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Perfume Calligraphy Saffron (2013)
by Aramis

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Perfume Calligraphy Saffron information

Year of Launch2013
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 31 votes)

People and companies

HouseAramis
PerfumerClement Gavarry
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies > Aramis and Designer Fragrances

About Perfume Calligraphy Saffron

Perfume Calligraphy Saffron is a shared / unisex perfume by Aramis. The scent was launched in 2013 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Clement Gavarry

Perfume Calligraphy Saffron fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Perfume Calligraphy Saffron

For a perfume this nice but discontinued, it's surprising that ( for now) it's price remains as reasonable as it is.

I bought a decant, and then a full bottle.

An easy recommendation for those who love Safran Troublant.
24th March, 2019
Aramis Perfume Calligraphy (2012) was an earnest attempt by Estée Lauder to break into the Middle East perfume market, which until recent years was served only indirectly by Western perfume houses, and they did so by making a Western perfume with Middle Eastern rose/oud/amber/saffron inflections. The first entry was originally composed by Clement Gavarry (son of Max Gavarry) for Estée Lauder and quizzically released under the Aramis line despite being a unisex launch. The Middle East and Europe got that one in a limited edition woodcap bottle, while the US saw distribution exclusively through Neiman Marcus in a bottle that matched the Gentleman's Collection set, marketed to men exclusively. Apparently the stuff, which has seen mixed reactions from perfumistas and colognoisseurs, was a success and spawned two limited flankers the following year: Aramis Perfume Calligraphy Rose (2013), which was composed by Trudi Loren and took focus on the rose element of the original, and Perfume Calligraphy Saffron (2013), which saw Clement Gavarry return to focus on saffron. Rose and oud are still small parts of Perfume Calligraphy Saffron, as it doesn't go full-tilt amber rose like Perfume Calligraphy Rose did, but neither does it go full-tilt saffron as the title might suggest. Fans of Chanel Égoïste (1990) should take note of Perfume Calligraphy Saffron, as it has a similar sweet rose heart sandwiched between aromatic elements, but presented in a smoother, more spicy way.

Perfume Calligraphy Saffron feels the most Western of the three Calligraphy perfumes, and also the most masculine, but more on that a little further down. The scent opens with pasty marigold and honeyed bergamot, sweet, ochre-like, and very reminiscent of honeyed floral openings such as Boss/Boss Number One by Hugo Boss (1985) and Balenciaga Ho Hang Club/Le Club de Balenciaga (1987), particularly when the rose heart emerges to interact with the honey. Lavender also joins the rose in the middle, creating another link in my mind to Caron Number 3/The Third Man (1985), especially when the tonka appears to give Perfume Calligraphy Saffron a fougère-like quality. Make no mistake, this is still an oriental, with the namesake saffron note and oud seeing to that, but the base is remarkably Western in flavor, particularly with the animalic leather and styrax playing with tonka and grassy vetiver. The total aura with leather included is very much French, almost a French Morocco of old in a roundabout way, not that Clement Gavarry was making a perfume ode to colonialism. Sillage is tight but longevity is really good at 10+ hours of total wear time before its a memory, just like the previous two Calligraphy perfumes, and I could see this being a good fall/winter evening choice for casual or romantic use, but definitely not office-friendly. I'd also say this is sweet enough to serve under makeshift clubbing duty as well. Fans of the original Perfume Calligraphy will have more to gravitate towards in the saffron flanker than the rose, mainly because they have more in common, which may have to do with them both being made by the same perfumer.

Overall, I dearly love all three Calligraphy scents to pieces but if I had to give an objective "Best of Series" award to any of them, it would be this one, since it doesn't feel conflicted and compromised like the original Perfume Calligraphy, nor like an altogether unrelated Middle Eastern rose perfume like the Perfume Calligraphy Rose flanker. Perfume Calligraphy Saffron is the entry most likely to find appeal with vintage male fragrance hobbyists because of the leather, animalics, and similarity to so many masculine classics, but the marigold top might be a bit off-putting to CISHET guys since that flower is rarely seen in "sporty" modern men's compositions. Perfume Calligraphy Saffron is a smooth honeyed rose, oud and leather oriental surprise from Aramis, and one which probably connects least to a Western audience as it contains animalic elements that haven't been popular in over thirty plus years, which makes it all the more endearing in my eyes. Like with Perfume Calligraphy Rose, this only comes in the limited woodcap bottle and never saw an official US release, but Neiman Marcus imported some briefly, plus you'll find it all over the internet at prices much lower than its original $120 MSRP. Perfume Calligraphy Saffron also seems to be the least talked-about of the three in this series, so eBay gougers aren't likely to try monopolizing stock due to lack of sufficient interest from crazed collectors. Thumbs up!
19th November, 2018 (last edited: 20th November, 2018)
Strong dislike. All I could smell were the very, very bitter and herbal marigolds. No saffron, nothing warm, nothing nice at all. It was horrible. I sold my bottle on eBay for a loss. Happy enough that it's gone!
07th October, 2017
Spiced floral-infused cookies without excessive sweetness. A recipe a wood nymph would hold secret. Indian summer in a bottle. An uncommon amalgamation of ingredients. I tend to seek out odd combinations, for my collection of scents. I chose wisely, here.

