Amouage Lyric Woman ~ perfume review

Amouage Lyric Woman

Sometimes it's tempting to compare perfume to music. For instance, Chanel No. 22 smells like singing aldehydes and white flowers with a whispering contralto of sandalwood, vetiver, and incense. Guerlain L'Heure Bleue smells melodic and moody like a Fauré tone poem. Balenciaga named a whole series of its perfumes after forms of music and rhythm: Prélude, Quadrille, and Rumba. And let's not even get started on Valentino Rock 'n Rose. Amouage counted on the natural sympathy between scent and music when it named its latest fragrance "Lyric".

Amouage describes Lyric Woman (there's also a Lyric Man) as a fragrance in a "lyric-spinto" voice. A lyric-spinto soprano sings with the lightness of a lyric soprano, but with a slightly darker timbre. Smelling the two-octave spread of Lyric, I understand the comparison. Lyric is the sort of perfume that you can stand inside and experience the spread of its notes from a high register of bright bergamot, geranium, and expansive spicy and alcoholic warmth over a heart of whipped cream, roses, cardamom, and cinnamon, to a humming bass of wood, gentle frankincense, and vanilla. Lyric feels as balanced as a concerto, but without too sad a second movement.

Daniel Maurel is the nose behind Lyric Woman. From the scant information I could gather on the internet, he also created Shu Uemura in 1998 and Shu Uemura Fleur de Rose this year. According to the Amouage website, Lyric has top notes of bergamot, spicy cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger; a heart of rose, angelica, jasmine, ylang ylang, geranium, and orris; and a base of oakmoss, musk, wood, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla, tonka bean, and frankincense. Lyric has good lasting power and my "around the house" cardigan still holds on to its warm, cardamom-drenched smell after a few days' trial run.

Amouage's packaging for Lyric makes a lot of Lyric's rose and proclaims it "deep, smoky, and intense" while featuring "notes of rose in a mysterious and entirely unprecedented fashion." The cardstock folder for the sample I have is blood red with the images of black roses. But if I passed my Lyric-drenched wrist under your nose right now, you would smell the frankincense, spices, and cream, but rose might not be the first note that comes to mind. As for whether or not Lyric is "entirely unprecedented", I think of Tauer Perfumes Incense Rosé, which is not as creamy and warm as Lyric, but to me is its kissing cousin for sure.

I see Lyric less as music than as the tactile experience of scarlet red silk velvet covered by geranium and cardamom chiffon, dug out of an oak chest long forgotten in the attic. It is the sort of fragrance that would make a good signature scent: it is rich and striking enough to be a brilliant evening scent but, worn judiciously, would work during the day, too. With its bright top, spicy, floral heart, and creamy, woody base it spans the seasons except for the hottest days of summer. It feels lush and original, but not overly edgy. Wearing Lyric, you stand apart, but not too much so. In short, it's a modern classic.

Amouage Lyric Woman is available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum; for buying information, see the listing for Amouage under Perfume Houses. As of this writing, most US retailers have it for pre-order only (to ship in early October), but it is in stock at Four Seasons.

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84 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    CrAzY wItH wAnTiNg ThIs!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ohh, this sounds sooo lovely, I must try this!

    It's getting a little cooler, I am ready for fall fragrances.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It's a good one. I like Jubilation 25 better, but Lyric is definitely more versatile and I bet it will be more popular, too.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I've really been enjoying it the past few days, and I think it will be great for fall.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I never was much of a fan of Amouage before the Jubilations came out. They always seemed so expensive and so, well, not so interesting to me when there were so many other siren scents. But I adore 25, and I really like Lyric!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am stuck in the land of Dallas/Fort Worth TX which sometimes seems like a dead zone for perfumery even though we have Neiman Marcus – the one closest to me doesnt have the best selection. Any suggestions on where I might find this to smell?

    • Gina says:

      You can go to Luckyscent.com and purchase a .7 ml sample for 4.00!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think we may have to devise a Lyric club for us poor souls to work out bottle splits. The juice lovers in one corner, and the bottle lovers in another….

  8. Anonymous says:

    It sounds like you might have to send away or swap for a sample. Luckyscent, Aedes, and the Perfumed Court have or will have samples, I'm pretty sure. Other places may have them, too–those are just the first places that came to mind.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think that's a brilliant idea!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sign me up, Ann!

