One of the very first Basenotes reviews of Memoir Man calls it "Sycomore on steroids." I thought the same thing, and I'm glad to have company. In four words: green powdery vetiver tobacco.
After reading so many reviews calling Memoir Man dark, inky, black, unforgiving, etc., I was surprised to find a soft, well-behaved, leafy tobacco and powdery woody/vetiver accord with (to me) a relatively demure frankincense presence that serves more to lend a kind of cool-chalky-powdery feel to the development. I get just a hint of sandalwood.
The opening is fun and pleasant and even a little refreshing, and not challenging at all for me. A little alcoholic absinthe mixed with a bracing mint. This, along with the cool frankincense note serves as a great counterpoint to the dry vetiver and sweetish tobacco and musk in the heart and base.
My only quibble is that, as others have pointed out, this isn't terribly unique after the opening. But I can't hold the fact that there are many good vetiver/woody/incense scents against Memoir Man. It's certainly at or near the top of the bunch.
Opens up like the smell of (Unscented-original) green tobacco leaves & transits into heart where the tobacco leaves smell like they have been dried in hot sun, and they heat up further (into the dry down) giving the smell smoke & ash of the tobacco with hints of incense through out.
When i was sniffing it up close, it gave me a feeling that i was chewing on harsh dry tobacco & swallowing the juice. I could feel the piercing sharpness back in my throat.
People smelling you may think that you are a heavy smokeless tobacco user.
Longevity: 8-10 hours
So many perfumes from around 2010 and later smell like harsh chemicals to me, but not Memoir Man, it's perfectly agreeable. The Frankincense is light enough for me, and with the wood, it smells like the inside of a nice, quaint church, even charming for agnostics.
The beauty in the top of this does not hold on long enough for me to consider a bottle. It settles into something more forgettable within two or three hours, with mostly Frankincense and vanilla holding on; gone are the church pews and tobacco.
I'm thrilled to have been able to find a sample of this, and didn't have to blind buy a bottle. The notes looked amazing, and I know Amouage's quality, so that's why I was gonna blind buy. So glad I didn't!
It definitely smells like a lot of the notes listed. In a nutshell, this smells like Polo Modern Reserve, with better quality ingredients. The opening, I get a little mint, a lot of wormwood, a little basil, sitting on top of patchouli, leather and oakmoss.
It transforms into more of a grassy smell, like fresh cut grass. I like this part a little better, as it's more mellow and less pungent. After about 30 minutes, on my skin, this becomes mostly a skin scent, although I do get whiffs of mint and basil, projecting from a distance.
Not really my style fragrance. Though hard not to respect such a masculine fragrance with niche quality. To me, this is for an older gentleman, perhaps the 50+ crowd.
Being number 4 in a series of 16 reviews on critically acclaimed and noteworthy scents.
Memoir starts off in a distinctly odd direction, with a combination of incense and silage - yes, that is no typo - >silage< (bovine fodder) rather than >sillage< (although there's plenty of that too).
The heart tends to the incense alone as the whole ensemble calms down slightly. To finish, the incense is still there, but accompanied by slightly smoky, dry woods. I get various wafts of various things, including some sweet components that I can only guess at.
Long-lasting and of good quality, with good performance. It keeps me interested throughout the day, although some of this is undoubtedly due to its multiple personalities. I don't find that this questionable overall identity is a problem, and in fact the overall effect is rather pleasant, so a definite thumbs up. Now, where's the phone number of the loan company?