Tag Archives: Amouage

Steamy Surge, Amouage Enclave

They say that nothing in this world is gonna last forever, and this of course is true. It’s only natural that so many things in our lives are not constant but don’t you think that without any changes we’d all be stagnant and bored with our existence? Changing schools, jobs, cities we live in… these chapters form our personality & therefore they change us as humans. Perfumery is a good example of change. With new regulations being published every few years you have to adapt to move forward. Change can be like a new beginning. One of such changes recently applied to a popular perfume house from Oman – Amouage. Only time can tell if it’s for the better & where it’ll take us.

Amouage Enclave begins with a refreshingly crisp note of spearmint that reveals an incredible depth as soon as the perfume comes in contact with one’s skin. It has a green, herbaceous nature that feels very aromatic and that draws you into its world. You’ll feel as if you just plucked some leaves from the plant and rubbed them between your fingers. It’s a spacious scent that surrounds the wearer – imagine walking through the courtyard where all the walls are covered with fragrant green foliage. It’s mesmerizing. Minty notes are usually associated with the feeling of cool freshness because that’s how menthol affects our skin receptors – by inducing an impression of cold.

However that is not the case for this perfume. Spearmint in Enclave feels warm and inviting and very soon it starts smelling as if someone poured hot water over the mint leaves. The fragrance becomes steamy, releasing aromatic vapors that go deep inside your nose when inhaled. Brewing herbs develop some spiciness just a moment later. Cardamom perfectly fits in this hot brew. Pink pepper extract adds a peppery tinge that creates an illusion of peppermint note being added. Then there’s cinnamon – it adds a sparkling tinge on the tip of your tongue, with a sweet aftertaste to it.

I know that Amouage Enclave was inspired by the sunset at the fjords of Musandam but considering the way it smells and what ingredients are put together at the start there’s an obvious connection to maghrebi, a traditional Moroccan beverage made with green tea & mint. I very much enjoy being treated to a spiced mint cocktail of this perfume and I’m glad it takes some time until the fragrance starts to progress further. At the heart Enclave unveils a rose absolute facet. It’s floral, pure and while it has its level of richness its not as opulent as earlier Amouages, Lyric for instance. Not as strong by all means doesn’t mean it’s worse – it’s simply well proportioned against other ingredients & I like it that way to be honest.

Rose here appears in entourage of other ingredients that make the scenery look darker yet without adding much heaviness to it. There’s an earthy patchouli tone that lingers right behind the rose’s back. It has a slight camphorous feel on the skin that smoothly changes into wisps of smoke coming from frankincense. These semi-transparent clouds in Enclave add some peaceful & calm aura to this perfume. I like this calm of smokiness, it’s more spiritual. This feeling plus woody aromatic facets of vetiver create a very relaxing mood. It’s like a fragrant Hammam ritual on an exotic trip.

Hours later, by the time Amouage Enclave has dried down and became ready to unfold its base notes, I could still smell the peppery-minty steam on my skin. What comes next is Saffiano, an IFF captive ingredient (wonder if named after Prada emblematic leather embossment motif) posessing a natural leather aroma. It brings the feeling of a brand new purse to the composition – richness of a glossy leather exterior with a soft lining inside of it, plus a sweet finish a la rose powder. Followed by Amber Xtreme to bring even more dimension, sensual warmth and facets differentiation to the perfume. Balsamic labdanum has the final word.

Even for someone like me, who doesn’t consider himself as part of an Amouage fanbase, smelling Enclave – one out of four fragrances that launched recently as Renaissance Collection, feels like a new beginning for this Omani brand. It seems that Renaud Salmon – new Creative Director of Amouage has a new vision for the house that he will go forward with it from this point. The new fragrances seem to confirm this – what I can tell from my tests is that this quartet is lighter & less tenacious compared to earlier launches. Nose behind Enclave is Julien Rasquinet. The composition is eau de parfum at 25% fragrance oils and is housed in 100 ml tall blue Amouage bottle.

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Monday Quick Sniffs, part 61

How is this even possible that it’s been 2 months since my special yuzu edition of MQS? Is it just me or do you also have an impression that in the times of Covid the time flies even faster than usual?

Amouage introduced Interlude Man in 2012 and it was a challenging perfume due to heavily accentuated notes of oregano and pimento. 8 years later Interlude Man Black Iris is born. It’s the first flanker in the long history of the brand and also one of the first (if not first) launch after a major shuffle within the brand’s structures. This perfume starts with an oily & zesty bergamot note accompanied by herbaceous & aromatic rosemary. After a moment a crisp dewiness of violet leaf emerges. Instead of oregano there’s orris – deep and rooty, silky-cold and elegant. It’s warmed up by generously dosed frankincense that is followed by ambery tones. Going further there is labdanum and myrrh that give Interlude Man Black Iris its resiny vibe. A hint of vanilla (which smells like a bourbon) adds a bit of sweetness to this dark fragrance. Base is a mixture of hefty woody notes such as sandalwood and cedarwood, combined with leather and oud. In general it feels like a more streamlined, more wearable version of its predecessor.

For any perfume writer the number of reviews dedicated to a specific brand is probably the best measuring scale to determine if they like the fragrances from this house or not. Considering the fact that I have never written about Xerjoff before – so that’s a clear signal for you, no? Apollonia, named as a tribute to a successful lunar landing of Apollo 11 in 1969, its composition starts with an abstract white blossoms accord. Abstract because there’s not a single floral note that would dominate it. It’s like a mass of flowers among which you can’t tell which is jasmine, tuberose or an orange flower. There’s a lot of airy creaminess to it with a pollen-like sweetness. Gradually the density of the perfume changes and the focus goes towards the orris butter. In this perfume it is viscous, blending the fatty aspect of iris with its waxy tones. When you smell it you get an impression of reserve, of restraint. It’s kind of like a statuesque persona, like someone who feels they are better because they’re rich. But it is a pretty iris note nonetheless. The perfume dries down to an abundance of white musk in variety of forms – there’s a bit of cotton candy effect, a bit of something like a meringue and a tad of something plush & fluffy. On my skin Apollonia is not very complex, it’s rather linear and lacks something that sparks interest. At this price point I can easily pass, even if the bottle is covered with moon dust…

I liked the initial releases from Altaia (an offspring brand from the owners of Eau d’Italie) but the fragrances that joined their portfolio later were not really my cup of tea. Just like Purple Land from 2018. The fragrance starts with a prominent note of grapefruit that feels juicy but also bears the sweaty undertone that does not contribute to a pleasant experience. It subsides after some time, making room for exotic fruitiness of guava and papaya. Both give the perfume a strong fruity vibe that feels summery, mouth-watering and quite fleshy. Over time the floral aspect of the scent rises up, with lily of the valley taking a lead role in it. Muguet gives Purple Land a watery, gently floral feel that is reminiscent of a morning dew. Frangipani on the other hand makes the flowery phase more lactonic & creamy. The base is warmed up by ambrox molecule – combined with the other notes of this perfume it smells quite similar to popular sun tan lotions. Lush tropical flowers over the warm base, like a sun-kissed skin. Everything is finished by air-whipped, creamy musks. These notes seem a bit odd for one scent, but on general thought it’s not a bad perfume. None of these 3 Quick Sniffs are bad.

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