Friday, 2 March 2012

Persolaise Review: Opus VI from Amouage (2012) + Give-Away

Amber perfumes. Guerlain's got one. Dior's got one. Serge Lutens and Andy Tauer owe a great deal of their brands' popularity to one. Indeed, many fragrance houses - both niche and mainstream - have had a go at creating one, either by adding a twist to the basic formula or by tweaking the standard ingredients. In Western cultures, the genre is invariably read as 'Arabian': the smoky sweetness of the vanilla + labdanum combo evokes stereotypical imagery of the sort in which a crescent moon picks out the silhouettes of robed figures walking along the crest of a dune. To Occidental noses, the resins and balsams seem like light years away from the relative greyness of urbanised Europe. All of which makes it rather interesting that the one brand without an amber fragrance in its line-up is Amouage.

In some ways, this isn't at all surprising. The Omani firm has done its best to downplay its Middle Eastern heritage from the day it came into being. After all, if you ask Guy Robert to kick-start your range with an aldehydic floral, the last message you could be accused of sending out is: 'Here be Ali Baba Land.' Under the creative directorship of Christopher Chong, this refusal to be pinned down by the aesthetics of a single geographic location has been turned into a major selling point: recent releases from the firm have emphasised the influences of China, Puccini and Baudelaire. Indeed, the brand's desire to be identified as 'international' rather than 'Arabian' would suggest that the absence of an amber fragrance has been the result of a conscious effort rather than an accidental quirk of the tastes of its decision makers. But now, almost thirty years after Robert's creation hit the shelves, the Powers That Be have relented and given us an Amouage amber.

Don't get too excited: it's not part of the main line. That would probably have been deemed too kitsch, too soon. Instead, it's been granted sixth place in the Library Collection, alongside the shocking animalics of Opus V and the yuletide spices of Opus IV.

Simply by virtue of the fact that it takes amber as its central theme, Opus VI feels familiar. One of the main pleasures of wearing this genre of fragrances is similar to that offered by listening to a favourite melody: even though you know which way the notes are going to go, you still gain considerable enjoyment from hearing the piece reach its conclusion. Dora Arnaud and Pierre Negrin have exploited this to the full in their formula, ensuring that no matter what else may be happening in their scent's structure, the base doesn't lose sight of the requisite amber vibe. But familiarity notwithstanding, this is an Amouage perfume, which means two things.

Firstly, it contains a frankincense note, as rich and resplendent as in any of the brand's other fragrances. And secondly, it doesn't want to fall too neatly into a single olfactory family, so it reduces the prominence and the smokiness of the amber by including an abrasive wood aspect and - somewhat unexpectedly - a gourmand-like chocolate liqueur facet. Contrary to what you might be thinking so far, all of this works. The disparate elements come together to create an effect that, initially, seems to borrow a little bit from Guet-Apens, Vanille Absolument, Idole and Frapin's 1697. It then adds some individual touches of its own. And finally it says, 'Yes, we may be in Ali Baba Land, but this is no fairy tale. The buildings are made of glass. The desert is covered with vegetation. The people come from all over the world. And the wind is carrying the scent of the future." It may not be wholly original, but Opus VI is modern, appealing and above all, thoroughly enjoyable to wear.

[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Amouage in 2012.]

I'm very pleased to announce that thanks to the generosity of the team at Amouage, I am able to offer three readers of a chance to win a special 30 ml bottle of Opus VI. To enter this draw, please leave a comment on this post on the subject of culture clashes. I won't reply to each comment, so as long as you keep to the topic in question, you can consider yourself to be in the draw. As always, please read the terms and conditions before you leave a comment.

My thanks to Amouage for offering these fantastic prizes.

Draw Terms & Conditions

i) the draw will be closed at 10 pm (UK time) on Thursday 15th March; ii) the winners will be selected at random and announced on this blog on Friday 16th March; iii) readers from anywhere in the world are eligible to enter; iv) by entering the draw, you indicate that customs regulations in your country permit you to receive an alcohol-based perfume; v) the winner will have to provide his/her postal address, which will then be passed on to Amouage; vi) the winner's address will not be kept on record by Persolaise, nor will it be passed to any third parties, apart from Amouage.



  1. Now, I really want to win one of these bottles, it is an amber perfume after all. It is practically my duty to own it. And if I have to talk about culture clashes to be eligible, so be it. :)

    I have experienced a culture clash on a small but very real scale in the hospital I have worked in for ten years. A hospital is almost always a place where people of very diverse backgrounds are thrown together. Different languages, different education levels, different cultures. On both the patient and the personnel sides, different ideas of what it means to be sick and how that should be handled, abound, which often leads to conflicts. On the positive side, nowhere else have I experienced such tight friendships between people who have absolutely nothing in common besides the work they do every day. And that was truly inspiring.

  2. I come from Singapore, a country where pretty much everyone is descended from migrants who came over in the last 80 years or so from all over the world. Given that we have so many different backgrounds and cultures, clashes are bound to be inevitable. Yet we have somehow managed to rise above that to recognise over and above that the value of harmony. Yes, we may speak different languages, we may believe in different religions, we may have different beliefs, but ultimately we celebrate these differences for what they are and recognise that while they make us special, we are, at the end of the day, all human.

    Now that I'm living in London, which is itself another melting pot of cultures from all over the world, I appreciate all the more the differences in our cultures.

  3. I have never really experienced culture clash in any of my travels. Cultural difference most definitely, but never a clash! People are people and their hopes and aspirations are universal, with most folk wanting a bit more cash and a good life for their kids etc. When you strip away the window dressing of culture, being human is all that is left and all that is truly needed!

  4. What an amazing draw! I must admit to have not yet found an Amouage to completely suit me, but you are mentioning a likening to two of my all time favourite fragrances; Guet Apens and Idole! This is going to be an absolute must-try, and I am afraid probably also (win or not)unavoidably a bottle in my perfume cupboard.
    We, your readers, have to work for a chance to win, which I like, I love reading long and thought out comments:-)
    I think my biggest experience of cultural clash, was not going from Denmark to Germany as I had expected, but after 7 years in Germany to go to live in London. In Germany everything is so exact; I remember my English ex laughing about the fact that the bus time table said 11.43 and then the bus would arrive at 11.43, and it was a big contrast arriving in London were nothing was very exact and a phrase like 'let's meet for lunch at some point' (which in Germany would have prompted both parties to get out their dairies and find an date and time)in London meant 'nice meeting you but I must be off', or something like that. There are so many more sentences like that, some that I never really learned to understand. Ultimately, learning about different cultures is a very beautiful thing, I wouldn't want to have been without the experiences I've had for anything, I believe it opens your minds horizon forever after.
    Thank you for this fine review and lemming, and thank you for the generous draw.

  5. So, Persolaise, you really promise us a Guet-Apens? I really hope to smell the essence of it in a new creation.

    Culture clash is a difficult subject I guess as it's not easy to stay flexible and tolerant enough to remain open for the diversity and from other side making your own limits clear to others. Like I see it now in Nehterlands that is famous as one of the most tolerant land from one side and very strict immigration law from another (as well as a pretty intolerant PVV political party).

