Amouage Myths (Men)

Myths Man (left) and Woman (right). Source: Fragrantica.ru

Myths Man (left) and Woman (right). Source: Fragrantica.ru

Reviews often begin with some insightful, interesting, witty, or encapsulating sentence, but I can’t think of anything to start a discussion of Amouage‘s Myths for Men, perhaps because the scent leaves me feeling too apathetic to summarize it or to be eloquent. So I’ll just get straight to the basics. It’s an eau de parfum, it was inspired by surrealism, and its notes, according to Amouage, are:

Chrysanthemum, orris, rum, rose, vetiver, elemi, labdanum, ashes and leather.

La Toussaint, Emile Friant, via Wiki Commons.

La Toussaint, Emile Friant, via Wiki Commons.

Myths opens on my skin with a bouquet of chrysanthemum flowers coated with elemi, framed by green vetiver leaves, sprinkled with a few drops of rum and rose, then placed upon a bed of ashes. The elemi smells of dried tree sap with its characteristic odor of lemons, while the chrysanthemum is initially cool, watery, and quietly earthy. But its floralcy changes character within mere minutes, turning musty, smelling almost like earthy, dusty marigolds, or as though the flowers were dying. I find it to be a strange, confusing, almost disconcerting juxtaposition next to the sharp, intensely lemony aroma of the elemi, its yellow brightness so much the opposite of death and decay. Chrysanthemum is a flower that sometimes has funereal associations, particularly in France where it is actually a central part of La Toussaint, All Saints Day, when people buy it to take to cemeteries to honour the dead. While I’d previously never viewed chrysanthemums as “The Flower of Death,” here, in Myths Man, there is a unsettling funereal sense of decay, must, and fustiness about the bouquet, one that is further accentuated by the powerful ashes in Myths’ base.

Source: wikipedia.org

Source: wikipedia.org

Other notes add to the sense of earthen decay as well. The vetiver that smudges the chrysanthemum is rooty and laden with dampness. There is also the fleeting, elusive impression of musty lichen mosses and a sappy, green bitterness, as well as a stronger, more enduring touch of dusty earth derived from patchouli. None of those are on the note list but something in the opening of Myths Man feels like a nod to Myths Woman and parts of its base. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more to the note list than what we’ve been told because spicy, smoky patchouli (or some strong recreation thereof) becomes a core aspect of Myths’ drydown on my skin (which is the sole reason why I like it).

Despite the thin thematic thread connecting the two Myths in their earliest moments, and despite the shared chrysanthemum note, they’re extremely different scents. Myths Man doesn’t open with a clarion call of overwhelming floralcy but immensely lemony, dry woods enveloped in ashes and the musty dust of floral decay. Its core character as it develops is even further apart. To me, Myths Man is a woody fragrance above all else, from start to finish, reflecting different, sometimes incidental facers at various points, but it’s always some form of woodiness infused with smoke.

"Campfire Smoke" by Sizzla25 on Deviant Art. (Direct website link embedded within.)

“Campfire Smoke” by Sizzla25 on Deviant Art. (Direct website link embedded within.)

Even in the opening, every one of the top notes is imbued with woodiness on my skin, followed shortly thereafter by smokiness and dryness as well. As noted earlier, a few drops of rum are sprinkled on the chrysanthemums, but the note doesn’t smell rich, deeply liqueured, or like cognac-macerated fruits. Instead, it’s dry, woody, and thin in character, exactly like the rose. The latter is an insubstantial wisp that initially weaves around the edges and then, 10 minutes in, retreats to the background. Taking its place is a touch of caramel-scented sweetness, but it never comes across as anything properly, clearly ambered or warm. Myths is far too dry on me for that. Plus, other notes quickly overshadow and swallow it up. 15 minutes in, the iris appears, smelling rooty, damp, fusty, almost moldy, and with an undertone of wet, chewed-up cardboard. It’s followed by wave upon wave of wood-smoke, some of which smells excessively and synthetically arid. There is: charred guaiac; cade’s barbecue and campfire logs; birch and its tarry leather; and what I’d swear is cypriol (nagarmotha) with its dry, smoky, leathery, faux “oud,” and tobacco-ish facets.

