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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Perfume Review: Lorenzo Villoresi Alamut

I’ve been putting off reviewing Alamut for almost two weeks. Whenever I think of writing about it, I stumble upon a very solid mental block. Alamut is nice, it is lush, it is very wearable. But gosh is it boring! Which is surprising, because, after all, this is Lorenzo Villoresi’s scent, and his other scents are anything but boring.

Named after the mountain fortress in the hills by the Elburz mountains, the scent has been described as something right out of The Thousand and One Nights, as a sensual journey to the Orient, as a fragrant Arabesque. As far as I am concerned, it is not nearly opulent and ornamented enough to qualify as such. It flirts with the idea of being exotic, dark, spicy and mysterious, but never fully commits to the idea. As a result, the scent is a case of Almost But Not Quite. It is almost opulent but not quite, almost piquant but not quite, almost interesting but not quite.

Alamut starts with a plummy, ambery, woody sort of rose, it is a lovely, velvety and dark accord that seems promising but evolves into a surprisingly pale and a little sharp sort of middle stage, where all kinds of flowers, from orange blossom to ylang ylang are jumbled together into a messy kind of a bouquet. From that point forward even the vaguest traces of the “fragrant Arabesque” disappear. Admittedly, the drydown, heavy on amber and sandalwood, is very much that of an oriental scent, but it is not sensual, mysterious and striking enough to be fit for even the least exciting of the tales in The Thousand and One Nights.

Alamut is available on First in Fragrance, €95.00-135.00.


Blogger tmp00 said...

That's too bad- there seems to be a general trend in perfumes to draw back (with some notable exceptions) from anything that could possibly offend. The downside of this is that you get a pale anodyne: the promise of The Thousand and One Nights, but after dropping 95 Euroes, you end up with three days on the O.C.

11:30 PM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

On the one hand, I am very disappointed in LV, who is usually anything but tame. On the other, I am very glad to hear this because I just caved for Cuir Amethyste (not to speak of Vetiver Bourbon and Sel de Vetiver) and don't want to know about any more "must-buys" for quite a while. :) Maybe I celebrate Sofa Appreciation Week after all!

6:47 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

As soon as I saw you say "nice", I knew it could be crossed off my "must have" list. And, yes, you did indeed follow that w/ "boring" - the kiss of death. I read somewhere that he'd worked on this for five years. Why, Lorenzo?? Did it take five years to extract all your normally interesting combinations? I'm sad because I really love LV, but, like Judith, I'm very relieved for my beleaguered budget.

7:22 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

That IS unfortunate- I concur, he's usually a risk-taker, and I like that.

Both you and Tom phrased it well.
[I'm a fan of Sandalo- it has everything I could wish for in a sandalwood scent].

Everyone gets to miss the mark once in a while...

Like elle and lily, I need to be kept on that choke-chain when it comes to my nose, and budget!

[Says to self- hmmm-perhaps I can invent a muzzle/choke chain for perfumaniacs and market it?]

7:52 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That's it, exactly, everyone is afraid to offend. Well, Ange ou Demon by givenchy offended me, but I think it was unintentional :-)

8:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Congratulations with Cuir! But don't feel safe yet regarding Alamut. They *say* there is leather, which was non-existent on my skin. But if does become apparent on yours...who knows how wonderfully the composition would change in that case...

8:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

The kiss of death...I feel like I am a Dementor from Harry Potter :-) Like I said to Judith, don't cross it off your list yet. I refuse to believe it is really that uninteresting. I prefer to think it was just my unfortunate skin chemistry.

8:41 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

If you do invent such a muzzle/choke chain, I know Mr Colombina will be first in the line to buy it :-D

8:42 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, in spite of your saying it's Almost But Not All That, your review still inspires me to try it out. ;D But I know what you mean when a scent just doesn't quite meet your expectations. I love the red bottle, though. Speaking of LV, have you tried his Donna? For some reason, I think you'll love it.

9:59 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't remember! But I think I haven't. Is it floral?

10:26 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, spicy rose-carnation, in a slightly old-fashioned way but good. :)

11:53 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Rose-carnation? zzzzzz <- that's me falling asleep :-)

12:46 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I knew you'd be sad...but hey, it might be totally wonderful and intersting on you...even though, quite honestly, I just don't see this type of scent being "your" kind of scent, you know?

12:48 PM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

I just got my FiF package, so I tried Alamut. I completely agree with you. I thought the opening was interesting, and then--meh and poof! I'm also not yet wholly persuaded by Dzongkha, but I will give it more of a chance later. At the moment, it's hard to compete with the Cuir Amethyste which is covering strategic parts of my body:)

PS I am liking Dzongkha more as it goes on. As you said, lots of iris, and very nice. But I'm not yet moved to reach for my poor CC.

2:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You have plenty of time to make up your mind about Dzhongkha. I was told by the FiF people they do not expect to get the actual bottles till the end of September! So unless someone else starts selling it...You see, I have made up my mind that I need it, so I am sad.

6:42 PM EDT  

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