Amouage Women’s Sampling

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
I’ve mostly tested this house via osmosis in the past, getting my first two samples when working through the Turin & Sanchez Top 100 (Gold Woman and Ubar), and then later when searching for a magnolia (Reflection). Most recently, I picked up a sample of Fate Woman when testing through the 20 5-Stars in the 2018 Guide. I also remember smelling a few at Sak’s during the 2019 Basenotes Chicago trip. I think my nose was done by then; I remember nothing.

Anyway, I was inspired by our recent Amouage Friday Synch to test more systematically, especially since so many of the usual synch crew had to sit that one out for lack of access. So, I purchased a sample set from The Perfumed Court. Feel free to follow along as I test them.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Figment Woman

This is spicy, mildly anisic tuberose. It’s hard to define as a tuberose at first because of the significant role played by jasmine and ylang. The pepper nicely balanced out the creaminess of the white florals so that they do not come across as cloying. But there is really probably too much pepper and saffron at first for my tastes here. The opening really couldn’t be further from my tastes in perfume, other than my preference for saffron. However, it does eventually calm down. I do think someone whose skin amplifies white floral notes might do well with this.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Epic Woman

Powerful spicy rose/incense/oud. This is a style that is endlessly explored; often copied. Once you have it on a blotter, it’s really all you will smell. Very high-quality. Very strong. The Oud here is subtle, but nothing else is. If you love Rose and incense, or rose and Oud, but are repelled by the woody aromachemicals overused in most of them, you will enjoy this. Especially if you aren’t shy. Me personally, I think I’d feel as if my perfume were wearing me, and not the other way around, so I’d be hesitant to wear this one; Especially indoors. It eventually dries down into something wearable, fluffing itself up with a bit of powder. Perhaps just apply an hour before going anywhere.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Sunshine Woman

The opening is quite the surprise: green apple Jolly Ranchers and Love’s Baby Soft! I would have really loved this as a teenager. Soon, there is a sweet, fruity floral note that reminds me of the fruity rose in Miss Charming by Juliette Has a Gun. (Likely the magnolia/osmanthus/blackcurrant combo) But you can smell a bit of wood or Oud now, as if it’s just around the corner. A plushy vanilla/almond supports the the wood as it enters. This wood smells slightly charred. Like bits of wood on a beach where there may have once been a bonfire. (Cade) And then suddenly, there it is: patchouli. And all this time, we are overwhelmed with sweet fruits. Berries, I think. They fooled me: it’s a fruitchouli! Though, for a fruitchouli, it is high-quality and complex. Oddly, the combination, especially at the drydown, remind me of One Million by Paco Rabanne. Like the Rabanne, it’s most certainly unisex. Even leaning masculine. My 13-year-old would wear this if he could afford it.
 

grayspoole

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 4, 2014
Hi Kotori—

Great testing notes—thanks for posting. I’ll be following your progress and although an Amouage has yet to whet my appetite, one never knows!
 

cacio

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 5, 2010
Thanks for the description. I have missed many of the more recent releases, so good to have some ideas.

Indeed, the old Amouages were definitely of the sort "they're wearing me rather than me wearing them", but that was part of the appeal.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Thanks for following along, grayspoole and cacio!

Next up-

Esprit de Amouage

Spicy-fresh. In spirit, it reminds me a bit of Gieffeffe with the airy freshness combined with an overload of spices. The bay leaf provides a nice herbaceous counterpoint to the apricot that I identify merely as stone fruit. Eventually the cardamom gives us the slightly cumin-like funk it is known for, and I really enjoy the juxtaposition of the fresh/airy notes (likely hedione) with the sour fruit and slightly stinky cardamom. I think that loud airiness and slight bit of funk could really work well on a very hot day, without having to delve into citrus or vetiver. Great stuff! Unique, high quality, and wearable. Too bad it’s so rare.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Ubar