Anselm Kiefer, "Wayland's Song," 1982, at saatchigallery.com

Anselm Kiefer, “Wayland’s Song,” 1982, at saatchigallery.com

The cumulative effect fundamentally changes Myths’ focus from what it had been a mere 15 or 20 minutes before. Gone is the lemon-drenched, elemi-chrysanthemum bouquet framed by vetiver. Now, it’s primarily a blend of smoky woods and smoky, slightly rubbery, slightly industrial-smelling, tarry leather, streaked with rooty vetiver, rooty (and moldy) iris, and a lick of caramelish amber at its edges, then placed atop a base of decaying, vegetal, green-flecked earthiness, before the whole thing is cocooned in a cloud of ashes, dust, mustiness, fustiness, and dead chrysanthemums. I can’t say I’m keen on it. Any of it.

I’m equally unenthused by the way Myths develops. When the first hour draws to a close and the second begins, many of the non-woody notes blur together, subsumed in an amorphous haze. It’s difficult to pull out the elemi, the vetiver, the amber, the iris, or the chrysanthemums. Glimmers pop out, but I find they tend to smell of their side-effects or by-products, if that makes any sense, rather than a distinct, clearly delineated, solid note of, say, chrysanthemums. The only thing that’s clear to me is that the rum and rose have completely vanished, while the core bouquet seems dominated mostly by birch tar leather, barbecue campfire cade, wood ash, and blackened wood smoke. As the latter grows stronger and increasingly raspy, the dry-sweet balance of the first hour ends, and Myths heads fully into bone-dry territory that is far too overtly synthetic for my tastes.

Photo: my own.

Photo: my own.

More to the point, I find it uninteresting, unremarkable, and boring. There are a lot of fragrances centered on leathery woods with smoke, and the addition of musty or rooty elements (whether iris or vetiver) isn’t enough to make Myths stand out, particularly not when they’re so indeterminate and amorphous. To me, it feels as though there were 15 minutes of top notes, 30-45 minutes of a middle layer, and then Myths skipped directly to its base. The woods may have various nuances like smokiness, leatheriness, dryness, woody roots, earthiness, or even an occasional, fleeting BBQ meat aspect, but they’re variations on the same woody theme and mere nuances. Plus, many of them don’t last. At the 90-minute mark, Myths devolves even further as all lingering traces of rootiness, ashes, earthiness, greenness, nebulous caramel-scented amber, and decayed, musty flowers disappear, leaving nothing more than smoky, leathery, blackened woods.

The accord seems to sit there on my skin, existing, just… there, a mere base presented as a full fragrance. That’s probably may be why I thought of Le Labo whenever I got to this point in my tests, as I wondered “Now what? Is this all there is?” It’s not the sort of question I would have ever asked when testing an Amouage fragrance of old. They abounded with complexity, layers of richness, and often a shape-shifting character as well. (See, e.g., Interlude Man.)

Photo: my own.

Photo: my own.

Thankfully, Myths improves, although it takes about 4 hours for the scent to turn into something more appealing — simple though it continues to be — and it’s due entirely to the ameliorating, harmonizing effects of the orris. The first hint of what is to come appears roughly 2 hours into Myths’ evolution, when the orris begins to expand, adding a breath of woody floralcy and a sliver of creaminess in the background. It’s elusive at first, but slowly, incrementally, inch by inch, the orris takes on a suede-like quality that works nicely with the dry, roughened leather, in addition to softening the raspiness of the wood-smoke. The result isn’t an iris woody fragrance so much as it’s a smoky, leathery cade woods infused with the thinnest sliver of vaguely suede-like creaminess.

