Stunning, bold splendour that grabs you from the first moment, and never lets go. Amouage‘s new Journey for Men takes you on a tour of the spice markets of Sichuan, armed with a hefty bottle of expensive cognac, as tendrils of incense waft from a nearby Buddhist temple. The fiery bite of a thousand Sichuan Hot Pots envelop you, but so do the dry woods nearby which are shot through with tiny streams of leathery resins. A haze fills the air, a haze of golden amber which cocoons you in warmth as you stumble — drunk on fruited booziness, your mouth on fire from the chili peppers, with incense smoke woven through your hair — into a soft cocoon of tonka creaminess. Journey Man is a brilliant essay on spiced, fiery boldness mixed with oriental opulence. I thought it was truly fantastic, but that opening… what a stunning opening.
Journey Man accompanies Journey Woman as the latest releases from the house of Amouage. They are both eau de parfums that will be released in June, and were created by Alberto Morillas and Pierre Negrin under the direction of Christopher Chong, Amouage’s Creative Director. As of yet, there is no press release on the exact inspiration or story behind Journey Man (hereinafter sometimes referred to just as “Journey“), but Amouage provided the perfume’s notes on its official Facebook page:
Top: Sichuan Pepper, Bergamot, Cardamom, Neroli Bigarade
Heart: Juniper Berries, Incense, Pure Geraniol, Tobacco Leaves
Base: Tonka Beans, Cypriol, Leather, Ambrox.
Have you ever had a Sichuan Hot Pot? I’m far too much of a chili pepper coward to do so, but I saw and smelt plenty of them when I was in China. The Hot Pot is a much beloved dish that goes back over a 1,000 years, and is centered on a hearty stock infused with chili peppers to which you add other ingredients. There are variations from region to region, but the province of Sichuan is famed for having the fieriest of them all. I’ve seen the impact on aficionados like Chef Anthony Bourdain, who was almost completely hobbled by its flaming intensity in one episode of No Reservations. As Wikipedia succinctly explains:
One of the most famous variations is the Chongqing (Chungking) má là (Chinese: 麻辣 – “numb and spicy”) hot pot, to which Sichuan pepper (Chinese: 花椒 huā jiāo “flower pepper”; also known as prickly ash) is added. Combined with spicy ingredients like chili, it creates a sensation on the tongue that is both spicy and burns and numbs slightly[.]
Journey Man opens on my skin as a milder version of the Sichuan hot pot that made Anthony Bourdain gasp. In Amouage’s kitchen, the stock is made of expensive, aged, neroli cognac, while the accompanying ingredients are incense, dry cypriol, leather, and a touch of amber. It is fiery with a serious bite, but fantastically boozy as well. There is spiced dustiness hovering all around, which is perfectly balanced and countered by a wave of slightly sweetened richness. The intensity, fieriness and incredible boldness of the scent punches you in the solar plexus — and I mean that in the best way possible.
Journey’s spiciness seems to far transcend mere chili peppers, though. It feels as though half of a Chinese spice market has been combined in a really potent mix that is made of pure booze. I have absolutely no idea how the various notes coalesced to produced a cognac accord with a vaguely fruited undertone on my skin, but a random guess would be the amber mixed with the neroli and the juniper berries. The latter never carries a pine nuance but, rather, smells fruited, bitter and slightly resinous. Actually, it feels a lot more like pink peppercorn berries than anything from a juniper tree. As for the cardamom, it doesn’t have the vaguely sweet nuttiness that it often manifests on my skin. Instead, it feels more like the powdered remains left at the bottom of an old wooden spice drawer.
The cypriol (also knows as nagarmotha) is key in all this. As Fragrantica explains, the plant “is a relative to papyrus. Its smell is woody with earthy and spicy nuances.” Its oil is often used as a base for oud fragrances, which perhaps explains why some people smell the note in a perfume and think that they’re detecting agarwood. Here, the cypriol combines with the cardamom and incense to create an unusual dustiness. It’s not purely like an ancient Buddhist temple filled with incense; it’s not purely like spice dust; and it’s not purely woody dryness, either. It is like some combination of all three of those aspects in one. Perhaps the best way to describe it is as spiced, woody, incense dust.
It tries desperately to keep the cognac-like richness in check, but, to my joy, it fails. The fiery, spiced booziness flows over everything in a way that would make the Greek god of wine, Dionysius, and the Roman hedonist, Apicius, proud. My skin tends to amplify sweetness, so the note may not appear so strongly on others, but I really hope it does because it’s intoxicating when combined with the walloping amount of spices.
