Dragons and amulets, Amouage Journey duet

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 Womanbut 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.

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16 thoughts on “Dragons and amulets, Amouage Journey duet

  1. jilliecat says:

    I always enjoy your beautiful descriptions! I was thinking I might prefer Journey Woman, as, despite me saying I don’t like fruity-florals, I am always a sucker for a peach/apricot note with white flowers; but you are right, there is no substiution for smelling a fragrance in person and seeing how it wears on your own skin. I should know that after quite a lot of unsuccessful blind buys! And yes, I definitely would have thought your preference too would have been for the Woman …. which proves the point about sampling first.

    • lucasai says:

      Thanks Jillie! The perfumes are great, but as I said, I didn’t feel love for any of these two Journeys. I think you’d like Journey Woman and its apricot note. I kind of thought that tobacco would be stronger in it. If you get the chance, please give it a try because you never know how it will behave.

  2. Asali says:

    Thanks for the review, you give a great and vivid impression of the two I must admit that I keep trying, but really apart from Gold, I just don’t seem to get out of Amouage what other people do. It bothers me, because I feel it should be my thing, oriental and opulent. These sound interesting, and I’ll definitely test them if possible, perhaps one day…

    • lucasai says:

      Hi Asali! You’re welcome, thank you for reading. You’re not alone with this feeling. I really enjoy Lyric Men and Beloved Men but generally speaking Amouage isn’t “my perfume house” – my taste goes into more subtle direction. Glad you liked these two shorter reviews.

  3. Anka says:

    “A basket full of ripe apricots” is what I would like to smell right now – but the rest doesn’t sound very promising…anyway, thank you for reviewing the two, I enjoyed your text!

    • lucasai says:

      Now that you said it I have a hunger for fresh apricot. Lately I’ve been eating a lot of dried apricots with muesli and youghurt for my 2nd breakfast/lunch.

  4. Jonette says:

    Hi Lucas,
    I enjoyed your detailed descriptions! I can’t wait to try these! Cardamom, apricots, osmanthus, cedar… these are notes I love. Middle Eastern scents are my favorites and I have two favorite Amouages (Epic Woman and Opus V). You didn’t mention aoud, but I can’t imagine they’d leave it out.

    • lucasai says:

      Thanks Jonette. Hope that you’ll like Journey Woman more than I did. Oud is not officially mentioned as a note of this fragrance and I think it’s not a mistake…

  5. Holly says:

    Thanks for “honesty time” – that’s quotable! I sensed a lack of enthusiasm while reading, but wasn’t sure if it was me or you. I’m sure I’ll get around to getting a sniff of these, but I’m certainly not in any rush to do so.

    • lucasai says:

      I shall trademark that phrase? 😉
      Yes, I wasn’t head over heels for these new Amouage scents… As I said – I liked them, they’re very good but not for me.
      I’m sure you’ll give them a try because they’re worth it. So far I’ve seen only positive opinions on Amouage Journey. I have a different taste than anyone else.

  6. hajusuuri says:

    These sound good, not great, Lucas. Other than the Tribute Attar I split with Daisy, an Amouage has not joined my FB collection. That said, I will not pass these by once they are available at Bergdorfs. Great review!

    • lucasai says:

      Thanks my dear perfume twin! They’re good and many people will say they’re fabulous, but I’m not one of those. Oh, I’ve never tried the Amouage Attars and they’re being discontinued now. They were too expensive for me anyway to buy them 😛
      I have a bottle of Lyric Men but I got it as a gift from Stanisława Missala as a thank you gift for my help in their boutique last summer.
      Please do give Journey duet a try and do report back them

  7. Undina says:

    I know that – as much as we coincide in our perfume likes/dislikes – Amouage is a dividing brand for us: I love and enjoy wearing so many of their perfumes. But when I read your reviews for these two somehow I suspect I won’t like them enough to want to wear. Especially I’m scared of an apricot note: it almost never works on my skin. But I’m dying to try them both anyway : -)

    • lucasai says:

      Sometimes I feel that I’m weird – everyone around me, especially on FFF group praises Amouage and I’m one of the few that never fell in love with the brand’s single perfume. If apricot is a tricky note for you then you might not like Journey Woman because there’s a lot of apricot in it. But maybe you’ll like the Men version. Hope that you’ll get to try them soon.

  8. Katherine says:

    I’m too scared to try this brand. I’m afraid I’ll love it and not be able to find it or afford it. I’m sure they sell it at Neiman Marcus, but I’ve been too scared to try it. I’m afraid it will bust my beauty budget.

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