One of the most unusual Amouage scents I’ve ever tried, and overall also one of the most unusual fragrances I’ve ever sniffed in general. The uncommon nature of Ciel lies to me in its very complex texture made of, say, several thin layers perfectly matching one onto another, which I would have never thought that could blend so perfectly together considering them singularly. It’s basically an amazing sharp symphony played around several nuances of green, peach and white. A lot of inspirations come into play here, from a herbal-mineral masculine fougère (Guy Laroche Horizon anyone?) to a slightly creamy-green sort of Gucci Envy for Women type of blend, connected by an old-school, extremely sophisticated Chanel-esque soapy-fruity axe of white flowers – jasmine, mostly – and peachy notes, all framed within a gentle yet very crisp “barbershop” layout of lavender, sandalwood and vetiver. Basically a sort of bizarre “feminine fougère”, so to speak, as it smells clearly rooted into the classic family of green/barbershop fougères but throwing in a bold “feminine” aura of floral and fruity-powdery notes, and most of all, a very peculiar – and again, more on the feminine side – substance: very breezy, clean, sharp, transparent, almost “crunchy” in its crisp leafiness, at once graceful and silky. I’m not that into gender categorizations but one can really see this isn’t exactly a range of “macho” features – and I fear this is why many men seem disappointed by Ciel.
So overall, something completely different from most of other Amouage offerings for men. No opulence, no somber incense-resinous sumptuosity, actually the complete opposite: Ciel Man, surely aptly named to this extent, is all played on a very clean heart palette of pastel colours which are all about floral silkiness, faint greenness, gentle fruitiness, sharp cleanliness, somehow feeling kind of “formal” and almost aseptic (oddly in a good way, a “calming” and soothing sort of asepticness). As I said there is indeed a subtle green-barbershop fougère vibe though, a sort of very discreet frame made of “mineral” herbs, light vetiver, soapy sandalwood and spices, perfectly acting as the manlier counterpart to the breezy feminine heart of Ciel. But still it’s probably more leaning towards the “floral-green-clean delicate stuff”. The drydown leaves most of the stage to the woody-spicy notes, so as time passes Ciel becomes more and more “masculine”, dry and woody, with a whiff of smoke too, still with a decided green-white mood.
The quality is more than remarkable to any extent for me, both of the creativity and of the materials, as I smell a lot of notes and nuances with an astounding clarity and richness – which is one of the things I love the most in the nicest Amouage scents, their intricate yet very clear texture, something only top-notch quality materials can allow you to build. It’s all consistent and harmonic, and yet perfectly “separate”, allowing you to dive into the composition and smell the notes with a heart-melting clarity and deepness. Overall an unusual, crisp green-azure unisex gem with some hidden darker nuances which I’d really recommend to any fragrance fan, at least for a try. Many seem to mistake it cleanliness and apparent light breeziness for dullness, while it’s actually an incredibly creative, complex and interesting blend for me (or I maybe wrong, of course). It could, and maybe should be a bit more powerful, but I appreciate its discreet yet long-lasting presence on skin.
To my nose this is primarily made up of base notes. I get the frankincense, patchouli, vetiver, cedarwood and the nutmeg notes.
The florals and the sweeter spices hide from my awareness. Perhaps they soften the bases, as this does not appear at all heavy to me, very light in fact.
The note tree is very evocative and seems quite balanced. I'd like to be inhaling how I would mix those individual items. What I am getting however is pretty much a linear wood and resin accord without complexity. So for the outrageous price, it's not worth the investment.
A shame to be spending so much money on pure ingredients without an end product to make it worth the expense.
Atypical of the heavy, incense-laden house of Amouage, Ciel Man is a light, mainly floral fragrance, but it involves a good blend of seemingly a ton of notes. Lavender is the most dominant, dryer sheet / laundry soap note that is both strong at the opening and in the forefront throughout the fragrance's duration. Peach seems to be cited as one of the main notes, but I can barely detect it at all. Instead, citrus seems to be the only source of sweetness, and bergamot is the note that rounds this off. I don't see this is as spicy at all, but I give major credit for Ciel being able to embody several other genres: floral, woody, and fruity. It's not likely to offend, but not likely to amaze, either.
Ciel is a welcome departure for Amouage and certainly a deliberate warm weather entry, best for daytime use. It is symptomatic of the same value questions as the other Amouage frags, as its longevity and projection, while good for a summer EDP, nonetheless don't seem to merit the usual $230+ cost to own a bottle. Still, it succeeds as a summer fragrance more than most of their heavier fragrances do as winter fragrances because it is so agreeable and well-blended.
7 out of 10
Unlike Way Off Scenter, I don't find the opening pleasant at all, and instead agree with what Foetidus said: "I’m afraid Ciel for Him is a rather disappointing fragrance to me: First, its opening is unimpressive—a sharp, floral / herbal backed up by a light incense and cedar. The peach seems to enter into the opening also, creating what is to me a discordance that I find a touch unpleasant. I really can’t separate out the floral notes because it’s an amalgamated accord—blended to the point of seeming forced or artificial."
On another site, Dullah pointed out that there was a reformulation and that the earlier one was really bitter/sharp, so if that's true it may account for the big differences in some reviews. I had an old official sample and I'd guess it is the bitter/sharp formulation, if there was more than one. To me it's like sharp floral notes combined with a leftover ethnic food accord. I used a small amount, thinking that Amouage scents are strong, and I'm so glad I did because I don't know how sick I would have felt if more was applied. I then sprayed a pleasant "cheapo" underneath where I sprayed Ciel and that dominated it to the point where the unpleasant experience ended. I'd go for vintage Insense if I wanted this kind of thing, but so far I have only found these kinds of compositions to be quite unpleasant !
Sweet and smokey with a bold "punch-in-the-face" orange blossom and frankincense heart that pervades the air around the wearer for hours! Delightful, but very dominant fragrance. Sweet, spicy fruits underlying and occasionally come to the fore. Apple, peach, cinnamon, and nutmeg...something else...perhaps mace. Very much a gourmand scent, but that wonderful incense and smoke makes this dignified and masculine.
Ciel opens with what have become masculine perfumery’s conventional fresh fruit and aromatic notes, quickly joined by sweet white flowers and a striking animalic note that I can’t readily identify. The flowers, particularly orange blossom, soon come to dominate, while the fruit persists bright and crisp contrast to the underlying animalic warmth. It takes some time for a very soft frankincense to reveal itself, carrying the scent in a much more individual direction.
Next to emerge is a very creamy sandalwood, followed by the merest dab of vetiver. The incense, wood and vetiver meld with the animalic note to form a very pleasantly sturdy foundation, atop which the floral and fruit notes play. Though very little of ozonic character appears, the scent retains a certain “moist” feel to it. There are also flashes of sweet spices, most noticeably nutmeg, but not enough to take the floral/fruit accord into mom’s pie territory. The floral notes recede ever so slowly during the extended drydown, eventually leaving a sweet, lightly spiced base of incense, woods, and vetiver.
Ciel is a lighter, brighter scent than either Dia or Reflection. It flirts more closely with the commonplace fresh fougère fragrances that have emerged in the wake of Creed’s Green Irish Tweed and Davidoff’s Cool Water, but distinguishes itself through its fine ingredients, complexity, and the interplay of animalic and fruity-floral elements. Ciel can be worn very much like Green Irish Tweed, and would make a nice alternative, especially for those who crave a little more spice and can accept a rather bluntly animalic men’s fragrance. (I think it would be easy for a woman to wear, too. )