It's weird how we associate brands with quality. When I think Aramis, I would never think they could make such a high quality fragrance. Then again, I am a designer fragrance type of person, so I associate quality with brands all the time. Perfumery has come so far that any brand can use the best quality ingredients. Even if you're like me, and you think Aramis, you think the original, and you think "eww", you have to look past that now.
So that was holding me back from diving into this one, regardless of the reviews on Calligraphy Rose. I was able to get a really good deal on it, and blind bought this for under 50 bucks shipped. I believe the majority of the reviews are a bit misleading. Yes this is a high quality fragrance, but it really isn't rose dominated. While rose is there, saffron is the major note to me. Saffron has a very distinguished sort of chalky smell, and it sticks out like a sore thumb in Calligraphy Rose. Although not my favorite note, it blends nicely with rose, myrrh or incense creating this chalky, smokey rose smell. Not as masculine as I was expecting from the reviews.. in fact maybe even a bit more feminine; but that's a risk you always take when you're a man seeking a rose based fragrance. The powdery factor isn't too bad, and eventually tones down, that goodness.
Although this isn't my favorite in my collection, it garners a lot of compliments, always by women. I guess it smells familiar to them, and that's what women like. The projection on this isn't too much, as some others have alluded to. Maybe with more sprays I could get more projection, but the smell itself is heavy, and I wouldn't wanna overdo it.
All in all, I would say if you're sick of the same old designer crap that keeps getting released, and you want something a little more daring, and high quality, give this one a try. Hard to find samples now, and I'm pretty sure it's been discontinued already. If you have 50-60 bucks extra for a blind buy, and you love saffron, incense and rose, this would be a good option.. and even if you hate it, you can sell this one easily since it's low in stock and high in demand.