By the time Myths’ next phase begins at the start of the 5th hour, the orris has fully transformed the scent, taming the unremitting, preternaturally synthetic dryness in the wood-smoke and leather, and resulting in a bouquet that finally feels balanced with equal parts smoke, leather, moderately singed woods, orris suede, dryness, and a lick of minimally sweetened, ambered warmth. It’s nice, although it’s so soft that it almost verges on a skin scent at the 4.25 hour mark and I have to bring my nose right onto my arm to detect it. If I don’t, there is only a thin vapor of woody smoke that extends a bare millimeter or two in the air around my arm.

My favourite part of Myths is the drydown which I find to be genuinely lovely, and it’s solely because the fragrance drops much of what came before and turns into a deeply resinous, spicy, smoky, woody bouquet that basically smells identical to patchouli on my skin. In fact, I’m convinced there is actual patchouli in Myths Man just like there is in Myths Woman. (The latter’s note list similarly omits a noticeable element; to wit, in that case, chrysanthemum.) But even if the “patchouli” impression is a mere olfactory mirror and by-product of the other notes, it’s so overwhelming to me that I’m just going to write as though it were actually a part of the scent.

Photo: my own.

Photo: my own.

The bottom line is that Myths’ drydown is wonderful, thanks to a red-gold profusion of richly spiced, woody patchouli layered with quietly smoky resins and labdanum amber. It’s a mix whose overall feel or aesthetic has little in common with any of Myth’s earlier stages other than the mere existence of woodiness and a residual streak of smoke. (If you sensed a silent “Thank God” in there, you wouldn’t be mistaken.) It all starts to take shape in the 6th hour when a series of new elements arrive on the scene: cinnamony resins (Tolu balsam?) and benzoin slathered over a heaping layer of equally spicy, but also woody and quietly smoky patchouli. Rich labdanum amber follows suit, feeling cut with an additional dose of benzoin as well. Together, they lay siege to the wood-smoke, leathery woods, and soft orris suede, initially lapping at their edges, but growing stronger and stronger as time passes, particularly the patchouli.

Photo: Mandana (on and off) on Flickr. (Direct website link embedded within.)

Photo: “Mandana (on and off)” on Flickr. (Direct website link embedded within.)

By the middle of the 8th hour, it feels as though 70% of Myths’ bouquet consists of spicy, quietly smoky, woody patchouli, with the remainder consisting of a hazy blend of spicy resins, singed woods, minimally sweetened labdanum amber, and a touch of creamy plushness. Once in a while, the patchouli emits a whisper of booziness in the background, but there is nothing green, camphorous, oily, earthy, dirty, dusty, or musty about it, and certainly nothing evoking 1970s headshop hippies. It’s a clean, very smooth, modern patchouli instead, given richness and depth from the accompanying notes.

And that’s really it for Myths’ drydown. As the hours pass, there is nothing more than wonderfully cozy, soft, sometimes plush, woody, spicy, and ambered goldenness. It coats the skin like a wisp, imperceptible unless I put my nose right on my arm but hanging on nonetheless. In total, Myths consistently lasted over 10 hours on my skin, typically 14-15 hours with several smears equal to 2 sprays from a bottle, but between 10.5 and 11.5 hours with the equivalent of 1 spray.

Myths’ projection and sillage tended towards the softer side on my skin. Using several smears equal to 2 good sprays, the fragrance typically opened with 2.5 to 3 inches of projection, and about 5-6 inches of sillage. It felt very lightweight, soft, thin in body, though strong in scent up close. After 90 minutes, the projection was 1 to 1.5 inches, while the sillage was dropped to about 3 inches, at best. About 2.75 hours, Myths hovered about 0.5 inches in projection, and the sillage was close to the body unless I moved my arms. As noted earlier, it almost verged a skin scent after 4.25 hours, and I had to put my nose right on my arm to detect anything beyond the tiny trail of wood smoke or smoky woods that extended a mere millimeter or so. It became a true skin scent on me after 5.5 hours, but it definitely clung on tenaciously. One thing I should add is that Myths feels like one of those fragrances where the sillage would be greater if you applied a lot, particularly via spray since aerosolisation adds to a fragrance’s reach. Synthetics can have a similar effect at a larger dosage, and the wood-smoke, ashes, and woody-leather dryness definitely bear a synthetic feel or quality to them at times.