  11. Anonymous says:

    You know, I love to compare fragrances to music. I just got my bottle of Jammin – and that's a very musical perfume:)) It really reminds me of Jamaican music and hot beaches. It is very long lasting and people compliment me a lot when I'm wearing it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I cannot wait to try this. Jubilation is lovely, herby, and complex and lasts for ages, but it does give me a headache, unfortunately. It is a little bit reminiscent of Chanel 5 for me. Lyric, will hopefully not be headache-inducing.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Never heard of Jammin but it sounds wonderful. Wonderful analogy1

  14. Anonymous says:

    Nice review, Angela. This sounds great, but I also can't wait to start reading more about Lyric Man. Amouage really did me in with Jubilation XXV and I don't want to start craving another of their creations, but this sounds like it continues the trend of their impressive artistry.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I, I've compared fragrance to music before, too. It's such a natural in so many cases.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It does sound interesting!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I can't wait to get my hands on a samp of this!!! I also LOVE the J25…I wonder if they will make a lovely 1 oz. Lyric purse spray (fingers crossed)…If I could afford it a FB would be worth it – the bottle is stunning ;-0

  18. Anonymous says:

    Cold splash of water…I'm heading out to get a sample asap before my imagination & ideas run away with me!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I didn't like Lyric for men nearly as much as I liked the one for women–I found it more aqueous and a little more generic–but you might feel differently.

    You did see that there are travel-sized bottles of XXV for a good price, right?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Great advice (and advice I wish I followed more often, myself)!

  21. Anonymous says:

    What a gorgeous and perfect fabric comparison! I need to go sniff this w/ Andy's Incense Rose, but I've put Lyric on one arm and Ubar on the other several times now and I'm really seeing them as cousins. I'm wondering if it's only my skin chemistry or if there really is some sort of connection – an olfactory apology for the unfortunate d/cing of Ubar? OK, that would be pushing it and I'm guessing no connection was intended…but I definitely am getting one (no complaints).

  22. Anonymous says:

    Interesting! I've never smelled Ubar, so I can't compare them. Does it have rose, too? Maybe they felt a hole in their collection without a rose scent and so had to fill it again.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Yes, Ubar has rose. The notes that Robin had in her review of Ubar are bergamot, lemon, lily of the valley, Damascena rose, Bulgarian rose, jasmine, sandalwood, synthetic civet and vanilla. The floral notes are more dominant in Ubar and I know incense notes aren't listed, but I do get some in Ubar – certainly not as much as in Lyric, but enough to keep that cousin or 2nd cousin connection. I'm also wondering if there isn't synthetic civet in Lyric. It has the same animalic vibe I get in Ubar – less so as it dries down, but definitely in the first stages that's something I'm getting.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I love Your reviews Angela! Amouge Lyric sounds too gorgeous for me not to start looking for a sample:)) And yeah, about Jammin – not too many people heard about it because Reminiscence is just too hard to get in the US. This perfume is very unique and different than anything else I know. It is very peppery and spicy on me, especially in the opening, with a great, “just perfect” coconut accord. Then it dries down into something woody, but kind of green with a whisper of patchouli. i can swear that I smell palm trees and hot sand in this fragrance – even though it's not listed in the notes. But it is a very nice fragrance that evokes a beach in Jamaica, maybe Cuba? The bottle is stunning and gorgeous – I am happy to have Jammin with me. The biggest plus is (like I mentioned above) it is one of the longest lasting frags I ever owned! It's longetivity could be compared to Jungle L'Elephant – but of course it's not as heavy. It manages to be tropical and transparent – with a staying power of 8 hours or more, easily.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Interesting! I'm wearing Sacrebleu right now, but when I get home I'll have to try Lyric again and see if I get anything animalic. Nothing I remember was animalic, but I wasn't trying to smell it, either. There's musk in Lyric–maybe that's it?

  26. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Sounds like a good one. I'll have to look for it.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Gosh this sounds beautiful, Angela. I can't wait to go to Scent Bar to test it this weekend.

    How does it compare to say Parfum Sacre, if there is any comparison?

  28. Anonymous says:

    Gosh, I love Parfum Sacre, and I'll give you a side-by-side comparison in a few hours, but off the top of my head, I'd say that Sacre is not as spicy or creamy but is more peppery, slightly sweeter, and, in parfum at least, more musky.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I'd love to know what you think if you try it! It's definitely in the spicy-rosy-woody genre and maybe reminiscent of other scents, but really, really nice.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Will be in NY in October! First stop Aedes!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Perfect!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Got it! Thank you, Angela.

