Amouage is unusual among perfume houses in that its menís and womenís fragrance pairings often as not have something in common besides their names. Memoir Man and Memoir Woman are a case in point. Memoir Woman smells like an enriched, spiced, and sweetened variation on Memoir Manís artemisia, frankincense, and wood composition. Middle notes of clove, plummy dried fruit, and florals provide the body lacking in Memoir Man, while the drydown benefits enormously from warm, animalic labdanum and castoreum base notes. The impression left is of a fruity, spicy chypre descended directly from the likes of Mitsouko, Rochas Femme, and Francis Kurkdjianís Enlťvement au Sťrail.
Unfortunately, the same elements that make Memoir Woman much more gratifying to wear than its male sibling also align it so closely with some of the houseís previous releases* that it doesnít feel like a necessary addition. Iíve been concerned whether Amouage can sustain itís creative capital under its current rapid release schedule, and while Memoir Man and Memoir Woman donít feel as redundant in the line as the Library Series, I canít say Iím reassured.
Judged on its own, however, Memoir Woman strikes me as a more successful composition than Memoir Man. I also concur with those reviewers who find Memoir Woman gender-neutral, and Iíd have no qualms about wearing it in public. Of the two Memoirs, itís certainly the one Iíd recommend.
*Iím thinking particularly of Jubilation XXV, which Memoir Woman echoes in its frankincense/dried fruit accord, and Jubilation 25, which while ostensibly brighter and more floral, shares a substantially similar fruity-animalic chypre character.
A complex fragrance for a complicated woman though IMO it could be worn easily by either gender. Warm resins and wood spices, candied floral talc-like nuances, faintly leather/chypre undertones in a structure loosely based on the classic incense floral. I can't imagine a more sombre and introverted fragrance on a woman.
I don't have lots of flowery words to describe this, but what I can tell you is that it is a rich, satisfying, fully rounded incense. It doesn't have that sharp edge that lots of incenses seem to begin with. It's just very smooth, a bit woody, spicy, perhaps a bit foody. I'm reviewing the extrait version, which is what I have. A beautiful fragrance and even better, you need very little to experience this, it goes a LONG way!
Fruity and Spicey
This started out with a blast of incense and hard candy. The citrus mixed with other notes to make something I can only describe as PEZ brand candy. After 5min. the candy died down some and warmer Cloves, incense and powder came to the front. I like it overall, definitely a feminine though.
About the list of notes....I read it and it just looks like a bunch of stuff, I can't really relate it to what Memoir Woman actually smells like.
This fragrance smells rich and powerful, strong, almost overwhelming. It smells like burning incense to me, but that's not doing it justice....it's super deluxe burning incense with flowers, a little earthy or gritty something going on, but overall just hard to describe. Resins, flowers, and earthy spices. It's a BIG scent and was almost too much for me.
I wore this to the Dead Can Dance concert in Chicago's Millenium Park. It was almost too much even for an outdoor event, especially since I usually apply really lightly with all my fragrances. I decided it was a special occasion and I wanted to step outside my comfort zone, and I really put on a lot (for me). So I love the way Memoir Woman smelled on me, but I can't imagine many other situations in life where this would be appropriate. Way too strong to wear indoors unless it's a large open space.
So, yeah....maybe I could get a large decant but there wouldn't be much point in getting a whole bottle. I love this scent but I don't really wear it as much as it wears me. I think anyone who's really into fragrance should try this or something like it, something so rich and over the top, but such high quality.