    And if we speak in terms of scents. I have experienced a clash yesterday evening ;) Got a sample of Bombay Body Antipersperant from the Perfumer's World Perfumers Bulletin. And to my nose it has a kind of weird musty undertone (kind of joss sticks effect). And this pretty strange (for my nose) fougère might be lovely for the Asian culture, but I can't imagine it to be a common deo scent in Europe.

  6. I would love to try this! Ambers are a favorite!

    I live in the Southern part of Arkansas. On the surface you might believe it to be high on the scale of intolerant parts of America...I was at the 5A Junior High Quizbowl tournament watching my son compete with his school's team in the championship game, when a question about Islam was being read. Our team buzzed in quickly, before the question was even completed, and answered, "Ramadan". The judge said, "That's correct!" The young man who answered said, "I know, I'm Muslim!" A girl on the opposing team quipped, "Me too!" Everyone had a big laugh and the questions proceeded. The young man went on to be named the MVP for the tournament, having answered more questions correctly than any other player. You may think there was no real clash here, but I think there was a clash in expectations: I think the people who wrote the questions NEVER imagined there would be Muslim children on any teams in the ARKANSAS 5A Junior High Quizbowl tournament, and certainly not on both teams in the Championship round!

    Alice C

  7. My grandparents on my mother's side were Anglo-Indian and my grandfather moved the family from Bangalore to England in the 50s to improve prospects for the children. The change in culture and lifestyle was particularly hard for my grandmother. She went from being a lady of leisure with servants in a large house to living in a cramped flat in Willesden and working in a factory. She never really forgave my grandfather for this and the marriage broke down.

    Today, I feel very fortunate to live in London where people from different cultures generally get on very well considering it's a large, crowded city.

    Thanks to you and Amouage for the giveaway!

  8. Oh man. The thought of an Amouage amber has me clutching my pearls: I don't stand a chance.

    I just told my husband about it, as he delivered my second cup of coffee, and he responded,
    "Uh oh. We're going to have to pool our finances, aren't we?"

    ... Which leads to the tale of a micro-culture clash:

    A few years ago, when I discovered how important perfume was going to be in my life, my husband wasn't at all on-board--- even though our disposable income allowed for the indulgence. I thought about it for a long while, and finally, in our peace talks, was able to explain that I was building a collection, much like his painstakingly curated record collection. Something clicked that day, and he's been my most avid supporter since.

    Now he's so savvy, that when I say "Christopher" this or that, he knows were talking about Mr. Chong and Amouage... and that I'm already dusting off a spot in the perfume cabinet ;)

  9. Thank you, Persolaise and Amouage, what an incredible draw! I am quite an amber aficionado, so I have to try my best to bend the numbers my way :)

    On the subject of culture clash I can write quite a bit, since I am an immigrant myself, and live and work not in the same culture I grew up in.

    I moved into a different country as an adult, and one of the common features of culture clash -- different languages -- wasn't too hard for me since I already was an English speaker. However, every person speaks with an accent, and in the US people are aware of them. I was not, and at first I could not understand what happened to my ability to understand speech when it comes to those sweet spouses from Boston or that lovely lady from Minnesota. Every word sounded differently from their lips, and I started to develop headaches after parties.

    But culture is not only language. Culture is also tools and skills based on those tools. And the tools are often shaped by traditions. I could not cook the first year I emigrated, because I used to measure everything in glasses and spoons which had nothing to do with measuring cups. When I found out the volume of the glass at home, I realized that now I have to convert mls to fluid ounces (so now when it comes to perfume I have no problem!).

    When I started cooking, I did it the way it was done in my family -- cook enough for 3-4 days, eat it up then cook again. It is not the way it was done in the States where people tend to cook something different and fresh every night.

    And finally, there is norms and breach of the norms. In the US it is completely normal to mention women's menstrual periods. Where I grew up, it is not. Last time I became a cause of a culture clash, I mentioned PMS on the blog which dealt with writing for health (so I was definitely on topic). I received a letter back from the blog owner telling that "the topic is interesting, but I am not sure whether you would like to discuss it in public". I had to reply, "Oops. I have been living in a different country for quite a long time". My own acculturation into the US norms caused a culture clash in the blogging community of my former countrymates.

    Interesting topic! I am sorry if this is too long, but I wanted to cover the main elements of culture -- language, traditions, norms, beliefs, and tools.

  10. Thank you and Amouage for offering this, very kind and generous of you!

    Like Olfactoria, I work in a hospital with every type of patient and coworker. I've had Ethiopian coffee with a family, learned Tagalog phrases to make my coworkers laugh at my accent, and listened to an epically long argument about whether or not Asians eat meat. It's not always easy, but I feel pretty lucky to be learning all the time!

    Thank you again!


  11. "Culture mesh" is more where I'm from, Persolaise.

    I recall, at the age of 8 or 9, accompanying a maternal aunt on a visit to her home country. Everyone wanted to hear my accent. Suddenly I understood that in this place they didn't have accents, even though it sounded like they did: I was the person with a different accent! It was my aunt's Home and my mum's Home but it was not my Home and never would be. The same was true of my dad's Home. I could be welcomed, fussed over, and even delighted in, but I would never be Home in those places.

    Funny to think how my self-centred World Picture changed focus forever in that moment of realisation and understanding. And that left me free, ultimately, to make my own Home with someone different in a place unconnected to any other family members.

    Great draw!

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

  12. I sense a definite culture clash with east Asia and the West when it comes to perfumes. I observe that in east Asia, personal perfumes are often seen as ostentatious and expressing excessive individualism. Both are seen as negative qualities there. Attitudes in east Asia are changing with globalization but it seems like these long cultural traditions are slow to move.

  13. Culture clashes? I fear I am not particularly well traveled and don't have a tremendous amount to say. :(

    Honestly the biggest culture clash I experience is related to my perfume hobby.

    Other than the perfume community, I am also part of a big online sort-of-hippie Mom's group in my city. A group that tends to be at the very least skeptical of personal fragrance/synthetic chemicals. I have to watch myself carefully there because I respect a lot of the women, but I bet they would think I'm crazy with the perfume thing. Or even poisoning others. So it's tough.

    Most people seem to think that perfume is an interesting hobby, but there are definitely some groups that do not think so...

  14. This scent sounds wonderful, what a generous draw!
    On of the funniest cultural clashes I've experienced was when I was part of a group of medical students visiting a Tanzanian village and met a group of traditional midwifes. Our answers to their questions frequently made the venerable ladies laugh so hard they were literally rolling on the ground laughing! Like the idea that fathers should be present at the delivery, men were to weak for that-they should be packed away somewhere else where they wouldn't bother anyone until it was all over!

