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Shams is quite an interesting take on the modern-oriental theme. It opens with a very "contemporary" pepper/ginger accord immediately joined by dry-earthy woody/mossy notes (vetiver/nagarmotha), spices and oud. The overall effect is remarkably stark, energizing and balmy at the same time and brings to mind of a successful mash-up bewteen a trendy masculine (such as Bang/Terre) and a more classic oriental a-là Pure Oud by Kilian. Tonka beans and amber start lurking in the back providing some sweetness to balance the harsh opening. In this phase Shams reaches its peak of charme. It's bold but not overpowering, solid and modern, distinctive yet easy to wear. While it's not a sillage monster, it still projects quite nicely.
19th February, 2012