Moresque Parfum Al Andalus & Aristoqrati

Moresque fragrances via vk.com.

Moresque fragrances via vk.com.

Moresque Parfum is a relatively new Italian niche brand that was launched in 2015. Inspired by Moorish art, architecture, and the splendour of their dynasties, the company says it wants to imbue Arabic perfumery with “Italian design, fineness and taste,” as well as a “‘Made in Italy’ excellence[.]” Moresque has three different lines, the Black, White, and Art Collections, which are comprised in total of seven fragrances, each in eau de parfum concentration. Three of them also come in matching attar (concentrated perfume oils) strength which Moresque labels as “Esprit de Parfum.” All the fragrances were created by Andrea Thero Casotti.

Today, I’ll look at two of the eau de parfums: Al Andalus from The Black Collection and Aristoqrati from The Art Collection. I confess, I didn’t have high hopes going in because my past experiences with European interpretations of Arabic perfumery hasn’t impressed me much, but I was pleasantly surprised by Al Andalus, a woody spiced composition centered around ginger that bore tobacco-like tonalities, and a nice dose of amber and resins as well. Aristoqrati, though, was a generic disappointment that not only left me cold but so bored that I could barely summon up the interest to sniff my arm.

Source: dubaiprnetwork.com

Source: dubaiprnetwork.com

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Serge Lutens Bapteme du Feu

Bapteme du Feu, the latest release from Serge Lutens, is not a scent that lends itself to easy characterisation. What I can say is that it’s different, puts a sometimes bizarre twist on traditional fragrance categories or genres, and that the old Lutens eccentricity and creative twists are back. Wearing it left me flummoxed at times, highly ambivalent at other times, but at least it feels like a Lutens, for better or for worse.

Source: shutterstock.com

Source: shutterstock.com

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Ajmal: 13 Reviews En Bref (Eau de Parfums & Attars)

Ajmal Dahn Al Oudh Nayyir via ajmalperfume.com

Ajmal Dahn Al Oudh Nayyir via ajmalperfume.com

Ajmal is a Middle Eastern brand with a long history. Founded in 1951 in India and now apparently based in the United Arab Emirates or GCC (Gulf countries), Ajmal has over 300 fragrances in its portfolio. The quality seems to vary across the range which consists of low-end mall fragrances at one end, some Euro-Arab eau de parfums in the middle, and some “Dahn Al Oudh” attars that I’ve heard great praise for at the other end. Unfortunately, the latter were not what I was given for review. I seem to have gotten the low to middle end of the stick, alas.

There is a long story behind this post that I think you must understand in order to make sense of what is to follow. Ajmal was at Esxence Milan earlier this year to show off its wares. A friend stopped by and asked for samples for me to review. From his account, I have the sense that the Ajmal’s assistants were harried and also didn’t understand the whole blogging issue, either. They seemed confused, so they quickly handed over a big armful of samples, and that was that. No time was expended to provide the best of the best in a carefully curated selection, although my friend did try to ask for a few attars. They disgorged a heaping pile of 20 carded manufacturers samples, and moved on.

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Al Haramain Ode of Oudh, Tajibni & Mystique Musk

Mystique Musk. Photo: @Katerina__Russia on Instagram. Source: Arabicoils on Instagy.com (Direct website link embedded within.)

Mystique Musk. Photo: @Katerina__Russia on Instagram. Source: Arabicoils on Instagy.com (Direct website link embedded within.)

An unexpected surprise greeted me when I tried an attar and two eau de parfums from Al Haramain‘s Prestige and Premium Collections: a common theme of refreshing aromatic, herbal, and leafy greenness that tied the three fragrances together despite being in very different genres. It also made them more interesting than I had expected, particularly for an oriental blend from a Middle Eastern company, and even more so for an oud-based one. In my experience, Arab oud fragrances tend to follow certain stylistic conventions or formulas, but Ode of Oudh was a refreshing change and I mean that in the literal olfactive sense as well as metaphorically. Mystique Musk similarly felt more creative than its genre or note list had led me to expect. Both of fragrances are from the Prestige Collection which treads a lighter and quieter path than the Premium Collection attars which have the typically dense, forceful, or powerful aesthetic of their genre. The Prestige Collection follows a slightly more European aesthetic but without completely giving up its oriental roots, and the result is a nice mixing of styles.

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