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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.
17th September, 2009