The overall effect resembles the start of one of my favorite fragrances, the opulent Alahine from Téo Cabanel. Journey Man is like a fierier, more piquant, drier and non-floral cousin to my beloved Alahine.
There are other differences as well, though. Whereas Alahine has deeply velvety, dark Ta’if roses and ylang-ylang, Journey has cypriol and strong woodiness. Journey’s fruitiness is more of the bitter bigarade and pink peppercorn kind (though it really feels as though Journey has petitgrain as well). And Alahine’s spice market is in Morocco where there are no Sichuan peppers to be found. Journey also has more of a leathered undertone. The differences become greater when you consider the development of the two fragrances as a whole, but they share a very similar opening centered on powerfully spiced booziness with incense and amber. Those of you who know my feelings about Alahine can perhaps understand why Journey Man impacted me so strongly.
Journey Man is very intense and potent, especially up close, but it is much airier than you’d expect. Initially, its sillage is excellent, though: using 3 spritzes from my decant which amount to roughly 2 small sprays from an actual bottle, the perfume projects about 4 inches above my skin. Yet, Journey doesn’t feel heavy or dense. It has strong weightlessness, to paraphrase a description that one of my readers likes to use for Bertrand Duchaufour creations.
Actually, Journey Man feels like it could very well be a fragrance from Duchaufour. It initially has the same dusty quality as his stunning Trayee for Neela Vermeire, not to mention a similar spice, incense, woody vibe.
As with Alahine, here, too, there are differences. Journey Man is strongly boozy, while Trayee is not. Journey is more peppered, and significantly more fiery on my skin than Trayee; the incense feels more diffused throughout Journey and less individually distinct; there is no oud in Journey, though the cypriol tries to step in; and there is more golden warmth at the start. The cardamom is much less noticeable in Journey than in Trayee, especially as any sort of sweet nuttiness, and there is absolutely none of the true Mysore sandalwood that makes Trayee one of my favorite fragrances. I suppose if Trayee and Alahine had a torrid three-way love affair with some Sichuan chili peppers, their love child might be Journey Man.
Speaking of those peppers, they have a strange effect on me. Something about the scent tickles the nose and the back of my throat much like the capsaicin molecules in a real chili can do. At least, I think the tickle in Journey is from the Sichuan peppers. It could be from something else, since Journey Man also has an accompanying streak of raspiness and parched dryness that lasts for hours. I am sensitive to aromachemicals, so perhaps it stems from the cypriol, the Ambrox, or another molecule. In fact, I could very well be mixing two separate issues — the Sichuan capsaicin and the raspy woodiness — into one.
Whatever the source of the Hot Pot bite, I happen to thoroughly enjoy it as an interesting counterbalance to all the booziness, but I do think that some people may struggle with its fiery kick. Another possible difficulty may be those flickers of desiccated woody dryness and raspiness that push Journey Man just to the edge of the unisex-masculine border. For me, the heavy layer of booziness and the ambered warmth counter these two rather separate issues, but it’s really going to come down to individual skin chemistry and personal tastes. People who like softer, richer, or cozier Orientals may struggle with these aspects of Journey, but those who love drier, woodier, and heavily spiced fragrances should have no problem.
Journey Man continues to shift. The fruited undercurrent grows richer and stronger after 30 minutes. It is perfectly balanced between sweetness and bitterness, perhaps because the neroli often comes across a lot more like petitgrain (the woody twigs from the citrus tree) on my skin than the actual fruit. In contrast, the juniper note continues to smell like a spiced, bright, fresh pink peppercorn berries with a fruited character. Both of them are really quite muted, and are subsumed into the cognac as if orange peels, bitter berries and bigarade petitgrain had been left to macerate in the alcohol. On my skin, Journey Man isn’t really “fruity,” let alone in any strong, distinct way. It’s more like a subtle suggestion of rich orange and woody citrus twigs.
By the end of the first hour, Journey Man is a stunningly intense, fiery, boozy, lightly “fruited” spice bomb with incense, dry woodiness, and ambered warmth over a balsamic, resinous, leathery base. The perfume feels richer, deeper, and smokier than it did at the start. However, the very first, tiny streaks of tonka appear in the base, promising changes up ahead. Up top, the dustiness has receded by a hair, probably thanks to the growing presence of the Ambrox, though the occasional raspiness and the capsaicin bite continue. The spice mix also seems to change a little, as something creates the impression of saffron. Not buttery or sweet saffron, but the more fiery, red, nutty kind. It is probably an indirect result of the Sichuan peppers merging with the cardamom.