  15. I can certainly understand Amouage's first steps .It can be horrible to be identified as belonging to a culture that is maybe not to everyone's taste. My in laws are from Barbados but I'd say their class causes more problems . They would not step into a shop like Les Senteurs. Middle Eastern culture must be particularly difficult at this time but it wasn't so long ago Valentino made ladies swoon so I'd say shout out cultural differences . England has adopted many foods and yes changed them sometimes but enlightened people want it as "real" as possible.

  16. I grew up in California, where people are generally polite and friendly. When I moved to Boston in my twenties, I was, on more than one occasion, reduced to tears by the rude and obscene remarks that people on the street and in shops made to me (e.g., man in hardware store: "Lady, your husband doesn't know what the F he is talking about.") Of course, not everyone was like that, and I made many dear friends that I have to this day. But even then people I knew would often say, "How can you stand California? Everyone there is so FAKE NICE." My standard reply to that was, "I prefer FAKE NICE to REAL HOSTILITY."

    Would it be fake of me to tell you how wonderful it is of you to host this draw and to give me the opportunity to possibly win an Amouage (how I love their fragrances) perfume?

  17. What a fab draw!
    I consider myself very lucky that's grew up in a family in California that was very open to all people and cultures. My sisters and I each dated and married men from various ethnicities.
    Flash forward to my life life now in New York City which is a gorgeous mix of cultures. One day a few years ago I was treating an elderly white patient who had just had a very poor experience with her taxi driver. She proceeded to rant and rave him and about disgusting men in turbans and "those filthy AY-rabs" bla bla bla. I tried to ignore her rant and continue my work, but finally I couldn't take it anymore and I interrupted her to let her know one of my sisters was married to a lovely Arabic man, and certainly this one taxi driver can't describe an entire race of people, there are plenty of terrible white people, after all, etc.....
    She was visibly embarrassed, and I did feel bad for her (a little) but I felt it was my duty to bring her back to her senses. She didn't come back to me after that, and that's unfortunate, but I do hope I made enough of an impression that she'll think twice about such thoughts in the future.
    I knowingly have a major predjudice that I am working on and that is, I am intolerant of people who are intolerant!! I'm trying.

  18. I'm not sure if this qualifies as a "culture clash", but many years ago I traveled to South America to visit my boyfriend who was in the Peace Corps. My first night in Cali, Columbia, I stepped into an open sewer! I was very shocked, to say the least.

    We spent time in Ecuador, and my favorite place was an Indian village near the Amazon. The men were weavers, and their tapestries were beautiful. On the way there, we rode the bus with goats and chickens. I think the bus ride qualifies as a culture clash. :)

  19. The anonymous comment above is from "Taffy". For some reason, I cannot get Google to cooperate. Sorry for the second post.

  20. I grew up in a communist eastern Europe country and emmigrated to Israel at 24-it was, is and will be a clash of culture, as israeli demographics changes all the time
    ( the last wave of imigration is from Ethyopia, for instance)
    and speaking of cultural clashes, I wonder if an Omani companywill be willing ( or alowwed) to ship to my country...
    I would love to be able to try an austere amber

    Many thanks for the draw...

  21. Thank you for the great draw! It was really interesting to read about your experience...

    I grew up in Ukraine and moved to Germany when I was 14 and found it very exciting to experience a new culture...

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  24. Great draw! Thanks, Persolaise and Amouage!

    I experience a Culture Clash on a daily basis. My husband is conservative (though he'd say "moderate" - he's wrong) and I'm very liberal. He was raised in Virginia, by parents who grew up poor in the mountains of West Virginia, I grew up as a middle class child of parents who grew up middle class. He's logical, I'm "artsy". I'm surprised we don't fight constantly!


  25. Well, I just *discovered* your blog through the Financial Times article. The link took me here, to this incredibly generous giveaway opportunity; how can I resist entering?

    This morning my head is full of the injustices faced by women worldwide, most recently here in the US, with Rush Limbaugh's inflamatory radio broadcast concerning paying for birth control coverage for women. Therefore, my cultural clash viewpoint is that of the hypocritical view of women worldwide by men (I promise to keep it brief!) It just is amazing to me that in 2012, the whore vs. mother myth is still so alive. Birth control, of all things! Why is that still seen as a woman's issue? Women don't get pregnant without men, Biology 101. The tiresome comments and treatments that women face are if anything worse today than 40 years ago (I work in a midwest high school and what teen girls deal with is often horrifying.)Ok, off my soapbox. Time for a shower and something soothing to calm down with; sounds like a good day for Encens et Lavande.

  26. I live on what was once the border of the French and English settlements of the New World. One might think that more than 250 years after the war that settled their territorial disputes and the ensuing centuries of French and English living side by side in the same communities, intermarrying, raising children, etc., that all cultural differences would be erased. But, no, they're not. You can drive through a town you've never been in before and tell at a glance whether it's predominantly French or English by the color of the houses, the slant of the roofs. Mostly relationships are friendly, but a narrow, subterranean vein of hostility occasionally surfaces in dismaying ways.

    With both English and French blood in my veins, not to mention strains of warring Irish and Scottish, I'm a big fan of cultural fusion. I love that perfumes such as the new amber Opus cross cultural boundaries in such soul satisfying ways.

  27. First off, thanks for the cool draw!

    When it comes to culture clashes, being European and having traveled once to the US, that was probably my most obvious experience with a rather different culture. I felt that especially the whole food and restaurant culture was very different. Not just the size of the meals (which is obvious and well known...) but especially the service from the wait staff. Compared to most European countries they pay a LOT of attention to service and making sure you were happy with your food. Sometimes to the point where it started to become an annoyance and felt a little fake, but then again at least they worked very hard for their tips. Here people will rarely lose their job for providing bad service, so often customer service is not their #1 priority. Of course there are exceptions but I guess we could learn something from Americans when it comes to this point.

  28. My biggest culture clash has been my move, 5 years ago, to a very rural, conservative, homogeneous area in Central IL.

    I am none of those things.

    It's been a whole lotta work, trying to adjust my own expectations as well as those with whom I engage. Overall it's been positive - but it's still a bit of a shock.


  29. hotlanta linda5 March 2012 at 19:21

    Yt was born in Cincinatti, then moved to Chicago, Oklahoma City, L.A., York, PA, and - 34 years ago - to my home, Atlanta, GA. Clash observed has always been racial in nature, which is so sad and never a shock due to the common-ness of it. All humankind is created equal, period!! - and we need to enjoy!! each other`s cultural aspects/ differences :-) Never to late to begin this bonding! PEACE!!

  30. I tend to experience culture clash on a daily basis. As a white American, my ancestry reads like a map of Europe, and I married a man born in this country to Ecuadorian immigrants. His mother lives in the apartment above us so that we can keep an eye on her (she is almost 80). She has lived in this country for 40 years and has never learned to speak much English, and refuses to accept The Americanized ways of her son. On top of this, she is probably one of the most racist people I know (she basically only likes other Ecuadorians and white people who go to church). She is very close-minded for being a minority (albeit growing minority). One of the biggest culture clashes we have is her inability to grasp that with the advent of two-income families in the US, we have drifted from a culture where we take our elderly parents into our home and care for their every need. Some families are still able to do this if they are able to only rely on one income, but the majority cannot. Assisted living and retirement facilities have filled the gap...but this a cultural thing and does not exist in her third world home, where family duty reigns supreme. She constantly guilt trips, as good Latino mothers know how to do so well, about how we don't love her and she can't understand why she can't live with us. There is no explaining to her, especially with her increasingly worsening dementia. She will not sign a power of attorney so that we can make these decisions for her and place her where she would be taken care of, and the law only allows emergency guardianship being granted to my husband to do so only if she harms herself or another. And so we wait for something tragic to happen, unable to reconcile cultural differences with her.

