I'm not very skilled at analyzing the notes and can just say this is one outstanding fragrance. Sweet but not too sweet. Sillage and longevity are excellent.
Genre: Woody Oriental
Pierre Guillaume’s scents for his own Parfumerie Generale line have been hit-or-miss for me. Some, like Querelle, Yuzu Ab Irato, Coze, and L’Oiseau de Nuit, have been “just OK” as far as I’m concerned. Others, including Intrigant Patchouli, Papyrus de Ciane, and Jardins de Kérylos, have been out-of-the-ball-park hits. Though as a gourmand oriental Aomassaï is not the type of scent I normally enjoy, I must now group it with those last three among my favorites from this house.
Smoky vanilla, toasted nuts, and burnt sugar support a smoldering heart accord of incense, licorice, hazelnut, and spices. This dark, dark composition is ideally balanced: the intense smoky quality keeps the structure from teetering into oppressive sweetness. What could have been a trite, cloying scent is instead a paragon of warm, brooding mystery. Aomassaï demonstrates what so many inferior gourmand scents could be but aren’t. A marvelous achievement in a difficult genre.
The opening is a vanillic-resinous accord with a realistic caramel note, so bitter and strong it almost goes on the boozy side, then spices (saffron, cumin, cinnamon?), tonka, cocoa beans: a dark, dusty gourmand, slightly close to Slumberhouse's Ore as regards of the "concept", with a floral lavender touch and a slightly waxy/powdery orris root note. A load of spices, perfectly blended with the spices-boozy caramel accord. Peculiar and not bad at all, quite distinctive and interesting, also nondescript, as it smells Oriental, but also "European" (the caramel, the booze, the general restrained shape). The base slowly emerges with a dry green-suede like accord, the overall evolution is really nice and pleasant, must admit I quite enjoy this unusual "axe" of progress – a green-spicy-sweet-powdery geometry. The notes are dissonant, but somehow really harmonic. Finally it evolves on a talcum-balsamic accord still with spices and slightly sweet, a bit delicate but fairly persistent. Overall one of the nicest Parfumerie Générale I've ever tested (not a fan so far).
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Tasty but un-cloying and structured
What appears by soon as a weird stuff is the contrast of diverse (somewhat opposite) feelings since the first blast after which you can detect at once some A* Men's (little amber/caramel, aromatic elements, a touch of toasted coffee?) and O'Driu's (bitter licorice/hay/orangy peels anisic accord) landmark vibes. I detect by soon the nutty/syrupy yummy feel which is anyway counteracted by a sort of medicinal/bitter/slightly boozy-anisic vibe indeed. Along the trip the aromatic bitterness and the paper-hay type of vibes tend to subside and to leave the stage free for soft creaminess, masculine classic complexity and spicy delicacy. Really dark, resinous and moderataly sweet in its burnt sugar bitter/sweet outcome. An extreme balance for this introvert semi-gourmand with some secret initial aqueous freshness in the mix and a touch of incense/spicy powder. I detect a vague boozy background along the trip and a sort of coffee liqueur type of vibe which are incredibly soft, balanced, clearly woody and with a final suede type of smoothness. The dry down, in spite of being full-bodied, mild and enveloping, remains in the perception basically dry (or better on an average level) complex, masculine (carnal and prickly spicy/incensey with a surprising touch of saltiness), structured and classy with a more than vague sort of classic background (i mean slightly herbal, spicy, dusty, virile with a touch of ambergris and distinctive). The aromatic notes-citrus-resinous incense-woody elements-patchouli-ambergris "comforting" (warm and organic) connection reports me vaguely in mind the Jacques Zolty's co-operations of equivalent notes which play anyway outside the gourmandish territories. On the complex i find this juice really interesting and despite it sails out from my olfactory waters i appreciate a lot its balance, the brand blindly itself and the spicy and warm background. Longevity and projection are in the average.
Pros: Well balanced
Cons: Not my cup of tea"
Aomassai opens with a rich caramel note that leaves me with my mouth watering! Right after a couple seconds the hazelnut appears giving some depth to this fragrance in a very balanced way. A dessert, a very well crafted and edible dessert with nothing exaggerated in it. In Aomassai the sweetness presents itself in a soft way that throughout time shows us the amber aspect o it.
I'll just admit this right up front: I love Aomassai. Of course, I'm also partial to sweet vanilla-based gourmands, so if neither vanilla nor gourmands are up your alley, Aomassai may not be for you.
But while the vanilla is there -- in all of its sweet, warm, gooey goodness -- it never takes center stage. That honor belongs to the hazelnuts, incense, and woods.