None of these smaller elements can detract attention away from Journey’s main duo: the spectacularly fiery, spice-booze accord. Honestly, I wonder why no-one has ever thought to combine chili peppers with slightly fruity cognac and incense before. It’s rather brilliant, if you ask me, especially with the balsamic leatheriness of the base. I also find it very evocative. I keep imagining the red dragons of classical Chinese art, or the lion (Foo dogs?) sculptures that guard the Forbidden City — only, here, they’re drenched in expensive French cognac. I really hope that other people’s skin chemistry will highlight or amplify the booziness in the same way, because it’s a superb counterbalance to all of Journey’s drier, woodier, and spicier elements.
Eventually, the cognac takes a step back and Journey Man turns much drier. It starts roughly 90 minutes in, when the perfume turns woodier, as the cypriol grows stronger. The spices feel a little more hazy and dusty, though the suggestion of saffron remains. The notes start to overlap, losing some of their distinctive edge, but also flow more seamlessly into each other. The amber is lightly flecked with tonka, while the orange fruits lose a touch of their sweetness and turn more bitter. The subtle dustiness returns, though it may be from the growing presence of the incense more than from the spices at this point. And the whole thing is much softer in sillage. Journey Man now hovers 2 inches above the skin, though it is still very strong when sniffed up close.
To an extent, all of these changes are ones of degree, but Journey shifts fundamentally at the start of the 3rd hour when the perfume turns creamy. The tonka fully emerges from the base, melts into the boozy-incense-spice mix, and softens its edges, while also pushing back against the dryness. Journey feels less fiery and dusty now. Its spiciness has a creaminess underlying it which only grows stronger with every passing hour. Everything from the leathered undertone to the woody dryness now feels coated by a smooth layer of tonka.
At the same time, the amber grows simultaneously softer and more prominent. It doesn’t feel like an aromachemical and, in some ways, it doesn’t even feel like “amber” at all. Rather, there is a growing golden hue about Journey Man, a gentler warmth. Together with the tonka, the amber begins to tame Journey’s red dragon. Roughly 4.5 hours in, the perfume turns into a beautifully spiced, creamy amber fragrance with more subtle fieriness and quieter boozy, fruited cognac. Muted swirls of incense smoke are diffused throughout, as is the dry woodiness that no longer feels quite so scratchy. They all sit upon a smoother, gentler resinous base which is only vaguely leathered now, and completely tamed by the creaminess.
Journey Man feels bold but soft; rich but polished; fiery but creamy and (almost) tamed. However, it’s also much gauzier and lighter. The perfume’s sillage settles at the start of the 6th hour to hover just above the skin, feeling almost like a skin scent, though Journey was still easy to detect up close for another few hours.
Journey’s fire-breathing dragon finally settles down at the start of the 7th hour. The chili peppers remain, but they are fully coated and anesthetized in a layer of creamy tonka sweetness. In fact, the tonka slowly starts to take over everything. I have to admit, I’m a little regretful about that. I like creaminess, but not as much as I do spiced booziness. Here, the effect is to squash or muffle the incense, dry woodiness, and booziness to a large degree.
Ten hours into Journey’s development, the perfume is primarily a woody tonka fragrance dusted with light touches of largely abstract spices and embedded within a soft, golden warmth. The peppers feel more and more like fruited pink peppercorn berries, with only a mild touch of Sichuan. The cypriol has changed as well, and is now slightly earthy woodiness, more than dry or raspy.
For the next few hours, Journey Man devolves more and more into lightly spiced creaminess with a vague, nebulous touch of woodiness. It’s pretty, but I personally find it a little uninteresting. (I think I’m mourning the loss of the boozy cognac.) At the same time, I have to admit that it’s nice not to have the Sichuan bite any more. Journey lasts a very long time on my perfume-consuming skin, and I think 12-plus hours of fieriness would be a little exhausting. In its final moments, Journey is nothing more than a blur of spiced creaminess. All in all, Journey lasted roughly 13.75 hours, with sillage that was generally moderate when taken as an average whole.