    Thank you so much for the draw and fascinating review - I am a huge amber fan, and I would love to smell Amouage's take on it. :-)

  31. I experience culture clash a couple of times per week: there is a guy in my office who insists on eating authentic Thai food at his desk telling us how much we miss by not liking... the smell! At the same time he doesn't like my Sweet Milk and Jeux de Peau perfumes.
    Did I mention he's a US born caucasian man? ;)

  32. Not so much a culture clash, as a clash of upbringing, but MrLippie and I have nothing - literally nothing - in common. We were brought up on different continents, were educated at very different ends of the spectrum, we're from different age groups, have no shared history of, well, anything really. Plus he's sporty, and ... I'm not. HATE IT.

    But we seem to rub along quite well, as we're getting married next spring.

    If you want some real culture clashes, I could tell you about my time as a holiday rep ...

  33. I have had some experience of culture clashes, but I wouldn't necessarily call them clashes in the literal sense. I personally think that as the world has become a smaller place, there has been a much greater opportunity for 'clashes' to arise, as different cultures have come into direct contact with each other. On the other side of the coin, as cultures get forced together, I think the world is gradually becoming a more tolerant place in many cases, which can only be a good thing, as long as we don't become homogenised and cultures lose there distinctiveness - that would be a shame.

    I'd love to go in the draw - thanks.

  34. This is so interesting reading people's comments!I'm a German married to a Welsh guy and we live in Barcelona,talk about daily culture clashes!I lived in London for quite a few years,and there it is easier to feel part of it,so culture clashes are more welcome,but here in Catalunya there is a lot of fear,the need to protect in order to preserve-but I find it fascinating and learn something with every clash!
    What an amazing draw,but I fear for the worst,am already madly in love with 3 Amouages,own two,saving up for the third one,and now this one is sounding so divine...!!!

  35. Culture clash... This does not start or stop at geographical boarders, your heritage, your religous beliefs, your historical context. Cultures are cultivated almost everywhere and are expressed not only through people but through almost every object around us. It is amazing how many things can unite us human beings, at the same time we can face so many cultural clashes even in our own homes, in our workplace amongst people who are supposedly the same: but thats the point, we are not all exactly the same. Just like with perfumes, we as individuals all have our own cultural characteristics and represent a huge array of traits. It is a very deep and complex issue for me and very interesting to read on this blog. The key is to have an open mind and try to appreciate each other's 'scent' as it were.

  36. I experienced culture clash at a club in suburban Philly, PA. An entertainer friend of mine was booked into a club that was owned by a lovely Russian man whose customers were predominantly a younger Russian crowd, who did not show up until after 10PM. My friend was booked from 8-11PM...she has a following of an older crowd (40-60). When the youngsters arrived, they would not associate, ackknowledge or even sit anywhere near the crowd at the bar. As a matter of fact, most of them stood outside smoking and texting. The owner and bartenders were all great and loved us, as I'm sure we all had eaten and drank and been much more fun than the "hip" younguns. This was much more of an age clash than a Russian vs American clash.

    Thank you for the draw...I would love to try this fragrance.

  37. This is a neat draw!
    I love culture mingling, as I am part Spanish, part German myself, from the moment that my mother started cooking Asian dishes just for fun when I was little. Since then, I have been eager for new tastes, new traditions, new smells, new landscapes. It's true though, that it is inevitable for cultures to clash against each other sometimes. But it is the old quarrel of neighbour against neighbour after all!
    Culture clashes can be solved only by reasoning by both parts, and that also implies an openness which has to be learned from the very beginning.
    How pacific but also how dull would the world now be, had there never been culture clashes!

  38. I grew up in a half Irish/half English family in England during the seventies. At first I was the same as everybody else and had lots of friends.

    As I grew older the political situation grew tenser, with all Irish becoming suspected terrorists. It wasn't a nice place to be as a tween. I lost friends overnight and my family were threatended. Life became uncomfortable...

    When I was nearly 13 my Dad was lucky enough to get a job back in Ireland, so we moved there. I thought the bullying and taunting would stop, because I had been given the label Irish.

    Sadly, upon my arrival because of my accent I was suddenly labelled English. I was yet again different. In addition to this, Ireland was very much influenced by religion, which came as something of a shock compared with the laid back attitude in England. The worst thing was how unfriendly people could be in church - which always struck me as slightly mad...

    To this day, many years later I am still conscious of the cultural clashes that I witnessed as a youngster. I'm older now, more confident and am able to deal with off hand remarks about my accent without being aggressive in tone or words.

    Most people don't hear the difference anymore, unless it's during the holiday season! Then I'm often asked if I'm on hols, home from England!

    Our cultures are very similar, but our history has been lively. Nowadays people are only being friendly, and that makes an enormous difference to ones quality of life!

  39. Monika in Mt Helen7 March 2012 at 06:57

    Pardon me for being brief, but my main feeling on this subject is that I have yet to find a culture clash which I wasn't able to work through. Sitting around a table and sharing a meal is usually a good way to start resolving differences.

    Thanks for this amazing draw.

  40. Culture clash? If we didn't have culture clash there would be no point to be alive. We must to learn more knowledge about ourselves so that we can be closer. And for this, we need the clashes. They are like a gift for us.

    Thank you for this drawing. I hope I will win.


  41. I remember the first time I experienced something you could call a culture clash I was eight years old and I'd just started attending a new primary school.

    The boy behind me went and complained to the teacher that he didn't like me... because he didn't like Egyptians!

    That was a long time ago, and he and I are actually good friends now :-)

    Please enter me in this draw.

  42. My whole life has been culture clash, but I am happy with it and would not change.

    When I was 20, I left a dictatorship country to live in Europe. There I met my husband, who was from another country. He was in Europe studying.

    We moved to his country and I had many clashes with his family, but most of them were friendly.

    Then, because of the political reasons, we had to move to my country, and I'm sorry to say that that my family were not so kind to my husband, so in the end we moved again.

    My three children have been born in three different countries, but I am so happy for them that they have such a unique experience of life.

    But you know, you don't actually need to travel to have the culture clashes. It is possible also to clash with the culture of the person who lives right next to your house in your own country.

  43. I honestly don't think I've experienced any clashes, and I spend my whole life travelling. I've been very lucky that I've only met kind, open-minded people.

    I hope this doesn't mean I can't be entered in the draw.

