"The search for a perfection beyond reality; the rare and exquisite nature of the lyric-spinto voice that inspires both awe and envy; the sacrifice made in the quest for immortality..." No, you are not reading a synopsis of a Lloyd Webber musical. This is how Amouage introduce their new "deliciously dramatic" fragrance, Lyric Woman. To be fair, the perfume is in fact dramatic. And delicious, in that tantalizingly odd way in which roses can be delicious when they are blended with spices and vanilla.
According to Amouage, "Lyric is a floral fragrance, but one that introduces dark intensity" to the genre. Simply put, it is a floral-oriental scent. Or rather oriental-floral, because the spices, the resins and the woods rule the composition. Do not expect a pure, naturalistic rose scent. When the (lyric-spinto?) voice of the rose IS heard in the passionate and perfectly harmonious chorus of other notes, it does sound wonderfully realistic. Those are the glimpses of roses in their natural habitat, in a luxurious garden, with dew glistening alluringly on their crimson petals (hey, I can do over-the-top marketing copy with the best of them!)...but most of the time, Lyric is a masterfully-woven tapestry, or perhaps more appropriately in this case - a carpet. At times you can recognize the flowers in the abstract ornaments but mostly they blend into the ornate, magnificently intricate design.
It may or may not be apparent from this review, but I am in love with Lyric. I don't like naturalistic rose scents and, as those close to me would unhappily confirm, I love drama. I also appreciate complex compositions. Lyric has a multitude of facets: there is a fresh, slightly sharp floral part fronted by jasmine and geranium, the mouthwatering spicy side of cardamom, cinnamon and ginger, the sweet, edible fluffiness of vanilla, tonka bean and orris, the dark sensuality of wood and frankincense...And this host of voices is tied together with the velvety ribbon of rose, and what could have been cacophony becomes breathtaking harmony.
Lyric Woman was created by Daniel Maurel. I would be curious to find out what other perfumes were done by Maurel and from now on will be eagerly awaiting his new scents. Lyric collection also includes a masculine scent, Lyric Man, by Daniel Visentin: a fresher, spicier and equally beautiful blend, which continues the Phantom of the Opera theme by recounting "the myth of a beautiful young woman and a powerful, mysterious man who seeks to immortalise the beauty of her voice." But more on that at a later date...
Lyric Woman and Man are available at amouage.com, for €185-€220 and €165-€205 respectively.