A perfume story: Review of Amouge Homage
Clever is as clever does © 2016 Frankie Chocolate
(For Irish spud and the husband from Saturn)
Clever sat in her master suite in heaven polishing her nails and frowning her perfect face into a pout. It was her nails this time. Yes, of course they were perfect. But only perfect and in heaven everything perfect.
Take the golden city. Such a city! If you can believe the bible and I do—hook line and sinker the golden city is a cube 1,400 miles on all sides like an enormous golden dice. The proper word for one of the two dice is die but if I wrote that someone not as clever as you might think it’s a misspelling or that I was somehow trying to be witty so you sharp types please be patient while we drag the dull-o’s along with us. Eh?
The golden city is a work of art crafted by the chief craftsman God himself. He spared no expense and lavished the finest fixtures and appointments on this little shack build to house the heirs of salvation.
If you stood at the corner of one of the walls and stuck your perfect nose as Clever did down one side of the wall like you were shooting a surveyor’s line first of all you’d really be thirsty.
You’d be thirsty because you had just hiked 1400 miles to get to that corner so you probably should have brought a snack and some mineral water or something.
So you shoot your gaze down the wall and you know what you see? Nothing. Nothing is exactly what you see. Not one gold brick out of place. Not one even when you look at the other side or straight up either. It’s all perfect. As smooth as a baby’s butt.
And then there is the river of the water of life. Clear as crystal cool as a mountain stream that’s had time to warm in the sun a bit so your fillings don’t ache when you bend down to slake your monumental thirst after hoofing 1400 big ones. Yes of course the stream of life, which turns into the river of life is perfect. Lovely fish you can see swimming all around. Lovely plants and trees growing on the banks. It’s all too much to take in.
The food is lovely, the animals don’t bark or bite and peace reigns supreme. Everything was absolutely perfect. And that was the problem.
Clever wanted to be needed and no one needed her. She wasn’t appreciated for being clever for in heaven everyone is clever. Everyone is witty. You know how sometimes someone will make a comment and you offer a reply but it’s really not your best work, just a little something something you tossed off and later you think of the absolute perfect rejoinder but the moment has passed and it’d gauche to ring them up and offer a bit of carefully reconsidered sagacity trying to palm off a stale loaf for fresh. The moment has passed and you are left with nothing but regret that snappy rejoinder didn’t roll off your silver tongue when it should have.
Well in heaven everyone comes up with that snappy quip, that adroit pithy reply the first time. Every time. Without fail. The saints are so blindingly brilliant that after the first ten thousand years it actually becomes tedious. Consider if you had creams puffs or manna every day for forty or four thousand years. Even you dear one might not relish mannaburger, manna soufflé or manna jerky. So it was with Clever.
Everyone wants to shine a bit. Be told they were all that and a bag of potato chips and Clever wanted desperately to be noticed, to be lauded and sought out. Most of all to be needed.
Now just an aside here lest any of my readers quick or otherwise get the wrong idea about paradise. It really is a swell place and you really want to be there instead of hell. No one is clever in hell. No one is happy there. They are alone and bleak and it’s terrible beyond belief so choose to love God and live with him because one or two of those rooms in the golden city have got your name on them and quite frankly it’s just not a party without you. Ok? Okay! Not too preachy I trust.
Now back to Clever. Clever wanted to be noticed. To stand out. And she knew just what to do.
She’d go down to where people were not clever at all. To where her pith and wit was gazed upon with awe and people if they didn’t worship her at least appreciated her more than a sharp stick in the eye.
She bought a gun and went to Chicago looking for someone needing of a slug of inspiration or the other kind. But the unvarnished truth dear reader was that at that moment out of time she was more cleaver then clever and needed a little pick me up. A little something something to get the juices flowing; to start the dance. She looked around her suite and many things warm and wonderful, beautiful, rare and desirable glittered before her eyes. There was so much to choose from. Her eyes fell upon a small white cardboard box tucked way back in the darkness on up high on a shelf.
It said Attar—perfume and nothing more. It was wrapped in cellophane and sealed with a little green yellow iridescent hologram. With great solemnity she carefully worked her perfect French tipped thumbnail under the end of the plastic to pry it off. Oh so carefully she removed the plastic, re-shaped it so it stood next to the empty spot where she had taken the box. It was a ghost of the box.
