Parfumerie Generale Aomassai ~ fragrance review

Parfumerie Generale Aomassai

Aomassaï is fragrance no. 10 from Parfumerie Generale, and is a 2006 release. It was "inspired by Southern Africa and the art of the Baoulé tribe", and includes notes of caramel, toasted hazelnuts, spices, vetiver, balsam wood, bitter orange, incense, liquorice, wengué wood, dried grasses and resin.

Aomassaï starts out as a strong, sweet gourmand, with the caramel and toasted hazelnut mingling with a touch of sweet citrus; it calls to mind a cross between a flavored coffee and a Heath bar, and is rather too heavy and sugared for a humid day in July, and probably too sugared for my taste on any day. Happily (for me, anyway) the sugar mostly fades away as the fragrance calms on skin, leaving lightly spiced woods and resins with a lingering trace of hazelnut.

After an hour, what remains is dark but soft, just a bit of wood and reeds, and what it evokes for me more than anything at this stage is the smell of a woven basket, or maybe a wicker chair with a rough wood frame. A new chair, mind you, that still has some fragrance about it. It is no longer at all too much for a hot day, in fact, it is relatively mild, and it will be interesting to see if it has enough substance to stand up to a cold day in winter.

It is an unusual fragrance, and probably the most interesting of the recent crop of releases from Parfumerie Generale. I like it very much but I can't decide if I adore it. It is certainly worth trying, at any rate, and I am putting my sample in my little pile of "try again in the fall" fragrances.

Aomassaï is an Eau de Toilette. For purchasing information, see the listing for Parfumerie Generale under Perfume Houses.

For another Africa-inspired fragrance, see Lubin Idole.

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Parfums Raffy


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh yay! I did not expect for you to like this at all, because of the strangely groumand beginning, which almost put *me* off. I love this one even more than Iris Taizo. It makes me think of a newly built wooden house, all made of pine. Mmmm.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I like it, but I much prefer it as a room fragrance. It is very beautiful, but too dense and too much of everything good. Do you know what I mean?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I really love this! The super-sweet opening put me off initally (and made me wonder what M. was doing recommending it to me:), but it faded *very* quickly on me, and what was left was wonderful–so wonderful, in fact, that now I even enjoy the opening, because I know what is coming next! I am finding it quite wearable in this weather (though I am mostly in air-conditioned rooms), but I think I will crave it even more in the Fall. Definitely my favorite PG so far!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well, I love it more than Taizo too ;-)

    But still like Matale best of all the bunch.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I do know exactly what you mean, although I don't find it so dense once it dries down. I am using a vial and not a spray though…wonder if it would be too much in a spray?

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is one of my favourites from this remarkable house. I even swooned when I took a sniff straight out of the bottle, and I'm not a big fan of gourmands.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Funny, I almost never smell the bottle — will have to try it with Aomassai.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is a very interesting fragrance, R, but I agree that it is too sweetly gourmand, even for my taste.

    Have you tried Harmatan Noir? In my opinion, that is the best one of the bunch, although they are all very interesting.


  9. Anonymous says:

    Harmatan Noir is very interesting, and will certainly review it. Didn't get to it last week because I want to try it next to Sel de Vetiver first — was interested in the similar themes. But I liked HN & Aomassai far & away more than the rest of the new PG releases.

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