Perfume Calligraphy goes on with a mild, amber sweetened cinnamon and vague sharp citrus, supported by traces of saffron spice and Oud. As the composition moves to its early heart the Oud takes its place as star, gaining a slight barnyard animalic facet as it grows in intensity to the point of dominating most of the other composition aspects. Joining the Oud in the background is the supporting hay-like saffron, the relatively sweet, smooth amber and barely detectable dulled rose. The composition remains highly linear through the late dry-down with the Oud taking center stage throughout, only allowing remnants of the saffron detectable with the smooth amber providing mild to moderate sweetness through the finish. Projection is excellent, and longevity outstanding at around 20 hours on skin.
Usually one samples the original composition its flankers are based off of before trying the flankers themselves. In the case of Perfume Calligraphy this was done in reverse. The Rose and Saffron flankers both proved excellent, so it would stand to reason the composition they were based off would impress as well, right? Enter Perfume Calligraphy... As soon as I sprayed the composition on skin disappointment immediately set-in. No, this was not the kind of disappointment from a terrible composition, but rather the kind where you go in with relatively high expectations only to find the composition more in the range of average, maybe even *just* good. The culprit here is the primary Oud note used in Perfume Calligraphy. Definitely the composition shows significant Oud-like qualities with its mild barnyard facet, but to those who have experienced the real thing this will quickly reveal itself as synthetic. Certainly Perfume Calligraphy is not alone in its reliance on synthetics to recreate super-expensive high quality real Oud as most of the "Oud" compositions on the market are equally guilty, but the amber-driven sweetness just doesn't mesh with it well at all. Also of little help, is the synthetic Oud is so dominant that excluding the previously mentioned sweetness, only the saffron spice can hang with it throughout the entire composition's "development". I put quotation marks around the word "development," because there really isn't any. It is the same overall accord throughout from near-start to finish, and the underlying sweetness mixed with the synthetic Oud can get annoying as time passes. In the end one has to appreciate the composition as being well-made with its outstanding performance metrics, but the real question is whether one would want to wear it? In the opinion of this writer the answer is a somewhat hesitant "no". The bottom line is the $120 per 100ml bottle Perfume Calligraphy shows off it performance chops in fine fashion, but its highly linear sweet synthetic Oud focus is tiresome, earning it an "above average" 2.5 to 3 stars out of 5. Having worn its great flankers that are both highly recommended, this one I feel completely indifferent. Word to the wise; buy the Rose and Saffron flankers and leave this one on the shelf, gathering dust.
Nice take on Oud which I really like. The light rose note make this a great unisex scent. I get the touch of lemon which balances things out. If you are a lover of bearable oud, this is for you. Out of the three in the calligraphy collection, this one projects the best. Pretty sweet fragrance though. A little too sweet for me. 6.5/10
24th November, 2014 (last edited: 13th December, 2014)
This is a fragrance which tries to display the oud note in a subtler kind of way more akin to western perfumery. The oud note is subdued and is underlying at the base. The saffron and other spices combined make this fragrance very pleasant and I really can't see how this would offend anyone. It's well blended in my opinion. Probably good for people who do not like their oud very strong or medicinal. Very good effort.
Edit: I've since discovered that it's the other way round. This is a Western-made perfume designed to appeal towards a Middle Eastern market! I would say that it that purpose it somewhat succeeds. But the problem is most Middle Easterners will prefer a stronger, more authentic Oud note, whilst most Westerners will find this a little strong for their tastes. It's almost like it "halfway" succeeds at both. But I like it! I think its good either way.
This is powerful and challenging. I am drawn to it, I like the dry down yet my wife finds it repulsive. Her dislike has limited the times I wear it.
I sometimes try to sneak it past her, not easy because it is so distinctive. She asks "are you wearing Calligraphy?", I reply "You noticed, what do you think of it today?" she says "it still stinks." (she doesn't mean in a nice way)
It is strong, distinctive and it clearly divides opinions in my household.
She likes Tom Ford's Cafe Rose and Oud Wood, but not Calligraphy.
To me it is rose coupled with oud, but perhaps because of the formula's strength this could seem violent and harsh when initially applied. As time moves on it sort of calms down, it provides wafts of rose with a deep underpinning.
It's nice and I still like it, but not because of any particular subtlety. Part of me expects Mrs Phippsy to turn around one day and say "you really do smell nice today! Which one is it?".
If that day comes I might lie and tell her it's a tester By Kilian so she can confirm her appreciation without admitting a change of heart.
Thumbs up from me, thumbs down by her : - it has to be neutral......for now.
There are lot of rose/oud fragrances around these days, so there's nothing original here. But I really like it - I sampled it in Doha airport, and just bought a bottle in the UK.
But what puzzles me is its market. Apparently it's targeted at the Middle Eastern market (and it's not widely sold the UK), but I don't see this toned-down oud satisfying such customers, who I would expect to be more interested in full-on oud notes.
To me it comes over as a rose/oud blend that's been tailored for Western noses - that suits me fine, but it means I don't get what they're trying to do with it. Still, as long as I like it...
14th February, 2013 (last edited: 22nd March, 2013)
Perfume Calligraphy is an abstract expressionist tableau of crisply drawn scent lines made of lemon, cardamom, saffron/ rose and oud woods with a sweet oriental perfume base. A calligraphy of perfume - good name! This is a provocative and mysterious fragrance that is very appropriate for man or woman. It wears like a scarf woven of swirling paisley and smoke ribbons colored with lemon, roses, saffron, oud and amber musk. The lemon and myrrh are a contrast with the saffron and roses. The rose lightly introduces the oud which spreads out through a warm amber slightly animalic base. Perfume Calligraphy is a fragrance that seems to swirl around as if it were ephemeral smoke. The fragrance notes are lightly applied keeping it away from the big bold oud pathway taken by so many. This fragrance travels a more delicate road through a 1001 Nights Tale of mystery, romance and intrigue. Perhaps the only negative about the fragrance is it is very light in intensity, and after the first hour Perfume Calligraphy calms to a gentle presence that hangs around for 4 hours or so, before becoming a very quiet skin scent presence.