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.
Reviews often begin with some insightful, interesting, witty, or encapsulating sentence, but I can’t think of anything to start a discussion of Amouage‘s Myths for Men, perhaps because the scent leaves me feeling too apathetic to summarize it or to be eloquent. So I’ll just get straight to the basics. It’s an eau de parfum, it was inspired by surrealism, and its notes, according to Amouage, are:
Chrysanthemum, orris, rum, rose, vetiver, elemi, labdanum, ashes and leather.
Amouage‘s new Myths for Women was not what I had expected. There was the welcome, happy surprise of carnation as its driving focus, instead of the litany of white florals that have dominated so many of the brand’s recent releases. Red but drenched with greenness, hot but chilly, the carnation was a beautiful note that took me even further off guard with the way its companions — my ultimate green nemeses, violet leaf and galbanum — somehow recreated a passing impression of one of my favourites, hyacinth, from its liquid floralcy to the venomous bitterness of its sap. It’s a brief and wholly impressionistic touch, but I was delighted. Equally unexpected, but far less welcome, was Myths’ persistent dryness and diffuse sheerness, two things which I think characterize the Opus Collection’s aesthetic as opposed to the regular line whose women’s fragrances exemplified oriental opulence and full-bodied richness, or at least they did, once upon a time. As a whole, both Myths, the Women’s and the Men’s (which I’ll cover in the next review) feel like the continuation of Christopher Chong’s style of perfumery, moving Amouage away from its Franco-Arabian and vintage-style roots into something purely Western and modern. How you feel about that will depend on your tastes and expectations.
My Reviews En Bref are for perfumes that — for whatever reason — don’t seem to merit a full, exhaustive discussion. In the case of Opus IX, the newest Library scent from Amouage, the reason is dislike that is slowly replaced by boredom and disinterest.