Perfume Review: Fendi Asja
If in a blind test I was asked to guess, which brand produced this intriguing, fruity-oriental-spicy-smoky perfume, I would have guessed...Lutens. Asja, created for Fendi by Jean Guichard (Obsession, Fifi Chachnil) smells like a "fruity" scent done Palais Royal style, i.e. far removed from the mainstream idea of fruitiness. Instead of being pink and sugary, it smells honeyed and fiery. It is sumptuous, brooding, exotic, it is full of twists. I am well aware of the fact that Asja is typically categorized as a Floral Oriental scent, but on me its flowers are not nearly as prominent as its fruits, and so in my very own system of fragrance families it is filed under Fruity Orientals.
The beginning of Asja is smoky and sweet; the top notes evoke a vision of over-ripe plums, peaches, apricots and raspberries smouldering in red fire. With every passing second, cinnamon and nutmeg become more and more apparent, adding to the darkly-piquant effect of the composition. Crimson carnations bloom in the heart of Asja, their warm, peppery smell softened and at the same time made "thicker" and richer by ylang ylang. The base features the kind of honey-wood blend that I once wished Miel de Bois would have - languid, smoky, luxuriant, spicy without being in the least sharp or harsh. Asja feels "substantial" and "dense" without being overwhelming. I find it to be exceedingly well blended and absolutely gorgeous. It seems that it has been -typically!- discontinued, but it is available, in its fantastic, stripy, Japanese-style bottle, quite inexpensively at various online discounters ($11.99 for 20ml at Imagination Perfumery). If you love Coco, Opium, Mandarine Mandarin, Chergui or Fumerie Turque, you owe yourself a bottle of Asja.