Myths Man has received mixed reviews thus far. On Fragrantica, comments are all over the place and people’s experiences share commonalities only in the smallest of details. For example: several people experienced leatheriness; two people thought the opening skewed purple (purple ash or purple flowers); two people mentioned ashes in general (either woody, incense-like, or cigarette-like); and, finally, two people thought Myths had similarities to Dior Homme. If I squint, I can see the latter connection, at least for a brief time during the third hour because of the iris-woody accord. I’ll let you read the reviews for yourself if you’re interested. I’ll move on, though I want to first thank “Originaldeftom” for making me laugh at his summation of Myths in the final line of his review: “Truly confusing and mystifying.”

Source: 123rf.com

Source: 123rf.com

On Myths’ Basenotes page, there is only one review at the time of this posting, and it is a positive one from “GimmeGreen.” It’s nicely detailed but long, so I’ll share the key descriptions and let you read the rest for yourself later:

The opening volley of ash and smoke is so strong it had me coughing at first try – but, despite that, it was apparent that a full-bodied and properly thought through composition was looming through it. Myths goes for bold brush strokes which somehow combine to form a picture that is not garish in the least but, contradictorily, quite refined.
That ash accord, veering more towards the remains of a cigarette or charcoal rather than joss stick, is so upfront and in your face, it’s as if it is daring you to dislike it – it is present right to the very end. And dislike it I would were it not for the ingenious way it is stitched together with the other notes.

Source: gemini.edu

Source: gemini.edu

[¶] First, there is the desolate wail of the chrysanthemum, a chilly and deathlike fragrance, which damps it down a bit before receding into the mix. Then, a strong factory-fresh leather note which accounts for much of the vigour of this creation. But the backbone of this perfume are the resins – smoky, complex labdanum which harmonizes with all the other elements while laying down the Amouage incense marker (a note of tradition in this quite untraditional perfume), and elemi, more high pitched, and with lemony, turpentine accents. For a short while it feels like the latter has been a touch overdone, but my nose adjusts to it quickly. […][¶]

What I find the oddest thing about this perfume is that it appears to create such a sensation of speed with quite funereal elements. […][¶] After about 8 hours the projection drops considerably and we’re left with a more straightforward ash and incense affair.

The “desolate wail of the chrysanthemum” made me smile but I fully agree with him about the “funereal” aspect of Myths’ opening, and it’s one of the things that I think may be off-putting to some people, particularly in conjunction with prominence of the ashes. While the latter didn’t last as long on me as it did on him, at least as actual ashes, its arguably related aspect of wood smoke certainly did. To me, that was the “high pitched” part of Myths, not the elemi, and I didn’t enjoy how it much it dried out the woods and the leather, but I’m sure skin chemistry plays a role in all this.

At the end of the day, I thought Myths was okay. It had pluses and minuses. It’s a better scent than Amouage’s last men’s fragrance, Sunshine Man, with its bizarre, strangely neon, candied aromatics. And I loved Myth’s drydown with its wonderful “patchouli” and resinous goldenness. On the other hand, I’d rather not think of death, funerals, and moldering decay when wearing a fragrance, even if the thoughts are limited to the opening hour. I wear perfume to be uplifted, not depressed. But I really don’t want to think of death when wearing something that costs $265/€220 for the smallest size. It’s one of the many reasons why Myths is a pass for me.

You may well have completely different associations, though, so if you love woody or woody-leather fragrances, you should try Myths for yourself.

