Amouage Fate Woman ~ fragrance review

Amouage Fate banner

Every so often I sample a fragrance that has been wildly praised, and I wonder, What’s the big deal? I try it again, maybe this time applied more lightly or more heavily. I spritz it in the morning and last thing at night. I second guess myself. After all, I tell myself, whatever the fragrance might be, Victoria at Bois de Jasmin or Denyse at Grain de Musc or pretty much every MakeupAlley reviewer loved it. What’s wrong with me?

This is what I ran into with Amouage Fate Woman. In Saudi Arabia Style.com, Luca Turin deemed it a “celestial oriental” and awarded it five stars for “masterpiece.” I adore Turin’s reviews. I respect his experience and discernment, and I love his writing. But I’m not going to lie to you. My response after finishing my sample spray vial is that Fate Woman is — well — fine, but really not my thing.

Perfumer Dorothée Piot developed Fate Woman. Amouage calls the fragrance a chypre oriental with a “rich floral heart intensified by a dark and destructive accord resonating with the tumultuous unknown.” Its top notes include bergamot, cinnamon, chili and pepper; its heart includes rose, narcissus, jasmine, frankincense and labdanum; and its base notes include vanilla bean, frankincense, benzoin, castoreum, patchouli, oakmoss and leather. Don’t those notes sound irresistible?

At first, Fate Woman is a sweet but lovely floral emphasizing narcissus. Any chili or cinnamon is subtly blended enough not to be distinct, but the perfume is warm. Rose dampens the narcissus in a way that gives it body, and something green and stemmy keeps Fate from being cloying. 

Playing in the background is a hint of powder. Here’s where Fate can take one of two paths. Sometimes, Fate’s powder may start out pleasant, but before long it grows into the Big Hot Powder Monster. Seriously. Now, I’m no powder sissy. I can squirt on Lorenzo Villoresi Alamut with abandon and go to bed with a smile on my face. I drained my vial of Lorenzo Villoresi Teint de Neige in one go. But Fate can feel like a few stems of narcissus floating on a burning pyre of saccharine powder. Buried underneath that powder is a sour hint of Amouage’s signature incense.

Other times I’ve worn it, Fate is bearably powdery and sweet, and its incense and cedar hum beneath it in a companionable balance. At those times, Fate’s assertive character might sing on the right person. I’m simply not that person. I don’t have the presence to power over Fate’s insistence to the point where you could accept me without being smacked over the head with my perfume first.

I do like narcissus, and sometimes I crave powder. For those times, I want the much less expensive (yet also top-rated by Luca Turin) Parfums de Nicolaï Le Temps d’Une Fête’s gorgeous round, green perfume. When I want the crafty juxtaposition of white flowers and incense, I’d rather go more edgy with the cathedral-cum-artist’s studio scent of Daphne Guinness + Comme des Garçons Daphne.

In any case, a spritz of Fate Woman leaves a film, letting me know that the fragrance is thick and serious. It endures an entire day. When I spray it on in the evening, then cross it with a hot bath a few hours later, a delicious layer of sandalwood persists. 

What about you? Do you secretly loathe — or feel resolutely ho-hum — about any uniformly lauded fragrances? Please confess. I won’t judge.

Amouage Fate Woman, bottle and box

Amouage Fate Woman Eau de Parfum is available in 50 ml ($310) and 100 ml ($375) bottles. (As with most Amouage fragrances, if you love it, the 100 ml is the best buy by far.) For information on where to buy it, see Amouage under Perfume Houses.

Shop for perfume

FragranceNetParfums Raffy

166 Comments

Leave a comment, or read more about commenting at Now Smell This. Here's a handy emoticon chart.

  1. JolieFleurs says:

    Probably going to have to sample it; narcisuss is one of my favorite notes, I generally like powder and I love their signature incense.

    However, your tastes and mind often coincide, so I’ll no doubt have the same experience!

    I generally don’t care for any of the most-loved fragrances ( Guerlain, Lutens and Chanel in general leave me unmoved) but the most recent much-loved-by-most but a no-go for me was Les Exclusifs de Chanel 1932. Every note listed is one I love, but it’s just a sort of meh jasmine on me.

    • Angela says:

      I always second guess myself when I swim against the tide like this. Am I simply not getting something? But the bottomline is that I gave it a fair shot, and I see it as my job to tell it like it is–for me, anyway. (That said, there are so many perfumes that didn’t move me at first that I love now!)

      I’d love to know what you think of Fate once you try it.

    • C.H. says:

      Wait was 1932 so loved? Should I try it again? I also felt pretty meh…

      • Angela says:

        I think it was pretty popular, but that doesn’t mean you have to like it!

  2. egabbert says:

    Portrait of a Lady moved me not at all and rose is my favorite. On me it just smelled like sharp patchouli — I suspect my skin/nose/brain amped some material that is supposed to be subtle. I didn’t even get much rose.

    When it comes to the classics, however, I’ve found that it’s usually a matter of locating the right vintage. If some old Chanel or Geurlain doesn’t speak to me, I assume I’m not trying to right version.

    • Angela says:

      So true–I didn’t start to get Mitsouko until I’d tried the EdC, and Miss Dior can smell anything from seductive to witchy, depending on its vintage and formulation.

