At first sniff i loved this fragrance. Unfortunately i have grown not to trust my first sniff as it has been often deceiving. The first sniff is sometimes like the supermodel who is good to look at but sucks in conversation. in the long run you need someone you can have a conversation with.
similarly with perfumes, after the initial wow factor dies down, how the fragrance fades and becomes one with your skin, and puts a smile on your face and makes you feel good on a long term basis is what differentiates the great ones from the good ones.
moreover, just like what your friends think about your gf effects your better judgement, what other basenote reviews speak about the fragrance, also effects your final buying decision.
as such, ta'if has been on my mind for a long time. i have sampled it maybe a dozen times. The opening is a blast of rose and spices, typical but not overly sharp as many rose and spice combo behave. but also not my favorite part of the fragrance.
As the fragrance develops, it transforms into a beautiful silky creamy tone, which could be described better as a texture than an actual smell. This is my favorite part of the fragrance and the longest lasting segment as well. in fact it remains so for the rest of its life. they say amber in the end but i cant distinctly smell it, so it plays more of a supporting role perhaps.
A lot of Ormonde Jayne fragrances have that silky creamy middle note. Im wearing Ormonde Man today and its a similar vibe.
Ta'if is not daring, nor different, nor loud, nor even long lasting. Its a really subtle creamy rose, which remains close to the skin during its breif lifetime. yet each time i sampled it, i fell more and more in love with it. to the point that despite several reveiws about how ordinary it is, i finally plunged in and got a full bottle.
Sometimes you just dont want to make a statement. Sometimes you just want the best of what is ordinary! And Ta'if does a damn good job at making 'ordinary' feel good.
When I read Turin's description of Ta'if as a "peppery floral," I was expecting something along the lines of Perles de Lalique or Coriandre. In those the pepper and patchouli drew the rose center down to deep, dark realms.
I find Ta'if, for my nose, to resemble the scent from roses that have dried and are either on their way to potpourri or to be tied with a ribbon and hung from the rafters.
I get none of the other notes listed, just a dry, dusty rose. Nice, but unremarkable.
Ta'if is one of those fragrances where I seem to be experiencing something completely different to everyone else. People use the words rich, dark, and exotic to describe it and suggest a texture as heavy as velvet close to Lyric Woman or Portrait of a Lady even whereas all I experience is a sheer peppery floral layered over a musky, dried-fruit base. Even the praline/date note is sheer and sort of dry.
I don't even experience the rose in this as straight-up rose but as a big, blowsy peach and orange blossom chiffonade, with only brief flashes here and there of something that might be interpreted as a tart, green rose swimming in the murk. The peachy, powdery feel of the fragrance makes me think of something cheap and functional I used to use when I was a teenager - the Impulse O2 body spray perhaps, or a deodorant spray, I don't know. So each wearing of Ta'if comes with a huge helping of nostalgia and wistfulness that clouds my judgment of the fragrance itself.
The dry down is a slightly powdery musk with a streak of dates running through it a very pretty end, and also quite a deliberately perfumey one, I think. It doesn't tilt you too literally in the direction of any one particular note, but bathes you in a pink-tinged miasma of musk, fruit, orange blossoms, and caramel that reminds me of some of the prettier dry downs in designer perfumery, such as Coco Mademoiselle, or Elie Saab.
So, not the rose of my dreams, or even a rose at all (to my nose), but it sure wins on the account of being a winningly pretty peach and white floral. Its popularity goes to show that you can market what is basically a designer perfume to people at niche prices if the marketing is pitched right and if its appeal is broad enough (for which read, a universally-appealing charm).
I have an uneasy relationship with florals, so I was cautiously optimistic with this one. I blew me away...in a good way. The saffron, pepper and dates hold this rose back from crossing over into cloying, like so many others do....or into a sticky-sweet mess. It's a warm, slightly heady fragrance, but somehow stays fresh. On me, it turns into a skin-scent at about hour two, but never loses it's rosiness. In all, gorgeous.
The opening may seem a tad perfumey to some, with a melange of notes that to my nose are far too well-blended for individual components to be identified with any degree of certainty. I could not tell if saffron or date are actually part of the picture. What is in evidence however is its ascerbic floral piquancy that gradually resolves into a soapish if slightly fruity rose. A desert rose in its early stages of bloom, as I imagined.
And what an elegant rose this is! The beauty lies in the way the Ta'if rose is presented and supported. It stays fresh yet deftly sidesteps the intensely green shrillness of tomato stems, with a dash of spices sustaining its peppery vibrancy. The ambery oriental base provides a more than adequate foundation but thanks to the perfumer's judgment, it remains subservient to the central floral accord even long into the dry down. Projection and longevity on skin are both excellent.
Can a man wear Ta'If? Absolutely. But on the right woman, it could well be a weapon of mass seduction.
Tai'if is a spicy rose that goes on sharp and acidic but soon settles into a more agreeable dry woody-green groove. I'm reminded of Diptyque's L'Ombre dans l'Eau, but drier, and with some warm Near Eastern spices sprinkled on top. In fact, when I think about it, I'm reminded even more of Diptyque's Opone. Lo and behold, Ta'if's pyramid lists saffron, which besides rose is the dominant note in Opone.
Tai'if is very quiet for this kind of scent, and its green tinge renders it wearable for either gender. Ta'if marks my traversal of the entire Ormonde Jayne range, and it stands as one of my favorites in the line. Good stuff, if not terribly exciting, but apparently meant to appeal to more staid tastes than mine.