    Hugs!

  33. Anonymous says:

    R, o.k., I have Parfum Sacre on the back of one hand and Lyric on the other. Sacre is definitely more peppery and almost a little chocolatey compared to Lyric (funny, I never noticed the chocolate feel before–have you?) Lyric opens brighter and greener than Sacre, and in comparison the bergamot comes out. Lyric's spices are more foody than Sacre's, too.

    They're both great perfumes, though. If you ever try them together, I'd love to know what you think!

  34. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Angela, for taking the time for the comparison and responding to my question.

    I never, ever noticed the chocolate in PS! When I get my sample of Lyric Woman, I will also do a side by side comparison.

    Again thanks for your great thoughts. I very much appreciate it!

  35. Anonymous says:

    I received mine about two weeks ago, but thank you for the reminder. I think it's one of my most prized possessions at this point.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I love my travel size 25, too, and am considering splurging for the XXV, which is really wonderful, too. I hope they do this size for Lyric eventually.

  37. Anonymous says:

    You're welcome, of course!

    Also, I'm noticing powder in Sacre, which I don't get in Lyric at all.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Angela once again your posts are so enjoyable to read that I can actually feel and experience what you described. Thanks to your vivid writings I splurged on Amouage Jubilation 25 unsniffed and LOVED IT!!! .. and now alas I am so not into frankenscence but will get a sample of this one nonetheless. Keep up your great writing I absolutely love your descriptive nature.

  39. Anonymous says:

    You are so nice! Thank you!

    I'm glad you liked Jubilation 25. Although I love it, I know that not everyone would be wild about its cumin skanky-ness. I wore it the other night to bed and had all sorts of wild dreams….

  40. Anonymous says:

    Yes indeed, I am so soaked on your subject I want buy it now!

    But there something in E.Lauder's Youth Dew, that has made me hesitate- I think it's cardamon, I know it's a spice. What is Cardamon Angela? What is it used in?

    I just don't want to smell like a mincemeat pie. I'm a woody floral, or a floral oriental gal. I like coriander, don't know about cumin or Cardamon.

    Since it is in the top note, perhaps its lighter?

    The other thing I'm afraid of is too much vanilla on the bottom. Do you know what I mean? Do you think the cardamon will go away or is soft? and is the vanilla just soothing the other base notes, or is it in your face vanilla?

    I want to buy this! ; ) Is it expensive?

    Angela, your prose could sell Eau De manure! ; o )

    Joy,

    Becca

    p.s. I found my dream scent I love. But my heart is deeply broken because it's $230.00 for 80ml. and no-one sells it! Geurlain's Cruel Gardenia. Now I know why it's called *Cruel*

    At least a found another way to narrow my sig. scent…$$$$$$$

    Of course you know I only have a bear bottle budget :(

  41. Anonymous says:

    I am going to London next week – partly for work and partly for a sniffing rampage. The Amouage counter in Harrods is a “must visit” in the light of this and all the other Amouages that have been mentioned lately. I only have a sample of Jubilation 25 and the men's XXV so far…

  42. Anonymous says:

    RE Cardamom…I always have trouble with this one. Something in my skin chemistry tends to make it smell sour. It is very disappointing to me….Laura Mercier's Nuits Enchantees had this prominently. I liked NE, except the cardamom note just kept getting in the way. Occasionally cardamom works for me, but normally when I see it listed, I have to be cautious. I love it in foods though….It is the only spice note I have trouble with.

  43. Anonymous says:

    B, have you ever had chai? Chai smells a lot like cardamom. Or do you know L'Artisan Tea for Two or Donna Karan Black Cashmere? They have some cardamom, too. Maybe you'll want to go to the bulk spices area of your supermarket and smell it. Personally, I like the smell a lot.

    I don't think there's too much vanilla in Lyric. Its blend of cream and vanilla is surprisingly light to me. But it doesn't smell much like Cruel Gardenia, so if you really love that, you might not be as wild about this. Worse, it's even more expensive than Cruel Gardenia–and that is truly Cruel, I know!

  44. Anonymous says:

    I would love to visit the Harrod's perfume department! Have fun!

  45. Anonymous says:

    Oh, too bad! On the other hand, at least you know it doesn't work on you so you can watch out for it.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Waaah, I am so distressed – Jubilation XXV 30ml is sold out!! I can't find any! I want one so bad! Any tips?