    • Daisy says:

      I tried to comment about PoaL….but it showed up at the bottom….mystery……

      • Angela says:

        I’ll keep scrolling down for it…

  3. Masha says:

    I tried Fate. I love Lyric Woman and Epic Woman, just to set the parameters. Fate Woman just left me cold. I missed the same notes you did (chili and cinnamon? really??). Not much labdanum, a note I love. For me it was an interesting, but in the end, somewhat wan chypre’ moderne, in other words, not really a chypre’, but not really anything I could define. I still can’t think of any words to describe my reaction except, “Hmmm…good ingredients.” No emotional response whatsoever. I’m glad Luca got more out of it than I did, but I returned to Epic Woman pronto!

    • Angela says:

      It’s funny you mention Epic Woman–when I finished the review, I dug out my bottle of Lyric Woman!

      For me, it was the sweetness and powder in Fate that did me in.

      • Masha says:

        Yes, I enjoyed the warmth and the narcissus, but it was the Powder Monster that got me in the end.

        • Angela says:

          Wouldn’t that be a hilarious horror movie? It’s about time something unseated zombies. May as well be powder monsters.

          • Daisy says:

            oh yeah….powder monsters sound nice and innocuous……DON’T YOU REMEMBER THE STA-PUFF MARSHMALLOW MAN IN GHOSTBUSTERS?
            *we’re doomed!*

          • Angela says:

            Yikes! Smothered to death in the powder monster’s puffy arms! (But so dry and fresh-smelling.)

  4. Janice says:

    It’s interesting that Fate seems different to you at different times—that’s exactly what I’m finding, although for me the cinnamon and chili in the opening is almost overwhelming. A couple of times I’ve worn it, it calms down into a luscious, resiny scent that I just love—but then changes again into something I like a lot less.

    • Angela says:

      Isn’t that interesting? There are a few fragrances that seem to wear differently on me at different times. I don’t know if it’s the weather, or how I apply it, or what.

  5. Omega says:

    Thanks for the review! I have yet to try this Fate. I have only tried a few from that house, I did like Memoir and Ubar bit..but Epic and Interlude didn’t do it for me. I get like a sourness from Amouages in general from some I’ve tried, don’t like it.

    As far as scents that have been pretty praised and I don’t see the big deal are: Une Rose, Malle. Portrait of a Lady, Malle. *gasp* I know, right? I just can find similar or other roses I like for cheaper. Mostly all of Serge’s scents I really don’t like, the ones that I have tried. I still have many I have to give a go to though. Sarrasins was an exception, liked it. Aventus, nice, but too much pineapple..smells like a luau. Smoky pineapple..is not my thing.

    • Omega says:

      Can I just say that hand on the Fate ads totally creeps me out?! Why??

      • Angela says:

        I think the bow on the hand is the capper. “Remember,” it seems to say, “Your hand is chopped off, so don’t use it!”

        • FearsMice says:

          That Hand appears to be giving us The Finger…

          • Angela says:

            You’re right!

          • Omega says:

            Or is about to…LOL.

      • nozknoz says:

        LOL, it’s the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate! :-D

        • Angela says:

          With a big bow on it!

    • Angela says:

      Eggabert, above, wasn’t wild about Portrait of a Lady, either, so you’re in good company. Your description of Aventus as a luau is hilarious!

      • Omega says:

        LOL, my husband asked me which scent to wear for a job interview..I had a sample of AV and said, ‘This one, it has nice, woody notes.’ Then he came back from the interview..I first thought, ok, it smells like he’s been roasting pineapple kabobs and went to some luau party. I thought, maybe not fitting for the interview..but he got the job nonetheless:).

        • Angela says:

          …And after they offered him the job, they all went out and had Pina Coladas.

  6. Rappleyea says:

    Great review as always, Angela. There’s a part of me that’s dying to try this as narcissus is probably my #1 favorite note (what else could it be when you start off with Je Reviens extrait at age 12?), but there is something in the Amouage formulations that gives me a raging headache, the only line to do so. And frankly, I trust you more than Turin. ;-)

    • Angela says:

      With all the hoopla Fate has been getting, it really is a must-try in my opinion. But as long as you have Je Reviens or Le Temps d’Une Fete nearby you’ll never starve for narcissus….

      • Rappleyea says:

        I hesitate to say this out loud, but Le Temps didn’t work for me – it struck me as a poor relative of Chamade. **looks nervously over her shoulder for Mals**

        I kind of count Vol de Nuit in the narcissus group even though Guerlain calls that note ‘jonquil’.

        • Daisy says:

          geeez Rapple, Mals is gonna kick yer butt! Dissin Le Temps….

          Anyhow…I can send you a sample of Fate ….and a couple other things you probably need to try. You haven’t moved recently, have you?

          • Aparatchick says:

            I’m pretty sure that Mals is busy NaNoWriMo’ing right now. Lucky for Rappleyea. ;-)

          • Angela says:

            Yes, she ducked an interwebs smack…

          • Rappleyea says:

            Yep, Mals found me!

            No, I haven’t moved (I (*did* switch the living room and dining room this summer so it feels like I’ve moved). And I really appreciate your generous **coughenablingcough** offer!

            I’ve noticed in your recent comments that you’ve listed scents I’ve never even heard of – not even on the NST announcements of new fragrances! Where in the world (probably literally) are you finding them?!?

        • Angela says:

          Vol de Nuit is heavenly. One of my favorites, for sure. And are jonquils in the narcissus family?

