So often with Amouage, I feel like Opposite Woman. Most perfume critics laud Fate Woman as a masterpiece, but I found it a cloying powder bomb. Tons of perfumistas cherish Memoir Woman, but it’s a train wreck on my skin. Now, Journey Woman. I’ve read reviews hinting it’s simple, thin, and cheaply made. Naturally, I adore it.
Let’s start with Journey Woman’s basics, then get to Opposite Woman’s experience with the fragrance. Journey Woman came out in 2014. Its notes include apricot, jasmine tea, osmanthus, nutmeg, cardamom, jasmine sambac, mimosa, honey, cedarwood, pipe tobacco, saffron, vanilla, cypriol and musk. Amouage describes it as “floral, fruity and leather.”
Some reviews have called Journey a simple fruity floral…
It has been said of great poetry — as well as of pornography, of course — that you know it when you see it. A few perfumes have struck me with an analogous revelatory force.1 Many of my favorites have crept up on me, gaining in beauty and mystery over the course of several exposures. In a small number of cases, though, a first encounter with a fragrance has been more like being within 50 feet of a lightning strike: no immediate definition or description does the matter justice. Since my perfume hobby started, I’ve watched the epiphanies of several of my fellow fume-heads. Upon processing the first sniff, two enthusiasts have wept. One friend laughed in surprise, and another pirouetted. My reaction to such new love is to blush beet-red, regardless of whether there is anyone around to witness my surrender. Apparently, if I am greatly moved, my sympathetic nervous system must become involved.
Does it say something about me that I have spent a great deal of time ruminating on these singular events, trying to identify a unifying thread? (Short answer: yes.) In fact, I have noticed there are similarities between my own heart-struck moments…
Ready to wade into skanky waters but want a little hand holding? You’ve come to the right place. “Skank”1 usually refers to a hint — and sometimes more — of body odor in a fragrance, occasionally with overtones of halitosis and rotting flesh. (I hope you aren’t eating lunch right now.) Artfully administered, skank can throw a perfume’s beauty into relief. It can feel intimate and sexy. But when you’re not in the mood for it, skank could be just plain disgusting. Skank tolerance is personal. Some perfumistas wear their skank as a badge of honor, like chile lovers brag about downing Scotch Bonnets, but others won’t tolerate a noticeable drop of civet or funky musk.
Here is a skank sampler. Please comment if other skanky perfumes come to mind. I’ve rated them on a Skank Scale of one to ten. One approximates “post-tennis glow,” and ten is “zombie apocalypse…”