Journey Man is one of those fragrances that makes me happy when I wear it. It is evocative, tells me a thousand stories, and always transports me places. It is very distinctive with a strong identity that is centered on opulence, intensity, and spicy boldness. And, it is very much what I expect from an Amouage fragrance, which was not the case, alas, with Journey Woman. For me, Amouage should be more than mere prettiness with polished elegance. When I first applied Journey Man, my first comment was “my word!” The second was, “this is more like it!”
Not all of Amouage’s fragrances work for me as a personal matter, but they are generally fragrances that I deeply respect for their innovative brilliance, their complexity, and their luxurious character. Journey Man is one that I would absolutely wear myself. With a smile on my face, and a passionate response each and every time to that stunning opening. For me, Journey Man is much more approachable and appealing than some of the men’s line that I have tried, like Fate Man, for example, or the difficult Opus VII. I respect the technical brilliance behind them, but I can’t or wouldn’t wear them.
However, I also recognize that Journey’s appeal will come down to personal tastes, not to mention skin chemistry. It always does — but perhaps for Amouage more than for some other perfume houses. I don’t know if a fiery Sichuan Hot Pot made from cognac, incense, occasionally dusty spices, and dry cypriol will be for everyone. As noted above, my skin tends to amplify sweetness and base notes, so I’m not even sure if others will experience that mysterious cognac note that worked so brilliantly with the chili pepper and that so perfectly counterbalanced the woody dryness. I also suspect that for some, particularly women who enjoy softer orientals, both the Sichuan bite and the overall spice mix may be a little much.
All I can say is that, if you love spice bomb fragrances with fieriness, woodiness, incense, some dryness, and ambered warmth, you should try Journey Man. If you loved Alahine or Trayee, then you should go out of your way to try Journey. I think it’s a dragon worthy of Imperial China, and its bold splendour is stunning.
Disclosure: My sample of Journey Man was courtesy of Christopher Chong and Amouage. That did not influence this review, I do not do paid reviews, and my opinions are my own.
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Wow, sounds awesome! I love both Alahine and Trayee, will be ordering a sample of this as soon as it is available at Luckyscent.
Tara, I think you’d love this one. I really do. I hope you will let me know what you think when you try it.
I bought a new car on Saturday, I’m getting a new garage door tomorrow, my house gets painted next week, and now an expensive Amouage has come along that, thanks to your evocative writing, sounds like a necessity. Goodbye savings account.
Hilarious! 😀 That made me laugh to no end, Edward. 😀
I agree with Edward (above): “sounds like a necessity”! 🙂
From what I know of your tastes, Bruno, it is definitely a must sniff. 🙂
Sounds amazing! Thanks for two wonderful reviews. I can’t wait for them to arrive. I hope Mr. Chong comes to Dubai for the launch, I want to know more about his concepts for both of these.
You’d love this one, Dubaiscents. And I share your curiosity about the inspiration behind Journey Man. It certainly doesn’t feel like Shanghai in the 1920s, but something much more intense, opulent, and… well, Sichuanese. lol
I’ll keep an eye out for this， l love 四川火锅，and i am at the last few mm’s of my Epic pour home. A pricy business, this Amouage love!
A very pricey love affair, but quite worth it for Journey Man, in my opinion. 🙂
Great review. I’m really intrigued with this one now. I’m curious though about the “Sichuan Pepper” to which you refer. Given your description of the tingling sensation it produces, you’re most likely referring to Sichuan Peppercorns, which aren’t even peppercorns at all (nor Chiles) but rather little dried husks of reddish berries produced by the Prickly Ash tree (Zanthoxylum simulans.) If you’ve ever had Kung Pao Chicken made the traditional way, it’s loaded with these and your lips will tingle for a good half hour after you’re done eating.
I don’t know. You may well be right about what is actually included or used in a Hot Pot. 🙂 As noted, I was too much of a coward to try one, Sichuan or otherwise. However, I have a reaction to the capsaicin in most chili peppers, and I’m not even talking about the lethal Bhut Jolokia. Even mild ones can do it. I’m a very adventurous eater, but I can’t eat actual pimento peppers as a result of it. So, a Sichuan Hot Pot would probably kill me, without exaggeration. lol. Regardless of whether they include the Prickly Ash tree berries that you’ve mentioned, or actual chilis, the reaction I had to merely sniffing a Hot Pot in passing was very much like that which I have to regular chilis.
