Twelve masculine scents from Oman’s royal perfume house.
Some weeks back, Portia Turbo and City Perfume ran a giveaway sweepstakes in Aussie Fragrance Network.
There were a few prizes, one of which was the men’s and women’s sample sets from Amouage.
I won the men’s one.
Which, naturally, meant that I would end up doing a writeup on it.
I was chuffed at this, because I was planning on buying the set a couple of months down the track regardless.
Instead, I got to experience it early!
Amouage is a house that I’d slowly been exploring over my own time, so getting ahold of this set was a great way to speed up that process.
The presentation is opulent, and the box reminded me somewhat of the famous Louis Vuitton allover print.
Inside, the ten small vials are secured in a bed of black foam, and covered with a black printed microfibre cloth. This cloth is a sure-fire dust attractant, and had accumulated several specks within seconds of opening the box!
The vials themselves are aesthetically pleasing, and unlike the Penhaligon’s sample set, they feature atomisers instead of being splash bottles.
This is a big win in my book, as I’m prone to spilling way too much juice from splash vials.
Quite a diverse range of olfactory pictures are painted within the Amouage sample set.
There are strong scents, and light ones.
Rustic scents, unmistakably niche scents, and some that could be mistaken for modern designer formulas.
I’ve listed them in the order that they appear in the sample set, which is not the order in which I tried them.
I would characterise Honour Man as a pepper bomb.
Even though pepper is only cited in the top notes, in the form of red and black pepper, the pepperiness persisted throughout the entire life of the fragrance for me.
Some resin, other spice (namely nutmeg) and woods complete the mix.
I found this one quite overbearing to begin with, but it settled into a decent skin scent.
Projection was average, thankfully, and the longevity was five to six hours on me.
I’ve previously given Interlude its own review. I love the scent, it’s a smoky, resinous, spicy and powerful creation.
Incense strongly characterises Interlude Man; the heart notes are rather oriental with amber and resins, the base is smoky and leathery.
It’s an unforgettable scent, and makes quite the statement.
The longevity and projection are both impressive. One spray will half-fill a room, and the staying power is such that I’ll apply it one morning and still detect it on my skin the next morning.
Definitely a full bottle worthy fragrance.
This one could have used a danger sign on it, because it is incredibly potent.
Projection is fierce from the beginning.
A single spritz was near headache-inducing, upon fresh application.
The scent is a resinous oriental, and to me, a heavy reminder of something from Parfums de Marly’s catalogue.
Herod, or Layton, or perhaps both.
Two fragrances I’m not a fan of.
Beloved doesn’t have the longevity of the PDM scents, topping out around six hours.
I liked Journey.
Pepper, tobacco, and what seemed to me like pine, despite it not being cited in the notes.
The vibe is very classic, but it doesn’t feel dated. It’s top heavy, not light enough to wear in summer, but surely has a distinctive character to it.
As the drydown progresses, the scent takes on a more leathery character.
Projection is strong at first, but tapers off before the scent becomes leathery.
The scent hangs around on the skin for quite some time, with the projection lasting around two hours and the rest of the scent staying notable for a further six hours.
The first thing that stood out to me about Myths, when looking at the Fragrantica page, was the incredibly ’80s colour scheme of the bottle. It looks like a neon sunset.
The muddle of colours is an apt representation of the scent itself.
It seemed to me like a haphazard spin-off of Interlude Man. Very ashy, smoky and leathery.
Which I liked, but I also can’t ignore that the blend is harsh.
A scent comprised mostly of resins, woods, smoke, leather and booze can easily become an olfactory blur, which is what this one did on me.
Projection was impressive, and longevity was around the ten hour mark.
I’ll enjoy wearing the rest of my sample, but I wouldn’t be buying a bottle.
I quite liked this one. Very woody and earthy to my nose.
A resinous base, woods and leather in the heart.
This was animalic, too, and would possibly be one of the more challenging wears for people coming from the designer realm.
It’s a fairly tame animalic, though, and I enjoyed wearing it.
Nowhere near the strength of animalic that I got from Chanel Le Lion, and definitely not enough to raise the eyebrows of your peers.
Expect eight to ten hours of performance, and moderate to good projection.
It isn’t exciting enough to warrant a bottle, in my view.
Gold Man was the most challenging wear of the entire set.
It’s very powdery, and mature. Somewhat like an old folks’ home.
Somebody on AFN described this scent as being like nappies.
That made me giggle, and I definitely see the parallels there.
Wear with caution; this scent projected heavily on me and the longevity was impressive to boot.
When I sprayed this, I noted correlations between the overall character of this, and the original formula of Jean Paul Gaultier’s ‘Le Male’.
This was a good thing.
I think Reflection Man does a much better job of it today, than the current formulation of Le Male does.
Reflection also feels classier, less sticky and cloying than JPG.
The opening is cool and bright, and I find the scent fairly linear between the heart and the base.
Performance is good, with up to ten hours, while projection is moderate, allowing you to up the ante with multiple sprays.
I’d call this one a safe blind buy.
I saw a number of complaints calling Dia Man an old men’s scent, and saying it’s a challenging wear because it’s too mature.
I call bullshit.
Dia Man is a woody spicy scent with a lovely freshness to it. Not in the way that Dior Homme 2020‘s woodiness has a freshness, but rather in the way that Penhaligon’s Sartorial does.
Which comes as no surprise, seeing that both Sartorial and Dia Man were created by Bertrand Duchaufour.
There’s a bit of incense in this scent, an ingredient that I think characterises Amouage in general, but it’s only present in the opening of this scent.
A good way to pay homage to the house’s style, without colouring the overall character.
I found Dia to be an easy wear, with subtle projection and around eight hours of performance.
Dia is bottle worthy, in my opinion.
Lyric Man was, well, boring.
I really can’t put it any other way.
The character was textbook designer; pleasing without being daring, while being well blended.
However, all the blend does is highlight how there’s no excitement to this scent.
It doesn’t have any Amouage colour or character to it.
Projection was moderate on my skin, and the scent had disappeared within five hours.
An entirely unremarkable experience.
My notes on this one simply read ‘good, but not exciting’.
By this stage, I’d come to expect daring and powerful scents from Amouage.
In contrast to Lyric Man, Epic Man is much better. It does have character.
It’s much more fun to wear than Lyric.
However, it’s still very safe.
And I don’t usually associate Amouage with safe.
The scent itself is a woody oriental, oriental being perhaps my favourite style of scent.
It has a spicy opening, before giving way to a heart and base of decidedly exotic ingredients.
Myrrh, incense, leather, patchouli and a touch of oud.
At least this one is decidedly on-brand. It would be a good safe entry point to the Amouage house, I think.
I liked Memoir Man. While a touch top heavy, overall it’s a solid woody fougere.
Classic textbook masculine scent, with the Amouage touch.
Wormwood, mint, rose, frankincense, amber, oakmoss and tobacco are a few of the ingredients I noted.
A unique take on the fougere category, it’s quite fleeting at four to five hours’ performance but I savoured every moment.
Projection is good, too.
It’d be foolish to expect any brand’s catalogue to consist entirely of smash hits.
Any house with more than ten scents is going to have at least one dud.
Amouage is no different.
That being said, this sample set is one of the better ones I’ve seen.
It’s well presented, the samples are ample (2mL each) and the variety is excellent.
There’s something for everyone in this sample set.
If I had bought this at retail, I’d have been pleased.
This sample set represents a great way to familiarise with the Amouage range, without having to make several trips to a department store.
I’m glad to have had the chance to explore it.