Reviews of Meander by Amouage

Frankincense, sandalwood and vetiver, layered with chalky carrot seed. On me, this is very warm, very dry, linear wood. Calming. Like napping inside the hollow of a fragrant, sun-bleached log. Or relaxing in a wood-paneled dry sauna at some luxury spa. It remains consistent and potent throughout the drydown, simple and stunning.
14th March 2023
I'm really enjoying Meander. If I smell closely, I can recognize how some of the named notes are contributing - The sandalwood adds butter, the incense adds creaminess, the iris adds perfumey depth, and the jonquil adds fresh yellow florals. But really, it all melts together into a rich, buttery wood smell with bright, sunny, lemony florals on top. Without reading the notes or reviews, I would have assumed this was mastic, with its lemony frankincense smell, mixing with a buttery lumberyard sandalwood.

I almost always enjoy buttery incense wood perfumes, and the addition of the uplifting, abstract florals on top is really clever. The juxtaposition of the flowers with the peppery piquancy of the incense is fantastic, transcending gender and instead adding a holographic brightness that swirls over the more grounded woody incense elements. Nicely done!
25th March 2022

.Strangely mismatched, the name and the promotional blurb. One thing Salalah doesn't have, for all its Boswellia sacra, is a river. And something no Omani rivers do is meander: they're either dry wadis or they're raging in flood. Still, that's just the copy, what about the thing itself? Nice enough. Reminiscent of Ormonde Woman for me, although that's better than this.
5th March 2022
Starts with ashy top notes and leathery orris. There’s Olibanum in that strange peppery pale resin way, with leathery undertones of orris, and the faintest green feeling of walking in fresh grass or hay. A skin scent from the get go and doesn’t project at all. Maybe the sprayed version would show better than the 1ml vial? Not much of anything at all on my skin and what I can detect is not really anything I want to smell like. Not bad, but not interesting or evocative enough to interest me. Retry months later: woody. Mostly I just smell sandalwood. I can’t figure out where all these listed notes have gone. It’s okay, but it’s nothing at all special.
25th November 2021
Slightly green, earthy sandalwood opening. I also get a little lemon citrus but don't see anything like that listed. The drydown tones down the green notes and focus on the earthy sandalwood, which is pretty pleasant. Sandalwood is the main note and does have some resemblance to Wonderwood in the late drydown. Feels unisex to me.

With minimal sprays, I get strong projection and all-day longevity.
23rd September 2021
Stardate 20210618:

It is a run of the mill faux sandalwood fragrance. Kinda CdG Wonderwood or the Atelier one.

The Top is SW, minty and fig-gy. There is some green. In heart there is some iris (carrot kind) and then the drydown is same faux-SW.
Pretty linear and nothing great.
18th June 2021
Meander goes on with a minty, slightly sweet aromatic smoky frankincense with soft pink pepper support before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the starring slightly sweet minty frankincense remains with the supporting pink pepper morphing into black pepper, thickening as it is joined by near-creamy orris, and earthy, woody patchouli-like cypriol rising from the base. During the late dry-down the remnants of the black pepper, cypriol and frankincense join with woody vetiver and slightly sweet sandalwood through the finish. Projection is excellent, as is longevity at well over 12 hours on skin.