And it was the same reaction — though a *significantly* milder, more muted degree — that I experienced with Journey Man. That fiery bite and the tickle in the back of my throat. Whatever synthetic they’ve used in Journey Man to replicate the sensation — whether Prickly Ash peppercorns or something else — it felt very true to me. It merely didn’t kill me the way an actual Sichuan Hot Pot would. 😉 😀
Cannot WAIT to try this!
i suddenly feel €300 lighter! this sounds right up my alley and a confirmed must buy with the BD reference 😉 i love a review that pushes all the right buttons – cheers, kafka
Heh. You have to know that I thought of you with that Duchaufour reference, and the use of your phrase. (I couldn’t remember the exact term or words that you use, so forgive the paraphrasing.)
I wish I knew how much they were going to charge for this one. I mean, the exact figure, not the general ballpark amount for an Amouage Man in the regular line. I asked Mr. Chong, but he said the price hadn’t been set yet.
of course i got it 😉 “hefty weightlessness” i believe it was. really itching to try this one & glad it made you happy!
Oh dear, Kafka, another lemming! I better start saving now….. but oh, I’ll never complain about there being more gorgeous, heady orientals in the world!
Thank you, as always, for your gorgeous writing, thoughtfulness, and balanced perspective <3
I think you’d enjoy this one, Cacomixtle, because… well, you know. Alahine!! Long live Alahine! (And Trayee.) 🙂
Hi there Kafkaesque ! Peter in Melbourne,Australia here. This is my debut comment on ANY fragrance post but I just have to thank you for the wonderful, dare I say – thrilling- descriptions and scent portraits you are able to create ! I have followed them for years and have been induced to try and adopt many great fragrances , and am right with you on Alahine and Kalemat , truly fabulous. I have the dreaded “consuming skin” also and thus like rich, heavy or exotic scents ( eg I regularly wear Mitsouko and L’Heure Bleue) so this Amouage sounds excellent . Now please get your hands on this new Dior Cuir Cannage as I believe we may have at last a respectable companion for my absolute favourite Cuir de Russie of Chanel – I await your (hopefully) positive review of this potential floraleather classic with baited breath! All the best – lovely to chat with you and thank you for your professionalism and great insights – literary bijoux in themselves ! Peter
What a lovely note. Thank you so much, Peter. I’m very much looking forward to trying Cuir Cannage, particularly as I’ve heard a few people say that it is very similar to Serge Lutens’ Cuir Mauresque. (And I love Cuir Mauresque!) So, fingers crossed that the Dior will be equally good, and sufficiently different to warrant a bottle of that one as well.
BTW, I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed Kalemat. Now, stop lurking, and come out to play more often. 🙂 lol. Perfume is always much more fun when shared and talked about.
You know, I really liked Trayee. And I do love Alahine. Since developing geographic tongue in my 30s, I can’t eat food as spicy as I used to, but Kung Pao Chicken used to be my favorite. Sigh.
In short, this doesn’t sound at all like my usual sort of thing, but with Amouages, you Just Never Know. (Or at least *I* don’t. Expected I’d love Honour Woman… nope.) I am taken aback by raspiness, though, so it’s hard to say.
I’m surprised. A spicebomb amber with chili peppers would be the very last thing that I would associate with you, but it’s lovely to know that you might be interested. It must be the Alahine aspect, one of the very few loves we have in common, my Evil Scent Twin. 😉 LOL. You’ll have to let me know what you think when you try it, my dear. I’d love to know what you thought.
Sichuan 麻辣?! My last memory with a pot of that stuff was one in which my tongue was left numb, hanging out like a dying dog, and in which my sweat had completely drenched my T-shirt. Ohhhh, this one sounds INSPIRED!
You are far more courageous than I am, my dear Vagabond. 🙂 I have a reaction to chili peppers of any kind, so the Hot Pot would kill me. lol. What it did to you seems pretty much on par with everyone else’s reactions, though. Anthony Bourdain was completely hobbled and, yes, his shirt was completely drenched too. LOL.
I think the combinations in Journey Man are very inspired, indeed. I hope you’ll let me know what you think if you try it.
Don’t know if I could deal with that amount of spice, but nevertheless, this does sound like a trailblazing fragrance worthy of its concept and the Amouage name. Bold and fiery, yet also gauzy? Sounds incredible. Splendid review, Kafka.
