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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

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


Blogger tmp00 said...

PotL redeemed themselves to you!

I'll have to smell this: I don't think I would personally wear it, but I'm wondering about it. I have a friend who I think will adore it.

11:31 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

I have forgiven, not forgotten :-)
Would love to know what you think about this one.

11:32 PM EST  
Blogger The non-blonde said...

I'm very intrigued. My sample should be here on Friday. An order might be placed the same day...

11:42 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

The Non-Blonde,
Yes, that's how it often happens to me too :-)Dangerous thing, internet. Everything is just a click away. :-)

11:44 PM EST  
Anonymous Maria B. said...

Oh, darn! This sounds like a must-try. Oud and Montalelike rose, my favorite sort of rose. Another for the wish list.

I'm so relieved to learn from your review that POTL have not turned boring.

12:22 AM EST  
Blogger chaya ruchama said...

Sounds like a must-sniff.
I'm a Black Aoud fan, of those that you really need to be in the mood for- not all the folk in one's wake appreciate our mania, lol !

Love you- keep warm!
[I envision you in sable coat, with oodles of Scandal, today !]

7:00 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Brilliant review! It truly is an all out sumptuous, dark, Goth scent. How they could have ever described it as "lighter" in any way is a mystery to me. And I adore it beyond words. But...only now have I realized that I don't know which I need - the edt or the edp. Frankly, my budget is insisting I don't need either, but *especially* not the edp. I'm just going to have to turn on music and leave it in the other room as I order. However, as a lover of the original, I know there was a significant difference and the edp was definitely the route to go. Have you tried both formulations for the A Maze? Thoughts?

7:08 AM EST  
Blogger Patty said...

Okay... get out the chart. I'm on the fence about POTL, love roses, love oud. I'm going to love this, right?

7:54 AM EST  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

Oh, dear! This sounds perfect! I have a sample coming this week of the Edt; now L. is making me feel that I must try the EdP, too (well, this might delay a purchase). Oh, dear!

8:02 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Where is my mystery? Where are my woods? Where is my dark, sultry turban of a scent?!?! Man, my skin ate all the hip parts and left me with a Rosine. :P

Well, at least it's not (how you say?) "an ambery mess," which is how I think you feel about the original, correct?

8:18 AM EST  
Blogger donanicola said...

Oooooh! Lovely review and unfortunately a lemming is born. I'm picky about my roses - favs being Agent Provocateur and Taif. I had Rose de Nuit and Folie de Rose on the to try list (oh and Rose Barbare sp?)- now this one. Thanks. I think....

8:47 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

I think it is worth a try. Certainly not boring!

9:01 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

I think you would enjoy this one. I am putting some in your little package.

9:02 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

I only tried EDP. I think EDT can't be worse, but it won't be better either :-D Was there a lot of a difference between formulations in Luctor? (All were ghastly at me, so I can't tell :-P )

9:04 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

On a scale of 1 to 10, I think that the possibility that you would love this is 11. :-D

9:05 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

No Play Do! No cherries! It's heaven :-) You will most probably love it too, if, like for me and L, it shows it's oudy and dark side on your skin.

9:07 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

You have such a great memory, yes, an ambery mess. This one is rose-oud heaven :-D I don't know why it dosn't want to open up like that for you. Didi you try EDP or EDT?

9:08 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

I think that if you like Ta'if, the kind of rose like Ta'if, you would most probably like this one too. Not that they are the same, but they are sort of in the same exotic, dark, fatale rose family. :-)

9:10 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

There was a significant difference between the formulations of the original - to my nose at least. I think I'm going to have to fork over for the edp. SOB!!!!! Looking thoughtfully around room and wondering which piece of furniture or carpet DH would be least likely to miss if I discreetly sold it to finance my addiction....

9:25 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

I am thinking of selling a kidney. *sigh* There is no other way :-)

9:31 AM EST  
Anonymous newproducts said...

**shakes fist at Marina** Don't do this to me!! Le sigh. This one sounds incredibly good. I. must. stay. strong.

10:05 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Be strong, you can do it! I am on a no buy with you too.

10:08 AM EST  
Anonymous Ina said...

I get lots of Montale-like rose but it's not dark and brooding on my skin. It's more jam-like. Wah! I still love the scent but I want it to brood...

10:13 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

What samples do you have EDP or EDT? I am trying to figure out if there is a difference. I have EDP, and it broods like crazy :-)

10:15 AM EST  
Anonymous Ina said...

I have the parfum (I think there's no edp, just edt and parfum). It's just not dark! Wah!

10:50 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

I am sorry it's not dark :-( Layer it with a Montale or Messe de Minuti...ooh, I am going to do that last one :-)

10:54 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I like it very much, but it just isn't the eerily evocative thing that Luctor et Emergo is. Still trying to adjust to it...

12:50 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

You know what I feel towards Luctor, right? :-) I had *such* low expectations for A Maze. I can't believe how great it turned out :-)

12:53 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems to me this perfume is worth buying. I think I will buy it for my mom if I succeed in collecting that kind of money.

1:35 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

That would a wonderful present!

1:37 PM EST  
Blogger Patty said...

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was thinking that I would, can't wait, can't wait!

2:24 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Please write about it as soon as you get it!

2:25 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

I put it on again this morning after I read this, just to torment myself.

It's got the spice level of ... between Ta'if and Paestum Rose. But to me it's more spicy than oud-ish. Yeah, the EDP.

How could I forget Ambery Mess? I have a complicated relationship with Amber. BTW I keep meaning to ask -- how do you feel about Anne Pliska? Can I ask publicly? Or you can email me your answer! ;-)

2:35 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Pliska stops a couple of inches short of stepping into the *whispers* ambery mess territory. It is wearable but I don't love it :-(

2:37 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Ina -- yessss!!! I too am missing the brooding!!! However, liking the MdeM layering idea. Heh heh. That'll get it squirming.

2:37 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Well, the A Maze *I* have wouldn't squirm and wouldn't be afraid of Messe. It could kick it's incensey butt if it wanted to :-) nyah nyah nyah

2:42 PM EST  
Blogger carolyn said...

I really, really must try this. I love the original Potl but also love rose scents, and have been intrigued by Montale's Oud Rose for awhile (but have yet to sample). I just need to get organized and sample both soon! Thanks for the review.

12:08 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

I'd love to hear what you think, when you get to try it!

12:14 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I took my friend to Scent Bar (they are so nice, I really feel sometimes that they would be justified rolling their eyes and thinking "you again?!?!") and we both whiffed: Nice rose scent, but I don't do roses. My friend, who does, was put off by some of the other notes. I have to write that if I wanted a rose scent, this would be high up on the list.

10:31 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

A stupid question, but, did you apply it to your skin? When I smelled it from the vial, I was, meh, it's just rose. But when I applied it, it was like, oh it's a rose OUD. :-)

8:40 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Nope, I didn't. I just tried it on the strip as did my friend. It's a little spendy for me to fall for at the moment, so I am firmly telling myself that I don't do rose scents

*walking away, fingers in ears, saying "LA, LA, LA" really loud*

11:50 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

*shouts* OUD! OUD!

11:52 AM EST  

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