          • Daisy says:

            Jonquils , narcissus and daffodil can be used fairly interchangeably….the first two are part of the genus name but I forget which comes first. But I think , specifically, jonquil refers the long cupped ones we think of when someone says “daffodil” ….at least in the bulb catalogs. ;)

          • Angela says:

            You’re so smart, D. Classic daffodils kind of smell funky, but I have a pale daffodil in my garden that smells delicious.

          • Daisy says:

            I’ve planted soooo many hundreds and hundreds….gotta keep the ground moles fed, right? sigh……

            anyhow… I have daffodils that smell amazing and some that hardly smell at all. Mostly I think the small cupped narcissus seem to smell the best (and the strongest) I love the ones that bloom in clusters…one or two stems will scent the whole main floor of my house!

        • mals86 says:

          SMACKDOWN!!!!

          kidding. it’s okay, not everybody loves LTdF. Not everybody loves the way I do, anyway. :) (I love Chamade too, but if I was forced to choose I’d rather have the PdN.)

          • Angela says:

            Oh, I don’t know if I could choose between the two! I love Chamade so much.

          • Rappleyea says:

            RUN Rapp RUN!!!

            :-D

  7. AnnieA says:

    Two confessions: Amouage itself has never endeared itself to me, and the first three Neela Vermeire perfumes were two mehs and a scrubber. Both rather a relief from a financial point of view…

    • Angela says:

      Definitely a financial relief! And I love the summary “two mehs and a scrubber.”

    • C.H. says:

      Ha a good point! I feel similarly unmoved, save for Memoir, but this conversation was making me think I need to revisit the Amouage sample set I have… maybe it’s better to let sleeping dogs lie!

      • Angela says:

        I’m a huge fan of the Jubilations, and both the Golds, too. It took me a while to take a shine to Gold, but it’s there now.

  8. Beata says:

    Great review Angela – as always :-) My experience with Fate was different. First time I tried it was on a rainy, foggy, gloomy and humid day and it simply overwhelmed me. My first impression was that it smelled like skin after a day on a beach spend in sunshine and sea water. But I wasn’t sure. Next time I tried it was on a hot, sunny day in July (we had really hot July in London this year) and something strange happened. Fate literally melted with my skin. Every now and then I would catch a whiff of it and be pleasantly surprised. But what really made my love Fate was the fact that I could use it and didn’t get nauseated in over 30 degrees heat. So far this is the only fragrance I can use in summer (usually from end of May until beginning of September I used to go without a perfume because everything annoyed me). Fate is different: it seems it would be a good scent for winter and cold months because it’s so warm but for me it’s perfect for the hottest days of summer. As to the notes, I’m rubbish with that, and I won’t even attempt to try to decipher what I smell – what matters the most is that I’m happy I finally found a scent for summer. :-)

    • Angela says:

      I can’t even imagine it in the summer! But clearly it smells wonderful on you. Any fragrance that melts into your skin is a keeper, for sure.

  9. mitsouko says:

    Angela – thanks for a great review. OMG- so many new scents and so many lemmings.
    I tried Fate Woman and it is indeed everything that Luca Turin said it would be – to me anyway . I have been wary of the new Amouages. I did not particularly like Beloved and I disliked Interluded Woman greatly. I was also a bit doubtful about the chilli note in Fate Woman (!!! ) However, yes yes yes, this is an absolute beauty.
    Still want Oud by Mona di Orio more , though.

    • Daisy says:

      Interlude woman was a hot mess ! Nearly killed me, dead. I was crushed since I wanted that blue bottle so badly.

      Disclaimer: I lurve Beloved.

      • Angela says:

        I liked the very beginning and end two-thirds of Interlude Woman, but something went off the rails for me in that one.

        • Daisy says:

          For me it went off the rails, burst into flame and created the sort of environmental incident that requires trained personnel in hazmat suits, and a flurry of denial from government officials.

          I hosted a split of the pair…..the only time I preferred the man version of an Amouage. By the time I had decanted two bottles of woman….I never wanted it to touch my skin again.
          However….I got that darned bloo bottle….. ;)

          • Angela says:

            It sounds like it should have come with the red badge of courage!

          • Daisy says:

            …or a Purple Heart. ;)

    • Angela says:

      I’m glad you love Fate! I adore Beloved, and given that they both have a powdery edge, I wore them side by side to scope their similarities. Beloved struck me as more classical–full of blowsy summer bouquets.

  10. Daisy says:

    I agree with you about Portrait of a Lady — every one was in the throes of ecstasy, and there I was with “isn’t this an awful lot of patchouli? I think my nose hairs are gone now…..”
    So, we can’t like everything, no matter how many glorious reviews there are. oh well.

    BTW — if you love roses….have you tried Perris Monte Carlo Rose de Taif? soooooo pretty!

    • Daisy says:

      I don’t know why my comment is down here on its own…..I clicked reply to eggabert , way up there^^

    • melisand61 says:

      Let’s see if my comment shows up in the right place. Daisy, I like patchouli, but PoaL just about killed me. I think it was the ambrox overdose. My nose hairs took a week or so to recover!

      • Angela says:

        Poor nose hairs! (I don’t know why, but somehow that struck me as hilarious.)

        • Daisy says:

          …says the woman whose nose hairs remain unmolested….. *one eyebrow up*

      • egabbert says:

        I think we all had the same experience. SO MUCH Ambrox and patchouli.

