Amouage Figment Man* is a weird perfume. During the week I wore it, people — who (I believe) didn't realize they were commenting on my fragrance — said things like: "We must have had another garbage disposal problem!" (in the kitchen at work as I made an espresso); "Is that pee?" (person sniffing in the parking garage elevator...how rude!) Another stranger, behind me, on the 'down' escalator at the library, asked their companion: "What's that sickening smell?" (The library smelled fine to me.)
For those who know my tastes, you can probably guess: I like Figment Man.
Figment Man goes on smelling of murky (almost chalky) lemon mixing with geranium leaf and pepper. As this accord burns off, an acrid smell arises: a mix of more pepper, animal piss, damp earth and water-saturated stucco. In mid-development there's moss, incense and a hint of woods (more pine/cedar/guaiac than sandalwood, to me), and then a medicinal/camphorous aroma comes to the fore before blending with mild musks. No note in Figment Man stands out, or smells like its usual, readily identifiable/predictable self.
Figment Man was inspired by Bhutan, which has sparked the creation of other perfumes. In fact, as I wore this fragrance three scents came to mind. If you don't want to pay $300 for just ONE bottle of Figment Man, but get three items to recreate it and stretch your dollars ($360 total), layer lots of Zoologist Bat (100 ml Eau de Parfum, $135) with a few sprays of Bhutan-ish L'Artisan Parfumeur Dzongkha (100 ml Eau de Toilette, $130) while burning Cire Trudon's Chandernagor candle ($95) — you may also rub some of Chandernagor's oily wax on your wrists like I do.
Cool/damp heights, ancient buildings, scented religious offerings and folk medicines (made with the likes of camphor and chrysanthemum) are conjured by Figment Man, certainly experiences you'd get in Bhutan. It's not a perfume that I'd wear every day or even once a week, but for special occasions that call for solemnity and restraint — but still allow for novelty — it's a great choice. Just don't get angry if someone says "I smell mice!"
Amouage Figment Man is $300 for 100 ml Eau de Parfum; Amouage, why not pull a Frédéric Malle and make 10 ml bottles of your perfumes? For buying information, see the listing for Amouage under Perfume Houses.
* Perfumer Annick Menardo; listed notes of lemon, pink pepper, geranium, sandalwood, animalic accord, vetiver, leather, labdanum, guaiac wood, musk.
Note: top image of Paro Taktsang (or Tiger's Nest) via Wikimedia Commons.