When Aramis released their commendable Perfume Calligraphy, I saw the move as an attempt to corner the Arabic sector of the chest-beating, alpha-male, testosterone-fuelled territory the brand has long claimed as its own. So I was quite taken aback when I first tried this new follow-up to the scent. For a composition made by such a manly brand, Perfume Calligraphy Rose is shockingly feminine, a sort of cross between the girly hues of Gorilla Perfume's Imogen Rose and Amouage's Lyric Man. Soft, powdery and, as its name would suggest, almost completely rosy, it marks a welcome attempt to offer guys a composition that isn't a mind-numbing re-hash of the woody, ambery, citrus accords prominent in far too many current masculines. There is a quiet, animalic leather lurking in the background, and the spices bolstering the central floral accord are by no means inconspicuous, but in the main, this is rose all the way, unfurling its charm with the sort of unostentatious confidence younger men now display when they hug each other in public. Well worth embracing!
[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Aramis in 2013.]