  44. It's funny, because in my current line of work, most of the culture clashes are actually caused by smells. I'm a vegetable oil evaluator working in the Middle East and the way I and my colleagues assess our products is always related to our culture. We often have interesting arguments.

    Please enter me in the draw.


  45. This is just such a great draw. I love all Amouage perfumes so much, but this one sounds perfect. Please enter me.

  46. My big culture clash - if you can call it that - came when my grandmother told me, on her death bed, that her husband (my late grand father) had spent his whole adult life hiding the fact that he was Jewish.

    At the time I was upset that an important part of my identity had been kept from me for so long, but now I've learnt not to judge the decisions people felt they had to make in the past.

  47. I'm studying Philosophy so I would say that culture clashes are a huge part of my "knowledge area", european philosophy always try to go against other kind of vision in one way on another (Asian, american, even anglosaxon, that in the end belongs to the same european tradition in some way)...but anybody can deny that Europe can do amazing stuff, you only need to smell something from Vero Kern or Serge Lutens or someone like that to recognize how stunning is the art of perfume, that in last term belongs to the whole humanity because no matter in what culture you grow, Shakespeare is always impresive, Shigeo Fukuda is always stunning, so...culture clashes are senseless since all of us are able to apreciate other culture's art, and Amouage is a great example.
    Thanks for this amazing draw!

  48. Sadly, the biggest culture clash is yet to come. I fear for the world. I fear the places into which the decision-makers are taking us. I fear for the way in which history is repeating itself. I fear for the return of hatred and prejudice. I fear for a divided Europe.

    We have so few beautiful, precious things in our lives. Things like beautiful perfumes.

  49. Having moved from Taiwan to the US when I was 9, I've often experienced culture clashes growing up. I think I definitely got labeled as the weird kid because I first devoured my chicken thigh during lunch time and proceeded to chew on the bones. Yes Chinese people really do eat everything. Thankfully I've been surrounded by wonderful friends and family over the years and culture clashes eventually turned into cultural diversity and folks are able to both appreciate and at least accept cultural differences with grace and humility.

  50. Wow, what an amazing description, i would love to win this, thank you! I had the same awakening as you did - after many years of thinking I did not like amber, I as undone by several of them, most notably by Andy Tauer's magnificent L'Air du Desert Marocain. I adore Amouage; my favorite is the original Ubar, which was the closest they ever got to an "Orientalist" vibe until now.

    One of my earlier experiences with culture clash (or culture shock, I guess you would call it) happened in reverse - I went to Europe with my family many years ago as a teenager and fell in love with Amsterdam and many other places durng our travels. I especially loved how there were flowers in every window box, and everyone was so polite to strangers. I still hold the Dutch in especially high esteem. Anyway, it was on the way home that I felt like a stranger - I couldn't stand the idea of entering the madness of the airport in NYC, and fight through the dirt and noise of the huge city - I wanted to go back to Europe, where I had felt so much at home, riding streetcars, walking at night, exploring back streets and never feeling afraid.

  51. Believe it or not, one of my most memorable culture clashes was actually related to a perfume.

    It all happened at a market in Algeria, and I can't actually describe it here because it was with a misunderstanding about something that could have been taken as a rude word, but it was very funny later.

  52. I have to say that the main place where I find culture clashes is in the gym. All these people thrown together, but they have little consideration for how other people might feel about various states of dress/undress, what have you. Gyms seem to have become an extension of people's lounges. We forget that they're still public place.


  53. I'm a Blue (progressive/liberal) person living in a Red (conservative/Republican) state. Culture clash every day, believe me. One has to work hard to find like-minded friends here, but they do exist.

  54. As a resident of Berlin and as such living in a part of the city that is dominated by foreign people I now the feeling of cultures clashing.

    Right now there is a court hearing going through the press that is about an incident, when last year some people chased an Italian born young guy until he ran in front of a car and died.

    A few days ago a person tried to settle a fight between two turkish groups and was stabbed to death virtually in my backyard.

    I am telling you this because in my opinion it comes with difficulties, when groups or rather cultures that do not understand each other live in the same area.
    Naturally, there is also great diversity and every single person can benefit from it but one also has to be aware of sensitivities.

    Honour is one example.
    If someone called me or my brother a S*n of a b*tch I would be angry and insulted but breaking someones nose over does not feel justified.
    Very different to a few people around here.

    Overall I do consider myself lucky to live in a melting pot such as Berlin and I love Kebab, the occasional Chinese and so on. And IMO every person, be it German or foreign, Christian or Muslim, White or Black has the same right to live here but every person, including myself, has to follow the rules of society.
    And some people unfortunately do not think so.

  55. First, thank you, Persolaise, for giving us such a wonderfully vivid word-painting of Amouage, Opus VI. Next to actually wearing it, your review is probably the next best thing! And thanks, also, to Amouage for offering such a generous gift.

    Having traveled the world extensively and been fortunate to have lived abroad, I’d like to believe that I am a better person due to all the varied cultures and different ideas to which I have been exposed. Even so, I certainly still have my preferences - likes and dislikes – don’t we all?

    I suppose it is just human nature that we tend to focus on our differences, rather than our similarities. And it seems inevitable that some words are always going to be guilty by association: “culture clash”, “culture shock”, “culture war”. Instead, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all just celebrate our “rich cultural contributions”, “fascinating cultural heritage”, and “ marvelous cultural diversity”?

    I’m optimistic that we can. Still, it makes me wonder if we cannot even agree on what constitutes “the best perfume” (apparently, Amouge VI) what hope do we have for bridging our differences regarding religion, politics, and economics?

    Fortunately, for all of us, the Internet makes the world a smaller place and great blogs like yours, Persolaise, provide us with a place to congregate and at least share a common dialogue on something we all love – fragrance. Even if we are never able to agree on the perfect perfume.

  56. Culture clashes is a serious subject, but I am originally from Georgia, small country on the border of asia and europe, wich always was open to different cultures and religions, muslim mechets, jrwish, it's own christianity, all this diversity really made good impact on the development of our awn culture and philosophy. After all we are all the same.

  57. I think your experience of culture clashes depends on how you define the term. To me, they're all culture hugs, an embrace of people who sometimes need some time to appreciate each other.


  58. Lunch break Pete9 March 2012 at 11:59

    Shouldn't 'culture clashes' be called 'lack-of-culture clashes'? If people are open-minded about differences and diversity, then there shouldn't be any conflicts or clashes.

    It's not the cultures that's clash. It's obstinacy and narrow-mindedness.

  59. Thank you for this gleeful draw. I love ambers and I love Amouage.

    My culture clash when I one day found out that I'd been doing all the wrong things in the country I was living in. Wrong greetings and vocabulary and such. But with the help of a friend, I improved.

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  61. "culture clash" could be my middle name: I've never felt at home where I come from and now that I've been living abroad for over ten years and in two different countries, I could probably write a nice, chunky essay on the matter! What this term describes can mean embarassment, a feeling of being displaced, even heartbreak, for it is hard to live with the feeling that you are not quite on the same wave-length as your contemporaries. But it can also be an opportunity: to come out of your comfort zone, discover new ways of thinking and realise that after all the clashes, we are essentially the same, stardust.

