Strong resin and roses. Its pleasant, reminiscent somewhat of Estee Lauder Amber Mystique with much less pencil shavings. Heres a reminder for me why I tread mainly in the Top 40 Hits of niche perfumery Roja/MFK/Dipthyque/Ormonde Jayne with a heaping designer side dish of Tom Ford and Hermès.
Calligraphy Rose unfolds in chapters that are decidedly different starting from rich resin with a present linear rose all the way down to finishing with an hour or two of custard. It is a pleasant experience for the wearer but one would truly need to know his or her audience to gauge what others are experiencing. Calligraphy Rose radiates a good one meter from body with surprising tenacity. And the human cohabitating with me has an olfactory aesthetic much more rooted in modern East Asian metropolises than a diluted mudblood such as myself. I might look like I hail from one of the points of heavy miscegenation along the Silk Road but regional and cultural aesthetic nuance matters.
Buyers should not pay more than around $60 at the time this review is written.
The saffron in the opening is quite restrained, unlike in the Saffron counterpart in this Calligraphy series. Honeysuckle and a whiff of muguet are the other main components I am getting at this stage.
In the drydown a herbal undertone develops, with lavender and touches of cardamom, but soon the star of the show emerges: the rose. It is quite a bright Turkish rose, elegant and trim, with the herbal side a bit darker, and the added restrained waxy edge provided by an infusion of styrax.
On me the base is quite strong on olibanum, with a soft labdanum and musky impressions rounding it off. There is an occasional sharper sideline present, like an ambergris that is thinned out.
I get moderate sillage, very good projection and an excellent ten hours of longevity on my skin.
This is a lovely spring rose scent, with the rose being of high quality and placed very well in the center of the development. Some notes in the base or a bit dull, but overall this is a fine creation. 3.5/5.
Bold top notes. Spiced. Slight herbal vibe. Gorgeous honeysuckle. Rose moves in moments later. This, is one of the best rose perfumes in my collection... The amber toned sweetness of myrrh and labdanum, blended with the styrax makes this a modern oriental. Lavender lies underneath. It's not too strong - more of a close-to-the-skin thing.
Then, you have a beautiful, warm yet creamy base note combination that embodies the middle or far east. Personally, I think this amazing! One of my favorites.
The rose saffron opening is just awesome. Those two go together very well. Something in the heart is sweet and/or boozy. While there it has a similar feel to Fahrenheit le Parfum, but slightly drier, incensier and less sweet. Projection was pretty heavy for the first few hours, then it lasted well. The labdanum gives this an expected amber drydown. I had hoped it would take a drier oriental turn. When compared to the beautiful opening, and sweet heart, I consider the base of this, though present, disappointingly bland. It feels a bit neglected.
All thing considered, Aramis is playing up a league, and does so pretty successfully. At a price point I see online of $55-ish, this is a good bargain. It gets extra credit for affordability and this raises its grade to a thumbs up.
Aramis Perfume Calligraphy (2012) was apparently popular enough to spawn not one, but two flankers simultaneously the following year, or maybe Estée Lauder was just desperate to generate appeal in the Middle East that they pushed out an entire line with unproven returns. Whatever the case may be, we received Perfume Calligraphy Saffron (2013) by the same perfumer as the original, and Perfume Calligraphy Rose (2013) with the nose of Trudi Loren at the helm. Trudi had worked on an Aromatics Elixer Sheer Velvet Philtre Sensuel (2006), so she knew her way around rose perhaps better than Clement Gavarry did on the original, since he buried both the synthetic oud and rose of the first Perfume Calligraphy in so much amber and patchouli that it takes some digging to separate them out. Trudi Loren doesn't even try to make a rose oud tandem with synthetic oud, but instead takes a more honest approach to a westernized version of a Middle-Eastern perfume by just capturing the feeling with Western ingredients, which makes Aramis Calligraphy Rose both smell better than the original, and ironically smell more authentic. Rose is the star of the show here, and it's both front and center for the duration of the wear. However, this is no sweet Damask rose, but a rich, visceral, almost beautifully dark Turkish rose absolute softened with a supporting cast, and feels like a warmer, slightly more approachable take on the niche Ex Idolo 33 (2013) which actually launched concurrently with this.
Aramis Perfume Calligraphy Rose opens immediately with that dark Turkish rose, flanked by a saffron honeysuckle glaze which sweetens it like a much more brooding take on the rosewater they sometimes use for macaroons or icing. This opening glaze doesn't hang around long, as the gothic rose bounds through it like a pro wrestler given an extra shot of steroids, carrying oregano and myrrh in each swollen arm to spice up the opening so it feels slightly pasty. There might be a slight peck of the synthetic oud here, as I get a brief barnyard feeling I didn't get with the original Perfume Calligraphy, but it's gone once the very round French lavender and labadanum come into play. Aramis Perfume Calligraphy Rose plays far more animalic regardless of whether there's an oud note just because of the styrax and fatty yellow musk that's in the base. An ambergris note of probably synthetic origin gives me faint impressions of Creed also comes and goes, but it's no amber composite nor ambroxan, as it isn't overly caramelized or sweet like either of them. Olibdanum provides the final anchor here, and the dry down continues to provide warm, pasty, dark rose which draws comparisons both to the aforementioned Ex Idolo and Frédéric Malle's Portrait of a Lady (2010), sitting somewhere between them. Aramis Perfume Calligraphy Rose behaves more like a Western perfume than the original, keeping it's projection modest, but a smaller, tighter sillage sphere which is more intense and longer-lasting. Performance is outstanding and Aramis Perfume Calligraphy Rose will work all day, even if it's Moulin Rouge-meets-Marrakesh smell is indeed anything but work-safe.
What we get here is entirely unlike the noble but muddled pandering that is the original Perfume Calligraphy, which was fascinating to the point of enjoyable because of it's compromises. Rather than that, we have a rapturous, mysterious, alluring, heady rose bouquet commanding of one's attention. This is a rose which feels at home both in an ancient temple or a modern BDSM club that fits better on a man but also works on a woman familiar with shiny latex or Fifty Shades of Grey. I'd keep this to evening use, but even then, you're going to make an entrance to rival Batman if you show up on a blind date drenched in this, so it's not appropriate for your first meeting with a new interest. I'm a rose fan so this is best of the Perfume Calligraphy line to me, but unlike the first, it's distribution in North America wasn't wide so you'll have to go online unless you have a Bergdorf Goodman handy, which is the only US chain that had it. Besides, who wants to pay its niche MSRP when discounters can sell this for a third of that? Thumbs up for another quirky East/West hybrid that offers one of the best values in this particular niche of dark, saturated rose. Aramis Perfume Calligraphy Rose still doesn't beat Salvador Dali Pour Homme (1987) in terms of grim determination, but little else can these days without the help of animalics and oakmoss, and that's a strict no-no. If you haven't checked out the original Perfume Calligraphy, it isn't necessary to enjoy this, as they don't share anything outside a few parts-bin fixatives and house captives; if Western hot takes on oud aren't your thing, it's best you start with this little gem anyway. Easily one of my favorite takes on the rose. Very well done. Thumbs up
Okay lets get started with this lovely review, I sprayed this one on my hand to test it out whenever it came in, and it was a headache inducing perfume. It was way too strong, and me being a fan of stronger perfumes you know it was strong if I thought it smelt too potent. The rose scent is very beautiful all in all, but its just way too heavy on the incense. Also I love the packaging, it has a niche style to it.