DI SER‘s Hikaru Daichi takes you on a trip to Japan’s mountain forests from the clean, crisp air at the peak to the green-tinged earthy forest floors below, complete with aromatic, fragrant pine cones strewn all over. The only things that remove you from the naturalism of this tableau are church-style frankincense and immensely resinous, tarry, leathery oud.
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.
The original Santal Sultan oil stole my heart and was my Holy Grail sandalwood scent. Heck, as far as I was concerned, it was THE Unicorn sandalwood that nothing else came close to in terms of notes, smell, opulence, smoothness, or quality.
My total adoration of Ensar’s Santal Sultan oil was no small thing; a long-time reader teasingly called me a “Sandalwood Snob” almost a decade ago and that moniker is so true that I adopted the name for myself. (I’m still waiting on those “Sandalwood Snob” t-shirts that were promised to me, “Hajasuuri.”) Whether it was an Amouage santal attar or something from Tom Ford, Rising Phoenix, or Killian, nothing was the perfect fit for my personal tastes or impressed me much.
Nothing until Ensar Oud’s (original) Santal Sultan oil.
And now he’s made a sprayable pure parfum version of it!
Meander is one of four Renaissance Collection fragrances that marked the debut of Renaud Salmon as, essentially, Amouage‘s new perfume director. Though it lacks the Amouage DNA, in my opinion, it is an appealing, pretty, ethereal, and smooth fragrance.