Most of you probably remember that the launch of Fate duet in 2013 marked the end of the story that was being told by Amouage for a couple of years. Both the men and the women went through different stages of their life and finally they met with their desity, with their fate. That story is now over. What happens when one tale reaches its finale? Yes, you’re right – a new narration begins. This year, this very season the luxurious Oman-based house introduces a new tale – Journey.
Amouage Journey Men and Journey Woman offer us an olfactive journey, both in terms of geography and timeline. We’re heading to the far east and we need to move back in time. The inspiration for this new perfume duet lies somewhere on the streets of Shanghai from 1920s. Chinese origins of new Amouages are accentuated by an oriental character of both compositions and also by the colors used for the bottles, which are absolutely not accidental.
From the very first whiff of Amouage Journey Men I’m treated to a heady and strong dose of leather. It’s dark and intensive, slowly losing its pungency during the next couple of minutes. Shortly it is followed by the aroma of cypriol (nagarmotha) which adds the dense scent of something oily, mineral and abstract. From the moment of application this perfume also has the warm and a bit sharp aroma of spices: cardamom and pepper. Come to think of it, the opening reminds me intensively of Opus VII but Journey is much more polite and not as beasty as the 7th Library Collection tome.
When the opening stage dissipates a little bit the fragrance begins to change and it becomes less and less similar to Opus VII. I can smell the juniper berries that create the aromatic environment around the wearer. Along with this note goes a little bit cold and metallic sensation that is so-so to my liking. On the other hand I totally adore the incense accord prepared for Journey Men. It’s smoky and it’s a tad dark but it’s not very heavy, there’s definitely some airyness to it. To me it feels spiritual, contemplative. What I also like about this part is that it smells warm and cold at the same time. Colder when combined with juniper, warmer when paired with pepper.
Continuing the journey of discovering Amouage Journey Men I start to detect the tobacco accord after a few hours. And it’s gorgeous. It’s smoked, aromatic, kind of making me think of a pipe tobacco. There’s some specific hay-like nuance behind this note which is especially to my liking. The drydown comes in after around 6 hours and it’s very warm. The tenderness of tonka bean is coupled with more leather (this time a softer kind) and there’s also a bunch of ambrox crystals dissolved in the composition. They create the enveloping, slightly sweet and vanillic aura that hovers above the skin. In my case, the perfume melted with the skin at some point – I felt so good in it!
The presence of Amouage Journey Woman reveals on my skin with a basket full of ripe apricots. They effuse a fruity and juicy aroma which is also a little bit powdery in my opinion. You can smell the orange-colored pulp and the soft and fuzzy peel. This accord stands out for around 20-30 minutes and them the jasmine tea note becomes more and more prominent. It grows stronger, emanating the mild aroma of tea, green tea I suppose. You can also smell the tannins coming from the warm brew. The opening aspect of the perfume is additionally highlighted with osmanthus. I always associated it with apricots and tea smell . Here it just adds the oomph to these two notes.
After 2-3 hours the fragrance evolves. It goes from a moderate warmth and spiciness of nutmeg and cardamom to more glamorous and perfectly styled flowers. Jasmine sambac doesn’t smell of indol in Journey Woman. It’s not beasty but more reserved, shy – not exactly. White flowers bouquet gains a little bit of yellow color thanks to mimosa. It adds the aspect of a wild flowers pollen and it also serves a dose of powdery sensations to my nose. As the time flies the composition becomes more tender. There’s a woody aspect of cedarwood but it’s muted by a velvety, bit sweet molecules of honey. It covers the wood with a shiny, golden layer, preventing it to veer to the sweaty territory.
Many hours and a few rearrangements later the base notes of the composition are revealed. To me the pipe tobacco accord in Amouage Journey Woman doesn’t smell like tobacco. Yes, I smell something a little bit smoky but my skin gives it more resinous context. That I can’t explain. Saffron entwines with vanilla to create a vortex of warm, tender, brightly spicy and creamy sweet flavors. I didn’t smell much cypriol (good!) and musk I found to be also creamy, lactonic and with a hint of animalic qualities that never become dominating.
Fragrances in Amouage Journey duet were created by Pierre Negrin and Alberto Morillas with a creative advisory of Amouage’s Creative Director – Christopher Chong. So far it is not known if the perfumers worket together on both scents or if they worked separately, each on one fragrance. Both fragrances are eau de parfum concentrated, they will be available in June in sizes of 50ml and 100ml. Bottles are golden on the sides and crimson on the front with brand’s name and logo – these colors are traditional in Chinese cultulre. The box is golden with cromson rings and white rectangles.
Honesty time. I like both Journey Men and Journey Woman – but I’m not in love with them. Judging just by the notes I was expecting to like the female version more (again!) but after sampling them it turns out that the men interpretation is much more to my liking (can you imagine?) Journey Men started strong, then became quiet and after 8 hours it was completely gone. Journey Woman had a moderate sillage for most of the time, this one lasted 2 hours longer on me than the male equivalent. You go try it yourself, I’m thinking my skin wasn’t made for the Arabic-style perfumery…
[note] Preview samples of two new scents were provided by Amouage and Christopher Chong.