Where to start? Part 3 (Entry level luxury)

One of the key components to the word “niche” is availability. Both Amouage and Chanel, although “niche” in the traditional sense, veer slightly towards commercial territory, since they’re both quite readily available internationally at most major department stores.

I also acknowledge that technically Chanel is a “designer” house, but their Les Exclusif range constitutes as niche in my book*

Amouage- Jubilation XXV

Notes: frankincense, labdanum ciste, coriander, davana, blackberry, orange, gaicwood, rose, honey, bay, orchid, cinnamon, clove, celery seed, opoponox, patchouli, myrrh, musk, moss, atlas cedarwood, ambergris, oud, immortelle.

The very definition of lavish luxury and opulent decadence in a fragrance full stop. No expense (or ingredient) was spared in this rich, complex fruity/oud/incense Arabian nights bazaar extravaganza.  May be too affluent and flamboyant to pull off for many, but well worth experiencing. At the core is Amouage’s trademark frankincense belonging to the Sultanate of Oman, which shimmers regally with an ashen smouldering warmth.

Rating: 9/10

Amouage- Memoir Man

Notes: absinth, wormwood, basil, mint, rose, frankincense, lavender absolute, sandalwood, vetiver, guaicwood, amber, vanilla, musk, oakmoss, leather, tobacco.

A dark enigmatic fragrance, brooding, deceptively multifaceted and complex. A sweet bedrock blend of vanilla sweetened woody leather on Amouage’s trademark Omani incense. Coupled with a solid breeze of minty wormwood and basil, although not a gourmand, the top notes are simply delectable in a twisted sense. Recommended!

Rating: 9/10

Chanel- Coromandel

Notes: bitter orange, iris, neroli, jasmine, frankincense, patchouli, amber, benzoin, musk, vanilla

A voluptuous Oriental fragrance — an olfactory depiction of the lacquered Coromandel screens Mademoiselle Coco Chanel cherished. Created by Chanel Master Perfumer Jacques Polge in 2007, the elaborate scent unfolds in undulating detail, starting with an amber vibrato, followed by dry notes of Frankincense and Benzoin. Soulful woody notes finally add elegance and depth to the sensuous accord’s striking trail. Rich, complex and slightly boozy/medicinal and the almost unthinkable, a regal take on patchouli, smooth and elegant without the musty hippie associations, a clever and sophisticated contrast.

Rating: 8/10

Chanel- Sycomore

Notes: vetiver, sandalwood, cypress, juniper, pink berries

A rich-wood fragrance with a noble character — like the Sycomore tree that inspired it — created by Chanel Master Perfumer Jacques Polge in 2008. Elegant and dignified almost to a fault, this is a whimsical sumptuous blend of smokey vetiver on a bed of rich sandalwood and incense, for an earthy, warm and enveloping, yet subtle presence. Much more than the simple sum of its parts, this one is simply remarkable and mandatory testing.

Rating: 9.5/10