When I was a child, I dressed up as Charlie Chaplin for a neighborhood Halloween party -- it took little more than powdering my face, painting a mustache, wearing some baggy pants and an over-sized jacket with a piece of twine as a waist-belt, putting on some worn-out shoes and a bowler hat, and finding a plain tree-branch just long enough for me to use as a makeshift cane... Somehow, I won the competition, over all the other children and and all the other adults... Somehow, even though I'd never even seen one of his films... I like Wazamba, but I am not in love with it... Something about it seems under-developed, there is no real sense of exposition; I sincerely feel as if it just doesn't go far enough. I am interested and intrigued, but ultimately I am left unfulfilled and unsatisfied. It flirts with exoticism, but that's about it. Mimicry. Practice doesn't always make perfect. It takes a certain knack, a certain Je ne sais quoi, and I just cannot seem to find it here.
Wazamba by Parfum d'Empire, 2009
Rated #2663 in Fragrances
It should be a fragrance I love - incense, resin, wood and apple, yum - but I do not. From the incense opening, a slightly sweet sickly note was present in it on me. I'm assuming it was the apple, though as another reviewer commented, it turned into a note quite similar to immortelle. It started subtly, lightly sweet and I found it quite tolerable and intermingled. But as it aged, it picked up strength and inflexibility, and finally turned into a monotone high-pitched chorus of an unappetising apple sweetness forced to exist with incense and resins, decided it didn't want to, so layered itself over them, to sort of muffle the other notes. I love an apple note, but I barely recognised this bully. But that wasn't its biggest sin for me. It was rather rigid and linear, insistently dramatic, without much give and take. This is a fragrance that isn't much of a team player with me, and was insisting on its own way rather than let me play along. After two hours it felt like the notes were welded into place. Domination isn't always the answer to creating a 'strong' fragrance. In addition the drydown was sharp and slightly sour. I'm not sure how this fragrance went so wrong on me, but it became very annoying after 4 hours. Actually, I do know how it went wrong - chemistry. Perfumes are becoming more of a crap shoot as the industry evolves, with wildly divergent reactions among wearers, even in genres that should as a whole 'fit' a person's chemistry. I know my chemistry is problematic, having difficulties with many synthetic notes. But even though I have reliably chypre skin, I have to test each and every 'new' chypre now. There is no sure bet for me in new introductions. I've tried Wazamba twice now with the same results, and I don't think I'm up for a third round. I'm throwing in the towel.
I get A LOT of fir balsam pine with this, which is just fine with me. Some incense too but no trace of apple. This is a real pine resin fragrance, not a wannabe pine scent. I have a sample of it. The first time I tried it, I liked it but when I tried it a second time, I REALLY liked it.
Wazamba by Parfum d'Empire - Initially, one is treated to a rush of smoky, colophony incense commingling with the Christmas tree aroma of balsam fir. At once, one is immersed in the resinous warmth of a lively incense coupled with the somewhat minty coolness of fir, creating an illusion of a forest floor with crushed needles and embers from a dying fire. A sweep of aldehyde provides a fizzy greenness. And, a faint backdrop of a slightly tart and clean apple also presents. Transitioning to the heart, the incense is relegated to the background while a cool and medicinal myrrh vies with a warm and sweet opopanax. And, an odoriferous labdanum imparts its warm and sweet, ambergris character. The enhanced resins flow to the receptive base. A gentle sandalwood, with its buttery and softly sweet woodiness, lifts the resinous, incense concoction. A soothing cypress infuses its pine-like woodiness with an ambergris nuance. A mystically comforting drydown ensues. This exotic composition is unisex, but leans to the masculine side. A rather unique scent, it has average, radiating projection, and good longevity, about 11 hours.
I'd love Wazamba if it hadn't such a huge immortelle note (or immortelle effect, as I don't see it listed) in the heart! It starts with the typical citrus-resinous-spicy accord of others Marc Antoine Corticchiato's fragrances, here made sweeter and lighter by a fresh apple note. The well balanced combination of incense, resins and a round and balsamic myrrh are already lurking in the background, but, before getting to it, there's a wall of smoky bacon and curry to overcome! Too bad, as the beginning and the drydown are remarkably interesting.
Wazamba starts with incense and myrrh right on the spot, associated with a very evident resinous combo, but without being too pungent. The opening does not screams in your face since a light apple aroma kicks in leaving things softly. Anyway, a very pleasant fragrance that I recommend to everyone to at least try it instead of only look to Ambre Russe.
Directly I sniffed this one I knew it was a fragrance I'd smelled before! Behind all the incense and conifer/pine which is just something a little extra, really. SERGE LUTENS AMBER SULTAN I'm amazed nobody has picked up on this as of yet!
How to make an incense that doesn't smell like all the any other incense. Not happy with the cold stone note of Avignon or Cardinal? Don't want to smell like a religious ceremony, Kyoto? Don't want to fade into obscurity? Don't want it to get lost in a bunch of other notes, Jubilation XXV? Do like woody resinous smells? Wazamba is my answer.
Parfums d'Empire WAZAMBA is an incense perfume of the pulverize sticks of incense to fine powder and then dissolve it to form a solution which dries down to the smell of pulverized sticks of incense variety. Very similar in this regard to Comme des Garçons ZAGORSK. For some reason the final product of pulverized incense that I end up breathing in causes a mild discomfort akin to asbestos contamination to my lungs. Could be some kind of allergic reaction, I suppose. In any case, it is clear from these two cases that I really prefer incense perfumes with a more balanced resinous or oily cast. Désolée.
Phew. A surprisingly total scrubber for me. I couldn't wash this off fast enough. I am an adventurous cook and adventurous cooking was all this conjured up for me. Potent, ,exotic spices, just ones I'd prefer to season my cuisine with rather than my skin. I can get the same effect from sitting in the local curry shop for a couple of hours. Aromatic B.O. Pass.
Wazamba by Parfum d'Empire, 2009
By: Parfum d'Empire
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