I’ve smelled Ubar before, as part of the Turin/Sanchez Top 100 Quest. It always struck me as a well-set Jasmine. But today I’m smelling the rose and it’s striking me more as Joy by Patou’s more opulent sister. Gorgeous. I do wonder if it was tweaked between the old sample I had, and this new one. I think I remember that this one had been reformulated at some point. On to how it smells: it’s a nearly piercing soprano of a rose/jasmine combination, with the rose both providing some alto harmony and creating a tart balance for the sweet jasmine. As I look at the note list, I realize I’ve been fooled; there isn’t any rose! Something like Rose had been suggested by the combination of Rose wood, violet leaf, and citrus. There is only the smallest hint of powder, which I think is actually ylang ylang, and it retains a mildly piercing quality with its opacity. The patchouli here is so restrained as to provide only a slight shadow. The sandalwood so minimal that it only provides creaminess in the texture. There is nothing sheer about it. It is not spicy, it it is nevertheless an evening gown sort of fragrance. I imagine I could happily wear it to the opera. In many ways it reminds me of Tiffany for Women, which I haven’t smelled in nearly 30 years. As I check the notes for Tiffany, I see that they do indeed have much in common- a bright citric tuberose/ylang/jasmine/orange blossom with violet leaf and sandalwood. I suppose they are both from a similar time.
 

cazaubon

Moderator
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Jan 1, 2005
There is a vintage Ubar, of which I’ve only seen pictures, then the newer re-release, which I’ve heard has been discontinued again, but don’t know if there’s any truth to that. At any rate, I completely agree with your description of it as an evening gown/theatre scent. Being a jeans and tshirt girl I don’t often feel elegant enough to wear it, although I do like it and own a bottle.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
There is a vintage Ubar, of which I’ve only seen pictures, then the newer re-release, which I’ve heard has been discontinued again, but don’t know if there’s any truth to that. At any rate, I completely agree with your description of it as an evening gown/theatre scent. Being a jeans and tshirt girl I don’t often feel elegant enough to wear it, although I do like it and own a bottle.

Much the way I feel about my travel bottle of Sanrovia by Blocki— it’s not a surprise that with the theatres closed, I’ve only worn that one once or twice.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Jubilation Woman

Cumin! Not since Declaration have I smelled this much freshness juxtaposed with this much cumin. Here you have sort of a cKOne freshness like hedione or maybe those notes in the Clean fragrances, combined with some subtle spices such as maybe cardamom and bay or sage... and then so. much. cumin. Much more cumin than Kingdom or Bigarade Concentre. I’m usually a fan of this technique of dirtying something fresh with a dose of cumin or cardamom. I nearly bought the fruity-armit Kingdom when it was being widely sold. I occasionally enjoy wearing Declaration. Bigarade Concentre is one of my favorite orange fragrances. I enjoy Theo Fennel’s Scent, and I think Salome is a fantastic piece of art. But this is way too much. And I am not one for labeling fragrances as masculine or feminine, but the vibe is very masculine here. There is so much piercing freshness that it makes my nose tingle, and so much cumin that I smell a sweaty, unwashed male athlete nearby. The effect is like walking into a men’s locker room after a game as deodorant is being sprayed on. I feel anything but jubilation.
 

jujy54

queen of the universe
Basenotes Plus
Jun 8, 2008
Thank you for your detailed descriptions and imaginative way with words. Figment Woman intrigues me, and your take on Sunshine Woman is priceless!
I have had my nose pressed against the window, so to speak, re: Amouage. Maybe I will take the plunge one of these years. Following.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Thank you for your detailed descriptions and imaginative way with words. Figment Woman intrigues me, and your take on Sunshine Woman is priceless!
I have had my nose pressed against the window, so to speak, re: Amouage. Maybe I will take the plunge one of these years. Following.

Thanks, jujy! Figment Woman is unique; I haven’t smelled anything like it. It perhaps belongs in the category of cold florals, like Carnal Flower or Champs Lunaire or L’Instant de Guerlain. But none of those smell like it.

