It was Birgit’s review that piqued my interest in Alahine; however, I was skeptical about my need for another amber oriental fragrance (I have more than a few). I asked, in the comments section of her post,
How many orientals does one gal need?
followed by her matter-of-fact response:
I find a good answer is always “One more!”
In this instance, I have to agree.
A sample of the extrait soon made it’s way to me from Austria (thank you B!), and it was love at first sniff. The kind of love that says, “get out of my way, good sense—you are not wanted here!” and initiates an immediate search for a bottle. A more reasonable person might have acquired a decant from The Perfumed Court, or the Posh Peasant, but no, not this perfumista. This was a full-on bottle lemming.
Birgit mentioned that it reminded her of Amouage Epic, and I agree with her assessment. It’s not a smell-alike by any means, but the seamless quality of the materials, and the smooth, suede-like character could cause you to mistake this for an Amouage (read: deconstructing the perfume seems like an exercise in futility).
Abigail (from I Smell Therefore I Am) called Alahine
a velvety amber, that is the most sophisticated and deluxe amber I have ever smelled.
I find Alahine to be a transparent, delicate, and, yes, sophisticated amber. Alahine’s oriental vibe derives its warmth from sparklingly sunny days, whereas Ambre Fetiche’s warmth comes from being curled up in front of a well-stoked fire wrapped in luxurious furs. Admittedly, you’re talking to a woman who thinks Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan is a pale little thing, so it’s possible that Alahine is a powerhouse amber.
The EDP smells… beautiful. Yes, the extrait is smoother, but I actually don’t find the same kind of difference you’d find between say, Shalimar extrait compared to the EDP. To me, those aren’t even in the same category, whereas the EDP of Alahine is almost indistinguishable from the more concentrated version. In the far dry-down, it reminds me of JHAG Calamity J, which I think is the combination of amber, iris, and skin musk. Musks are difficult for me—I tend to either love (Tabac Aurea) or hate (Mure et Musc) them, and the musk in Alahine falls into the “love” category.
Alahine smells of good ingredients and classic perfumery. As simple as that sounds, it’s refreshing.”
Angela—from Now Smell This
$110 for 50mL at Luckyscent, though I bought my bottle from an eBayer for less than $50 shipped (she/he still has a few bottles available, so hop on over quick if you’ve been dying to get a bottle of Alahine!).