    • Angela says:

      It’s true–I can see how some people might notice a little “paint thinner” about Portrait of a Lady, but I like it!

      • Daisy says:

        You know…..I don’t care for PoaL…but yet I really like L’Arte di Gucci edp quite a lot. They are very similar but l’Arte lacks that vicious attack-patchouli that just overwhelms me in PoaL.

        And I know nothing about ambrox….inspite of the fact that I have heard it spoken of many times. I should probably find out more about it.

        • Angela says:

          I’m like you–I’ve sort of ignored all the chemical talk, but I really should get some kind of perfumer’s starter set and get familiar with them.

        • egabbert says:

          L’Arte di Gucci is gorgeous … I also love Noir de Noir for a dirtied up rose.

      • Omega says:

        For a rose/patch with berries..I preferred Briar Rose by Ineke…so much cheaper too.

        • Angela says:

          That’s a line I haven’t had much of a chance to explore. Thanks for the recommendation!

          • Omega says:

            Briar, I think, is the best out of her FC collection. I do also find Angel’s Trumpet to be a ‘nice green something’ to wear sometimes. Sweet William has grown on me a bit..I see it as a ‘sweet, fun scent’ and liked wearing it when I went rollerskating a while back. But it’s not *nearly* enough carnation for me. I don’t hardly smell any. The Jasmine and Scarlet were COMPLETE mehs and blahs to me..I don’t smell any jasmine at all in PJ and I don’t smell anything but a cheap, musky body spray from Walmart when I smell the Scarlet! I don’t smell any of the notes! Where is the wine? The berries?

  11. melisand61 says:

    I tried Fate Woman last week and it is a powder monster. But I liked it. A lot. I’m with the others here who don’t like PoaL. And I admire, but can’t wear Une Rose, unless I want to stay in bed all day with a headache. Okay, should I keep going? I feel the same way about a number of the Malles. I think that they are masterpieces, but I can’t wear them, or I can only wear them very lightly. The exceptions are Dries (wearing it today), Iris Poudre, Musc Ravageur and Carnal Flower. And, I prefer the Carnal Flower hair mist to the perfume, which I adore, but sometimes accidentally overspray.

    • Angela says:

      I’ve recently been wearing Dans tes Bras a lot and love it in the overcast fall weather.

      • C.H. says:

        Oh, let me take this opportunity to ask you, then–do you get a lot of heliotrope from it? I loved it the first time I tried, but the subsequent times I tried to wear it, I got sooo much heliotrope, like, set-my-teeth-on-edge sweet! I’m so crushed because I was utterly delighted by its gorgeous dirtiness the first time… I don’t suppose you or others have a miraculous remedy for this issue??

        • Angela says:

          I don’t get a lot of heliotrope from it at all, but more a sweet, warm, spicy woodiness. I wonder if the vanilla-amber in it is smelling chocolatey like heliotrope on you?

          • C.H. says:

            …ok for a second I thought, wow my nose is REALLY off–but I think maybe we’re just talking about two different fragrances. I meant to ask about heliotrope in Dans Tes Bras. I take it the vanilla-amber you’re referring to is in Fate? Or did I REALLY miss something in Dans Tes Bras?? :)

          • Angela says:

            Oh, I *do* mean Dans tes Bras! I even sprayed some on the back of my hand after I responded to your comment. It’s woody-spicy-warm-sweet on me with chemical shake-up that makes it smell new. Or, at least, that’s what I get.

          • C.H. says:

            Oh that’s amazing! But on the other hand, I did find Dans Tes Bras incredibly variable even on my own skin so I guess it shouldn’t surprise me it might smell so different on someone else! So the first time I wore it, it smelled very much of the improbably elegant dirt-violet-salt-sunscreen that I gather from various reviews is how it smells at least to some others… but then on subsequent wearings, it’s had this chilly-candied quality that, as I say, sets my teeth on edge, and I suspect the culprit is heliotrope, because I sometimes have the same reaction to L’Eau d’Hiver and After My Own Heart… but in any event the vanilla-amber is totally lost on me, and I wouldn’t have characterized it as warm, though the earthiness keeps it from being altogether cold. How fascinating! Are there any other fragrances it reminds you of? Now I’m curious to see whether I miss out on the same notes in its brethren (although perhaps it is really sui generis!)

          • Angela says:

            I love your description of it. I completely see how you could get heliotrope–and, yes, the violet would definitely contribute to that! Dans tes Bras is kind of a strange little perfume to me. I feel it as warm, though, and not super chilly. It’s almost like some sort of post modernist painting of perfume…

          • C.H. says:

            Yes such a postmodern painting! So envious because that’s totally how it struck me the first time–at once kind of high-intellectual but also painterly. I loved it. Arg now I’m thinking I have to try it once again! :)

    • Daisy says:

      Une Rose does not do well on me….that vinegarish, acetone type rose-gone-wrong thing. Musc Rav. has something in it that just made me feel terrible…a bit nauseated. Dries has a bad effect on my head….a little like nails on a chalkboard…..BUT I adore Carnal Flower, Iris Poudre, En Passant, Lys Med., d’Hiver, and last year I finally came to see the beauty of Fleur de Cassie and Therese.
      I guess it’s love or hate with FM .

      • Angela says:

        I wore Lipstick Rose to bed last night and slept feeling like Jean Harlow.

