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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Amouage Epic Woman: Perfume Review

As Fred R. Barnard noted, “an epic is the easiest kind of picture to make badly.” Luckily, Amouage, with its grand mentality, is exactly the kind of line that does epics wonderfully well and short stories not so much. They should therefore completely disobey Hemingway's advice and not "eschew the monumental" or "shun the epic". The new member of Amouage dynasty continues the magnificent lineage with great flair. I am almost tempted to say that, with its unapologetic sumptuousness, it outdoes its great ancestors. And that's a feat of epic proportions in and of itself, as the ancestors include such larger than life creations as Gold, Jubilation 25, Ubar and Lyric.

Speaking of Lyric, to me, Epic picks up its ripe, honeyed rose theme and carries it on, embellishing the star note further, and sort of giving the idea its logical closure by making the composition darker and even more extravagantly lush. No, the two are not the same fragrances, but of all Amouage siblings these are probably the closest in spirit.

The embellishments in question are oud and frankincense. The funny thing is that, at the very first sniff from a vial or a on scent strip, the scent is undeniably an oud-rose blend. As soon as it is applied to the skin, however, incense takes center stage, and I like that. There are plenty rose-ouds and not that many rose-incenses. The nocturnal, resinous frankincense note delights me with its presence for a good long while, sort of covering the rose like a black curtain. Eventually the curtain is lifted and there is the flower, sweet, over-ripe, spicy with cinnamon and geranium, brewed with black tea and vanilla into a seductive potion. It is a delicious, edible, sensual and yet appropriately regal rose.

If you are looking for more oud, you will find more in the base, along with some dirt from patchouli and some more nectareousness from amber and sandalwood. Those afraid of the sweetness, note that it is well balanced by the drier, stark notes of frankincense, gaiac and oud. Cuminophobiacs, to you I can only say that there was no cumin on my skin (not that I would have minded some). All fans of the Big Perfumes in general and Amouage's decadent oeuvre in particular, Epic is a must-sniff and, as far as I am concerned, a must-have.

Available at, €195-€230, and coming soon to Luckyscent.

Image credits, Miles Aldridge, Amouage.

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Blogger Flora said...

Okay, I am officially done for. This might as well be a drug injected directly into my nose! I can't wait to try it.

1:20 AM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

Oud & rose ??? I'm off to sniff it !

3:19 AM EDT  
Anonymous Hannah Hadenough said...

Uch! Another oud scent. Why is everyone jumping onto the oud bandwagon- no doubt a wagon pulled by dirty cows and piloted by tribesmen in need of a bath? I usually agree with your taste in perfumes, Columbina, but I don't understand your fascination with oud, even when paired with the divine Queen Rose and spiritual frankincense. Have you forsaken the sweetness of the garden and traded it in for the foulness of the barnyard? I"m scratching my head.

5:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous A besotted oudmaniac said...

This sounds absolutely divine! I ADORE oud/rose scents, in all their many iterations! I hope luckyscent doesn't tarry! I can't wait to smell this!

5:42 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anastasia said...

Mmmmm. Just when I swore I was going to stop buying perfumes :-( This sound absolutely enchanting, sensuous and mysterious. My resolve to be sensible can't withstand the pull of your enticing description!

5:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Jarvis said...

Hi, Marina. You make this sound fantastic -- I can't wait to try it. Did you get a chance to try the men's version?

8:09 AM EDT  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

It is your tale of its development that gets me...I did enjoy Lyric very much...I hope the folks at Luckyscent are aware of the crowds waiting outside the door. ;)

9:16 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope there's a man's counterpart.....

10:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Intranasal perfume delivery, eh? I don't know. Maybe a kind of "gas and air" system would be better in this case. Maybe we just have stumbled on a new kind of anaesthesia, for perfume-maniacs only. :-)

11:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Sniff and report on your impressions, please!

11:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Dear Hannah,
I could never understand this odd fascination with perfume either. Until a friend of mine got me addicted. And she is a hardcore oudette, she is. No barnyard is foul enough for her jaded taste. She could discuss ouds with such expertise..."this one is camphoraceous", and "that one has a tinge of gasoline"...I wish you could meet her.

11:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Dear Besotted,
I wish you and Hannah could meet. Maybe your love for ouds would shine the new light for her. ;-)

11:36 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I love your name. Don't try to stop buying perfumes, it ain't gonna happen.

11:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! I did smell the men's too, it is even more incensey, plus spice, plus some "cold" leather in the base.

11:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

LOL. I am imagining LS being stormed by a crowd of oudlovers, hungry for some Epic :-)

11:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

(great name!) There is a man's version, and it is worthy a 007 :-)

11:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoorah for another gorgeous review (and picture - you always find such perfect images as well as words)!

Inexplicably, I've not enjoyed the few ouds I tried (and I think Montale red oud is awful, like synthetic-smelling sweet petrol, but I think you enjoyed it)?

Anyhow, that's what makes it all so interesting, n'est-ce pas?! :-) x - Emma

12:08 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! Choosing an image is half the fun for me :-) And - exactement! :-)- that's what makes it fun: that we all have such very individual tastes.

12:11 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I love Amouage. I want to send flowers to the powers that be at Amouage. Sky write "Thank you!" over wherever their headquarters are. Write bad love poems to them (OK, maybe not). Epic is brilliant and I am hugely grateful that they continue to put out scents which have "classic" written all over them. SO rare these days.

12:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Aw! You would make such a wonderfully extravagant admirer! :-)

1:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

What Flora said!!

I have to try this!! (I need to come up with something more creative to say after I read your

8:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Well, I need something more creative to come up with in reviews, so there! :-)

12:10 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanx Marina, can't wait to get my hands on it, love the green bottle.

10:21 AM EDT  
Blogger dancer said...

Love both epic man and woman interesting what it turns into in the evening --it is probably the better perfume since Noir Donne the Nefertiti perfume from several years ago that is discontiued

5:13 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Have it, adore it and can't wait for bath products. I haven't been so excited by a perfume in ages. Sat here inhaling deeply ....... aaaahhhhh!!

6:09 AM EDT  

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