Fragrance Reviews Amouage Homage Attar and Tribute Attar

Amouage Homage Attar and Tribute Attar

12/18/09 16:19:37 (7 comments)

by: Mark Behnke

As much as the French would probably like the world to think they created perfume it is actually a much older art with its beginnings all the way back as far as history can take us. Its beginnings were in the compositions called attars and its history begins in the Middle East and Indian sub-continent.

Archaeological excavations have found evidence of the copper stills used to concentrate attars as far back as 5,000 years ago. The idea of taking the things available at hand and concentrating them into an oil and wearing them begins here. As history moved on, the evolution of perfumery moved away from attars and towards lighter compositions, like colognes and eau de toilettes, until today when attars are virtually unknown outside of the Middle East, where they are still worn with great frequency.


Amouage is an ultra-luxe fragrance house based in one of those Middle Eastern countries, Oman. Amouage has become one of the few houses which makes and sells attars outside of the Middle East. The interesting aspect is Amouage works closely with the French perfumers based in Grasse, according to their website, and so they manage to create Western twists to traditional Eastern blends. Nowhere is this dichotomy more present than in the attars Amouage has released.

In 2005, Amouage released the first four: Oudh Al Khaloud, Mukhalat, Al Andalus, and Ohood. Oudh Al Khalood was to be Amouage’s release of a pure oud oil but in this case they pulled the punch on the oud and kept it too toned down.

The other three were where they leavened the traditional attar ingredients with appreciable amounts of citrus, which I imagine they thought would go better with western sensibilities.

My favorite of these was easily Al Andalus as after the citrus burned off what I was left with was a mix of rosemary, sage, and geranium over a sandalwood, musk, and oakmoss base. It took awhile but Amouage has now added two more attars to the line. The first was released at the end of 2008, Homage, and now at the end of 2009 we have the release of Tribute. Amouage has a habit of making Men’s and Women’s versions of their main line fragrances and in many ways Homage and Tribute can be seen as a similar pair in the attar line.


                                                         Amouage Homage


Luca Turin, in Perfumes The A-Z Guide, tells a story of receiving a small vial of Homage when he attended the release party of Amouage Jubilation and being instantly smitten with this fragrance. I know exactly how he felt as my first experience with Homage was equally eye-opening. As much as I liked Al Andalus from the first set of Amouage Attars, they all could have been more exotic for me and less worried about my western aesthetic and just gone for authenticity. Well I was wrong because Homage is where the crossroads of Western Aesthetic and Eastern Exoticism meet.

The top of Homage begins with the same citrus present in Al Andalus but it is also accompanied with luscious deep rose and austere frankincense. This time the intense rose is right up front as it has been in other Arabic attars I’ve tried but with the citrus as a partner this time it creates a whole different feel. The incense adds a dryness to this opening which is what draws you into the most amazing mix of jasmine and amber present in the heart of this. This is intense indolic jasmine cut expertly with the sweetness of amber. Again the full aspects of jasmine hearken back to the extraction of jasmine fragrance but the sweet amber is refined and less edgy and more western in nature and once again the combination is beautiful. Homage ends with the best oud accord Amouage has done, it retains the woody feeling of oud and keeps just a hint of the medicinal aspect oud is known for. Homage is easily unisex in my book but the jasmine does predominate throughout the middle part of the development and so that floral nature would make this the one more likely to be enjoyed by women.               

                                                            Amouage Tribute

Don’t worry, boys, if you’re disappointed because you feel you can’t pull of jasmine, Tribute is your attar. Tribute shares many of the same notes as Homage: rose, frankincense and jasmine, but they are developed and presented entirely differently and create something different but clearly related to Homage. Tribute roars out of the gate with a mix of saffron and frankincense.

This creates a smoky incense accord both familiar and exotic at the same time. Underneath all of this comes a very western accord of leather, the full bore birch tar kind of leather, and right away where Homage was delicate beauty Tribute gives notice its beauty will be more rugged. The jasmine is present in the heart of Tribute but this time it is there as contrast to the rose which mixes with the leather and incense from the top. This heart of Tribute with the dark spicy rose, animalic leather and resinous incense is just spectacular. The base introduces vetiver, cedar, and patchouli to finish this off and this mix makes up for the lack of oud as they combine to create the same sense of wood and herbal aspect that oud would have brought to Tribute if used. Tribute is a very leather based scent and that leather aspect is what makes Tribute more likely to be enjoyed by men.


Both Homage and Tribute are incredibly potent oils. One drop placed on my inner elbow and it lasts well over twenty-four hours and has sillage to burn. The one thing you don’t want to do is over apply these attars. One drop is all it takes to appreciate the beauty of these compositions.
 
In both Homage and Tribute, I feel Amouage have truly brought attars forward into a western aesthetic without losing the respect for the long history behind their creation. In doing so they have created one of the singular fragrant sensations to be found anywhere East or West.
 
Full disclosure: This review was based on samples purchased from Luckyscent for the purpose of this review.

Images: jonrawlinson, Chris Eden, Koshyk, mamamusings, .Bala


Author: Mark Behnke  (Somervill Metro Man)
Fragrantica Writer

Mark Behnke is based in Somerville, MA, a suburb of Boston, and is the writer for Fragrantica. By day, he works as a research chemist in a pharmaceutical company. By night, he has been a consistent poster on the forums at Basenotes.net under his nom de blog, Somerville Metro Man. You can also follow Mark on Twitter @SomMetroMan if you're curious to find out what he wears on a day-to-day basis.
 

 



Previous Fragrance Reviews Next


Marco Chau
Marco Chau

My experience with Tribute was like wearing a well worn velvety soft leather jacket in a rose garden with hundreds of thousands of roses blooming at the same time while someone in burning the best quality of sandalwood in a corner and a few people smoking the best kind of tobacco around. A truly divine experience but make sure you are not in a confined room as this fragrance is really enormous.

Jan
23
2013
CampyCamp
CampyCamp

Another inspired review from a great man. Excellent choice of pictures!

Jan
06
2010
scentual healing
scentual healing

I just received a sample of tribute and I searched fragrantica. and of course the review is as amazing as the fragrance. I like this site and the writing is first class.

Jan
04
2010
lakkiirfan
lakkiirfan

Great job mark. Really I am found of attoor(attars).
Oud is too much strong for me but very much loved by arabian,pakistanis and religiouse people, also they are very found of Oud wood, that they put on the fired coal, to get a very senstional fragrance. That's really a moment to be in the world of dreams, and very good feelings.
Irfanullah Khan Marwat

Dec
24
2009
chayaruchama
chayaruchama

Markest-
This is brilliant, and inspired.

Do ya think you're SMITTEN , LOL ? ;-)
[I'm an immense Amouage lover.]

Dec
21
2009
memechose
memechose

Mark, you had me at the opening line, "as much as the French would like to think they invented perfume..." the back story is fascinating and before the great Turin they never really were known.... today they are the perfumerie of the moment. You really were able to dig deep in this one. I am always so thrilled when you add a new pov on the fragrances you review. BRAVO I have tried every Amouage and cannot find one to suit me except ubar for women, but i have all the samples and am sniffing them just for the pure delight :)

Dec
19
2009
Flora55
Flora55

Mark, your review is simply ravishing; just kill me now, since I can't afford these gorgeous scents! I never knew about the Amouage attars that were released prior to Homage and Tribute - were they never available in North America? I would love to try all of them. Thanks for the wonderful images and descriptions, my dreams will be full of Arabian delights tonight.

Dec
18
2009

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