  62. I've enjoyed reading the other comments so much, I don't know what else I can add, except that I always enjoy art which looks at culture clashes. Films, paintings, music, even perfume.

    Please enter me.

  63. I'm lucky to live in one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world (Toronto). When people have the opportunity to not only witness, but actively experience aspects of other cultures (food, music, festivals, etc.), it encourages tolerance and even celebration of differences. Diversity here is a fact of life for most people, and is generally viewed as a very positive thing.

  64. Thanks so much for the draw.

    I actually really enjoy culture clashes, and am missing them at the moment because I'm living in a place that isn't very diverse, in terms of either race or even political view or overall mindset. It's an adjustment, but I'm trying to find the benefit that can come from being here now.

  65. Working in a big theater with more than thousand people on stage and back stage from all over the world I daily come in contact with different cultures. Luckily, culture clash is rarely occuring there, and when it does I tend to think that it's more about respect and manners than culture.
    Thank you for the draw!

  66. Wow, after so many thoughtful comments, I feel like I have to say something real.

    I've lived in many places in the U.S. and traveled many places abroad, and the worst culture clash I've ever experienced is still what I face every day. I live on Long Island and its culture and I don't get along. The random stupidity (every single day, someone almost kills me with their driving on the way to work. Every day.), the sexism (it's like 1962), the racism (neighborhoods here are unbelievably segregated). And I've never imagined crueler people than some of the people I've met here. People here are less traveled and less sophisticated than anywhere else I've ever lived, including West Virginia and rural Pennsylvania - and they're proud of it. Maybe a lot of immigrants feel this way: I experience culture clash as something to just get through, every day, try not to take personally. It's on me to get along, try to make the world and my neighborhood a slightly better place, and not let myself give in to disappointment and anger. Otherwise I'd miss the times when something sweet and truly human happens - like my neighbor coming across the street to introduce himself and give us a box of candy because his wife just had a baby and they were celebrating.

  67. Thank you Persolaise & Amouage for this wonderfully generous give-away. I literally go weak-at-the-knees at the mention of a new amber, "ambers" being my utmost favourite of perfume "genres". I've therefore been looking forward to an Amouage amber for quite some time. So elated to hear the day is finally here. :) Opus VI certainly sounds compelling. I can already see it's got my name written all over it. (*so fingers crossed*) ;)

    Being born and growing up in "apartheid" South Africa I've certainly seen my fair share of "culture clashes" to last me a life time.
    I now live in the UK, and it's a pleasure to live in probably one of the most multi-cultural countries in the world, where the majority are able to live all together, with much "culture" and relatively little "clash".

  68. interesting how we all try to escape the tags others will put on us or how we very consciously avoid tagging others. meanwhile the whole internet has turned into a great tagging experience. Arabian, you say? the best so far was made by a Swiss guy who goes by the name of Tauer. Amouage's own Reflection has nothing to do with Arabia but it is a rather excellent floral of Monsieur Roucel. So, I believe theses tags are really obsolete by now. The globalization has got to us all.

  69. I can't compete with any of the comments people have left (super idea, by the way; the comments have been amazing to read) but I'd like to enter the draw, so I was trying to think of which perfume brand seems to have a culture clash within itself.

    I think maybe Chanel is like that: it wants to have that old, classy greatness, but it's compromised in so many ways with it's new stuff. It doesn't know which culture it wants.

  70. Culture clash can have such negative connotations. I worked in large non profit organization with people from all over the world. It was challenging at times but I cannot really say that clashes were prevalent. We all understood that there were cultural differences and that most of them we had to respect. Being an American proved to be challenging at times because of other cultural preconceived notions of where we stand. Many off handed comments were chalked up to cultural differences and we then just carried on with our work. Other times I had to swallow my pride and just stay mum so that I would not be the offender.

    Thank you and Amouage for the lovely draw.

  71. Oh no, so many people leaving comments, how can I say something better. But draw is random, yes. So okay, I try to say something honest from myself.

    I wish I had more opportunities to have culture clashes when I was younger. This would have made my adult life more easier. I learned some things hard way. But at least I learned.

  72. My favorite culture clashes occur over the period of holiday seasons. It tickles me to see how we all endeavour to remain politically correct, but we just end remaining ignorant and not celebrating our diversities.

    Please enter me in this exciting draw.

  73. At first I have to say, that after testing Opus VI from a sample I have to admit, that – even if I find most of amber focused perfumes simply boring - this one is a great exception. With its peppery beginning, sweet honey-like heart and amazing Amouage frankincense from the beginning till the dry end Opus VI smells simply amazing. That is why I decided to try to get this 30 ml bottle here. That would be really great. I love it!

    As for the culture clashes (while I live in Poland in Europe) I’d like to say something about business culture clashes. I am having some businesses with far east partners from Taiwan. What I can say is the business culture between Taiwan and Europe is full of differences. That is often a problem for people from Europe. Because of that we - as a company - had serious problems which cost our company a lot of money. I can give you some examples. First thing is: you have to pay for goods 100% in advance. Then after the delivery (which takes average 2 months), if something is wrong with the product , there is no customer service from seller’s side at all. So the business culture is very different and strange. But – of course – everything is still much cheaper there which is the main reason Europe is still buying from China or Taiwan.

  74. Thanks for your draw and fine blog
    Fingers crossed !!

  75. I live in LA and here is so diverse and you can experience culture clashes at all times, people are so different and their ways of thinking too, and to top it off I am from South America where everything is more family oriented and the environment so more welcoming than here, so is very fascinating but also frustating at times to find so many differences.
    Thanks for this amazing draw.

  76. When I was getting married to my Vietnamese husband, his mother (my mum-in-law-to-be) insisted in being involved with all my bridal preparation. Unfortunately, until that point, she and I hadn't got on with each very well, and we didn't even speak each other's language.

    But I'll never forget the moment when she gave me an old perfume she wanted me to wear. It was too amazing for words. And she could see from the look on my face that I loved it. And from that time, things between us were fine. It was like my appreciation of the perfume won her approval.

  77. My husband and I come from two different types of families, His: small and very polite. Mine: large and outspoken. In the last 30 years we have learned to communicate and work together but it works as long as we can consider the other's opinion. I would love to try the new Amouage. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

  78. it has been so totally unreal to read all these comments. so many big hearted folks out there.

    ive been into many clashes. i used to work as a transition sponsor, helping new people settle into life in society after spending some time in prison. that was interesting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Miss TeeCee

  79. I can't say I've experienced any culture clashes that scarred me. I'm currently in the midst of experiencing the most pleasant of clashes -- I moved from Boston to Denver about six months ago, and every time I leave my house I am happily surprised by how much friendlier people are here!

  80. First time I learned about this thing of culture clash was when I read translation of the EM Forster's novel, Passageway To India. It really opened my ideas.