        • Omega says:

          LR is a good one!

          • Angela says:

            It’s so glamorous and old fashioned.

      • egabbert says:

        I can’t do Musc Rav either! I think it’s an overdose of the same or a similar woody-amber material as in PoaL.

  12. Jordan River says:

    Hi Angela, I was rather hoping this would be a modern classic as there do not seem to be any since Angel. Please correct me if I a wrong there. I am all for genderless fragrance but I was thinking as a man that this would be embraced by women. A great line you have here about ” I don’t have the presence to power over Fate’s insistence to the point where you could accept me without being smacked over the head with my perfume first.”
    I find M by puredistance to be the one I do not wear out as I find the ‘fume very intimate to waft in public. I do wear it when entertaining at home though.

    • Angela says:

      I definitely have perfumes I wear just for myself as opposed to those I wear in public, or at work.

      And now you have me thinking about modern classic perfumes since Angel! I know there must be something….I’ll ponder this.

  13. Daisy says:

    I bought a decant of Fate Woman unsniffed….at first I thought it was weird and sorta meh. But I had 9ml left so I tried it a few more times. On me it is neither sweet nor very powdery. It’s got a very warm incense note, laced with cinnamon. For sure narcissus…..not sure about that whole chili thing…

    Now I have a bottle and I really really like it a lot. That is how it goes with me and Amouage….we have to get to know each other for the love to grow. ….except for Interlude which is still a hot mess.

    • Angela says:

      If it was cinnamon and warm incense on me, I’d love it! Maybe I’d better keep at my sample and hope it transforms.

      • Daisy says:

        I dunno….everything you got was different from everything I got right from the beginning. I would never tell you to “just forget about that one” because things change …but I would not waste a lot of time on trying to find the love either.

        • Angela says:

          I’ll probably tuck the sample away and rediscover it sometime in the spring, then give it another go…

  14. Merlin says:

    I think the biggest disappointment in my perfume journey – so far – has been Sacre Bleu. Not only is it (almost) universally lauded but each and every description made me misty eyed and gaga. On my skin it smells like melted smarties:(

    Although, I did discover that it works quite nicely layered with Lush Ginger. Still, I have never fully got over it…

    • Angela says:

      Oh, too bad! Melted Smarties sounds awful. I’m one of those who adore Sacrebleu, but I can completely imagine someone not getting into it–it’s an insistent fragrance.

  15. Aparatchick says:

    SL Borneo is often declared a masterpiece. With patchouli, cardamom, and cacoa it should be right up my alley.

    But … if you’ve ever read Cold Comfort Farm you probably remember Aunt Ada Doom’s constant refrain about “something nasty in the woodshed.” That’s the territory Borneo inhabits for me. It was an instant scrubber.

    • Daisy says:

      “Something nasty in the woodshed.”

      —Never read the book…..but I am so adding that phrase to my official “Lexicon of Faint Praise and Flowery Insults”. I imagine it will be extremely useful. It’s always good to add to one’s repertoire.

      • Angela says:

        If you don’t read the book, you should at least see the movie some chilly night at home. I loved it.

    • Angela says:

      I love Cold Comfort Farm! It’s a laugh-out-loud novel for me. And now I will think of Borneo (which I love, by the way, even though it smells like old socks) whenever I remember that line.

    • kindcrow says:

      I loved the movie of Cold Comfort Farm. I need to read the book (might be out of print, but I’m sure that I can find it).

      • Angela says:

        The book is wonderful! I can’t imagine the library doesn’t have it. In my mind, it’s a classic. (I’m getting myself all worked up–clearly I’m going to have to read it again myself!)

        • Aparatchick says:

          Angela, I have a friend who named her dogs after the Starkadder’s cows! (Graceless, Feckless, Aimless, and Pointless for those who haven’t read the book).

          • Angela says:

            That’s hilarious! I love your friend already. And what excellent names for dogs.

    • mals86 says:

      Good Lord, Borneo nearly killed me dedded. GAH.

      • Angela says:

        I was taken aback initially, too. But I’ve grown to love it. Really!

  16. plume says:

    Angela you are spot on.

    Sometimes it feels like the perfume community is afraid to criticize Amouage fragrances. I see bloggers have wildly fanatic praise toward Mr Chong and seem unable to ever fathom saying anything negative about the house.

    But it must be said, Fate Man and Fate Woman are both severely lackluster and underwhelming to my nose. After the brilliance of the Interludes last year, this newest pairing leaves so much to be desired.

    Luca Turin, I usually respect his opinion but I just don’t understand where that 5 star review came from.

    Your summation of “hot powder” sums it up perfectly. I must confess, the weekend before last I gave myself 2 nice sprays of Fate Woman before heading out the door. After about an hour, nauseated, I returned home, showered, changed clothes and returned to my errands. Yes, I consider Fate Woman a scrubber. I don’t always agree with NST reviews but I’m very happy to see an honest and critical review of this fragrance as it seems all too common many other sites just salute whatever is strung up on the flagpole.

    • Daisy says:

      New possible evil scent twin? hello….I love Fate woman….Interlude woman nearly made me pass out (see ‘hot mess’ in the comments above ) …..Luca Turin….well, I like his humor but I rarely pay any attention at all to his opinion and while Christopher Chong seems a like a really nice guy; he’s not the creator of the scents so….yeah….back to perfume……

      What else ya hate?

