Amouage‘s new Renaissance Collection marks the beginning of a new era for the Omani brand; its most popular release, Crimson Rocks, is the subject of today’s review. One of four fragrances, Crimson Rocks eschews Amouage’s old system of having twin Man/Woman fragrances on the same theme. Instead, there are four new unisex fragrances, each with a different focus. Crimson Rock’s focus is a cinnamon-spiced, honeyed, slightly gourmand and very woody desert rose which eventually becomes a honeyed, spicy, rose-tinged woody amber.
Astounding, beautiful, and an utter delight to wear— what a superb fragrance modern 2020 Jicky parfum is! And I say this as a decades-long lavenderphobe who only recently started to like some lavender fragrances but who still sometimes shudders at the thought of lavender.
But Jicky Parfum is more than a simple creamy lavender fragrance or even a fougère. In fact, to my great surprise, it was also quite a different kettle of fish than the modern EDP that I tried and reviewed around 7 years ago; this is a much more appealing and opulent scent.
Jicky is a Guerlain legend which celebrated its 131st birthday this year and is reportedly the oldest fragrance in continuous production. Even though I liked modern Jicky Eau de Parfum , once called a Parfum de Toilette, it’s the modern Jicky extract (parfum) that I’ve been intrigued by, particularly given the rave reviews I keep hearing from people whose nose and tastes I respect. So it seemed like an ideal choice to focus on in my return to writing.
Bitter Peach and Rose Prick are the newest additions to Tom Ford‘s Private Blend collection. Bitter Peach was simultaneously exactly what I had expected it to be and, yet, also less than. You see, I had some happy expectations because I really do enjoy a good, juicy peach, but I’ve also long learnt to temper my expectations with fragrances from his house over the last five or six years. Bitter Peach essentially falls exactly where I thought it would. Rose Prick, however, surprised me a little because my expectations going in were minimal to negative, especially as I’m not a rose fan. Since I expected to hate it, it’s probably not surprising that I thought it was better than expected.
Be that as it may, there are several reasons why I don’t think either fragrance is worth buying, not unless you have money to burn and are truly obsessed with the largely simplistic bouquets that, throughout their development, are generally dominated by only a two or three notes.
Cuir de Russie, the upcoming S6 release from Areej Le Doré puts me in a tricky spot as a reviewer. On the one hand, it is one of my favourites out of the new S6 collection when worn on skin, evoking at different stages Roja Dove‘s Fetish Pour Homme, Jacques Guerlain‘s aesthetic in old vintage classics, and even Serge Lutens‘ Cuir Mauresque for a brief moment.
On the other hand, Cuir de Russie should NOT actually be worn on skin, due to its core ingredient of crude birch tar which is deemed inadvisable and unhealthy when in contact with the skin. In fact, the use of crude birch tar is flat-out prohibited in any fragrance that is intended for the skin. (Only rectified birch tar can be used, and in highly regulated levels at that.) Consequently, Russian Adam calls Cuir de Russie a “garment fragrance” and explicitly advises that it should only be applied to fabric. I did not follow the advisory and wore the fragrance both ways. I doubt I will be the only one to do so.
Which brings me to my dilemma: How do I write about a fragrance that is a singular monolith when worn in the way that is advisable and when that description would entail three short paragraphs but when the inadvisable, health-dangerous way would yield thousands of words of enthusiasm?