On to AMOUAGE; a House founded under the patronage of the Royal Family of Oman in 1983 with the intention (highly successful) of celebrating and reviving the ancient art of Arabian perfumery. The use of French Noses renders these stately scents more accessible to Westerners – but they still pack a very powerful, exotic and exuberant punch. Wherever possible, the oils used derive from natural products found, grown or harvested within the boundaries of Oman.

In the earlier range (and, yes, we have them at LES SENTEURS), silver frankincense is so freely used at the base of all the scents that it becomes a hallmark: as you begin to collect fragrance you will meet this phenomenon again and again. Each House develops a certain style, a certain signature that may be inherited by one Nose to the next down the years: this “griffe” marks out each House as uniquely as the creations of a particular author, film director or cook.

The three fragrances of the new Library Collection are differently orchestrated, softer; and while just as pervasive they have a sweeter, more elusive quality, linked by the theme of Libraries and the Wisdom of the Ancient East. The romance and wonder of the Great Library of Alexandria, lost in the days of Cleopatra, is evoked in these perfumes, packaged in the style of books with each bottle a pure white page on which to project your own dreams and reveries.

 

The idea is that with each fragrance you delve deeper and deeper into the ancient knowledge.

OPUS I by Daniel Mauel

A woody chypre with head notes of dark plum and bigarrade which yield to a rich floral heart of ylang ylang, muguet, rose and tubereuse. The heady base is a mixture of green papyrus, gaiac wood, tonka, cedar and vetiver.

OPUS II by Michele Saramito

A spicy, transparent floral oriental with unusual top notes of lavender, absinthe and pepper segueing into feathery drifts of jasmine, Damascus rose, cinnamon, cardamom and incense. Precious woods such as sandal and cedar combine with amber to form a soft, rich base.

OPUS III by Karine Vinchon-Spehn

A floral/oriental perfume of tremendous verve and originality – superb, soaring top notes of violet, broom, golden mimosa and blue thyme herald a flowery heart of rose and orange blossom laid on a bed of vanilla, benzoin, gaiac, musk and cedar. The pinnacle of sophisticated sexuality.

You can see from the above why I have been at pains to point out previously that you should not automatically reject a scent that is apparently more feminine. A mere recital of the formula will convey little of the essential mood so ask for those samples, try on your skin and see.

Written by James Craven, LES SENTEURS’s nationally quoted fragrance archivist and expert chronicler of all things culturally fragrant, lends his invaluable service to the business as it continues to guide customers through its unparalleled collection of fine fragrance and scented accessories. Please visit Les Senteurs here:

www.lessenteurs.com