The white box was surprisingly heavy. Carefully she opened the top and bottom flaps and eased out the contents. Here was a wooden box. Lifting the lid off she held her breath. The interior was plush purple velvet. In the center was an insert wrapped in more velvet. In the insert was a hundred ml. bottle—one of only three made in the world that even Luca Turin didn’t know even existed so back off you nitpicking joy stealers—made of heavy leaded crystal. There was triple thick gold leaf caressing it. The stopper was a smooth round globe tapering down to a pointed crystal spike. A touch of this could drive mortals mad or inspire them to create Michelangelo’s David. Two touches could evoke Caravaggio’s darkest dreams into life. Three… well now no one had ever used three drops of this Rose Oud. That way led to madness.
She embraced the flagon and paused. As she did the lights dimmed and the famous Carlos Kleiber walked across the front of the stage and stepped up to the conductor’s platform.
Applause thundered around him as he bowed to Clever and the overflow audience. With a swish of white tails he turned to face the orchestra. For the briefest of moments he fixed his steely gaze upon each musician offering them a small smile that calmed their fears and told them tonight we will do this thing. Tonight together we will make history. Clever pulled at the plastic surrounding the stopper. He raised his hands. She pulled the last piece away and gripped the round globe that was the top. Twin knives of fire and ice, exultation and fear raced through her. She tugged at the stopper. He paused at the top of his arc. She paused. Fear was gone. His arms two great wings of the mightiest of raptors poised at the precipice edge just before flight. She slowly pulled out the stopper. The ivory baton quivered in anticipation. Up came the fragrance of ten thousand Ta’if roses down swung the baton as Moonlight Sonata, a thousand other masterpieces and the most exquisite of fragrances flowed out and enveloped her.
She lifted the stopper to her nose. Half whispered memories began, grew in a billowy accord of fragrant oils mixed with frankincense. Breathtaking. She pulled back. Dark notes of ouds and minor keys mingled around her. Someone sighed deliciously and she realized it was her. Notes rose up to greet and wash over her soul. The musical notes of the perfume and symphonies flowed around her like incense from Aaron’s censer. Sweet amber called to her, silver frankincense and Al Andalus attar receded from her.
Plunging the stopper back in the bottle Clever stoppered up the genie. Just before she did a few glittering scents from an almost not there harp and timpani spilled out in citrus washed notes like silvery fish darting though a cool brook and chased each other past her nose.
Opening the bottle again, this time it was Mendelssohn lighter then air. She strengthened her resolve, dabbed all her pressure points and was caught up in a Ta’if storm of immeasurable brilliance, song and light and was swept from her stateroom to a dark corner of Chicago DuPage County at the ragged edge of the Corn Belt.
King Nebuchadnezzar from back in the day, way, way back was proud, went nuts and turned into a cow for seven years. After his seven-year stint in the bovine persuasion he had an insight on kings, rulers and the God who rules over them all, "…so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.” Daniel 4:17 N.I.V.
Clever knew that passage. If it if was good enough for Daniel it was good enough for her. She sorted through the hoi polloi of candidates for inspiration discarding this one, rejecting that one and finally came up with an empty sack. Was there no one she could inspire? Just then something rolled out of the bottom of the bag. It looked like an old penny but then she looked again and it was Frankie Chocolate. She wanted a challenge but this was impossible.
She wanted to be needed but this was a drowning man being circled by fins. This was maybe a bit too low. Staring up to heaven she sought God’s face. His smile told her everything she needed to know. She came back to Wheaton in DuPage County and stood behind Frankie our Frankie. He was staring at a blank page scratching his head looking like a turtle in the sun blinking, looking for his pond.
He needed to be blindingly brilliant witty and clever, smooth as silk and as still as a river of ice and he hadn’t a clue. Clever knew this would be hard for Frankie was willing but barely had the skill to string together coherent sentences much less write something clever and worthy of her. She’d have to go slowly line upon line precept upon precept She could descend upon him like Manna in the wilderness but he still had to scoop it up before the sun grew hot and it melted away like oil from the petal of a rose.
She bent down and kissed him on his stubbly cheek. A slow smile traveled across his saturnine face. She kissed him again and whispered into his ear. The light dawned as wonder filled his soul. He smiled from ear to ear. He clacked at his keyboard writing faster now. The smell of Amouge Homage filled the room. The end.
30th December, 2015 (last edited: 20th January, 2016)
I am given to understand that Amouage suffers almost as many issues with batch variations with their attars as Creed. Apparently, the Homage from the original white box varies greatly from the ones in the subsequent red and black boxes, with those later ones even varying from one to the other within the same box color or time series. To be fair, it appears that batch variations are not as much of an issue for people in the Middle East as it is in the West. But it does give rise to the problem of not being able to judge the scent fairly, when after all you don't know which batch you are commenting on. It also makes it heart-breaking for those who have experienced the beauty of the earlier versions and then have it elude them on follow-up bottles.