I’m glad you enjoyed my description of smelling Sunshine Woman for the first time— it was quite a ride!
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Lyric Woman

Unexpected. The soft, powdery, mildly sweet, yet complex fragrance belies the fierce red packaging. Unlike the Amouage fragrances I’ve tested so far, no single note immediately sings out. This is well-blended, and dare I say unique? Arguably sweet with a slight fruitiness, it is nevertheless not foody. It’s difficult to define, because while definitely an oriental and with all of those hallmarks including spiciness, it doesn’t come across as spicy. Spices are a simple structure around the ethereal breeze of tonka and orris, highlighted by bergamot and filled out by white florals. At the drydown, it smells familiar. I can’t place it, but I know it reminds me of Dior Addict and Iris Perle by Les Imodables. Pleasant, personal, pretty.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Now that you mention it, NCal, I did sniff Gold Woman for the Turin/Sanchez Top 100. Kind of an opulent aldehydic, wasn’t it? Something kind of louder than Le Myrrh, but in the same genre? I know I don’t have a sample anymore, because I think I reacted poorly to it, allergy-wise. But I somehow also tested Gold Man at some point, and seem to remember preferring that, though I can’t remember when or why I would have tested it. Wait! I remember! I tested some vintage men’s Amouage in the deep vintage pass. My favorite was the Tribute Attar, as I recall. But yes, excellent point.
 

purecaramel

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 9, 2013
Jubilation Woman

Cumin! Not since Declaration have I smelled this much freshness juxtaposed with this much cumin. Here you have sort of a cKOne freshness like hedione or maybe those notes in the Clean fragrances, combined with some subtle spices such as maybe cardamom and bay or sage... and then so. much. cumin. Much more cumin than Kingdom or Bigarade Concentre. I’m usually a fan of this technique of dirtying something fresh with a dose of cumin or cardamom. I nearly bought the fruity-armit Kingdom when it was being widely sold. I occasionally enjoy wearing Declaration. Bigarade Concentre is one of my favorite orange fragrances. I enjoy Theo Fennel’s Scent, and I think Salome is a fantastic piece of art. But this is way too much. And I am not one for labeling fragrances as masculine or feminine, but the vibe is very masculine here. There is so much piercing freshness that it makes my nose tingle, and so much cumin that I smell a sweaty, unwashed male athlete nearby. The effect is like walking into a men’s locker room after a game as deodorant is being sprayed on. I feel anything but jubilation.

Quite like this description.

Mrs.Camel likes it, however doesn't love it.

Can't persuade her to wear Salome.

All the better for me as Jub 25 it suits my Male skin.

My thought is that Jubilation 25 moves Masculine with it's raw Citric Incense Cumin Labdanum edge.

Jubilation XXV, to my nose, moves Feminine with it's Orchid like heart.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Quite like this description.

Mrs.Camel likes it, however doesn't love it.

Can't persuade her to wear Salome.

All the better for me as Jub 25 it suits my Male skin.

My thought is that Jubilation 25 moves Masculine with it's raw Citric Incense Cumin Labdanum edge.

Jubilation XXV, to my nose, moves Feminine with it's Orchid like heart.

Haven’t tried XXV; it’s the masculine-marketed one? I find it confusing because of the numerals being equivalents. But... you bring up a great point: Sometimes what Amouage puts out for men feels feminine-leaning to me, and sometimes the ones they market to women feel appropriate to men? I thought I recalled that happening with the Gold pairing; that I thought Gold Man was perfectly wearable for women. As someone who doesn’t put a ton of stock in those labels, I nevertheless feel disoriented when the marketing doesn’t align with my perception.

I could see not wanting to wear Salome out, especially if her chemistry amplifies the cumin? My friend’s skin does that. We both had Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune back in the day, but she stopped wearing hers because her skin amplified the funk and lost the grapefruit so that the effect was more unpleasantly unwashed. Maybe you’d have more luck with Maai? Or the Heretic Dirty line?
 

