“Attention please! Flight RM1404 Emirates airlines to Dubai will depart in 45 minutes. Passengers please report to the gate number 8. We wish you a pleasant and safe journey.” Those could be the words one would hear at the international airport waiting for their plane to arrive, no matter where they were going as all the announcements are heard by everyone around. Today I’m taking you on an imaginary flight to Dubai in United Arab Emirates, our captain is Ramon Monegal.
Dubai Next to Me is an exclusive edition perfume created for Bloomingdale’s Dubai store and it will be sold only in this one place in the entire world making it quite a gem for perfume collectors. The perfume opens with a delicious note of peach. It’s creamy and lactonic and it makes me salivating because it smells so yummy and edible. After a quarter the milky feeling grows stronger also becoming a little bit more powdery when coconut joins the composition. Very tropical in my opinion.
The coconut accord has some undeniable richness and complexity. At the same time it smells very true to the real thing. At 45 minutes mark the lovely fruity and exotic opening evolves into warm and spicy mix. There’s a lot of saffron which adds a bright red spiciness to the composition as well as a bunch of nutmeg which introduces more woody and dry kind of spicy feeling. Black pepper adds even more piquancy but its metallic edge is lost somewhere which is actually a fine thing.
All of the spices don’t appear on the skin instantly. First comes the saffron (with a little bit of melon freshness at the beginning of it), then nutmeg and black pepper. These notes slowly start to dance together, developing complexity over time and also aiming to create the unity or warming, embracing aromas. Among the spices saffron is the strongest note and it lasts for a few more hours before fading away completely. After almost 2 hours Dubai Next to Me starts to change into something much more arabic and Middle East style.
When rose emerges from the deeper parts of Ramon Monegal Dubai Next to Me you have no doubts that you’re dealing with a perfume dedicated to the Eastern market. Rose in this perfume has a power and is really potent. It might not be a dark rose with bloody-red petals but it’s a rose of a few different faces. It starts a little bit powdery but then evolves into sultry and erotic aroma reminiscent of warm body. It’s like a massage ritual with rose oil and seductive flowers scattered around the room to bring the sensual mood into your room and into your mind.
A little bit of jasmine makes the flowery tones of seductive rose to hit the right chord even stronger, giving you the impression like the space around you was filling with rose petals, taking all the oxygen from you. The feeling is kind of ecstatic like the smell of Dubai Next to Me was flowing through your veins with the bloodstream. I like the olibanum note in this perfume, it smells mineral, a little bit cold and smoky like in the old monastery. And it doesn’t smell like rock salt on me which happens often for me and olibanum.
Another bright and shining star of Dubai Next to Me is galbanum. It gives the resinous, darker and mysterious facet to the perfume. The balmy aroma it gives is alluring and has a little bit of sexual context as well, as it smells kind of leathery, like warm skin. For the next 3-4 hours the aromas of rose and leather entwine with each other and on occasion you might smell that saffron is still going alright somewhere in the background. Even a little bit of peach and coconut duet can be noticed again which must’ve been quite a challenge to make a perfume with lasting top notes.
After wearing the perfume for around 6 hours, the base notes start to enter the scene. They develop really slowly so it takes around 2 more hours before the completion of the stage. What can be noticed is that Dubai Next to Me drydown is quite substantial in general. Agarwood accord is the first one to appear after the clock hits the 6th hour of the wear. To me it doesn’t smell like oud at all. There’s no skank, no dark things, just a woody aroma with a little bit of oily quality around it. After a while cashmeran and sandalwood get involved in this tale.
Combined, they provide a realistic experience of touching the wood which is very smooth, polished to the highest shine. A creamy and tender feeling is also included in the blend of Dubai Next to Me. The final touch is a handful of tonka beans which create a big and aromatic cloud of pretty addictive deliciousness with hints of vanilla. What a fierce not to mark the late stage of development.
I don’t know what is the % concentration of Dubai Next to Me but it must be somewhere at the top of eau de parfum range, since it’s an eau de parfum. The lasting power is incredibly good, far beyond 12 hours. The sillage is as it’s supposed to be for the Middle East – it’s big, very big. Perfumer behind the fragrance is Ramon Monegal. The composition is superb and really well done, taking you on a trip around modern metropolis of Dubai. If only it wasn’t exclusive to the one city…
[note] Pictures are my own, all rights reserved. The perfume was a gift from Francisco Gratacos.