  81. This is such a gorgeous draw and Amouage is such a gorgeous brand. I hope I will be the one winning.


  82. Why to be worried about the clashes? It is with this clash that we make the improvement. Sometimes, the clash have a negative side. But as my English pedagogue used to say, It is not possible to make omelette without breaking eggs.

    The point must be that we have to learn things from the clashes.

    Please include me in this drawing.


  83. I kinda figure that Ive left my clashing days behind me. Testosterone isn't as plentiful as it used to be. Maybe now's the time for me to teach some of those young 'uns how to put aside their egos and just get along.

  84. As a descendant of the Chinese Diaspora who grew up with a love of Western popular culture, I've never felt particularly Chinese, but neither am I completely Westernised, not that this dissonance, to borrow a metaphor from perfumery, ever bother me--until a recent holiday to Shanghai and Beijing. The way the Chinese people there behave, the way they live, are so foreign to me I might as well be a Westerner. Except I'm not. The strange thing was I suddenly felt, as I never did before, the roots I had to that unfamiliar land, roots which pre-date the Cultural Revolution, an evil which changed the Chinese people and what it meant to be Chinese irrevocably. And then I remember those Chinese arthouse films that inspired my trip in the first place, and then not just Chinese ones but those from all corners of the world, Iran, Belgium, Japan, Indonesia, etc, and simplicity of their truth: that what matters is not all these superficial differences, that what moves us in the end is what we had in common. Our humanity.


  85. My main culture clash these days is with my 21-year old son.
    He is bright and aware. And,yet, I am at times astounded by what is 'normal' in his life. Thankfully, we talk and he still listens to me. Well, we talk--but there is plenty that he does not tell me which is a good thing. I just want him safe and happy. Mother's mantra.

    This scent sounds intoxicating.
    Thank you for the drawing.

  86. IMO nowdays culture clash is slowly disappearing- people are travelling more and more frequently, media and internet show the world in whole different perspective. Even in my family I have Christian, Buddhist and Muslim people and we get along really well- the only clash is regarding food, I think :-)

  87. Culture clashes? Is that like when Guerlain tries to inject a harsh iris note over what would otherwise be a creamy chocolate gourmand base?

    Oops, that would be couture clash, my mistake.

  88. I want to say a positive thing that I think we do have less clashes than before. I think we really did learn to appreciate each other more. We are getting better.


  89. I'm from Central Europe, from a relatively poor country with messy politics and miserable people. I moved to Norway hoping for a better life and at the very beginning I do experienced the culture clash. Living here is deliberating but intimidating at the same time. Norway gives the same rights to every immigrant as the native Norwegians have, but they are defining being a Norwegian with strict standards. They think alike, they look a like, and though the country is full of immigrants, I will never feel being part of the society, I guess. In the end, I ended up with bonding my social ties with other immigrants, I hardly have any Norwegian friends at all.

  90. Couldn't you have asked an easier question? :)
    I hate intolerance and that is the basis I believe of culture clashes (or any other clash for that matter).
    So, basically while intolerance is taught and promoted, culture clashes will happen.
    What I'd like to know is if there is a way to turn the tide the other way?

  91. I'm a liberal living in Texas (so that right there) who grew up in the Ozarks raised by Yankees and after grad school moved to NYC. The differences in how people view the world can vary a dizzying amount even within the same country. Right now, Austin, where I live, is suffering from it's annual two-week culture clash, a.k.a. SXSW; when this lovely, laid-back city is overrun by hipsters and celebrities and entertainment industry types whose measures of what is polite and what is important are often pretty radically different from ours.

  92. Culture clash happens when there is an incompatibility. I deal with it daily, in the country I live in. Even when minor cultures are incompatible between two people, when the influential culture is tolerance things are ok. The same person who can be a nuisance in his own country can be a good and tolerant neighbor in another.

    I am more hopeful for the future though, as culture becomes less and less dependent on the circumstances a person is born into, and as it becomes more personal. Diversity is good, as long as we all agree that it is.

  93. These comments are just too awesome. There's no way I can reach the bar; it's way high.

    I just love the daily culture clashes I get from within the interior of my vehcile. My job takes me across three national borders every 36 hours. I need to watch my hand gestures, know what I'm sayin?

  94. Omg, I really want to win a bottle of Amourage Library VI. Well, one culture clash that I come across every now and then is the way people think about perfume. I live in Sweden where lots of people are perfume-phobics. On the other hand I have a South American friend of a friend that wouldn't go out without at least 5 sprays of perfume. He annoyd the hell out of a lot of people and didn't have a clue why, until we told him.

  95. As a DJ, culture clash happens all the time. A club often has a music policy or theme that they follow which is based on the core crowd and the styles they like. Oftentimes people request stuff that doesn't fit and when I explain (or offer other suggestions), I am met with angry or aggressive responses. Just as you would not walk into a French restaurant and order a pizza, why would you go into a house club and expect hip hop?

  96. Many of the comments I've read discuss the culture clash that's encountered when you move someplace different. My first real experience with culture clash happened without moving, in a university class. The course was Native American lit, the first time it was offered at my university, with a class that was about half Caucasion, half Native, and a prof that was Caucasian. The class was quite the powderkeg for a while, you could feel the tension just below the surface.

    The Native students were very upset that when they finally had a course on their literature the prof was white. The white students were upset and confused because the were told they were critiquing the texts in a way that they weren't meant to be read (and the one Philipino student was unused to being called racist). Eventually, things settled down, but it was a rough ride for a while.

    Personally, that class was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I'd always been the racial majority and that class made me confront assumptions I'd never examined. I discovered that it's not fun to be stereotyped, that there's more than one way to examine literature, that I'd been blind to the problems of a minority I'd always lived beside and never really seen. It was a difficult, extremely rewarding experience.

  97. I don't have any big special stories about culture clashes, just the usual observation that even in this global age people can be surprisingly ignorant and intolerant... On a personal level: moving to study in the capital of Finland (still a small city on a global scale) from a small municipality in the northern part of the country was one of the biggest cultural changes in my life. And more recently, a relationship with someone who's working within the field of fine arts, as I'm in the field of medical science. But that hasn't really been a clash... more of an interesting and fun learning experience for both of us (and our friends)!

    Thanks to you and Amouage for this draw, fingers extra-crossed! This amber sounds fab. Thanks for the review and thanks to all the commenters for their stories!

  98. we're getting a bit better at accepting different cultures but i think in the depth of our heart we're still very intolerant and ignorant about others.there is a coldness and indifference towards others in the modern world which i find absolutely scary. we grow more and more alienated each day.
    thank you for this wonderful draw!every little drop of beauty helps!

  99. What a wonderful contest, thank you!

    I live in Vancouver BC and culture clash is alive and kicking in our proudly multicultural milieu. Racism is apparent but is difficult to address in a meaningful way. Sometimes valid criticism of a group (not a race) is disarmed by cries of racism. Sometimes real xenophobia is invisible and entrenched.

    I dont mean to be a 'Debbie Downer' but this is what culture clash conjours up for me. At least its a living discourse here!

