There are a small number of perfume houses that I would consider to have me completely hooked. By this I mean that I adore most of their output so far and will always pay attention to anything new they release. Houses such as this – Thierry Mugler, Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Etat Libre d’Orange to name a few – always have a clear vision as to what makes a perfume one of theirs.
Amouage is one such house where each and every offering is a definite article that incorporates the strong ‘east meets west’ aesthetic that the brand was founded upon. With each year a new chapter in the Amouage story is unleashed and Creative Director Christopher Chong constantly pushes the boundaries of niche perfumery.
Last year Amouage launched a super-exclusive (and equally super-exclusively priced) rose perfume called Beloved. It seems that this year the house deemed it fit for it to be joined by a masculine counterpart. Beloved Man was created by perfumer Bernard Ellena and is a woody oriental that serves as “a nod to the 1980 movie Somewhere in Time.”
Orange, Grapefruit, Elemi, Geranium, Jasmine, Iris, Saffron, Cedarwood, Lignum Vitae, Leather, Patchouli, Vetiver and Musk
How Does it Smell?
To my nose the main body of Beloved Man seems to be contrast of a core of wood spice and an unusual soapy vetiver accord. An ensemble cast of assorted personas – iris (in a lilac coloured tone), cardamom and saffron – accent these two main players to give a more solid and full effect.
The base is decidedly more velvety with emphasis on leather and vanilla notes. There isn’t a great deal of sweetness rather a dry, plush feel that is pleasantly soft, almost too obviously so. There’s the faintest whiff of smoke lurking in the background to add depth in the final stages.
Beloved Man strikes me as a rather handsome easy-going masculine with an elegant edge. As with all things Amouage it is exceptionally well made, the quality and proportions of the ingredients are the usual gold standard, but when compared to such inventive compositions as 2012’s Interlude Man Beloved Man feels just a little bit too straight laced and lacking in the signature drama that Amouage is famous for.
A very well made and self-assured masculine that is lacking in wow factor for the price isn’t enough to get me breaking down the doors of the nearest Amouage boutique but Beloved Man is a worthy masculine, albeit a more traditional and understated one.
Beloved Man is available in 100ml Eau de Parfum for $425 at Amouage boutiques and select department stores.
PR Sample. Image 1 via cafleurebon.com. Image 2 via perfumeposse.com. Notes and quotes via nstperfume.com.