I am offering this as an explanation as to why I wasn't blown away by Homage. I thought it was pleasant, but far from mind-blowing. Lovers of Homage, put down that pitchfork - after all, you may be the lucky owners of a bit of Homage that happens to be stupendous. Lucky you! I believe you. I believe all of you who say that this is one of the most glorious creations on this good earth. Enjoy your piece of heaven. My sample was nice but just that.
The first half of the scent is dominated by the smell of citrus oils - very pleasant, but not quite what I was expecting. In fact, I couldn't smell anything other than lemon for the first hour. Then slowly, inch by inch, the scent became ever more rosy. But this wasn't the lush, complex rose accord I had been expecting - this was instead a pale, pink rose notable only for its delicacy and faintness. This rose glowed on gently for another two hours, tinged by lemon and an indistinct supporting floral accord, until I could smell it no longer, five hours after first applying. I got no oud and no incense. No smoke, no amber.
Overall, the projection was weak, the scent was very faint, and I never got the complex development that others seem to get. I got two full wearings out of my one precious drop, and my impressions were the same from one wearing to the next. Believe me, I was willing the scent into action, because I wanted to experience the rapture all of you seem to experience with this. But for me, no rapture. Boo hiss.
astonishingly good scent. bought it blind and am so pleased it even surpassed my expectations. deep, deep tair rose supported by top notch incense and what seems to be neroli of the highest possible quality. wow!
Aw crap! It’s about as good as everyone says it is. Now I’m liable to have to spend a gazillion bucks to get myself some.
The formula as advertized for Homage sounds simple: rose, oudh, frankincense, and citrus. Yet two of those ingredients, rose and oudh, are at their best so intricately nuanced and profound that they defy analytical description. That Pierre Montale has built an entire line of (mostly) distinct scents around these same two notes hints at the vast scope the rose-oudh pairing offers. Homage does indeed present rose and oudh at their complex and inscrutable best, and the addition of Amouage’s justly touted frankincense secrets them off into a realm of olfactory fantasy inhabited exclusively by djinns and ifrits.
Comparison with Montale’s oudh-and-rose scents is inevitable, but nothing that I’ve smelled from Montale comes close to Homage in style. The rose used in Homage is at once spicier and sweeter than Montale’s, with echoes of nutmeg, cardamom, and raspberry liqueur. Amouage’s oudh is more rounded and yielding, softer and less medicinal than Montale’s, yet still in possession of that deliciously bitter, saffron-like edge that makes the resin so irresistible to my nose. Homage is heady and enveloping and persistently claims your attention. You don’t just wear this fragrance – you wallow in it. Such an unapologetically rich, heady fragrance is not for everyone, nor every occasion, yet there is a certain clarity in Homage’s structure that may actually render it more wearable for some than the more powdery and animalic Gold (both men’s and women’s). At $350 US or so for a 12ml bottle of perfume oil, this isn’t going to be a lemming, but I can understand the critical enthusiasm: Homage is worth smelling just for the experience.
Rarely do I go from hearing about a fragrance -> sample -> full bottle purchase so quickly. And rarely do I review a scent so quickly as well. But this is just no ordinary fragrance.
I got it in the white box formulation in the 12ml size. It just smells heavenly.
The opening is a gorgeous rose note like no other. Nothing smoky or anything else. Just a slick, pure rose that makes you say "aaaahhhhhh" when you breath it in. After the top burns off, it mellows to a slight jasmine note, before drying down to a sandalwood and incense base.
If they did this in 100ml I'd own a gallon of it, but alas 12ml will last me a bit. Just not sure how long. It's an addictive scent for me that makes me want more and more. But don't be fooled, less is more with this one! It's not an EdP or any ordinary perfume. Use it very sparingly and it will last. Don't over apply and it will really shine through!
A classic from none other than probably my favourite house. Definitely a 10/10 for me, but I should probably give some criticism to Amouage for making this only a limited edition.
Nope, stay away
To me, this smells like a Terre d'Hermes flanker. I don't like TdH, it smells like orange dish soap to me, this smells like something similiar. All i get is oranges, citrus, and sandalwood. It isn't a disgusting scent by any means, but an Amouage scent shouldn't have to be described as such in the first place. Was expecting something far more unique. I don't get oud, rose, jasmine, or any of the like.
It is simply an average, generic scent you'd find in a department store. I'd give it a 5/10. Sample this one to be sure.
Cons: Average, generic, department store fragrance"