“There’s just something about the glamour and luxury of wearing great big flowers that takes away the grey humdrum of everyday life.”
I’m always keen to see what Amouage is up to, they are a brand with incredible cohesion, yet each release is new, surprising and exciting. Amouage’s creative director Christopher Chong has gone a long way to give the brand an international aesthetic, drawing inspiration from Puccini, Swan Lake and the Silk Road (to name but a few) to create perfumes that transcend culture and location.
This year has been a good year for Amouage releases, March saw the release of the latest edition to the Library Collection with the orgasmically good amber Opus VI, and now, preceding the launch of Amouage’s annual masculine and feminine duo later this year, the house has launched a new feminine perfume exclusive to a small number of high-end department stores. A perfume that has been bestowed with the named ‘Beloved’.
Beloved is an unusual launch for Amouage because it stands alone without a masculine counterpart and it joins Ubar as one of the only fragrances in the line to do so. It has been created to represent the modern woman so it stands to reason that it doesn’t need a man to shine. Amouage says that “Beloved engages the elegance and complexity of the modern woman: strong, empowered, animated, in control.”  and to me it feels like a contemporary modern floral with a classic edge.
“Beloved engages the elegance and complexity of the modern woman: strong, empowered, animated, in control.”
Top: Jasmine, Rose, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Chamomile and Cardamom
Heart: Ylang-ylang, Violet, Everlasting Flower, Cistus, Benzoin, Olibanum and Patchouli
Base: Cedar, Sandalwood, Castoreum, Civet, Leather, Musk, Vanilla, Maltol and Amber 
How Does it Smell?
This may not be common knowledge but I am more than a bit partial to a showy floral, there’s just something about the glamour and luxury of wearing great big flowers that takes away from the grey humdrum of every day life. Beloved is exactly that – a big, showy floral and a thoroughly modern one to beat.
Beloved starts with a rose that takes no prisoners, it’s big, bold, beautiful and although I wouldn’t describe it as gourmand it is quite sweet and evocative of rose flavoured treats. This rose, like the modern woman it represents is complex, constructed of many intricacies it showcases facets of geranium, clove, spice and menthol giving the impression of a hyper-real rose, the kind of rose you imagine but rarely smell.
The rose softens as Beloved does her dance and with time it becomes clear that rose isn’t the star of the composition, in fact, as things progress Beloved becomes much more of an abstract bouquet of flowers than anything reminiscent of one flower. There are flashes of violet and sparks of jasmine hiding within the bouquet, each picking the perfect moment to release their floral beauty into the air.
As expected from Amouage the base is full of classic ingredients that have the weight and heft required to keep the florals in check. The base is quite similar to that of Amouage’s first fragrance Gold Woman, although it is decidedly less animalic and more refined, it has that golden, shimmering quality to it that softens the heavy musks, balsams and woods. It seems to find that perfect balance between rich and smooth.
The contrast of the bright florals and weighty base is incredibly effective and it’s this kind of contrast that ensures that Beloved harks back to the classic french style of perfumery whilst still smelling modern and ‘new’. Beloved is also very versatile, I can see it being a perfect evening fragrance but it also wouldn’t smell out of place in the office, its longevity is excellent but its sillage isn’t killer. Beloved seems to me to be a modern take on the big showy floral (such as Gold), is she as much of a diva? No. Is she a complete knockout? Hell yeah!
Beloved is available in 100ml Eau de Parfum for £270* and is exclusive to Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman, Tsum and Amouage Boutiques.
This review is based on a sample of Beloved provided by Amouage.
Image 1 etsy.com
Image 2 via @cchonguk on Twitter (cropped)
* Updated with price on 12 July 2012