DETAILS:
Cost & Availability: Myths for Men is an eau de parfum that comes in two sizes. There is a 50 ml bottle for $265, €220, or £165. The 100 ml bottle is $310, £265, or €195. In the U.S.: Luckyscent and Twisted Lily have Myths Man, sell samples, and ship worldwide. OsswaldNYC should get it soon, so I’ve linked to its Amouage section for you to use later. Outside the U.S.: In Canada, you can find Myths at Etiket. For all parts of the world, you can order it directly from Amouage. (Shipping is from the UK.) Choose your location at the top of the page to find the price for your region. Harrods doesn’t have Myths at the time of this post, but should get it soon. On the continent, Myths is already at ParfuMaria and Italy’s Neos1911First in Fragrance will get the fragrance on June 30th, but offers a pre-order option now. Essenza NobileJovoy, and Premiere Avenue carry Amouage, but they do not have Myths listed on their websites at the time of this review. The links go to their general Amouage pages for you to use later. Myths should also be at other Amouage niche retailers, and all the high-end department stores that typically carry the line. Samples: A number of the sites above sell samples. Surrender to Chance sells Myths Man starting at $3.99 for a 1/2 ml vial.

14 thoughts on “Amouage Myths (Men)

  1. There’s no way I could analyze it like you, Kafka, but I agree: perhaps better than Sunshine Man, but not by much. I think both fragrances are far from the level of Amouage’s best masculines (in my book, those are Epic Man and Jubilation XXV, followed by Opus II and Memoir Man).

    • Heh, what was Sunshine Man like on your skin? And what was Myths Man? Surely it can’t be *only* a hair better than Sunshine’s garish, neon opening of saccharine-encrusted aromatics, gin, candied fruits, Pez, and bubblegum aromas? I’m shuddering merely remembering it.

  2. Ah, I’m both sad that yet another Amouage is simply okay and glad that it’s nothing I simply MUST try.

    I doubt I would have read the Basenotes review, so thanks for sharing GimmeGreen’s “desolute wail of the chrysanthemum.” I’m enchanted by that image – it’s something straight out of a post-apocalytic landscape. Now, if this fragrance approached THAT, well, it might be worthy of the word “myths.”

    • The “desolate wail” of the chrysanthemum was wonderful!! An evocative, almost lyrical description that was also very funny. (I smile each time I read it.) Definite kudos to “GimmeGreen” for his lovely turn of phrase.

  3. “You may well have different associations though…” This was indeed the case for me, I think for two reasons. Firstly, my skin does not seem to accentuate the ashy, smoky or woody aspects of the fragrance. Secondly, I do not have any first-hand experience of chrysanthemum (and so no association with funerals). However, the opening hour does leave me with an inescapable (and unfortunate) mental association with bathrooms and disinfectant, because of the way the lemony quality of the elemi interacts with the floral notes. It’s a very powerful association for me. However, once that phase disappears, like you, I love the drydown. On my skin, it just gets better and better, and could become quite addictive for me, like the drydown of “Fate for Men.” In fact, it might even be BETTER than the Fate drydown, which is really saying something!

    • First, welcome to the blog, Kyle. Second, thank you for sharing your experiences, particularly in such detail. (As you may have gathered, I love details and specifics. lol) The role of scent associations is funny, isn’t it? I’ve heard from some Aussie and NZ readers that their most commonly used or old-school cleaning products (especially those used as disinfectants in roadside lavatories) all have an intensely lemony aroma. Like visuals of blinding bright yellow, and sometimes having a rather medicinal aroma underneath the citrus.

      Given that, I’m not at all surprised that you recoiled a little from the “inescapable (and unfortunate)” associations that came to mind when you smelt Myths opening. What are you going to do, given how much you love the drydown? Or perhaps I should first ask, how long does it take for that drydown to kick in on your skin? Can you will yourself past that bathroom disinfectant association or any concern that others may smell you the same way? (Not that I think it matters what anyone else may think if *I* love a scent, or that you care either, but I do know a number of people tend to place a high premium of how a scent may come across to others, particularly if they have jobs that involve a lot of interaction with people.) Do you think you’ll buy a bottle purely for that drydown and how addictive you find it?