      • Angela says:

        It’s useful to have a good evil scent twin out there!

    • Angela says:

      I’m not alone, then, in being underwhelmed by Fate! I figure I’ll get smacked around plenty in the comments, so thanks for the back-up.

      • Daisy says:

        Getting smacked around? For not liking a scent? That’s like getting smacked around for not liking purple.

        ….okay, you’re right. We’re talking sacrilege here… who took my pitchfork!!??

        kiddink ;)

        • Angela says:

          Yeah, we perfumistas are generally a peace-loving bunch, I guess.

        • mals86 says:

          …I hate purple.

          • Rappleyea says:

            And you hate patchouli… hmm… I’m seeing a pattern here. You definitely *weren’t* a flower child! Probably too young… ;-)

          • Daisy says:

            WHUUUT?
            you hate purple?

            PITCHFORK! STAT!

    • Aparatchick says:

      I agree, plume, that it’s good to see a fair and honest review. That’s something I count on NST for.

      • Angela says:

        I’m glad you feel that way. I know I always try to shoot from the hip.

  17. DebbieB says:

    Amouage fragrances have always been ” too big ” for me, knock me out type scents! In my not so small collection, I do not have an Amouage bottle…until…Fate came along! Fate for me was love at first drop. It will be my first Amouage to join the collection. I must give credit to Lyric, however, this is ” big ” on me as well, but i like it in tiny, tiny doses. A decant of Lyric will last me forever, would never buy a bottle. And…. not to beat up on POAL, but I also join the group who can not wear this….major scrubber on me:(

    • Angela says:

      I’m glad you’re loving your Fate! And you never gave up on Amouage, either. Was Honour too big on you, too?

    • Daisy says:

      Hmmmm this sounds familiar…..

  18. ringthing says:

    There are tons of Amouage fragrances I haven’t tried because they’re just too darned expensive, even for samples. However, I’ve liked what I’ve had the opportunity to sample. Fate does have a gorgeous bottle but I’m never a bottle person…since I love Le Temps and am not a fan of powder (Teinte de Neiges just about killed me) this isn’t one I’m eager to seek out.

    There are many Serge Lutens that are horrible on me – Chergui, Arabie, Borneo et al – and the notes on paper look right up my alley. There’s too much great perfume in the world to sweat the stuff that doesn’t work. Thanks for the review!

    • Angela says:

      You are so right–for every perfume I think I’ll love and don’t, there are three I wish I could get decants of.

      • Omega says:

        Story of my life, LOL.

  19. sweetgrass says:

    I didn’t like Seville a L’Aube at first, when it seemed like everyone was all gaga over it. I came around eventually (wearing some of my decant today, as a matter of fact), but I don’t feel like I necessarily need to own it. But maybe one of these days I’ll change my mind on that too.

    I like PoaL, but I understand the complaints about it. I get something slightly harsh in it, which keeps me from completely loving it, especially at that price. There are enough other roses out there that I probably won’t miss it when I use up my sample.

    • Angela says:

      I’m surprised at how many people don’t like Portrait of a Lady! It’s not my favorite of the Malles, but I didn’t know it put so many people off. I haven’t worn my decant in ages. I have to give it another try–it’s been too long–and see what I think.

  20. poodle says:

    I like Fate but it only lasted about an hour on me and then you had to shove your nose into my wrist to find it. Money saved. On the other hand a friend tried it and loves it and on her it is everything it should be. It’s not a powder monster at all and develops beautifully with each note blending into the next. Must be a skin thing.
    There are a lot of perfumes I just don’t get the love for. Mitsouko being the first one to come to mind.

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like Fate really does smell different on different people. On me, it lasted and lasted even through a bath (when it left a lovely sandalwood scent). I’m glad you got to smell it on someone who wears it well.

  21. Bear says:

    Great review Angela!
    I purchased the 100ml bottle of this – all narcissus and lemony frankincense on my skin. Really nice – but it is definitely love or hate.
    YMMV
    Bear

    • Angela says:

      I wish I could smell it on you. Narcissus and lemony incense sounds heavenly. You don’t get a super-wallop of powder?

      • Bear says:

        No, I don’t get any powder at all, and I love powder (Habanita is one I wore for 3 days last week.)
        Skin chemistry is a mysterious thing. ;)
        But of course, other fish in the sea for you.

        • Angela says:

          Way too many fish…

          • Bear says:

            Yes, I think we are in the ‘same boat.’
            HAhahaha – That was SO BAD I actually laughed at myself! ;D

          • Angela says:

            I can SEA you’re going to MAKE WAVES with this WHALE of a comment. (And now I will cease making puns and go take a shower!)

          • Bear says:

            LOL – fantastic puns!
            A sense of humor is so sensual – jus’ sayin’. ;)

          • Angela says:

            Well, it’s not going to be my money they’re after…

          • Bear says:

            Money is money – don’t sell (ouch!) yourself short.
            I’m no rich man – just love perfume!

  22. chandler_b says:

    Never really cared for Amouage’s prices, love the original though :)…Never really cared for Dior Fahrenheit, not niche but I guess it could be called a modern classic in the mens department, I know people who love it and its not bad just doesn’t fill any emotional void I have in collection.

    • chandler_b says:

      *in my collection.

    • Angela says:

      Let me just say that I love how you point to an “emotional” void in your collection. That really does get to the bottom of it, doesn’t it?

