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Fragrance Review: Amouage Journey Man

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Genre: Fougère

Some nifty Sichuan peppercorn and neroli top notes yield to a smoky, boozy, and rather nostalgic accord of pipe tobacco, coumarin, and cypriol (papyrus), with a very warm, woody vibe. (What perfume critic Luca Turin might refer to as a "cigar box" fragrance.) In mood, if not content, Journey Man’s central stage brings to mind both Shiseido’s late, lamented Basala and the big tobacco fougères of the 1970s and 1980s – fragrances like Équipage, Lauder for Men, and Havana. Indeed, with leather, wood, and amber base notes grounding the tobacco accord, the fragrance seems to seesaw between woody oriental and tobacco fougère styles. The drydown shifts first from tobacco and coumarin to leather, and then to the distinctive tang of Ambrox, grading slowly from its amply potent beginnings to a warm and gentle skin scent. Conspicuously absent is the prominent frankincense note that has anchored Amouage’s masculine offerings from Gold and Dia up through Jubilation XXV and Epic Man.

Journey Man is a moody, serious composition of the sort that was more popular several decades ago than now. Having recently sampled Amouage’s two Fate releases, and found them equally nostalgic in style, I wonder if there isn’t a deliberate, backward-looking perspective to the house’s recent art direction. In any case, aficionados who miss scents like Zino Davidoff, Basala, vintage Antaeus, and the original Montana Parfum d’Homme may well enjoy Journey. Besides the Sichuan peppercorn top note, the fragrance doesn’t bring much that’s novel to masculine perfumery, but it does reinforce the ranks of a fragrance style that’s been on the wane since the 1990s.

For more reviews of Journey Man, see the entry in the Basenotes Directory.

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Updated 13th July 2014 at 04:22 AM by Way Off Scenter

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