  47. Anonymous says:

    Oh no! I know they were sold at at least two sites. Have you tried all the Amouage online outlets to see if they have any? I got mine at beautyencounter, but I'd heard they were at another site, too (can't remember which one).

    Otherwise, I'll cross my fingers for you that they restock soon!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Hi Angela!

    When I first heard about this, I thought of FM's Une Rose…any thoughts on how it compares? It sounds like it may be spicier than I first imagined….is it significantly different? Does seem like a lovely autumn rose scent…:)

  49. Anonymous says:

    I just dabbed some Une Rose on my hand, and it and Lyric really are different. Une Rose is definitely rose–dark, wet, true rose (I love it). Lyric, on the other hand, is full of spice and texture, and the rose plays more of a supporting role to the thick wood, spice, and cream, in my opinion ( although I love it, too).

    I'd love to know what you think of it!

  50. Anonymous says:

    Oh this sounds beautiful! I haven't tried an Amouge yet. Time to start. Thanks, Angela!

  51. Anonymous says:

    They're good to sample, although so darned expensive.

  52. Anonymous says:

    I am looking for a young version of this fragrance for my daughter, who is studying opera in New York. She is a Freshman at a conservatory, and is a mezzo soprano. She likes Angel and Serendipitious (chocolate notes) and is looking for a new, classic scent that is not too old. Any ideas?

    JKS

  53. Anonymous says:

    She might like Lyric, actually. It doesn't smell too old to me. Good luck! You must be really proud of your daughter.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Angela,

    Thanks so much for your quick reply. I'll try it! I am very proud of her!

    Jill

  55. Anonymous says:

    Elle, if Lyric is anything at all like my beloved Ubar, I am ecstatic! I truly mourned its being discontinued. Pretty soon The Perfume House will have the Lyric in stock and I can try for myself- but until then I am afraid I will really fall in too much love with this one! Rose, cardamom and frankincense?! I am DOOMED! :-D

  56. Anonymous says:

    Angela, what a masterful review, I cannot WAIT to try this perfume! It's got everything I love, and the fact that it's an Amouage, which has never done a bad perfume IMHO, wow! Thanks for creating another lemming… ;-)

  57. Anonymous says:

    I hope you get the chance to smell it soon!

  58. Anonymous says:

    A few weeks later…I got my tester today. Ok, it is GORGEOUS! But…. It does smell like you took Nahema, added 3 dashes of Parfum Sacre, and one small dash of Coco (parfum), and created something luminous, soft, and wonderful. Believe me, I would love to have a bottle — it smells wonderful. *Sigh* right now, I'll just try and be content with the bottles I already have of PS, Nahema, and Coco.

  59. Anonymous says:

    I finally got to smell this, the women's and men's versions of Lyric, this weekend. The women's smells like a big blast of Juicy Fruit gum, which softens in the drydown into a very syrupy rose. The men's smelled like a generic masculine, not very interesting at all.

  60. Anonymous says:

    That's a sensible solution! I'm afraid I'll have to do the same.

  61. Anonymous says:

    I wasn't wild about the men's, but it sounds like I liked the women's more than you did. You're lucky, though–those Lyrics are pricey.

  62. Anonymous says:

    I just got my sample. I am in love. It's amazing, and definately a classic. I put it on this morning, and have been sniffing my wrist all day. Soft, lush, warm, enveloping, it's got everything I would want.

    On me, I the Rose Ylang Ylang & Vetivier is more prominent. It's more floral/green than smoky, which is not a bad thing.

  63. Anonymous says:

    I'm glad you like it! You're inspiring me to go find my sample again.

  64. Anonymous says:

    I got a sample of this last week and I'm wearing it today. On my skin is smells a lot like Jicky parfum. A slightly more modern (and possibly more feminine) version of it but very similar nonetheless. I might compare the two side by side in the next few days but I'm wondering is anyone else noticed the similarity?

  65. Anonymous says:

    Jicky? Now that's fascinating. I didn't notice the similarity, but I'd love to know what you think of them side by side.

  66. Anonymous says:

    I tried this sample from Lucky Scents, searching for something I didn't already have. I keep buying variations of a theme. This is no variation. It goes on like a blast, almost too much of a sensation of spicy ginger. It mellows quickly into a citrus with bite, then changes once more into a warm, mellow, spicy, citrusy mix. I too didn't smell the roses. But everytime I sniff my arm I get a different sensation. Complicated, brazen and sophisticated. I bought it, despite the price and couldn't be happier. It's like nothing else I have. Wearing it now — in my bathrobe.

