Friday, 11 November 2011

Amouage Home Scents

[Review based on samples of home scents provided by Amouage in 2011.]

It’s not often that I publish a review of home scents on – keeping up with ‘skin fragrance’ releases is hard enough – but every now and then, it’s worth providing a reminder that there are plenty of candles and room sprays out there whose smells have been created with as much care and precision as can be discerned in the finest perfumes. Amouage’s are a case in point. What’s more, they offer a handy summation of the entire brand’s aesthetics.

Although the firm’s connections with the Omani royal family are well known, most people – and I don’t exclude myself here – often ignore the company’s decidedly Occidental pedigree: the vast majority of its perfumes, if not all of them, has been made by European noses. And although the design of the flacons and the boutiques pays homage to the Middle East, the inspiration for the products comes from all over the world, legitimising the claim that Amouage isn’t an Arabian luxury brand but an international one.

The home scents provide ample evidence of this. Indian Song evokes the east with its name, but it smells like a Mediterranean citrus garden upon which the gods have sprinkled the faintest whisper of spices. First Rose sounds as though it would be rooted in some manicured Provencal field, but its aroma speaks of evenings spent sipping rosewater sharbat in a park in Shiraz.

The tension between east and west is most pronounced in Mughal Garden, which takes up the rose theme again, but this time places it alongside lavender and incense to create an effect so compelling, you keep wanting to spray some more just to get to the bottom of how the smell works.

Of the three oud compositions, the most striking is Eternal, a remarkably dry, clear-sighted creation which conveys the power of agarwood without dragging it down to predictable floral clichés. Soulful and ancient, it is precisely the aroma I’d want to smell if I walked into a house that had once been occupied by a favourite, long-dead author.

Without any question, my favourite of the range is Silk Road, a no-holds-barred, uncompromising conflagration of woods, amber and animalic musks. Calling it rich would be like saying baklava contains a bit of sugar and butter. Gorgeously balanced, potent and with ‘bedroom’ written across every moment of its development, it is one of the most memorable olfactory depictions of reckless lust I have ever had the pleasure to breathe in. If this is what the silk road smelt of, I’m amazed anyone ever got any travelling done; I would’ve set the camels free, hidden away in my tent and spent night after night listening to my beloved whisper intimacies in my ear. Quite mesmerising.

[The Amouage home scents are available in both candle and spray form. As is the way with these things, the former take a while to get going, but once they’re warm, they pump out their fragrance for hours; the latter deliver a quicker, but more fleeting hit.]



  1. They sound beautiful.

  2. Angie, a lot of them are. Well worth trying.

  3. I thought the price is good too .

  4. Sshhh... we're always supposed to say everything's expensive, remember?

  5. I have their Jubilation 25 candle, and I love it. I actually prefer it as a room scent rather than on skin. I'm saving the rest of the candle for the deeply freezing nights of winter. It's gorgeous.

  6. Carrie, thanks very much for stopping by :-)

    I know what you mean about Jubilation 25. There's just 'something' about that modern chypre construction that doesn't rest easily on some people. Mind you, it works STUPENDOUSLY on others.

  7. I have looked all over the web, and I have not found, even on the site of Amouage, a DESCRIPTION of the scents. They have, for example, three oud fragrances. What are they? Can anyone comment, or direct me? Many thanks!

    1. Anon, thanks for your comment. Where's your nearest Amouage shop? Have you tried contacting it? Perhaps they'd reply if you sent them an email.


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