On me, Aomassai is all about warm, toasted woods, and I agree completely with the reviewer who feels "autumn" in this fragrance. Aomassai evokes the crisp, sunny autumn Saturday of a football game in New England, where roasted nuts predominate over smoked meats and where the sky is so perfectly blue you want to cry. And then, as the sun sets and the chill of the evening descends, it wraps you in the warm sweetness of the balsam, vanilla, and resins.
It's just lovely.
19th August, 2011 (last edited: 15th September, 2011)
Anyone into gourmandic fragrances should try Aomassai as it's one of the most complex, original and compelling compositions in the genre. Caramel, nuts and vanilla represented in their roasted/smoky side. Burnt sugar, hints of incense and "sweet" liquorice join the party in the drydown. Dark, deep and very distinctive.
While I'm usually not into gourmandic fragrances I believe Aomassai brings this genre to a brand new level that's far from being cloying, overly sweet or simply "appetizing", introducing some darkness and mistery to a cathegory that too often is an end in itself.
17th July, 2011 (last edited: 05th August, 2011)
I love that this scent is a gourmand, yet not very sweet on me. The hazelnut and caramel accord sit on a base of the most perfect vanilla. I dont get the woods from this, just a delicious hazelnut coffee scent with a just the right amount of cream. Its warm and comforting. What you might smell in the air of a very quaint and classy coffee shop in......... What country makes the best coffee?
I should declare from the outset that gourmands are a genre of fragrance I feel unable to embrace. The desire or need to feel edible has never been one of my priorities. That said, Aomassai is undoubtedly an interesting and intelligently constructed scent, I can admire it from afar.
Beyond the thick children’s dessert opening, which is a heavy caramel and hazelnut combo, it actually settles into something light and soothing. There are no sharp edges, and the initial excesses are reined in significantly to leave something accessibly sweet and cool on the skin.
This is certainly not for those with a diabetic palate, but for others, this will be high quality comfort food.
When one walks into a bakery where fresh bread just came out of the oven, that is one kind of gourmand fragrance; food. Aomassai has the olfactory components of caramel and hazel nuts taken to the next level where the fragrance is a bit more abstract, but still full of the mmmmmm feeling. There is no thought of food, but rather of how wonderful one smells while wearing it. Two thumbs up for this gourmand masterpiece from Parfumerie Generale.
09th January, 2011 (last edited: 14th April, 2011)
In my opinion this is one of the best works of Pierre Guillaume, great idea blending the gourmand notes of caramel and toasted hazelnut with the deepness of woods and incense.
very long lasting on my skin.
Sweet carmel but not the icky sweet caramel… this one is sophisticated and adult. One way it is more adult is that it is presented with toasted hazelnuts, for a burned effect that reduces the sweet aroma of caramel. Underneath caramel and smoky hazelnut accord, I get the licorice whose obscure sweetness forms an agreeable tension with the caramel. I like this conflict very much... it adds its tension to the opening accord to make it so much more intriguing than the several cloyingly sweet interpretation of these elements that I’ve tested. The movement from the opening to the middle and base is quite slow and this lethargy shows the smoothness of this fragrance’s strong, unique notes. The drydown is excellent. It’s a dry, aromatic (resinous, even) wood accord that is everything a wood lover like me can ask for… I can identify the wenge wood, the vetiver, the incense, the dried grass and certainly the resins: everything I love… Identify them but I feel the drydown could be stronger; if fact, I find the whole fragrance rather too discreet. Aomassai contains beautiful and captivating accords and I would like them to show off a little more than they do… and they could last a little longer than they do.
The take-no-prisoners opening of vanilla and caramel takes, ahem, some getting used to. Thankfully, all of that quiets down enough to reveal a wonderfully unique heart that's sweet, dusty, woodsy and grassy all at the same time. Definitely one-of-a-kind. The far dry-down is a slightly disappointing vanilla, coming after those fireworks.
I like it enough to own and drain my decant, but I don't think I'd ever spring for a bottle. Its uses are a bit... limited, I guess.
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Aomassai didn't impress me initially. I originally found the caramel opening lacking in richness, as if caramel syrup were cut 50/50 with water, a very strange sensation. But I came to appreciate the way this less intense sweetness melds so seamlessly with a grassy accord which I can't say is the straight up vetiver note I've come to know. No, this really smells like grass, but again, smoothed out, almost watered down -- a painting in water colors. Toasted hazelnuts, watery grass and watered down caramel whose warm, burnt notes come into focus later on in the development, soft spice, silky woods: The result is a very intriguing, modern, somehow sophisticated and chic combination. This grassy accord, I just can't get enough of how oddly satisfying it is juxtaposed, or I should technically say, woven into, these softly sweet gourmand notes.
