Although I’m embarrassed to admit it, Amouage’s handcrafted bottles first interested me in the brand, and I assumed that as much care went into creating the fragrances as their opulent containers. The first perfume I tried, Lyric for Women, lived up to my expectations, and my Amouage perfume oils are as complex, unique and every bit as luxurious as those first gold-encrusted bottles.
It was therefore with great excitement that I encountered Honour for Woman at the Elements Showcase. Honor is named in honor of “truth and beauty” and is meant to be an elegy to Madame Butterfly as she is remembered by her grown son.
White on white butterfly wings flit across the box and the white ceramic bottle reflects the purity of Butterfly’s heart.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from a scent inspired by such a tragic story- something cold and metallic that references Cio Cio San’s harrowing suicide? Something sad and wistful that recalls her longing for her departed naval officer? A soft and gentle homage to Butterfly’s sweetness, hopefulness and innocence? According to the website “Each ingredient embraces a plethora of emotion and meaning; sweet Tuberose represents danger; Jasmine, attachment; Gardenia, secret love and Lily of the Valley, purity of heart. A harmoniously rich resin base of Frankincense, Amber and Opoponax injects dimension, depth and complexity.”
Honour for Women is a soft white floral that seems more commercial and conventional than the other Amouage fragrances with which I’m familiar. Pepper and carnation give it the tiniest bit of a kick, frankincense and amber add warmth and luster, and the sweetness of lily of the valley and jasmine permeate the blend. However gardenia and tuberose, whose mintiness adds a touch of cool detachment, are the star performers. Lovers of white florals should definitely attend the performance but those who expect uniqueness and inventiveness from Amouage may be disappointed.
Honour Man has strong notes of pepper, nutmeg and geranium – it’s opening is sharp and lively. I was surprised to read that tonka bean is one of the basenotes- on me the drydown is all dry woods and herbs (cedar, frankincense and patchouli). The perfume didn’t develop much and after a while I found myself feeling irritated by its piquancy. If you like the scent of feisty pepper and arid woods you might enjoy this parched fragrance, but if your significant other wears it I hope his heart is warmer than his perfume.
Honour EDP is available in 50 and 100 ml bottles.