It’s utterly brilliant, imo, and very much a full-blooded Amouage in other ways, too. I wouldn’t say it is gauzy, so much as airy. Hefty weightlessness, as another reader puts it. It feels far denser than it actually is, due to the intensity of those notes in the first few hours. I’m uncertain if you’d like it, though, Suzanne. It don’t associate you with massive spice bombs or fieriness, but I may well be wrong. 🙂
This sounds like a promise, not in the same way Black Gemstones sounded like a perfect dream, but like a great perhaps. I haven’t yet found a true love within the Amouage line. I usually wonder why since, in principle, they should hit the spot for me. I love Alahine’s beginning so much! but I have not tried Trayee. I do love spices, a lot, actually, yet I am not sure about the capsaicin feeling you were describing. I do love my food fiery but I am not sure if a super red peppery scent will irritate my incredibly irritable sinuses and highly allergic eyes.
Black Gemstone really is a perfect dream, in my opinion. LOL. I don’t know if Journey Man would be too peppery for you, but I definitely think it is one that you should try at the very least. 🙂
I have tried Journey for Men today. I have Amouage Interlude for men and i find some similarities. I tried Beloved man also (dont have it since dont like that much), and i see some similarities with it as well. Except Journey is more drier, spiced, and soft… I dont think im gonna buy it since Journey is not something new. Its a combined idea. Gentle, soft, very pleasant though! Interlude shocked me and it had a WOW effect. Can not say the same about Journey. Still i see people loving it.
By the way, trying Journey for Men evoked love to Interlude with a stronger feel… I dont know why, but i thought that i needed to get another Interlude 100ml! Really!
Interesting about the Interlude Man. Interlude on me has nothing in common at all with Journey Man, as it is quite herbal and green at first, amidst all the smoke. It’s a fantastic scent, though, so I fully understand why you love it so much, Mark. Sounds like a good idea to get another 100 ml.
I tried journey man & womsn a few times. I was on the fence about man version. .should I …well I did buy it and love it. I find unique and calming.i know its for the gent but I will wear it non matter and glad to try something new.. excellent review. . I also enjoyed your interlude review. Its quite true with interlude man, each time there is a new surprise. Similar to having a friend whos a makeup artist and trying to find her in a crowd. Expect the unexpected. Love interlude man but not fond of woman’s version.
I have a sample of this after reading your blog of this particular Amouage. I conducted a workshop of classical straight shaving, followed by a tasting of 4 single malt whiskies for a local perfume store. I decided instead of billing him, to choose some perfume instead. I have now chosen this perfume and I must say, its amazing. I get complimented on it all the time and the smell lasts so long. I had sprayed it on my left wrist and the next morning after showering and getting dressed, I picked up my watch and I actually smelled it still on the back of my watch still lingering on. I will wear it on nice occasions. My daughter gets married on 23rd of August and guess what scent I will be wearing?
Thanks for this. You helped me find a real gem. My favourite in my collection was Godolphin from Marly, but now its Journey XXV by Amouage.
Hello Jock, welcome to the blog. I remember you from a comment you left a long time ago on the Facebook page, and I believe we may even have a Scotland-Scotch-loving acquaintance in common. 🙂
I’m so glad that Journey Man worked out for you so splendidly. How great that you get complimented on it as well. Best of all, a scent for your daughter’s wedding, and an olfactory reminder of that happy day whenever you wear Journey. Just out of curiosity, have you ever tried Jubilation XXV? It’s one of the most beloved in the Amouage Men’s line, and really lovely. If only my crazy skin didn’t eat through it so quickly, I would be tempted to get it for myself. The opening is particularly splendid.
BTW, given your field of work, I have to ask, have you ever tried Profumum Roma’s infamous Fumidus? Pure Highland smoke, peat, and an opening that most distinctly includes single malt scotch! (Laphraoig for me, to be specific. lol) Look up my review if you haven’t tried it. Fumidus is not for everyone, but it is something that you, in particular, may want to try for purely intellectual reasons. And Profumum is carried all over Europe, including the Netherlands if I recall correctly, so it won’t be too hard to find.
I have never tried Profumum Fumidus, but it intrigues me now.
