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Although the name 'Arabian Wood' is redolent and enticing, it in no way -- IMO -- describes this divine, bitter soapy chypre.
Very much of a nod to the great soap-and-galbanum chypres of the past, such as: 'Safari', 'Ivoire', Jacomo "Silences", and 'Niki de Saint Phalle', 'Arabian Wood' is a respectful, complex chypre with a surprisingly "old-school" flavor. How wonderful is that?!
But it's not only a pleasure to encounter a modern chypre with good bones, it's also totally exciting to see this genre of bitterhot chypre 'expanded' to unisex status; fragrances like this, twenty years ago, were marketed to women only, even though I have long thought their dry, bitter and soapy effect to be well-suited to a warm, clean, elegant men's aesthetic, too.
That said, modernists need not veer clear of this classically-styled fragrance; it's subtlety, composure and crisp rose accord lend it a decidedly modern air and set it apart -- in terms of intensity -- from it's much-"louder" style-progenitors. And, for this reason, I actually consider it preferable to the above-mentioned classics: it manages to satisfy my strong-chypre craving without making me feel self-conscious that I am over-perfumed.
Finally, this is a very inviting, warm, and sensual fragrance. And one of those rare unisex offerings that really manages to really 'sex-up' both female and male attributes of its respective female and male wearers. For me, personally, the associations I have to it are, perhaps, more erotic than any other modern scent I can conjure.
Five Stars Plus...
So great, it's even worth the price. And another total must-have for fans of the bitter, thick chypre...
15 February, 2010