    Many thanks, Nadia

  100. Being of multi cultural descent,of mostly asian appearance, having lived a chaotic life of constant travel and in two distinct western countries, culture clash is my middle name!
    It is amazing how ignorant people can be even though it is the 21st century. 41 years of mistaken identity has gotten a little tedious.
    I am not related to Bruce Lee or Jet Li nor I am black belt in Karate or Tae Kwon Do. I am not from Korea, Mongolia, China, Hawaii or Fiji .And yes, I speak english - The Queen's English actually. Ah yes, I am also not an exotic flower......
    I have been asked all these things in my lifetime .

  101. Love the draw and so many comments.
    Culture clash: my Eastern European habit of walking a lot, observing and sniffing and the all American excessive use of cars.

  102. Wow. What a draw!! Amouage is very generous to offer this up to your readers.

    On the subject of culture clashes: I recall my first experience at age 9. I am a first-generation American, and my grandmother took me to visit family in Denmark. The trip changed me because of so many culture clashes (children drank beer, the families often lived in rental apartments instead of owner-occupied houses as commonly found in the US, adults primarily used public transportation in the city and didn't own cars)--- but the main thing I recall was that Denmark had RED M&Ms.

    Remember 20+ years ago, when we didn't have red M&Ms in the US, because of some issue with the dye being suspected of being poisonous?

    While on my trip to Denmark, I recall opening the bag of M&Ms and seeing a red one. It's a visual memory: the color of the bus seats, my small hand, the yellow wrapper for the peanut M&Ms with the brown font, the torn corner of the bag, the green-yelllow-brown normal M&Ms... and then the RED M&M next to them in my hand.

    My grandmother explained that in the US, we didn't have them because red dye was poisonous.

    From the way she explained it, I thought that she meant that in Denmark, they ate poisoned candy.

    It was a misguided culture shock: I walked away thinking that in other countries, they were okay with poisoning children (and that US laws were supposed to protect us from harm). I'm sure a lot of things that are shocking about other cultures are simply misunderstandings (or half truths) like this.

  103. Wow, I agree with Gator Grad: what a generous drawing!

    I grew up in the Keys, where everything is--for the most part--pretty laid back. Once I moved away for college I get a bit of the fast-paced life of the rat-race. While I can keep up now, the corporate culture is not my favorite, and I'd rather be asleep on a boat.

  104. The new Amouage scent sounds wonderful.

    As far as cultural clashes, I was raised in a pretty open household with a spirit of mutual respect for others. When I was 6, my family moved to Louisiana in the USA. It was very different than my previous years in California and Montana. Louisiana still had residual emotions and tensions from racial segregation that I had never been exposed to. One day in particular stands out when we were out with my mom and we drove past a group of Klu Klux Klan members on a busy intersection stepping out into traffic trying to hand out very hateful literature promoting prejudice and inequality. They were doing this across the road from church group that was predominately african-american that was holding a car wash to raise funds for their organization. We were all just in shock, appalled by such intolerance and hate. It was so different from anything we had experienced. I have to say I am to this day extremely proud of my mom's response to this experience. She drove us right across the street to the carwash to show her support for the group and opposition to racial intolerance.

  105. This certainly does sound like an interesting perfume. I love amber, but it can get same-y, so a new take on it is welcome.

    I thought I'd experienced a culture clash the first time I visited the US in the 90's. They seemed to do everything differently, despite our common language.
    But that clash was nothing - a mere sprat! For the real thing, I had to visit India. I've been there twice now, and I still can't decide if I love it or loath it. Both I suppose. Parts offend me hugely, parts are admirable. The whole is so disconcerting, I want to go back, and yet I don't.

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  107. Thinking about what to say about cultural clashes, I remembered my journey to Morocco last year. As I am from Europe and was visiting arabic country for the first time, so I was impressed of their ability to make money from everything, was very interesting to negotiate and to see differences how other people negotiates. There I also saw some cultural clashes between tourists from eastern and western Europe: people from western Europe paid 2-3 times higher prices for the same goods that people from eastern and middle Europe.

    Please enter me to the draw.

  108. What a lovely giveaway and a very intriguing question as well. I don't remember experiencing any bigger culture clashes (perhaps only when I visited Tunisia - I knew it was expected for women to cover-up a bit more but at the same time I couldn't shake the feeling that all the salesmen, waiters etc. were just very pushy towards women tourists) but I often notice that even in such a small country as Slovenia which is where I live there are often some differences between different areas of the country which is probably at least a little bit influenced by the neighbouring countries (for example Austria vs. Italy).

  109. Culture clashes are quite apparent to me - as I experience them in my own family.

    When that culture and up bringing seems so bizarre and alien to me - there was only a few things that were still on level ground - one being the smell of a Jasmine perfume.

    The other being Desperate Housewives.

    Also congratulations on the FT article, to be listed with such influential people was a great recognition for you :)

  110. I think that no country is immune from culture clashes. Although a new world nation like many others, New Zealand has luckily not had as many problems. NZ was founded as a partnership between two cultures, the Māori and the British. In the past there were a series of wars and the government is still in the process of righting some of the wrongs that occurred, but overall NZ is now a peaceful place where differences in culture are celebrated.

  111. Thanks for the draw.

    I'm worried about the culture clash that the arrival of an Amouage bottle would bring to my wardrobe. The Amouage aristocrat may feel out of place among the commoners; the commoners may envy the new arrival.

    But I'll gladly risk the peace for a chance of winning this.

  112. I"m enjoying all of the comments on culture clashes related to living environments, and they are reminding me of that outsider feeling I've had the few times I made big moves cross country. But I can't stop thinking of the idea past and future as culture clashes (or tensions) on their own--an idea in you suggested in the description of the fragrance as one that recalls the past (in amber), but carries a sense of the future. I'm intrigued by this tension between past and future, and convinced my love of perfume is connected to it.

  113. Christopher Chong was right to resist the amber note for so long. I find the category of "Oriental" as a note to be troubling. It's a vestige of a colonial way of thinking about the world that is passé. I am Asian American; I am not Oriental because the word was always used by Western Europeans (i.e. imperialists) to denigrate the cultures of the Mid and Far East. So many clichés get bandied about in the perfume world that I think a re-evaluation of language and culture is overdue.

  114. I have experienced culture clash twice so far: Once when East and West Germany reunited I came from the socialist east to the capitalist west. The differences can still be felt - more than 20 years after.
    The second time when I moved to the US. Throughout the last 10 years I have adapted, so much so that my own mother calls me out on being prude when I note that some of the TV commercials in Europe are pretty revealing...

  115. I would LOVE to discover Amouage scents!

    Most of times culture clashes are fun and open people's mind.

  116. I'd love to be entered in the draw!. I am not sure if I have been involved in a culture clash per se..but yes- I have seen people from multiple cultures interact in interesting ways..Many 'clashes' seem to be

  117. *** THE DRAW IS NOW CLOSED ***

    The winners will be announced on tomorrow morning.

    Many thanks for all your entries.


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