      • chandler_b says:

        Exactly, no matter the hype on a scent Its got to scream “me” or got to make think, wish, reminiscence, or inspire some kind of longing or emotion.

  23. RoseRed says:

    I want to like Rochas Femme but I just don’t. It’s the peach. On me it smells hugely peachy, like a VS body wash and then tons of powder and then…body odor (gross). Not a trace of cumin or leather finds its way out, which is a shame because I LOVE cumin and leather, but no, just unwashed armpits doused with talc and then drowned in peach drugstore body spray. I’m blaming my acidic skin. I feel guilty for not loving but I don’t, on me it’s a scrubber.

    • Angela says:

      I love your honesty! It really does sound like it’s awful on you, and you describe it disgustingly perfectly. (Although I do love it.)

      • RoseRed says:

        I know, I feel terrible, so many people love this perfume and I love the story behind it, so tragically romantic but…maybe I just don’t have the right formulation. I have tried the current formulation of Miss Dior and hated it but then I was lucky enough to find an unspoiled sample size of Miss Dior from the 1950s and I LOVE it, in that formulation it embodies 50s elegance. So who knows, Femme may be a scrubber for now but in a few years they’ll come out with a new formulation and I may completely change my mind :D I have noticed that many classic scents do not do well on me, almost inevitably turning to talc and BO, though I love them in the bottle and on other people. I am particularly saddened that I can’t wear Shalimar because I love it on my mom but then, perhaps we aren’t meant to wear our mothers’ scents but to find our own smells.

        • Angela says:

          Yes–maybe it’s a blessing that you can’t wear your mother’s scent well. As you say, we are meant to find our own scents.

          Do you like Amouage Jubilation 25? To me there’s something of Femme about it, but not peachy. Maybe it’s a version of the idea of Femme that would work for you.

        • Rappleyea says:

          It sounds like you have a problem with the nitro-musks used in the old scents.

  24. mough says:

    Angela,

    You know how I’m a Beloved fanatic. Do you think I’d like Fate as much? It’s tough for me to beat Beloved. It’s one notch above Diaghilev, which I find just stunning. Where would you put it in terms of how it compares to those two? The ultimate Powder Monster in the Amouage line has GOT to be Gold Man. Just Powder Decadence! Baby powder for a spoiled sultan. It could be Flowerbomb’s oriental cousin: PowderBomb!

    • Angela says:

      I tried Beloved and Fate side by side since they’re both powdery florals (and more), but I really did prefer Beloved. It seemed to have more heart beating through it (how’s that for an imprecise descriptor?). I guess it wouldn’t hurt to sample Fate, though. You never know.

  25. nozknoz says:

    LOLing at “a burning pyre of saccharine powder”!

    There are MANY well-regarded modern perfumes that I don’t get at all, but I’ll pick on the über-popular Prada Infusion d’Iris. Yes, it smells appealing at first, but its opaque, constant hum quickly bores and then ANNOYS me. It doesn’t smell like real iris to me at all, but rather like some specialized type of white musk.

    The only time I like Infusion d’Iris for more than two minutes is one of those dreadful DC days when heat and humidity are over 100, and every other perfume is too much. Then, its simple chill is welcome.

    • Angela says:

      I have to admit that I like the Absolue much better. It smells more like patent leather and pure iris and not quite so high-pitched.

    • Mitzi says:

      I don’t smell Infusion d’Iris, not at all, for that matter I cannot detect almost any smell in any of the Prada fragrances!!! Now that really is annoying.
      I did not much like the samples that I got from Mona Di Orio. Not Vanilla, not Tuberose, not Rose Hollande, not Leather. Did not loathe it but just could not see what the fuss is all about. Same goes for most of Serge Lutens fragrances. I just don’t get the same magic…

      • Angela says:

        …And you saved yourself a lot of money!

      • nozknoz says:

        I really think the Pradas depend on specialized synthetic musks, and people are usually anosmic to some musks. You may be anosmic to these Prada musks, and I’m probably hyperosmic.

      • Merlin says:

        Just wanted to say i could not smell Infusion d’Iris for many months and then it suddenly started registering and I fell promptly in love!

        I have to admit that I bear a special hatred for M. di Orio’s Lux.

      • egabbert says:

        I am the exact same way. Every Prada frag I try smells like instant-far-drydown, and very boring.

  26. Omega says:

    Ok, here’s one….Seville a l’aube. I didn’t like it..If Visa had some cousin that happened to be an orange blossom..this would be it. It’s that same kind of sticky, sweet, cloying eck going on. I really didn’t get that one…I gave away my decant.

    • Omega says:

      I guess Sweetgrass didn’t care for it either! But I don’t see it ever growing on me.

    • Angela says:

      And probably made someone very happy, at least!

  27. hollyc says:

    Hey Angela, of course you’re reviewing one of the scents I’m awaiting a sample of. What lured me were reviews that listed leather, but from your review, it sounds like another Amouage that I can do without. I tried Epic, Memoir and Lyric and all I got was heavy oriental rose. For me they were practically indistinguishable from each other and far to heavy and sweet for my tastes. For the record I have Ciel, Dia, Gold, Reflection, and Ubar, my point being that if I’m going to shell out this much for a new bottle, it better be significantly different from what I already have and these are. Sounds like Fate may not be. I did not try Beloved mostly because of the price point, it made me feel a little gouged. I will post back when I’ve tried Fate, but right now as of reading your review, I’m much more excited to be able to try Pure Distance Black when it becomes available.