Oriental. Spicy. Comforting.

24th May, 2017
Quite another winner, to say the least, among this limited (and discontinued already?) line by Aramis. My favourite still remains Calligraphy Rose, but this Saffron sibling comes right after that. First of all I must point out that honestly, I would have called this “Calligraphy Chamomile & Tagetes”, because that’s precisely what I get out of this for the first couple of hours. An extremely pleasant, bracing and calming blend of resinous, honeyed floral notes with a peculiar sort of warm, “edible”, gently balsamic pollen-infused earthy-herbal feel with a slight sort of waxy-citric aftertaste – which is more or less what I refer to as “chamomile” (say, a steamy cup of honeyed, bergamot/rose-infused chamomile). There is saffron, too, but to me it acts more as a subtle enhancement of the spicier, more aromatic side of the blend. It’s surely not the most prominent note for me, but it’s there.

The color of the juice and the label reflect the smell quite well: all that gold, yellow and ochre – that’s how Calligraphy Saffron smells, in “synesthetic” terms. It’s exotic, elegant, soothing and almost “meditative” with its sense of golden, peaceful floral-resinous warmth, just with the right balance of thickness and dryness – the dryness mostly coming from a discreet, austere and kind of smoky accord of light leather and vetiver providing a thin, yet quite perceivable and perfectly fit “dark” and dry base tinged with a whiff of rose powder. All works just perfect: a simple composition, rich in depth more than notes, with seemingly great quality and a really desirable presence on skin – it’s long-lasting, not overly sweet (actually, considering the notes, it’s barely sweet), pleasantly linear with a slow transition towards a drier, smokier, unexpectedly more balsamic woody-resinous-leathery scent, with the right projection (more on the discreet side). If I had to mention a flaw, it would be a slightly excessive sense of restraint; personally, I would have wished something a bit more “opulent”. It’s a rich scent, but a bit too tamed down to express its richness at its best. But however, it’s great. I didn’t try the black-label “original” Calligraphy scent, but both Rose and Saffron are definitely two really great pieces of Oriental perfumery which I wouldn’t have expected from Aramis. Totally worthy the price.

8/10
18th September, 2015
drseid Show all reviews
United States
Perfume Calligraphy Saffron goes on with a thick, near-resinous floral marigold with supporting slightly powdery rose and traces of leathery saffron spice. As the composition moves to its early heart the marigold vacates as the saffron builds intensity adding in a moderately sweet supporting honey accord, with the fine powdery rose growing into co-star with the saffron. Moving through the heart phase, an underlying modestly smoky woody vetiver joins the primary honeyed saffron and rose accord, adding a bit of dryness. During the late dry-down the composition turns relatively dry, losing its honeyed sweetness as remnants of the saffron and rose now join leathery styrax through the finish. Projection is very good to excellent and longevity very good at 10-11 hours on skin.

Perfume Calligraphy Saffron immediately impresses with its excellent early use of marigold. The marigold is difficult to describe, but it has a thick, slightly boozy floral aspect to it that is a perfect match for the saffron. Speaking of the saffron, it is paired with a honey-like accord that never gets too sweet, but adds a bit of an unexpected spin to the presentation one might not expect, countering the saffron's slightly dry leathery nature. The rose used primarily in the mid-section of the composition is almost as prominent as the saffron, showing off its relatively airy, powdery facets. All-in-all the saffron, honey and rose combination surprisingly works very well, leading to the relatively stark dry-down. After having been previously impressed with the Perfume Calligraphy Rose flanker, this Saffron flanker offering near-equally impresses. The bottom line is Perfume Calligraphy Saffron continues to prove that while rare, some flankers can smell better than the compositions they were based off of, earning a "very good" to "Excellent" 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5 rating and a solid recommendation.
18th February, 2015

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