      • Thank you! It’s great to be participating, after lurking for so long! 🙂

        Yes – it’s incredible how scent seems to travel to deep centres of the brain, triggering powerful subconscious responses and memories, transporting us back to childhood experiences, within seconds. Like your other Antipodean readers, I recall all of those intensely lemony cleaning products used in public restrooms. Myths Man undoubtedly sends me there! What I don’t yet understand, is the creative and conceptual decision behind the elemi/floral combination. It certainly creates a peculiar effect, and something I shall ponder on further…

        The drydown proper kicks in for me after about three hours (but I do need to do more testing). I think a bit like your experience, there is an amorphous, rather flat, neither here-nor-there phase between opening and drydown. During this period, I couldn’t work out what the fragrance was trying to do, what it was trying to say, or where it was going … but then again, it was inspired by surrealism! (Totally unlike, say, Journey Man, which was bold and decisive and always knew what it was about!!)

        I believe that I CAN will myself past the “difficult” opening, and also endure any (possibly) adverse responses from others – there was once a time, before being exposed to the upper realms of niche perfumery, that I could not have done that. Now, I want to be challenged and even provoked by a fragrance. In this way, for me, Myths is very similar to Fate for Men: the opening of that one I find quite confronting and “difficult” too, but the later stages are so rewarding. At the moment, Fate and Myths are vying with each other pretty much equally for priority in my purchasing list.

        (Basically, I divide Amouages into three categories: those I NEED to have – like Interlude Man – my first purchase; those I can happily live without – like Sunshine Man; and those in the middle – I know I want them at some point, it’s just a question of when, and in what order!)

        • I thought Fate Man’s opening was challenging and difficult as well. For me, it was the sharpness of the wormwood’s oud facet. I’m never very keen on wormwood when it skews more towards the oud side as opposed to the herbal, absinthe/Green Fairy liqueur side, but the one in Fate Man seemed particularly and unpleasantly abrasive to me. Very sharp, very dry, even very sharply smoky on occasion. You called Fate’s opening “confronting,” and I think it’s a good descriptor, at least in terms of how it appeared on my skin and to me because the quality of the wormwood’s “oud” did feel quite confrontational there.

          With Myths Man, it’s interesting how you also had that neither-here-neither-there phase. It’s a peculiar, unexpected stage, isn’t it? For the drydown, just out of curiosity, are you a big patchouli fan? I’m trying to learn a bit about your tastes beyond the issue of lemon disinfectants and cleaning products. 😉

          Side note: a big LOL at how you can HAPPILY live without Sunshine Man…. Heh. Me, too, Kyle, me too.

          • Fate Man for me was the most parched and arid fragrance I had ever experienced. The initial onslaught of sharp spicy notes was very jarring. But something about the fragrance fascinates me and draws me back. I struggled to pick out the wormwood in Fate, amongst the cumin. ginger, immortelle and other notes. Possibly because I was (wrongly) expecting it to smell more like the wormwood in Memoir Man – where I believe it is showing its other herbal/absinthe side? Especially in the opening.

            Funny you should mention patchouli! I have read a lot about patchouli recently both on this blog and in other fragrance reviews, so I felt the need to remind myself of what it actually smells like. I went and bought some pure patchouli incense sticks (I couldn’t find the essential oil). Turns out, I had the completely wrong idea of patchouli’s scent! It was a “mistaken scent memory” or something. I was surprised how damp, green, earthy, and cannabis-like it actually was. (And I’m burning some right now as I write this, as a reminder!)