    • Angela says:

      I know what you mean–I figure since I have Lyric Woman and a decant of Epic Woman, I’m set up on the big, thick oriental roses.

      Do let me know what you think of Fate Woman, though. You might love it!

      • hollyc says:

        Hi Angela, posted this last night and it didn’t show up so if it’s here twice somewhere, I apologize.

        Got and tried my sample of Fate Woman and my credit card can rest easy. This is a big pillowy douvet of sweet marshmallow Fluff. The Betty Boop of Fragrance Land in my opinion. I was too tired last night to scrub it off and this morning it is still there but as a very subdued high quality patchouli which is somewhat pleasant, but I could never slog through all that vanilla sugar to get to it. If I want patchouli, it’s Coromandel all the way. Fate reminds me of a release that targets rich Saudi teenage girls and I’m quite saddened by their latest releases as to my mind the line is getting dumbed down. Should I try Beloved?

        Now Opardu? I’m wearing my sample now and my credit card has just set off the smoke detector. Heaven help me when Black is released!

        • Angela says:

          If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times–thank goodness for samples. For a few dollars you can get a first-hand experience of a fragrance for a few days. (Plus, it’s so fun to try different things!) It sounds like at least a decant of Opardu is in your future, though….

  28. Merlin says:

    I can’t remember where but I once read an article which claimed that some people are disposed to ‘like’ and others are disposed to ‘not like’. Apparently its a fixed personality trait!

    I think it must be a lot nicer to be someone disposed to like, but I am the other way around, which is why I’v never ever bought anything blind. My chances of liking have always been too low:)

    I am, however, proud to say that I am fairly indiscriminate in my not-liking! So far I do not like Amouage (except Epic), Femme, Mitsouko, Magie Noire, Shalimar (on me), Chamade. I also do not like Chance, Loverdose and Killer Queen.

    I find Iris Poudre stuffy, but, I am proud (lol) to say that I very much like POAL. I find it a wonderful blend of rose (flower) and berry (fruit) while still coming across as classical. It has this interesting olfactory depth – like an oil painting in an age of digital prints.

    The ironic thing is I cannot wear it as it makes me gloomy, so my favorite Malle is still Lipstick Rose:)

    • Angela says:

      At last, someone who like Portrait of a Lady! (Even if you do prefer actually wearing Lipstick Rose.)

      That’s so funny about “liking” and “not liking.” I’ll have to think that one over. Sometimes I feel pretty suspicious of things, and other times I feel remarkably open compared to people around me. Maybe it’s situational.

  29. Dionne says:

    I’ve got some large categories I can’t seem to wear because of skin chemistry (rose, LOTV, lily, basically, most florals) but I think they smell splendid on others.

    The ones where I feel the need to duck and cover is where I think they smell…..OK….. but I’m just not getting the love. Bois des Iles, Musc Ravageur, Mitsouko, pretty much every Amouage I’ve tried thus far, all the By Kilians; and what is far more upsetting to me as a frugal perfumista, LTdF is the only PdN that has grabbed my heart thus far despite my sampling efforts.

    • Angela says:

      You don’t like Bois des Iles? Well, more for me, then.

      Le Temps d’une Fete is a screaming bargain compared to the Amouages or Malles, so I’d be glad about preferring it.

  30. hajusuuri says:

    I should probably turn in my perfumista card. I’ve had a blind buy decant of Fate Woman for a few months and then recently, got manufacturer’s samples of Fate Woman and Fate Man and they are still unsniffed. Your excellent review is not compelling me to try them either but one of these days, I will need to try them or I would never know if I like it/them or not.

    Of the Malles, I DO like POAL and Iris Poudre. I DO NOT LIKE Lipstick Rose and Dries van Noten (something about this one nearly closed my airways…I felt like I was suffocating so I absolutely cannot get near this one).

    • Angela says:

      I love everyone’s honest replies! Plus, it really drives home to me how personal fragrance is–how it responds on skin, how it reacts to an individual’s preferences, moods, experiences, the whole thing.

      But really, you should give Fate a try. I’d love to know what you think of it.

  31. This thread blew up!

    I love powder. LOOOOVE. I can wear that Harajuku Lovers fragrance that is toxic sweet baby powder- and enjoy it! I’ve struggled with Amouage fragrances generally. Even the ones that I thought would be “me” didn’t quite work. Maybe this is the toxic powder Amouage for me! I love narcissus too.

    • Angela says:

      Then Fate is a must try for you! A few commenters don’t seem to have noticed the powder, but on me it was way way powdery. Let me know what you think of it!

  32. cazaubon says:

    I wore my sample of Fate Woman on Tuesday and the sillage was a lot lower than any Amouage I have ever tried. It lasted all day, over 12 hours, but projection was about nil, I had to huff the inside of my blouse to smell it. I liked it but I would like it a lot better if it created the cloud of scent I get from Memoir, Lyric or Epic. It was not overly powdery on me and I got a distinct cinnamon/chili note which I liked.

    • Angela says:

      I wish I would have got a nice shot of cinnamon and chili rather than so much powder. More and more I’m curious about how skin and scent interact. I’m beginning to think Fate simply wasn’t made to jive with my chemistry.

Leave a reply