  67. Anonymous says:

    I'm glad you like it! Someday I'll follow your example and plunk out for a bottle, too.

  68. Anonymous says:

    I. LOVE. THIS.

  69. Anonymous says:

    I hear you. I'm jonesing for my own, too.

  70. mals86 says:

    Curses… Angela, I have GOT to quit reading your reviews. You make me want to go buy everything you test. And this one sounds right up my alley: rose, spice, incense, similarity to Parfum Sacre… mmm.

    Before I had babies, I could have been described as a lyric-spinto. Now I’m a mezzo-soprano… sigh… ah well, I’ve got this big oboe of a voice these days and I might as well enjoy it. (It certainly has opened up solo room for me in the community chorus, though. We’re stocked up on sopranos and the altos are all really low altos, so I get the stuff in between!)

    Alas, I have taken a solemn vow not to test any samples of things I absolutely cannot afford. Even a 10 ml decant of this would be, what, $50? Nope, can’t do it. Curses. Curses. Curses.

    • Angela says:

      I have to fess up to having broken down and spent half my year’s perfume allowance on a bottle of Lyric–and I love it! I wear it all the time. It was wildly expensive, though.

      A while back, Amouage released some travel size bottles of their fragrances at $50 for 30 ml. If they do that again, be sure to nab a bottle of Lyric.

      • mals86 says:

        Thanks for the info! I’ll be watching their site… yeah, that’s dangerous…

        • mals86 says:

          Wow, Lyric is gorgeous! Once in a while a perfume comes along that such a strong presence that it feels impious to analyze it rather than being swept along by its beauty — and Lyric is one of those for me. I already loved Parfum Sacre and Ta’if, and I do see a resemblance to both of those, but with the vague description of “deep, glowing, textured rose on a bed of spices, incense, and woods,” I stop. Wearing it feels like meeting an old friend.

          Luckily for me (exultant laughter here) I got in on a bottle split! I’m so excited about it.

          • Angela says:

            I’m so glad you like it! I love it, too. In fact, I’m wearing it right now.

  71. RusticDove says:

    I just received a sample of Lyric and I’m finally testing it after lusting after it for so long. It’s gorgeous. I’m a little past the intense floral blast in the beginning and it’s very spicy warm at the moment. Love it. But the dang price. I’d better start saving my pennies. Ha.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, I know. It’s beautiful but painfully expensive. I craved Jubilation 25 and lucked out when Amouage did one ounce travel sprays for $50. Maybe you’ll have the same luck with Lyric! I have to admit that I ended up buying a 100-ml bottle of Lyric last year, and I haven’t regretted it a bit, although it’s the most expensive bottle of perfume I’ve bought by far.

  72. sonichke says:

    Not sure if anybody reads this thread, but I have to vent :)
    Relief and disappointment. Smelling the top notes of LW I thought it absolutely gorgeous. An hour later – nose burning stinky mess.

    • Angela says:

      Oh no! Well, you just saved yourself a bundle of cash, lady. I kind of wish it had turned sour on me, too!

  73. sonichke says:

    Really? Such an expensive perfume can behave like that?
    May be there are certain musks I can’t wear. Sienna Musk of SSS smells like cat’s piss on me :)

  74. Suzy Q says:

    I’ve got Gold on one wrist and Lyric on the other (from sample vials), a revisit to these scents. Today’s experiment result: I still find myself swooning over Lyric. Gold feels sunnier, happier. Lyric feels moody… and sexy. I’ve always gotten the overripe fruit note that LT mentions, something that’s on the verge of rotting but not quite yet. It makes me feel sad in a good way (!). Still, if Amouage offers the travel versions again, I’d like one of each please!

    • Angela says:

      Those travel versions were a fabulously good deal. I wish I would have ordered one of everything!

  75. Dizzy Dazzy says:

    This is special! It is a “ooooooh” perfume. It’s sweeter and lighter than Jubilation 25, or Eau d’Amouage. I have read it described as a night time perfume, but I think it would be light enough for day. Its lovely, lovely, lovely BUT JUBILATION 25 IS STILL THE TOPS FOR ME.

    • Angela says:

      I agree-it’s great day or night!

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