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Najaff opens with accord of mom´s make-up drawer - waxy lipstick and powder compresses. It´s trajectory reminds me a bit of Al Khatt, in the sense that the prettiest openings in this series are intentionally paired with the most challenging of the ouds. It then verges on the edges of Ambre Sultan with its dry herbs (an element of perfumery that I never find completely agreeable), adding a smokiness that is unfortunately ashy, not sweet. In the midsection, I sense strong links to MFK´s Absolue pour le Soir with cedar and smokey sandalwood, trading osmanthus for the ylang-ylang. I have trouble with this one. It's not particularly dirty, just a little sneeze-inducing with me; it draws you in gently but then subjects your nose too much dry powder and smoke. There is little RICH to be found in this when compared to others in the line. Excepting some middle moments where I feel some of the attractive cedar pull of Dzongka (without the incense), Najaff produces more head-ache than Arabian escape to this novice nose, but certainly presents an original essay for those wanting alternatives to the standard issues in the oud-of-the-month club.
08th July, 2012