Genre: Woody Oriental
Wazamba is a spicy, fruity incense fragrance that smells like something Bertrand Duchaufour might have composed for the Comme des Garçons Incense Series. It opens with a rich, boozy accord of sweet dried fruit and dark, smoky spices that’s very soon overlaid by cool, camphoraceous conifer resin and astringent myrrh. The juxtaposition of warm, edible and cool, medicinal notes generates a compelling internal tension – a simultaneously disturbing and seductive olfactory dissonance that works on the nose the way the lush, exotic harmonies of late romantic composers like Mahler and Strauss work on the ear.
Having brought up Bertrand Duchaufour, I might mention that Wazamba's combination of fruit, spices, and incense bears some passing structural resemblance to Duchaufour’s Jubilation XXV for Amouage, though Wazamba’s chill fir resin note has no parallel in the Amouage. Wazamba is also more assertively sweet and fruity, and emphasizes myrrh where Jubilation XXV leans on frankincense. The combination of conifer resin and incense also allies Wazamba to some degree with Comme des Garçons’ Zagorsk, but Wazamba’s opoponax and conspicuous fruit notes render it much softer, warmer and sweeter than its gaunt and icy Russian-inspired counterpart.
Wazamba is reasonably potent, with moderate sillage. It lasts well on my skin, and I find the sweet, resinous oriental drydown of opoponax and labdanum extremely comforting. Wazamba is a vibrant scent that exhibits plenty depth and personality, and I’d encourage anyone who enjoys incense-based fragrances to give it a try.
Balsamic, resinous opoponax with a sticky, pungent heart (fir balsam) and a powerful herbal/medicinal accord like in Lutens' Ambre Sultan, just sweeter and more resinous. Pungent camphor note of eugenol/cloves and spices on the base – mostly cinnamon. Kind of a metallic aldehydes feel, which increases the "medicinal" feel. Again on the border between Parfum d'Empire and Lutens, here the composition is just less multi-faceted, more simple, still baroque and exotic with a narcotic feel – just different, more round, shaped, tightly-textured. The evolution is slow and moderate: it loses a bit of the caramelised stickiness of the beginning (just a tiny bit...) and it gets more green/balsamic of dry pine cones, still with a sweet-earthy licorice base, but it still remains much "compact" and straightforward. Good projection and long persistence – again, as for a couple of other Parfum d'Empire (well, and other dozens of scents): "cloying alert", be sure you like this and are comfortable with the idea of smelling pretty much like this for hours. Overall this is perhaps my least favourite from this house, quality is top-notch and the composition is perfect – its is just not my cup of tea, bit too "sticky".
25th February, 2014 (last edited: 22nd April, 2014)
This is a very heavy resinous, smoky, woody fragrance and if you like this type of fragrance this one definitely will not disappoint you!
Right after spraying this on your skin and sniffing it, tons of resins mixed with smoky incense and some woods attacking your nose.
It's dark, smoky and extremely heavy in resinous part.
The resinous smell is not like the resins on the body of the tree that smell smooth and slightly woody.
It's like throwing them in fire and smelling them while they are burning.
There is a little bit of sweetness in the background that trying to picking through, but it doesn't have even a chance!
It's linear fragrance and in the mid only gets slightly sweeter, but the scent still dominated completely by heavy resins and incense and some woods.
In the base those dark notes settle down and musk kicks in.
The base is a musky woody smoky scent with some sweetness in the background and very smooth against the opening and mid.
Projection is good (above average) and longevity is around 6-8 hours on my skin.
A great fragrance from the brand.
P.S: I have "SL Fille en Aiguilles" in my collection and I believe they don't smell the same!
Almost the same DNA but very different scents.
Wazamba... incense, wood, resin, opoponax, labdanum - my favorite notes – apple is also on the list, but I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t be able to smell the apple with all this wood and resin... and I was right. I love the opening – rustic incense, myrrh that I could identify immediately, an intense laudanum – all in their natural glory and confident strength – this is what resin is all about! And I’m loving it…
While it lasts, that is!…
It was all of fifteen minutes when I realized that the intensity, passion, and drama was pretty well disappeared and I had to work to find the enough of that initial wonder. The resinousness – the sharp potency – gone! The full-bodied airiness of the aromatics – gone! The incense had become a raspy aromatic mumble echoing in a far corner! And the woods – they are listless shadows in the background…
And there is hardly any foreground…
I cannot believe how fast the ultra resinousness of this fragrance disappeared from my skin… err… actually, I DO believe that Wazamba might last only an hour on my skin – I have had the same experience before with another one of these extremely resinous fragrances… Aesop’s Marrakech. As for Wazamba: five stars for resins… and a pox on the longevity.
26th November, 2013 (last edited: 06th January, 2014)
Great incense fragrance. It dominates all the other notes. The closest one to it is Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle. The latter has better sillage and longevity though. Surprisingly they were made one year a part.