ErinK

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 6, 2013
I'll also be following along, Kotori. I have only tried a couple from Amouage (Dia, Lyric, both of which I liked) myself as I've never been interested in this house for various reasons (price/aesthetics/branding/perfumes generally sound too baroque for my taste) but, on the other hand, have often wondered what I'm missing out on. I look forward to reading through your experiences.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Ciel Woman

Ethereal, breezy, bright. A well-blended aquatic floral starring water lily and cyclamen, which are notoriously ephemeral and difficult to pinpoint. You sense an aura rather than smelling a specific fragrance. If you know the feminine Acqua di Gio from the 90’s, this is a sister fragrance with a similar focus on airy/watery notes, violet leaf, peach, dewy florals, jasmine, and sandalwood. Here it’s water lily and cyclamen; in Acqua di Gio (femme), it’s lily of the valley and hyacinth. Ciel has a bit more substance due to the addition of rose, plus some incense in the base, but the Armani had a peachier, fruitier tang. For the money, stick with the Armani if you enjoy this kind of bright, soft floral skin scent in summertime.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
I'll also be following along, Kotori. I have only tried a couple from Amouage (Dia, Lyric, both of which I liked) myself as I've never been interested in this house for various reasons (price/aesthetics/branding/perfumes generally sound too baroque for my taste) but, on the other hand, have often wondered what I'm missing out on. I look forward to reading through your experiences.

Oh hey, ErinK! Nice to see you! I think you have encapsulated my earlier feelings on Amouage very well, though I had tried different fragrances than you had. Feel free to contribute on anything you’ve tried.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Homage Attar (sample not in TPC set)

You can’t put this on and not notice the quality. It’s syrupy and rich like Extraits used to be. A tiny dab creates a cloud around me. It may even fill the room. I know it’s supposed to be a rose, but it just doesn’t strike me as rose, for whatever reason. Too rich, too bright? Maybe too fruity? Too much incense and shadow? It’s so complex; there’s so much going on. The opening strikes me as pines. And then pineapples. And then roses, but a lot of other things, too. Woods and resins and incense. It’s headache-strong without being piercing. I appreciate that it’s a masterpiece of high-quality materials and design, but honestly I don’t like to wear it.
 

KBF1972

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Aug 23, 2013
My favorites are Lyric woman extrait, Beloved woman, Fate woman, and Memoir Woman extrait
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Blossom Love (sample not in TPC set)

Well, with a note list that includes cherry blossom, ylang ylang, and heliotrope, I had high hopes. But the opening is powerfully screechy. So high-pitched and pink. Not sure what that pink note is, but it’s definitely in a lot of lower-end fruity florals.

Luckily, the opening passes quickly. It dries soon into something that isn’t headache-inducing, so that’s a very big plus. A lot of amaretto and cherry blossom here, folks. But also a lot of woody aromachemicals, a lot of cherry cough syrup, and a veneer of the mosquito-killing spray that emanates from trucks in the summers when you live in hot, damp places.

As the heart opens, the rose finally makes an appearance. A thin rose, but warm. And this makes me realize that I’ve smelled the combination of ylang ylang, rose, and almond before in Hanae Mori (Butterfly) EDT. But Hanae Mori most certainly wore it better.

Points for creativity. And certainly points for creating an amaretto fragrance that doesn’t smell edible. Unfortunately, it does smell poisonous. But maybe that’s your thing. If so, you do you. But I’ll be moving along.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Reflection Woman

I first experienced this when I was looking for a fragrance that encapsulated the magnolia grandiflorum that we have in the American south. This is not that. There is a strong magnolia note, but this is first and foremost an aquatic fragrance. You have a water lily vibe, a magnolia note, some supporting florals such as violet, and a bright calone melon, supported by clean musk. Not the headachy buzzy musk popular today, but one I recognize from an earlier era.

