Gene: Floral Oriental
Sahara starts out with aggressively aldehydic floral notes, citrus, and sweet neroli, which together make for an intensely "perfumey" first impression. Lots of powder comes into play over the next few minutes, as the floral notes grow progressively more indolic (orange blossom, rose and jasmine), Sahara blends into a very classic vintage style floral-oriental accord that rests on a conspicuous base if civet. Over time the rose moves more forward, riding on a wave of honeyed spices. The powder and civet settle into the far background, but the whole composition remains extremely plush and determinedly "old fashioned."
Sahara is marketed to men, but I'd have a hard time getting comfortable with it. This coming from a man who happily wears the likes of Habanita and Carnal Flower in public! I can't imagine it on a younger woman, either. It strikes me as too much of a "diva" fragrance, Like the old Narcisse Noir or Fracas. I think Sahara belongs on a mature, dignified woman who wears her jewelry and clothing with panache and confidence.
Oddly enough (or not, considering the shared ingredients), Sahara reminds me of Amouage's Gold for Men, but the Madini is more subtle and balanced (read: better), especially in its use of indolic white flowers, aldehydes, powder and civet. Sahara smells poised and beautifu, while teh over-the-top Amouage smells like the cat peed in grandma's closet.
Sahara's drydown goes the way of sweetened sandalwood and amber, with the remaining civet contributing an animalic accent. An odd composition for a men's scent, but when approaching this one must understand that gender-scent associations in the Arab world differ from those of the West.
Very niceÖ The citron is rather light, but I immediately get a full load of amber, florals, and myrrh Ė itís a warm, classic accord that is impressive in its balance and refinement. Itís more dry than sweet; and it is quite smooth. This opening is an elegant and satisfying accord, and it has superb longevity. (These oils act much more slowly than the alcohol based scents do, and I have to adjust my time values to the new circumstance.) The next note that strikes me is a floral / green note: a strong note that pierces right through the original floral, amber, and myrrh to form a heart accord with the dominant notes of the beginning. Again, it is classic, smooth, and luscious. Although I recognize it as white floral, I donít get any indole action from it. The drydown is a classically sweet amber and wood. It hugs the skin, and feeds the love. As far as masculine / feminine is concerned. I find the opening quite masculine (I donít get much powder or indole action). The rest of the fragrance I would place slightly on the yin side of the yin-yang. Regardless, itís an excellent fragrance, and I am enjoying my bottle.
This is a richly complex, vanillic Oriental in the style of some of the great "movie queen" fragrances of the 1930s. I don't see this as a masculine fragrance, at all. Garbo would wear this. I could smell it on Harlow. Bergman would wear this, as she mounted the gangplank of an ocean liner, her face shaded by veiled sun hat. Sahara is one of Mr. Madini's "old-fashioned" blends (read: drop dead glamorous) that scream "sophisticated woman."
Sahara is a beautiful, sensual ambery fragrance with a warm, slightly powdery feel. There's a hint of spice on my skin, too, and a gorgeous resiny note that just melts me. Sahara reminds me a lot of both Dune and Addict. It's almost as though each of those contains Sahara in their ingredients. I prefer this to Dune, or Addict, or even Shalimar. This is a unisex scent in the way that Musc Ravageur is unisex, and it smells just as complex and irresistible.
Billed as "citrus, myrrh and amber" I get ambery, vanillic citrus right away. Plus a bit of that "dirty" note I love. Perhaps it's the myrrh/citrus combo. A keeper!
Enchanting fragrance. Gorgeous on the skin. A mixture of myrrh, amber, and citron. The resin is smooth and woody, the amber is sweet, and the citron is mellow. This is an all-natural "vanilla" type Oriental, pure parfum in an oil base without any alcohol. It is every bit as enjoyable as Shalimar and Samsara--both of which I love. I would be tempted to list benzoin as an ingredient, also because of the sweet, diffusive nature of the base. I even suspect a hint of florals, some interesting, non-sweet flower. (The lists of ingredients on the Madini website for these fragrances appear suspicously truncated--as if the makers purposely wish to keep the formulas secret. Therefore, I want people to know, the fragrances smell more complex than they look.)
This is listed as a masculine fragrance on the Madini website, but it is also perfect for women. If you enjoy Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan, you will enjoy this and have a much easier time wearing it, because it is less spicy and showy. I am completely impressed by Sahara and will order a large bottle.