vanilla. Wear time is going to be all day, as with most strong ambers, with semi-close but potent sillage. Best use would be in the winter, unless you stay in air conditioning year round and can pull this off.

Ultimately, Amouage has hired Cécile Zarokian to take the prevailing gummy amber style popularized in high end niche circles by Kurkdjian and throw it back at him with better, more natural materials (pun intended), and then toss in some oud bite to make sure everyone damn well knows this is from the Middle East. There was a bit of a ruckus when this came out, just like with Boundless, and I feel like maybe a few points need to be deducted there for making everyone think they were getting another big Amouage barnstormer, when they were really just getting a "me too" fragrance with the aplomb of Amouage and know-how of perfumer Zarokian (who generally does good work). I'm pleased with this as an amber, but I'd still take Grand Soir over this because when I want oud, I really want oud, and the amber accord here is paint-by-numbers outside that. Still, Amouage fans looking for a solid amber could do far worse, even if fans not hung up on brand could do much better for far less coin than this if they want something that toys with the wild side of amber while staying relatively in the usual consumer lane like this does. Middle Eastern depth with Western velveteen processing is the name of the game with Material, and that's something we've seen time and time again with amber perfumes coming from this part of the world but mostly lobbed at the West. Just ask LaTaffa, Rasasi, Al Haramain, Al Rehab, Asgarali, and many others about all about amber/oud combos; and those brands don't charge $300 for something like this, either. Neutral
29th November 2021
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.
12th August 2021