When I first sniffed Bijan I got a big wave of nostalgia - I remember when everybody smelled of more multi-textured scents like this one.
I experience it as a counterpoint between orange blossom and cumin over an amber-y base, the end result being an orange blossom honey-ish smell.
It can be pretty extraordinary if it happens to work with your chemistry.
I first got hooked on Bijan wearing the (very inexpensive) modern EDT, and became curious about the vintage EDP. Now in possession of both versions, I do see why many people prefer the vintage - by comparison, the EDT is thin, and its finish is orange blossom soapy, though I wouldn't have thought to say either of those things about it until smelling the vintage.
Opening the vintage bottle, I could smell first and foremost a big blast of cumin, which doesn't strike me as body odor, just as...cumin, because I cook a lot of Moroccan and Indian dishes! This opening's not "pretty", yet it really does convey spice markets and heat, which I find appealing. As it develops, it's a round and lush floriental that smells of its time, yet I think it translates perfectly well for a woman or a man today.
I've kept my EDT, and now sometimes use it to spray in the house since it's about the only thing I have that complements the lingering smells of fenugreek, cumin, and turmeric from the previous night's dinner!
22nd March, 2014 (last edited: 18th September, 2014)
Sandalwood incense. Period. Those may not be the official notes but that is the combined result. It's gorgeous and very wearable by men. I am a guy and this scent is kind of like my little secret. I get compliments all the time. If you love sandalwood incense then you can't go wrong with this.
A young family member proudly presented Mr cathodera with a bottle of Bijan.
He picked it out all by himself and bought it with his own pocket money. (I suspect his choice may have been swayed by Bijan being the only available fragrance that did not cost more than the pocket money).
But it was an important rite of passage, and to honor it, Mr cathodera wears his Bijan on occasions when the little giver will be present, and I tend to spend as much time as possible, on those occasions, as far as I can get from Mr cathodera.
Maybe it's because I've never been a big amber fan. I don't really like "sweet" fragrances very much, so Bijan probably never had a chance with me.
It reminds me of a long-ago accident incident involving a simultaneous spill of Hove's amber and their carnation.
Though to my knowledge Bijan doesn't have any carnation, there is just that sweet spiciness of carnation there, that with the amber, makes me think of looking down on that oh-so-fashionable avocado green shag carpet, thirstily gulping my two least-favorite perfumes that Hove makes, and frantically wondering how long and with whom I would have to couch surf, because there was no way I was going to sleep in that apartment until it had been thoroughly aired out.
I guess the takeaway from that story is, if you love Bijan, but can't find any, just dump some Hove amber and carnation on yourself, and your nose will never be the wiser.
I think that I derive my appreciation for Bijan from the surprise it causes that it isn’t an over the top, obnoxiously loud super-‘80s bomb as its male counterpart might be labeled. It is a pleasant, rather soft, amber Oriental that is probably too powdery for today’s tastes. More than a few times I have complimented a woman on her fragrance only to be told that it was Bijan. I think it is the kind of fragrance that is appreciated more from the sillage it produces than from direct smelling of the accords on paper or on the skin. This is the type of fragrance that must be applied discreetly – too much is definitely too much, so apply with a subtle hand,
Soapy amber and nothing to write home about aside from the aforementioned cool bottle.
Nice try for an amber oriental, but too soft and powdery for my taste. As others have noted, it's just not that interesting and there are many, many better orientals on the market.