Azman Perfumes Majnoon

Azman‘s Majnoon beckoned to me from the moment I read its notes. Coffee, tobacco, leather, rich spices, champaca and rose, two different kinds of oud, incense, patchouli, and amber were just some of the materials holding great promise. There was also the fact that the famous artisanal perfumer, Prin Lomros, was the nose.

I couldn’t wait to try it. For someone with my particular tests, it was bound to be hit, right?

Well, things did not turn out as anticipated.

Azman Perfumes Majnoon. Photo: Azman.

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Balmain Vintage Jolie Madame – Part II: Bottles & Packaging By Decade

Balmain‘s vintage Jolie Madame came in a variety of different bottles and packaging over the course of its lifetime, particularly in the case of the eau de toilette. The best era, in my opinion, was the 1950s to the mid or late 1970s because that’s when the formula was closest to Germaine Cellier’s original and truest to what she intended Jolie Madame to be. Consequently, that is the era which I’d suggest you look for. Today, I’ll try to give you a rough sense of how to assess what you see on eBay or Etsy based on things like box markings, bottle caps, batch codes, and more.

Vintage Jolie Madame parfum. Probably 1970s. Photo: my own.

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Balmain Vintage Jolie Madame – Part I: The EDT & Parfum

Balmain‘s vintage Jolie Madame — an exquisite chypre that turns into a softly animalic floral leather then into a suede-like floral — was created by the legendary Germaine Cellier but it is not one of her creations that I hear people commonly talk about, unlike Bandit, Fracas or, to a comparatively lesser extent, Vent Vert. That’s a shame because I think that Jolie Madame has a heartbreaking tenderness and delicacy which I find largely missing in those bolder, more operatic masterpieces. In essence, Jolie Madame is like Chopin or Vivaldi, not Wagner or Beethoven.

Vintage Jolie Madame parfum and EDT. Photos, collage, and bottles: my own.

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Areej Le Doré Aquilaria Blossom

Aquilaria Blossom is a collaboration between two of the top masters of oud fragrances and oud distillation, Russian Adam of Areej Le Doré (“ALD”) and Taha Syed of Agar Aura. It is a much lighter, more resinous, less oud-y, more amber-scentric fragrance (on my skin) than many of the things that I’ve tried from either brilliant auteur. That makes it a more approachable, easy-to-wear, and versatile scent in many ways, even if it comes across as more simplistic, linear, and less operatic in character on an olfactory level. I enjoyed it, particularly during its cozy, snuggalicious drydown phase.

Agar Aura and Areej Le Dore Aquilaria Blossom in the 30 ml and 10 ml bottles. Photo: Russian Adam.

Areej Le Dore & Agar Aura Aquilaria Blossom 30 ml bottle. Photo: Russian Adam.

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