I also thought of Mechant Loup while trying to get at the heart of this fragrance. Though they don't smell alike, I think Mechant Loup is an easy fragrance to draw a parallel with to a certain degree because they have a similar "weight" (come to think of it, Aomassai has a very L'Artisan sensibility while retaining commendable lasting power) and they both have gourmand notes and a gourmand feel but intriguingly, they are initially not warm fragrances, but rather, almost cool, wistful, melancholic, evocative of something outside their sweet notes. I know I'm falling prey to the perfumer's description of his own scent but when I wear this, I do feel transported somehow to a vast, open African plane, sitting in the tall grass, the wind carrying something sweet, burnt, cooking above a distant fire. I'm sold. Aomassai is not only a wonderful work of art but also an incredibly satisfying, wearable and versatile fragrance.
Aomassai is a distinctive gourmand that opens up complexly with roasted hazelnuts, caramel, and a melange of spices, drying down to a simple accord of vanilla and woods. It's an EDT, so longevity and sillage is just average despite the strong start.
This is beautiful, complex, mysterious and perfectly balanced. It's a little tangy at first with a strong vetiver and wood before settling into the wonderful sweet but never cloying mix of vanilla, caramel, nuts and woods. The dry down is extremely pleasant. Staying power seems fantastic with 11 hours and counting for me. I absolutely love it.
When I put this on, I immediately thought of reading a book in a cozy home library, wearing a rich robe and fuzzy slippers. The perfume immediately engendered a "comfort" feeling for me. At first, the initial smell was a bit too sweet (even for me and I am generally a huge fan of sweeter gourmands) but the drydown just made me fall in love. It brought back memories of walking through the crisp fall leaves in damp weather, smelling the smoke from chimneys and the smell of hot chocolate wafting through the air. An amazing perfume.
Toasted hazelnuts, caramel and licorice open this stunning gourmand with flair! Not too sweet either. Enticing and amazing, just can't help but snorfle my wrist! Soon after these sweets have tickled my palate, the warmth and smokiness of incense & spice slowly come forth. Underlying is a constant wafting of balsam, keeping balance with vetiver and 'dried grass' accord. If ever there was a scent offering "tidings of comfort and joy" - this is it! Clever, well crafted, bottle-worthy!
Many of PG's line have gourmand notes, so it's not surprising that a full gourmand would be so rich and full. Caramel and licorice are the primary notes, but as with Yohji Homme, there is a distinct roasted quality to the entire fragrance that keeps it from becoming sweet and cloying. Take Yojhi Homme, roast it for another couple hours to take out the sweetness, and you'd be close to this.
There are definitely some background notes of wood and incense that give body and depth to the Aomassai, but in a discrete way that never interferes with the gourmand-ness of the entire fragrance. The incense becomes somewhat more noticeable in the base, at which point the composition in general becomes slightly musky. Serge Lutens' Un Bois Vanille is a similar fragrance in that it recreates an aromatic atmosphere (of say, a coffee shop or a bakery), but for some reason Aomassai is less sweet and more wearable. Perhaps this is because Aomassai does not rely on vanilla or coffee notes, as most gourmands do.
I'm perplexed at the reviewer that experienced poor longevity. I literally dabbed the back of my hand with the sample vial - not even one spray - and I could smell it for hours and hours. Two sprays would be more than enough for a morning-til-bed application for me.
If you like the PG line you have to try to this - but avoid at all costs if you don't like gourmands.
Published notes: caramel, toasted hazelnuts, licorice, bitter orange, spices, wenge wood, vetiver, balsam wood, incense, dried grasses, resins (per Luckyscent.com)
absolutely lovely, thought not for everyone. suitable for colder months (i've already worn it during summer and it's fine, but the colder months and wool scarves and pullovers let the scent stand out more). imagine gourmand caramel paired with burning leaves and maybe a hint of dark bitter chocolate and woods.
A favorite gourmand. I get quite a bit of licorice, but for some reason it's not bothersome to me, though I usually dislike licorice accord. Probably because it's expertly blended with nuts, vanilla, a hint of caramel, and a deep dark chocolate that comes on slowly in the fragrance's prograssion. Despite the above it is NOT sweet, so you gooey sticky sweet dessert gourmand lovers might not like it. I'm finding out that I love most gourmands, sweet and not. Extra points for creativity-for coming up with such an interesting & grownup gourmand. I understand the Angel analogy brought up by LisaWood, and I can see aspects of Aomassai where that rings true, but to me it's much better, without the skank/b.o. accord that makes Angel unwearable on my skin. A wishlist item.
01st July, 2008 (last edited: 02nd July, 2008)