Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Aomassaï 10 by Parfumerie Generale

Total Reviews: 26
I remember my first encounter with salted caramel in Brittany many moons ago – an umami bomb for the sweet of tooth, I was immediately sold and wondered why such an excellent and intense culinary idea wasn’t more widely prevalent. I imagine many others shared this view as this particular flavour has now marched into ice creams, fudges and even peanut butter far and wide across the Western world.
Aomassaï seems to be drawing on this particular trick of combining a massive dose of salt with caramalized fudgy and nutty scents. The saltiness is what rolls up first – a combination of licorice, hay and vetiver which smells of all these things but also sea-bathed, sun-baked skin. It’s been picked up by many other niche merchants since (for example Angela Ciampagna) with varying degrees of success.
The foody notes of condensed milk caramel and roasted hazelnuts rub up against the salt to suggest at first coffee but then temptations that seem beyond gustatory appetites.
What Aomassaï does particularly well is work a dark palette of notes – burnt, roasted, caramelized – into a composition that has the PG signature airiness. In the later stages the saltiness recedes leaving a slightly musky, nutty mousse. Different and accessible.

17th June, 2017
A burnt balsamic caramel made with flowery water and herbs... A hint of anise! Very special. It's green and milky, dry and watery, fresh and warm, sweet and bitter. Smoky and cold. Sharp and round. Impressive.
Quite masculine. Marine and earthy.
Good longevity, good sillage.
I won't wear it for it evolves on a too masculine note, but I'm obsessed with smelling it. All in contradictions.
09th January, 2017
I am in the Hotel kitchen, adjacent to the Pastry shop. There is Hazelnut Praline, being prepared within. A pinch of sugar has hit the stove top and a puff of blackened smoke rises. Room Service is grinding coffee and brewing a new batch. A line of knife peeled oranges is appearing via commis at the edge of my table.
I am toasting Aniseed to fold into my Savoury Orange and Lemon Biscotti.
The Ancient Dark Wood Pastry display wagon passes, driven by the cheeky young waitress. She drops my coffee mug off without skipping a beat. Martell Blue. I remind myself that an extra order of my best, needs to appear at the pass through at time appropriate. We will meet later and I will be wearing my daily Vetiver.

It's all edible in my dream.

Oh! And. Pregoni does this same kind of thing in his Pathetique.
10th March, 2016
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i'll defer to the eloquent ClaireV's superior evocation & descriptive talents and simply concur with everything she says. another great shapeshifting non-edible gourmand from PG
17th January, 2016
I smelled Aomassaï several times when I was just beginning my fragrance hobby and I didn’t like it.

It took for me to start experimenting with both cooking in the kitchen – wasting whole pans of sugar in an effort to produce a good caramel – and burning frankincense on a small burner at home for me to understand, and then appreciate, and then finally love the smell of things approaching smoking point when subjected to high heat.

Aomassaï finds that common thread between hazelnuts, orange peel, caramel, and vanilla sugar – the smoky, dark bitterness they all share when approaching smoking point – and emphasizes it with equally dark elements such as wenge wood, resins, and black, soft licorice.

It could have been a treacly mess, a sop to the modern taste for simple syrup in the gourmand category, but Aomassaï is never too sweet. Instead, the foodie elements are subjected to intense heat and distorted beyond what is commonly accepted as “nice” smelling. It is sweet and bitter in equal measure. Furthermore, the smoking resins, grassy vetiver, hay, and dark wenge woods tether the sweet notes and prevent them from becoming cloying.

Barely anybody mentions the vanilla in Aomassaï. I had used maybe a full quarter of my bottle before I realized that it has the most beautiful vanilla in the dry-down. Once I had mentally subtracted all of the burned caramel and incense and nutty notes, I finally noticed it, and the sense of revelation was like finally spotting the image in a Magic Eye painting. Now it’s almost my favorite part of Aomassaï, that deep, dark vanilla. It is both smoking hot and paper dry.

Whenever anyone is asking for recommendations for fragrances that smell like coffee, Aomassaï is always the first one that jumps to mind. But I recommended it once (I think on a Facebook group) and the general reaction was confusion: surely, they all said politely, there is no coffee in Aomassaï. Well, perhaps not. But I still smell coffee.

Specifically, to me, it smells like someone peeling an orange in a coffee shop fragrant with the aroma of burned coffee grounds and old newspapers strewn everywhere on dark, rickety wooden tables. In my mind’s eye, this coffee place is intimately dark and cozy. It’s not the kind of place you’d wander into casually. You’d have to mean it. But once you’re there, you’re one of the regulars.

Although they are very different scents and perhaps nobody except me sees the connection, but I think that Aomassaï has much in common with both Serge Lutens’ Un Bois Vanille and Dior Privee Eau Noire. They all share strong licorice/anise notes, have dark wood notes that could be loosely interpreted as burnt coffee grounds, a smoky atmosphere, and a dry, papery vanilla in the far dry-down. And as it so happens, all three of these fragrances exemplify exactly the type of gourmand approach I appreciate – inedible but still incredibly appetizing.
30th September, 2015
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.
03rd October, 2014
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.
08th June, 2014
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).

23rd May, 2014
Parfumerie Generale Aomassai 10 smells on me kind of "tasty" but never-cloying (on the contrary somewhat sharp) and quite structured.
What appears by soon as a weird stuff seems to be the contrast of diverse (somewhat opposite) feelings since the first blast after which you can detect all at once either several synthetically modern A* Men's vibes (little amber/caramel, aromatic elements, a touch of toasted coffee?) and hyper realistic and natural O'Driu's (bitter licorice/hay/orangy peels anisic accord) landmark feels. 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 stands out with 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"</p>
03rd September, 2013 (last edited: 06th September, 2015)
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.
16th April, 2012
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?
09th April, 2011
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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.
07th April, 2011
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.
31st July, 2010

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.

01st February, 2010
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.
15th December, 2009
nthny Show all reviews
United States
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.
17th September, 2009
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.
29th July, 2009
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.
28th June, 2009
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.
07th January, 2009
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!
02nd December, 2008
bbBD Show all reviews
United States
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
13th October, 2008
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.
27th August, 2008
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)