As for Jubilation, yes I had a spray of it when I was in the perfume store. I liked it, but maybe like yourself, it just dissapeared very quickly, so I doubt if I would spend so much on it. If I am not mistaken our mutual aquaintance hails from Texas? If so, I dont really know him, but I got your blog via a friend of his in Scotland that I do some business with
Yes, that’s the same chap. 🙂 As for Jubilation and its longevity on you, it sounds like we may have difficult skin in common. Well, trust me, most Profumum scents will last through a nuclear holocaust, and Fumidus in particular. My God, its a beast. Their fragrances are concentrated in nature, always being Extraits in essence with an astonishingly unique 42%-44% pure fragrance oils. That sets them apart from almost every other brand around, but their scents can also be sillage monsters if you apply a lot.
Fumidus isn’t for a lot of people because it’s got a massive amount of birch tar smoke, which also creates a very strong leatheriness. And it’s hardcore vetiver as well. But the Laphraoid/Lagavulin peaty, salty, marsh notes is really spectacular. I wish it lasted for the entirety of Fumidus’ extremely long lifespan, but it doesn’t. That’s one drawback.
Another scent that you might love but which you would never obtain in Europe is Apple Brandy from By Kilian. It’s exclusive to Kilian’s NY store, but a very intense recreation of Hennessey cognac. Well, more like Calvados and Armagnac, but you get the idea. That’s one which I wish were available world-wide. It gets a lot of love, unlike Kilian’s Moscow Exclusive which is all about Vodka. Pure, watery, cold vodka, but massively diluted in aroma apparently. Not my thing, but I so wish you could try Apple Brandy!
Actually, on second thought, there is a place in the US which ships samples worldwide for $12.95 shipping fee, and they carry all those fragrances that I’ve mentioned. A small sample of Apple Brandy goes a long, long way. If you’re ever interested, let me know and I’ll give you the link, as well as the discount codes to get a portion off your order. I know people from Australia to Asia who use the site, and it is where I purchase the majority of my samples myself.
Thanks. I will give Fumudus a go first though. We are getting close to autumn,and in tthe colder months I conduct at least 4 masterclasses a week on whisky and rum. When doing a masterclass, I dont wear any scent at all and discourage others to do so as well. I am lucky to be in a team that gets to choose single casks of Scotch whisky to bottle independantly. When joining up with the team, we are not even allowed to shampoo our hair. We cannot be distracted and I only shower with water beforehand and wash my clothes in perfume free washing liquid. Nothing is allowed to lead our noses astray.
But I do love to wear fragrances and I own a whole bunch of shaving soaps and splashes.
My last vlog on youtube was in Dutch, but it was how to make your own bay rum aftershave splash. See here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mUVHRnqzij0
But, its in Dutch:-)
I understand the “No Perfume” thing completely. Just toss me an email if you ever want sampling information. As for your classes, they sound fascinating. Lucky people who get to experience it. With regard to the Vlog, I’m afraid I don’t speak Dutch, but I’ll definitely give it a go. 🙂
Thanks again for letting me know about Journey Man!
I bought samples of all of the Amouage male scents last winter and the winner for me was Journey. I just purchased a 100ml bottle (made in January 2015 according to bottle code) and it is nothing like the sample or this wonderful review. It smells very harsh and simply generic “Amouage.” Has Journey Man already been reformulated?
Oh dear. I’m not quite sure what to say since you had no issues with your sample. I think it’s far too soon for reformulation to be a likely culprit. It usually takes 2-3 years before a brand starts tinkering with their formula, and Journey Man came out well after the mad rush to comply with the newest EU/IFRA restrictions. Where did you buy your bottle? It’s uncommon for a new bottle to turn, at least for relatively recent fragrance releases, but it can happen on rare occasions. I’m trying to recall an incident I read about last year where someone thought that had happened to their new purchase (from a different brand) and I think they wrote to the company, but I cannot remember what happened after that. Companies sometimes will take back a bottle to exchange it for another, but I honestly don’t know how common that is or frequently it happens. Did you buy your bottle from a store near you or online?
Thank you for the quick reply! The main things that attracted me to the sample were the “boozy” note in the opening, the lasting sweetness of the dry down, and the general body of the scent. What I mean is that Journey was along the lines of Dia or Jubilation in terms of not being huge, unlike Epic and Gold, for example. My Journey bottle is very light on the top notes in the opening and is almost missing the sweetness in the dry down. It is smokier (reminiscent of Memoir) in the bottle version with a big shift in balance to the base notes, which are big in body like Epic or Gold. Both the sample and bottle were purchased online from reputable sources. I may bring both to the Amouage store in London next month and get their take on it.
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