I don't know why the composition is called Meander, as its development actually is pretty linear to the this writer. It starts off with an odd minty bent that takes some time getting used to, but the pepper infused, earthy, woody cypriol and frankincense primary heart accord grows on you, if never wowing. The supporting orris is a nice subtle touch that softens the earthy aspect of the cypriol. The truth is there isn't much to write on Meander... The perfume doesn't change much from start to finish, and is pleasant smelling but not anywhere near inspired in its construction or execution, leaving the wearer unimpressed. For me, it is just one of many examples of at least the past half decade of Amouage mundane misses that make one ponder what happened to the great house producing masterpieces like Dia Man? The bottom line is the $340 per 100ml bottle Meander is a "good" smelling but unimpressive 3 stars out of 5 rated perfume that really should never have been created, meriting a neutral shoulder shrug recommendation to all.
2nd January 2021
I have been circling around Meander for a few days, summoning up my nerve to try it, now that Amouage is under new creative direction. I fell in love with the house when the classic perfumes that made its name were all that were available. Then, there was a major adjustment to Christopher Chong's wayward path, which sometimes threw up a gem like Fate Woman, intriguing Myths and Imitations, but also unbelievably ugly things like Sunshine Woman and some of the Secret Garden offerings that were best forgotten. Now Renaud Salmon is in the driving seat – affable and responsive on the forums (he revealed who the nose behind Dia Man was [ole Bertie ‘I'll take the gig, if you've got the dosh' Duchaufour] – a question that had nagged me for years), but also new. And it was that newness that was spooking me. Weird, as I'll gladly snort up all kinds of high concept niche folderol with an open mind. But feel fiercely protective of the house that gave me the joys of both Golds, Jubilations, Ubar, Dia Man…
However,… on to Meander, which is the first perfume of the Renaissance collection that I've tried. And on one front at least I feel instantly comforted: the materials used here smell just as refined and rich as expected. At first sight, it looks like corners are not being cut.
The perfumer Mackenzie Reilly's statement talks of her intention to ‘paint a contradiction between lush green vegetal notes and warm dry desert dust'. The execution, however, reveals the balance tilted more towards the drier side. With the signature Amouage frankincense singing out at the start, the perfume enters into an interplay of quite shadowy green notes (a little reminiscent of Memoir Man – but from a great distance), with a creamy fatty central statement that seems equal parts carrot and orris but also an almost coconutty sandalwood, all being gently fumigated by the incense and a touch of cypriol. The raiment of Meander is undoubtedly fine and that pleases me greatly, but the perfume's evolution is a touch too rapid for my taste, moving towards the sandalwood becoming the overriding theme and all the other points of interest (there's a cameo role offered to narcissus) remaining more in the nature of garnishes. I wish it had lived up to its name and taken its time, rather than getting to the point in such a haste. Many hours in, when the perfume wears close to the skin, a sourish vetiver, à la Timbuktu, joins the remnants of the sandalwood. Lasts forever. On balance, Meander does not convince me of Amouage's renaissance – I found it an easy wear, but it didn't light a fire. Now to try the other offerings…
4th December 2020
Amouage Meander (2020) comes in a really pale green bottle and white cap that reminds me of 1960's Fiestaware or Pyrex bowls in a bad way, but I'm willing to overlook that. The scent is composed by MacKenzie Reilly, who is relative new blood to the Amouage range, and chose her inspiration as the plateau of Dhofar. This scent is part of the Renaissance Collection, which draws themes from places or occurances around Oman, and this stuff is supposed to evoke earthy, rooty, grassy, green feelings of being in that region. For me, this is a particularly dry green oriental chypre hybrid sitting somewhere between Eau d'Ikar by Sisley (2012) and Cartier Déclaration d'un Soir (2012). There's no leather to be had like in either of them, but the "chypre" feeling comes mostly from the top and heart, while the base asserts the "oriental" facets with bone-dry sandalwood. Also, there is no gender specified with perfumes in the Renaissance Collection, but the bottles are gendered as a suggestion, with this one feeling masculine as its bottle implies.

The opening of Meander is very strong and dominated by carrot seed, much like Eau d'Ikar, but doesn't get powdery in the same way, as the carrot seed is flanked by two kinds of pepper, and an airy aldehyde. The dryness and piquant flashes continue into the heart, where a very dried dessicated rose takes shape, like Cartier Déclaration d'un Soir, but with the waxy rooty orris note paired with a pasty yellow narcissus/daffodil and a touch of souring cypriol. The daffodil imparts a vague sort of saffron-like feeling mixed with the smell of pollen, and it's a bit uncomfortable to me. Once we get past this vivid field-like heart, it's olibanum, vetiver, and a decently convincing sandalwood note to the finish line, which is this scent's saving grace. The sandalwood here feels like what Jacques Polge uses in Salvatore Ferragamo pour Homme (1999), Chanel Sycomore EdP (2016) and others, which ain't so bad. Meander makes its way past the 10 hour mark and sillage is strong thanks to the piercing dryness.

If you like super-green and super-earthy sandalwood fragrances, Meander could suit as a sort of mashup between Polge Sandalwood and the sort of garrigue quirkiness you'd expect to find from a Goutal or L'Artisan Parfumeur fragance (nee Sisley), but this is not Amouage as we know it. Then again, most of the line isn't because we now have Renaud Salmon in place of Christopher Chong, the latter of the two who spent his twilight years with Amouage pumping out quasi-mainstream fragrances nobody wanted or expected from the brand. Outside of Sycomore, most things Meander compares to can be had for much less, and without the usual Amouage resplendance or extroversion on display, I can't see the value in another dry "French designer" sandalwood take at this price. Combined with the semi-awkward dry down to this pleasant-but-plain finish, and I am left indifferent. Guess I'm just more of a Pfaltzgraff man. Neutral
1st October 2020