            To answer your question, yes I do like the smell. It could grow on me even more, I think. However, my nose struggles to detect patchouli within complex fragrances (for example, I know it’s in Interlude Man somewhere but I would be lying if I said I could detect it in any separate or distinct way). It’s interesting how Myths Man reminded you of patchouli in the drydown, and in all honesty, I need to experience Myths again. Unfortunately I used up my tiny sample bottles quite quickly in a frenzy of trying to work the damn thing out. The sensible thing would be to get some more samples, and not go straight to a full bottle – but then again, Amouage can bring out the reckless side of me, so who knows!

          • Sorry for the delayed reply, Kyle. Your patchouli incense sticks sound great! I do think that they may be far damper, earthier, and greener that the note can be in perfumery because, there, it is frequently cut with amber, resins, cedar, vetiver, or even vanilla to make its scent profile skew a bit differently. Even the essential oil by itself is different than the way patchouli blended with other notes can be. Depending on quality, the E.Os can be even woodier or even a bit dusty in scent profile.

            With regard to Myths Man vs. Fate Man, I assume you’ve looked up the latter on the discount retail sites that ship worldwide? If you’re not picky about things like testers, you can find a 100 ml bottle of Fate for as low as $129, or $139 in non tester form: http://www.beautyspin.com/amouage/fate-eau-de-parfum-tester-for-men/?item=465876

            My suggestion to you, though, is really to get more samples of both because you sound far more enamoured with Myths drydown than with Fate, at least to my ears. What I’d do is to get a sample of each, put one on each arm, simultaneously, then just close your eyes, sniff hard, and let your emotions or gut lead you. Listen to your immediate, instinctive reactions to the two scents, and decide from there.

            And, if you’ll forgive the suggestion, stop thinking!! LOL. 😉 From your thoughtful writing, it’s clear that you’re of an analytical bent and it sounds to me as though you’re pondering the intellectual or theoretical aspects behind Amouage’s stories (e.g., how Myths may possibly fit the theme of surrealism), rather than letting your heart, gut, and emotions rule you. With perfume, the latter are far more important, imo, than any intellectual curiosity that a fragrance’s marketing or stories may bear. I truly have difficulty believing that most of these perfume house creative directors create their compositions with an eye to concrete realisations of stories. I think most of them are pure marketing BS drawn up after the fact. Yes, some basic idea framework is necessary for the perfumers to have some guidance when initially presented with the “brief” from the client, but their choice to use, say, chrysanthemums or leather to reflect “surrealism”… bosh. Utter bosh if you ask me. That’s not the way perfumers approach notes and compositions, if you ask me. Their mind thinks about materials in other ways, not how they may manifest some intellectual esoteric *abstraction.*

            In short, forget about the stories or how the notes may fit them, shut off your mind, and just listen to your own instinctive reactions when testing the two fragrances. Which one makes you happier on a gut level? Which opening makes you recoil instinctively and immediately on a visceral level? And which one actually lightens your mood? (That last one is not as strange or New Age-y as it may sound. Different notes go up the nose’s receptors to impact different parts of the brain, releasing different neurotransmitters and hormones which can instantly impact one’s mood, energy levels, and the like. It’s scientifically proven. There is a whole branch of what is called psychoaromatherapy that details the 5 or 6 categories of raw materials and the different parts of the body that they impact, as well as the neurological parts of the brain they trigger. Vetiver, for example, will target or impact different things than, say, jasmine or patchouli. (You can read a bit more about all that here: http://www.kafkaesqueblog.com/2015/09/02/abdessalaam-perfume-course-part-vii-final-topics-and-thoughts/)

            Anyway, my point is, when trying to decide which of the two Amouages you want to buy (or fragrances in general), sniff hard, focus, and let your body/heart dictate your choice. Don’t try to “work the damn thing out” intellectually. 🙂 (I must say, that line of yours did make me grin and laugh, though.)

