OK, so I read the rather lame Wikipedia entry on attars. Apparently, by definition, they use sandalwood oil as a base, or a carrier oil. Which confuses me even more. If something is just a potent blend of full-strength essential oils, why does it need to be cut or extended? Or is there something about the actual extraction of essential oils that requires some sort of other oil as part of the distillation process?
Anyway, today I'm wearing the other available-in-America attar from Amouage, Homage.
This certainly has a lot less going on than Tribute. On the top, it's a mix of citrus and rose, with something spicy playing in the background - maybe clove or carnation, or maybe even just a tiny ammount of black pepper. Pretty quickly, the citrus burned off, leaving a resinous fruity note that I'm pretty sure was coriander.
That accounted for much of its life - spicy fruity coriander and rose. By the afternoon, is had faded to mostly a rose geranium smell.
One of the people here commented that Homage was dumbed down for the American market. Maybe so, but I definitely enjoyed Homage more than Tribute (I've never claimed not to be dumb...). It wears like a Yosh (who also does natural essential oil perfumes that tend to be more simple and put the spotlight on specific good ingredients), in that it seemed specifically designed to show off the Taif Rose in a way that wouldn't be possible in a dense mixture with a bunch of oud and labdanum and stuff.
All in all, it was wearable and quite nice, but, to paraphrase knit_at_night, for that price it needs to make my eyes roll back in my head when I smell it. And I didn't have that with Homage. I think it was the coriander. It's a note I enjoy, but I think I might have been happier with a more purist rose. If it's the top quality rose essence available, I think I'd personally rather smell it almost alone. That being said, I think a tiny sample of Homage would be a good way to dip your toes into the attar pool without diving in at the deep end. I know I'll certainly end up using up my sample, coriander or not...