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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Perfume Review. The Abinoam Collection of Fragrances: Beleza, Cobice, Corazón and Desejo

Originally I planned to write a review of each of the four Abinoam scents. After trying and re-trying them however, I realized that I don’t have all that much to say about them. All four are truly lovely, very pleasant, eminently wearable fragrances, but…if I were to be asked Ernest Hemingway’s question, “but did thee feel the earth move”, the answer would have been, no, I did not. I don’t really know why I am rather underwhelmed by this quartet. These are (perhaps deceptively) simple scents, but there is comfort and enjoyment in simplicity. All but one stay close to the skin and don’t have much sillage, but that is the quality I actually like in perfumes. I am not sure why at least one of these perfumes did not rock my world. Charming as they are, there was something lacking in them for me. The official description tells us that "each fragrance was carefully orchestrated so that as the notes dried down, the fragrance became darker and more sensual." That turned out not to be the case, on my skin; there wasn’t much darkness, or depth or all that much sensuality in the Abinoams. I don’t want this review to sound negative, I do like these perfumes; it is simply that I am less enthralled with them then I hoped to be.

Judging by the notes alone, I expected to like Cobice (notes of Indonesian patchouli, leather, green apple and bamboo flowers) and Desejo (notes of pomegranate, cassis, peach, violet, ylang ylang, Ghanan cacao, Bulgarian blond tobacco, vanilla and amber) the least. Funnily, I liked them the most. Those who, like me, might be scared by the patchouli in the description of Cobice, fear not. The accord is very soft. This is delicate, well-behaved patchouli, almost sweet, vaguely milk-chocolate-like, to my nose. The apple note is well-mannered too, and adds a lovely tart quality to the composition. However hard I try, I am unable to smell the leather here, and the amber is very subdued as well. All in all, this is a pretty, soft scent that is quite delectable without being overtly fruity or gourmand.

Desejo is a little fruitier than Cobice; it is very smoothly blended and the abundance of fruits and flowers does not translate into an overwhelmingly sweet and/or heady composition. Neither does it strike me as “a carnal interpretation of pomegranate”; there was nothing especially sensual in this lovely, spring-like composition a little reminiscent of Aqaba Spring. I am not the biggest fan of fruity-florals, but I found Desejo to be quite enjoyable. The fruits here are juicy and fresh, with an attractive hint of green leaves; the flowers are, again, well-behaved and subdued. The drydown of Bulgarian blond tobacco, vanilla and amber sounds much richer and heavier that it really is; on my skin, Desejo dried down to a delicately sweet, velvety mix of vanilla and amber, enlivened by the lingering presence of cassis.

Beleza, with its notes of sandalwood, orchid, vanilla and musk, was the scent I expected to like the most. And I do not dislike it at all, however sandalwood is disappointingly faint here; on my skin, the scent is all about musk and vanilla. It reminded me of several other fragrances, among them Bogner Wood Woman, Talco Delicato and especially Plaisir, only it was less woody than Bogner, less powdery than Talco and less gourmand than Plaisir. Beleza was the least long-lasting of the four Abinoams and in general totally lacked any sort of “oomph”, to my nose.

I also had very high hopes for Corazón (notes of Kenyan pink pepper, Moroccan jasmine, floral and woody accords, green tea and amber), mainly because of March’s lovely review, which made me think that this scent would become my Holy Grail Jasmine Tea Fragrance. Unfortunately, there was no tea there at all but plenty of very heady jasmine. This fragrance was the loudest (especially compared to the other three whispery scents), the most long–lasting and the least interesting. It fell on my skin like a think white cloud of jasmine and stayed there that way, white and heavy, till the very end. To be fair, white florals rarely like me and I rarely like them, and it may very well turn out that, as Abraham Lincoln said, "for those who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they like".

The four Abinoam fragrances can be found at and cost $105.00 for 50ml. I would not mind owning the full bottles of the two scents that I liked, but, unless I receive them as presents, I do not see them in my future.

*The image is from


Blogger marlen said...

Thanks for the review, as I was wondering about these when I saw them recently on one of the niche e-tail sites.

BUT....MORE importantly - WOW! ! ! I love the new look of the blog, the Erte is absolutely stunning and the new "strand of pearls" braquets around the posts look phenomenal! I'm very impressed and highly envious!

11:35 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, Marlen. Katie did it. :-) All this gorgeous-ness is thanks to her and her alone!!

11:37 PM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

I completely agree with you. All were pleasant, but none remarkable on me. I think my favorites were Corazon and Beleza, but the fact that I'm unsure is a sign that none of them moved me that much. Nothing wrong with them, but. . . .disappointing. Oh, well, at least we got Autumn to start a sample program:)

7:56 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Don't let me discourage you, please! These were very, very nice. I actually think that you might like Corazon the best...
On the other hand Guerlain is undoubtedly more worthy of your time (and $$$) :-D

9:26 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Yay we (Patty most of all) for making Autumn start the program...She was most probably palnning it all along and our nagging was just the last straw :-)

Did Beleza remind you of anything or is it just me? I am wondering how come I liked the fruity scents (I don't really do fruity) and not the ones I should have liked. Hmm.

9:31 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

That's probably why I liked Desejo and Cobice the best, I am longing for summer and they are both quite summery.
Do you get much tea in Corazon?

9:32 AM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

Hm, I don't think I will even bother with these. Too many other things out there to try anyhow, and skin space is precious enough real estate as it is!

I do want to compliment you like crazy though, because I think this is the first time I've ever seen Abe Lincoln and perfumery have ever been connected like this - and what a perfect quote! You're scarily clever.

10:27 AM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

GRA! English is my first language, but you really wouldn't know it from the way I type sentences. Sigh. Sorry about that car accident of syntax, M.

10:28 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Corazon is the only one that really appeals to me based on the notes & description. Will give it a try one of these days...

11:01 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Haha. I always have these words of his in my head when I smell something I don't like but suspect it would appeal to those who "like this sort of thing".
PS for the life of me I can't find anything wrong with your first comment.

11:44 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Corazon appealed to me the most too, from the description. I hoped it would be a tea and jasmine combo. Unfortunately jasmine bit tea into submission, heh. On my skin, at least. Hopefully it will work for you much better.

11:46 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

M -- I'm not really surprised we felt differently about these! It seems to me we are Incense Twins, and like some of the other weird stuff (the Shiseidos!) But we tend to differ on amber and some of the florals... Patty has pointed out to me I have the "sweet-eating" skin which I think moderates intense things like jasmine, allowing the tea to come through. As you and Abe said, this just .... wasn't your cup of tea! (yuk yuk)

2:47 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I think you are right, we are scent twins in regards to certain fragrance familes and non-twins (or Evil twins, bwah hahaha) in regards to others.
I also know what you mean about sweet-eating skin. I wish mine ate the white florals though. Instead it tones down all the fun notes, like civet and leather. It even started eating patchouli lately, which is not a bad thing. :-)

2:59 PM EST  

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