  4. “And if you’ll forgive the suggestion stop thinking!!” Well, I had to do my own LOL at that, because it may come as NO surprise to you that I am in the legal profession, which I can blame (not entirely- but almost) for my “lop-sided” development, as it were. It’s good to be reminded from time to time, in the interests of self-awareness, of my tendency to over-intellectualise and over-analyse everything! In this profession (as of course you will be aware, from your involvement with it!!) detachment from emotional considerations can become the norm, and one’s way of perceiving and interpreting can become dominated by an overly intellectual and analytical approach.

    Sometimes, I do catch myself out in this state of mind in my day-to-day life, outside of work. For example, In experiencing fragrances, when I find myself reacting based on a list of “shoulds” i.e. I SHOULD be liking this bit, but not that bit etc. Rather than: how is this ACTUALLY making me feel, in my body, right here and now? Again, it’s all from being in the head too much 🙂

    So thanks for that! LOL

    Having taken some of your advice on board (not easy for me, you understand), today I did a “full wearing” of Myths Man like an “ordinary cologne” i.e. 2-3 sprays to neck, and to both wrists. And I just let myself “be” with it (as much as a lawyer can let himself “just be” and not think)!!, walking around town, meeting up with friends, etc. Just basking in the aura of the fragrance without analysing it too much. I must say, Myths feels like a comfortable fit for me, and an “easy wear’ (unlike Fate Man, which is far from easy).

    I can see why Myths might be disappointing AS AN AMOUAGE, but taken on its own terms, it does “work” for me, and it does possess its own kind of beauty. Interestingly, one of my friends immediately detected it was an Amouage, without me saying anything, and he remarked that it was his favourite so far, reminding him a bit of Interlude (I said “really??”) and that it suited me the best out of all of them. Which has probably made up my mind for me 🙂

    Btw I can relate to “recoiling instinctively and immediately on a visceral level” – I had this reaction when i sampled Dior’s “Sauvage” recently (a controversial release, but I was expecting boredom and mainstream blandness, not physical disgust). Much to my surprise, I actually found myself physically recoiling, as a result of something in the opening – I could not even identify what it was (the drydown was not much better). There is something about the synthetic make-up of this fragrance that sets me on edge.

    The underlying concepts of psychoaromatherapy are not too “Woo Woo” for me, to borrow your wonderful phrase 🙂 – they seem quite scientific, and I would go so far as to say, science probably does not yet fully grasp all of the ways in which fragrances affect human beings, our emotions, and our brains. Interesting to learn, too, that patchouli was placed in the “aphrodisiac” section of Tisserand’s chart! Ooh-err!!

    • Ha, we’re a plagued lot, aren’t we? Overly analytical, often overly serious and, in my case, obsessive-compulsive to a fault about details as well. Probably in yours, too, I suspect. 😉 I’ve often wondered if the law draws the perfectionist, OCD serious types, if law school makes them that way, or if it’s some combination thereof. Probably the latter.

      I find myself over-analysing perfumes as well, which is why I recognise it in others, but I try to practice my own advice as well because, at the end of the day, I’m not going to buy a perfume merely because I find it intellectually and theoretically interesting. I would still have to actually WEAR the blasted thing after all! Lol.

      I’m glad your wearing and just feeling Myths produced such a great sense of ease, of it fitting your own skin comfortably. Even better, your friend thought it was the best Amouage yet on you. That’s great! Perfume compliments are always lovely, though they should never be as dispositive in making decisions as one’s own feelings, as I’m sure you’d agree.

      So, Myths it is! And a big hurrah for you finding a new love, not to mention moving past the opening which you once found difficult. All in all, an excellent day’s work. I wish you nothing but great joy and contentment each time you wear it.

      As for patchouli being an “aphrodisiac,” I won’t tell anyone if you don’t. 😉 😛

      • Yes it’s “hush hush” all around 🙂 And thanks for the kind words, and the good advice – who knows, I even may have found that elusive “signature scent!” 🙂 🙂

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