Amouage Lyric Woman, 2008

 

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Amouage Lyric Woman, 2008.  Perfumer Daniel Maurel.

Rose is a flower in the same way that sandalwood is a wood, and vanilla is a spice. Each is so definitive of its category, that it supersedes the classification. With this star quality rose tends to be difficult to hide. The only reason this predicament isn’t a problem is that nobody wants to hide the rose.

But if you are a perfumer, there is another nagging problem with the rose: the Beauty Dilemma. The scent of rose is beautiful. So what? What do you do with it? After the the soliflor, the rose chypre, the bouquet, the amber-rose, the rose-oud, the thorny rose–what do you do? Lyric Woman finds a new role for rose and it’s not just the same schtick with a different costume and a new score. Rose isn’t the star. In Lyric, rose is the narrator.

Lyric has an awful lot packed into it, yet it doesn’t come off as overburdened. The Rose serves to temper the experience from the fireworks of bergamot in the topnotes through the spicy heart to the resinous-rose finale. The rose mediates the huge cast of other notes, and the perfume feels lighter than you would expect. No less potent, just not so demanding. The basenotes are a pleasant surprise. The rose-frankincense pairing apparent from the very start of the perfume remains to the end, but there’s a savory, nutty quality as well that suggests sandalwood or saffron. Exciting ride, soft landing.

From a land of a multi-millennial tradition of rose-incense pairings come this little twist. We’ve seen all the ingredients before, but it’s a new recipe.