Perfume Review: People of the Labyrinths A Maze
I realize that many of those who worship at the altar of Luctor et Emergo (and their name is a legion), probably hope that A Maze would be a continuation of the same theme, a sequel, a scent with perhaps a couple of notes added, slightly different, but really almost the same. I am afraid those people will be disappointed. The only thing that Luctor et Emergo and A Maze have in common is the POTL part of the name. I must also say that I found the official description to be rather misleading in that it promises a scent that “strikes a somewhat lighter note” (than the first POTL fragrance). A Maze is a deep, dense, black-rose scent with pronounced oud-like accord and woody undertone, it is sultry, brooding, it has gorgeous sillage and lasts a long time. Transparent skin scent it is not.
According to the list of notes, A Maze features henna. I remember the smell of henna from my childhood, when my grandma used it to color her hair. It had a peculiar and not entirely unpleasant aroma akin to dump and spicy hay. If I try very hard, I can sort of smell it in A Maze, but really, the note seems to be there to contribute to the dark and spicy “aoud effect” caused by agarwood and saffron. The top notes are oud-full to the extent that if you told me this was one of Montale’s gorgeous rose ouds, I wouldn’t have been surprised. The scent starts spicy and sharp and immediately evokes in my mind an image of an exotic pitch-black rose. A rose made of black leather, perhaps. A supernatural, dark flower that only blooms at midnight, under the light of a sinister moon. After a while, A Maze starts to soften a little and becomes sweeter. The middle notes are dry and candied at the same time, like a Goth dessert of some sort, black rose confiture, served on black plates, in the candle light. The drydown is gloriously woody, with the agarwood, which I smelled right from the start, and sandalwood joining forces and enriching and “deepening” the dark rose.
What I like about A Maze is the cohesiveness of the composition, the fact that rose is present at all stages of the scent's development, binding other elements together like a black, shimmering cord. I also love the unabashed sumptuousness of the blend. And most of all I love that it manages to be striking, unusual and very hip without straying into the territory of bizarre, borderline-unpleasant and unwearable. This is the kind of a rose scent that I adore, a vampy, femme fatale rose, nocturnal and sophisticated. A Maze is without a doubt full bottle worthy for me.
It is available at Luckyscent, which at the moment has a free shipping promotion for orders of A Maze. Use the code AMAZE at the checkout. A Maze costs $125.00 for 90ml of EDT and $165.00 for 90ml of EDP.
The images are from Luckyscent and Operagloves.com.