Nice surprise to see this thread pop again - it's exactly a year since I bought Memoir Man and Woman - I can't believe how time flies.
Home early and just blasted on a generous dose of Memoir Man - today it somehow feels like Autumn is getting closer. It's been interesting contemplating this thread and charting people's comments over the year.
Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul
It seems Memoir Man is slowly becoming one of BN's most liked Amouage scents. I wonder what that means for the house though, given that this is one the least 'Amouage-y' of their releases.
I'd like to hazard a sort of a reply, or at least an observation, to the questions SOS and Bigsly pose - which kind of overlap for me and I think are food for thought in light of the seeming homogenisation of the industry ( you know, "let's all do rose/patch, okay now let's do an oud, right then, let's reinvent the fougere with a twist" etc.)
Firstly, regarding the 'Amouage-y ness' of it all. On the one hand, if you put the Attar line to one side, I wonder what this is exactly? Despite what a lot of people say I don't perceive this as a particularly Middle-Eastern or Arabian styled house. Ciel? A garrigue-ish aromatic fougere. Gold Man? An opulent masculine floral in the French tradition. Reflection? A smooth, sheer luxe masculine taken to the max. But XXV, you say? Well, yeh, incensey but really just Duchaufor doing his thing. And so on. The money is there in the ingredients, not least the frankincense and a few other goodies, so that's a clear thread running though them. The word opulent often comes up with Amouage, so perhaps Memoir Man (and Honour Man, for that matter) being a little introverted, come across as less 'Amouage-y' in that sense. I think maybe this is what Sculpture is alluding to?
Overall, though, what I see as a defining characteristic is a sense of no-hold barred exploration, and a creative evolution, made all the marked since Christopher Chong came on board.
I think the arc from Lyric - Epic - Memoir - Honour is incredibly interesting (and I would reference both the Man & Woman in this as I haven't seen any house so consistently and diligently labour over the 'pairings relationship' for a while). For a start, there's the conceptual side - the musical references, and more to the point the actual character references. I can understand some finding it all a bit artistic but grant Amouage the fact that they have stood behind a Creative Director who is asking the perfumers he is working with to interpret something far deeper than a geographical reference or "today's woman" or whatever. He is peering into his characters souls.
And then, along with all this plumbing the depths conceptual stuff there seems to be a completely out of whack with the zeitgeist approach to the actual scents. Quel horreur! I mean florid prose is one thing but how can I possibly wear this to work?
The Lyrics certainly don't mince words, especially Woman. Epic is weirdly compelling and solitary - Silk Road herbal / medicinal to me. Wormwood and mint on ashes for Memoir? Positively Heathcliffian in it's descent into darkness. And Honour is another odd one - beautiful creamy, fragrant peppercorns, florals and then a strange woods thing that I haven't had time to figure out yet?
None of this is exactly gonna wow the Sephora crowd. Which brings me to:
Originally Posted by Bigsly
I'm wondering if there is a certain kind of customer they are targeting with this fragrance, because I don't see the appeal of it to the niche crowd or the general public, not that they would even consider paying the price for a bottle.
What a question! Who exactly is this stuff aimed at? You know what I think? Anyone who is interested. Simple as that. We seem to be on a run with the paired line from Amouage where exploration is happening . . . in public. (Malle seems to do this too, BTW, following his muse and/or nose). There's no commercial logic to it that's for sure. And there's no uber-cool edgy hip factor thing going on (Classical Opera and Ballet dancers!!!???).
It's that rarest of things IMHO, creativity. There is no 'market demographic'.
I see people here with a favourite or two or three who also throw their hands up in horror at some of the others in the line. I personally love a few, respect a few and have zero interest in a few. So be it. But I'm so glad to see Amouage trying to bring something different, unusual and unexpected, to the table at a time when so many perfume houses seem to be in limbo. I like artistes who take risks.