It’s very 1990’s, with the bright, fresh, round floral notes that were preferred in fragrances like Tommy Girl and even Armani Acqua di Gio for woman. But what this one reminds me of most is Curve for Women, which I wore with abandon in college and shortly thereafter. It lacks the sporty citrus top of Curve, but the drydown is very much in the same neighborhood. I like this fragrance a lot. It’s definitely one of the best feminine aquatics I know.
 

Kotori

In my little cloud
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
Journey Woman

The opening is a loud jasmine (Jasmine Sambac and I rarely get along) with a bit of brightness that must be the apricot, but actually smells rosy, and a harsh woody aromachemical that causes a headache. There are also some spices that play a supporting role, listed as saffron, nutmeg, and cardamom. The jasmine and woods grow and grow for awhile, defying physics somewhat. And if I really enjoyed the scent, I’d be pleased. But the odd combination of spices and white florals reminds me of a tuberose fragrance, and the association is enough to induce a bit of headache, even if there isn’t actually any tuberose. At the end of this jasmine and woods crescendo, there is a more powdery, true jasmine inter playing with the spices. Here the jasmine note itself is more reminiscent of Rogue Jasmin Antique, but it’s not easy to know for sure, since the woods are still so loud. Eventually, the whole thing falls off a cliff and smells like a jasmine-scented powder I bought from the health food store. And all this happens in under two hours. There is not a breath of the promised jasmine tea or osmanthus. For an opulent jasmine in this style that is less screechy and more lasting, I recommend Ubar.
 
Mar 13, 2012
I too was disappointed with Lilac Love --it's not lilac.

I am a fan of Amouage (even visited the perfumery in Oman) and have Refection Woman, Fate Woman; Beloved Woman; Gold Woman; Memoir Woman; Sunshine Woman and Journey Woman (plus some attars)--but I have not bought any for several years. When I tested some of the later releases, they didn't feel like they had the same quality as the earlier ones.
 

donna255

Basenotes Institution
Jul 16, 2004
There is a vintage Ubar, of which I’ve only seen pictures, then the newer re-release, which I’ve heard has been discontinued again, but don’t know if there’s any truth to that. At any rate, I completely agree with your description of it as an evening gown/theatre scent. Being a jeans and tshirt girl I don’t often feel elegant enough to wear it, although I do like it and own a bottle.
I own the vintage Ubar from either 1999 or beginning of the 00s. Mine is totally different compared to reading reviews of the newer version.

Warm spicy but smooth is what mine smells like, the newer one seemed more floral.
 
Apr 8, 2021
Nice reviews, Kotori, thank you! Would be nice to read more.
I've tried most of the mainline Amouages except the recent offerings and the library collection. It's a very hit or miss house for me, and I've changed my mind on a couple of their perfumes which doesn't happen often.
I currently own Lyric and Dia, as well as minis of Epic and Gold. Oh, and a decant of Opus III, the only one from the library that I've tried.
I had Jubilation 25 and Journey, but eventually sold them. The cumin in J25 got too much for me even though I loved it otherwise; something in Journey just started to grate.
 

Lyric82

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 15, 2022
Lyric Woman

Unexpected. The soft, powdery, mildly sweet, yet complex fragrance belies the fierce red packaging. Unlike the Amouage fragrances I’ve tested so far, no single note immediately sings out. This is well-blended, and dare I say unique? Arguably sweet with a slight fruitiness, it is nevertheless not foody. It’s difficult to define, because while definitely an oriental and with all of those hallmarks including spiciness, it doesn’t come across as spicy. Spices are a simple structure around the ethereal breeze of tonka and orris, highlighted by bergamot and filled out by white florals. At the drydown, it smells familiar. I can’t place it, but I know it reminds me of Dior Addict and Iris Perle by Les Imodables. Pleasant, personal, pretty.
This is one I’ve been considering buying for a while now. I keep asking myself if I want it because of the name though (Lyric is my dog), but I agree with how you have described it here exactly. So this might be the push I needed to go ahead and buy it. I have so many amouage samples and this is one I keep going back to.
 

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