Amouage is a seductive perfume house.
The mystery, the ancient and exotic imagery that springs to mind, the luxurious presentation marked “The gift of kings,” each of these things shapes the expectations I’ve had about how the product would actually smell. Lyric I expected to love; I didn’t at first, but have since rediscovered it, and yeah, it’s pretty much love. Epic I had no expectations of; the perfume didn’t wow me, but the sense of home it conjures is powerful, earning it a sacred spot on the Wish List (it really is a short list).
Memoir sounded interesting, but when it was released I didn’t make an effort to seek it out… because, to be frank, I expected not to like it. Memoir is billed as a leathery chypre, in an era when “chypre” means anything with patchouli. It sounded like a perfume that was a little too big for it’s britches. Well, sceptic be damned. It is, to my unexpected surprise and delight, the first Amouage fragrance to wow me on the first try, straight out of the bottle. No lag time, no waiting to get to know ‘ya, just pure and simple: I. Want. This.
As I was sniffing, writing down my initial impressions, I started to hum “A Whole New World.” Do you remember that tune from the Disney movie Aladdin? It’s what they sing during the magic carpet ride. The movie came out when I was twelve, and to this day, I can sing you the tune (should you request it) in it’s entirety.
My notes read, “greenish, dusty-sweet, root beer candy? Bottle-caps? MAGIC CARPET RIDE.” That last part has a box drawn around it, because it became quickly evident that trying to identify notes, in this instance, is pointless. Like a beautifully woven Turkish rug—the kind that a family spends years weaving—thinking in terms of threads (or notes) seems laughable. Here we have a complete piece, possessing the kind of beauty that, like a fine rug, gets better and better over time.
From the moment of application, to the still potent dry-down greater than twelve hours later, Memoir Woman is a magic carpet that I want to ride again and again. And then once more.
Starting at $250 (50mL) at Luckyscent; if you shop around you can find a slightly better deal.