Perfume Review: Aesop Marrakech and Red Flower Hammam Cardamom Amber
Finally I managed to get my greedy hands on that elusive, we-won’t-ship-it-to-the-US-not-even-a-sample Marrakech by an Australian company, Aesop. With notes of cardamom, ylang ylang, patchouli, sandalwood, clove, jasmine, rose and neroli, it was touted as the cardamom scent to rule all cardamom scents. Being a big cardamom fan, I was naturally anxious to try this marvel. I am glad I finally satisfied my curiosity, because a) it is indeed good and b) it is not so good that I'd have to continue spending my days nagging and begging someone, anyone to ship it to me the high delivery cost nothwithstanding.
After an agreeably harsh, almost incense-like beginning, Marrakech settles into a soft, sweetly piquant cardamom fragrance and there is not much more to say about it. The cloves are somewhat evident there at times, and I believe the presence of jasmine is to thank for the soft floral undertone of the scent, however, all in all, Marrakech is quite simple; it has very few nuances and hardly undergoes any changes apart from getting increasingly softer and subtler. Which is not bad at all, it is just that this fragrance is not interesting enough, not “exotic” enough for me to be heartbroken about its unavailability in the US. If and when it arrives here, I will probably buy it; if it never graces our shores with its presence, I’ll easily do without.
This devil may care attitude about Marrakech is partly also due to the fact that there already exists in my life a cardamom scent that I love and that more or less satisfies my craving for this spice. I am talking about Hammam Cardamom Amber by Red Flower. This is an oil, and although I am not the biggest fan of oils, I make an exception in this case. With notes of cardamom, bergamot, rose, jasmine, litsea cubeba, ylang ylang, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver, black pepper, sweet orange and apricot, it smells simply wonderful, perhaps a little warmer, a little sweeter and a little darker than Marrakech. As promised, the amber is there and is quite apparent, as is a pleasant earthy accord comprised of sandalwood, vetiver and patchouli. Having said that, this again is a cardamom “soliflore”, a not-too complex, linear scent. Also, to be fair, I must admit that, compared to Aesop’s creation, which lasted good 6-7 hours on my skin, Cardamom Amber is rather fleeting. Still, it costs $44.00 for 2.4oz and is available in the US, at Luckyscent or Beautyhabit, to be precise. Marrakech is sold on Aesop’s own website ($95.00-$140.00) as well as, I believe, in Liberty in the UK. The latter may or may not agree to ship it to the US, for some ridiculous shipping fee.
The first image is from Aesop, the second is from Luckyscent.