Waves opens with a bold citrus-spicy note - mostly cinnamon – on a woody-resinous base, with the typical skanky-moldy camphor undertone of many classic chypres. I also detect oak moss, balsamic notes, neroli, sandalwood, a "heavy" floral note which may be jasmine. Overall the opening is at the same time quite classic and dusty, yet vibrant and invigorating, with this breezy, uplifting woody-spicy balsamic accord that provides a nice, fresh and lively feel contrasting the general "nostalgic" mood. Soon after the opening, a transition brings up the powdery-rooty iris accord, the strength of spices decreases and all becomes warmer, gentler, more delicate and more balanced. It still remains a woody-spicy scent, just more on the iris side, so softer and sweeter. So far so good? Almost... the fact is that there is a note from the very beginning to the drydown, subtle at first then increasingly perceivable, which "ruins the magic" a bit for me. It is basically "something" really spicy but in a synthetic harsh way, which kind of "stands" above the scent like a dark cloud, a really powerful note smelling like a very pungent synthetic spice - like eugenol for instance, but more metallic and aldehydic. Whatever that is, it ruins an otherwise fairly nice blend (nothing stunning anyway, but nice). Such a shame.
Waves is an incredibly luxurious decadent fluidy amber standing over a mossy-honeyed classically soapy (vaguely barber-shop) chypre structure. This gorgeous fragrance shares for instance far more with Bogue MAAI (or may be with Balenciaga Portos, Arrogance Pour Homme or Monsieur Rochas) than with prominent ambers a la Ambre Precieux or Ambre Fetiche indeed. The opening is to die for, a fluidy embrace of boozy spicy amber, luxuriant citrus and aromatic ingredients. In this phase the aroma is inebriating and "electric" before to flow towards a more classically orchestrated evolution. Subtle floral patterns (rose, ylang-ylang, geranium, jasmine??) enrich the slightly vintage general upcoming atmosphere, the note of amber appears neither syrupy nor particularly resinous but vaguely honeyed, mossy-animalic and hesperidic. A luxurious and spicy-ambery bergamot/orange/aromatic herbs accord introduces the royal decadence as completed by earthy notes, dirty spices, animalic patterns (ambergris, honey, may be civet), fir resins/myrrh, galbanum, tonka, patchouli, cedarwood and musks. The dry down performs a classically powdery and slightly resinous chypre vibe with a virile (barely dirty/carnal and spicy) undertone. Waves fits aristocratically and luxuriously as a great classic of a left back "Grand Chypre" era. A great, great one from the supertalented Master Perfumer Enrico Buccella.