Amouage are one of those brands who will hit your wallet big time sitting, as they do, in the same price bracket as Dusita. But are they worth splurging on? Can a £200+ scent really justify that price tag?
Pepper, rhubarb leaves, coriander, jasmine, tuberose, gardenia, lily of the valley, carnation, vetiver, frankincense, amber, opoponax, leather.
Amouage are one of those brands that are fairly easy to come by residing in the halls of up-scale department stores across the world. They sit in the same bracket as Creed and the like, not really a proper niche fragrance, but not exactly high street either.
Amouage markets itself as a luxury company only using luxury ingredients in a luxury package. It’s just a shame, however, that they couldn’t afford a luxury copy editor to look over their luxury website before they published it so they could eliminate the repetition and grammatical errors. Oops.
And before everyone emails in to point out our errors, just remember that we aren’t charging you £200+ to read this website!
Amouage fragrances are split into male and female scents, and they do candles, room sprays (which their website calls “parfums d’ambience”. Honestly.) bath gubbins, leather goods and silk scarves. The latter couple of items on that list reminded us of a shop we saw once in York that sells swimming costumes and nuts. Of course those things go so well together.
Moving swiftly on to the scent itself…
If you read the top notes (coriander, pepper and rhubarb leaf) you could be forgiven for thinking that this scent would have a very green opening. It doesn’t at all. We grow rhubarb in The Sniff’s garden, so in the quest for comparison we ventured out into the drizzle and ripped a piece of leaf off a plant, scrunched it up and sniffed. It has a green, sour, tart and almost burnt-rubbery smell. We couldn’t find anything like that in the opening to Honour for women.
Instead, what you get with this scent, is big, white florals – right from the start. The warm, cloying, lily of the valley is old fashioned, traditional. The sweetness of the tuberose comes through too. There isn’t a lot of greenery in the start of this scent at all, so if you like your florals held in check by that then this might be a bit much. If, on the other hand, you just love an overabundance of white florals then you’re definitely in luck.
The heart of Honour does turn slightly fresher and has a purer quality. Here the jasmine heats up but it has an indolic quality that beefs up the florals and gives a vague sourness to the heart. This sounds a bit like it might not work but what it actually seems to do is anchor the scent a bit and stop it just being totally overpoweringly sweet.
The creaminess of the carnation does peep through at times. It doesn’t go so far as to make the whole scent seem creamy, but it does add an interesting thread to the floral symphony that is going on.
Despite their best efforts there is a kind of polishy smell to the heart. We seem to have had a few perfumes like this recently that have that furniture polish quality that feels like it takes the roof off your sinuses. One could describe it as ‘bright’ at times, but that might be giving it too much credit.
Towards the base, Honour gets much drier, and quite powdery, like a floral talc. In fact that’s exactly what it is reminiscent of, the sort of sweet floral talc that an Edwardian lady would have had on her dresser and applied with a little puff of rabbit’s fur.
With that in mind, Honour does have a pleasant cleanliness about it in the base which is nice after the nothing-but-sweet florals.
The frankincense, opoponax and amber in the base do hint at a more resinous quality, but they don’t come through strongly enough to be really interesting. What we get instead is a spiky, rough feel added to the florals. Done well this could have been interesting; soft florals turning edgy at the end, alas here we felt that this just made the florals smell a bit muddy and like the fragrance had lost its way.
The other stuff
Honour doesn’t smell bad, far from it, but it doesn’t smell like something we would be willing to splash out £220 on either. It is reasonably easy to wear if you can tolerate sweet scents and does have a sense of opulence, but it also felt rather old fashioned to us. It’s the sort of scent we could imagine a grand dame of the Edwardian era wearing to a society function, along with dresses made out of crinoline and shot silk.
Given the price tag that it commands, one would expect excitement, drama, and the ability to inspire devotion to convince people to part with their cash for this. Alas we didn’t find that here at all which is a shame. Honour felt to us like the sort of perfume that would be worn by people who had been hoodwinked by clever sales assistants on commission, rather than by someone who really loved fragrances.
That’s just our opinion though, so feel free to disagree if it really floats your boat, and if it does and you don’t fit the old lady demographic, please get in touch as we would love to know what it is that appeals to you about it.
In terms of longevity, Honour is moderate. You have to put a fair old amount on to get it to last. A generous spray will last until lunch and then fade.
The sillage, or projection, of the scent was also moderate, which is probably a good thing as it’s the sort of scent that will definitely give a fair chunk of people a headache.
The variant of Honour that we tested was firmly aimed at people wanting a fragrance on the feminine side of the spectrum. There is also a male version of Honour. We slightly disapprove of fragrances that aren’t unisex because who makes the rules about something smelling feminine and something else being masculine. It’s all made up!
Honour Woman by Amouage is available directly from the Amouage website priced at £220 for 100ml EdP. You can also find it in good department stores across the country. Amouage stockists according to their website.