The Blond and I rarely disagree about fragrance (and most everything, actually. Ten years of marriage have made us eerily similar, well, except for him being blond, and me- not so much). We seem to love the same things on ourselves and on each other (a noted exception here was his reaction to my Anat Fritz on his skin). But, Parfumerie Generale's Aomassai has presented a serious challenge to this harmony. He didn't like it when I first tried it on and really hated it the second time around. To him, it smells like vanilla with a side of rotten. He only gets the gourmand side of this Pierre Guillaume creation, without any of the wood and dry spice, and the foody element smells rotten to him. I have no idea why.
It's not that I don't get why he finds the scent disturbing. Aomassai has a weird note that never goes away. The listed notes all seem harmless enough (caramel, toasted hazelnuts, licorice, bitter orange, spices, wenge wood, vetiver, balsam wood, incense, dried grasses, resins), except, maybe, the licorice that many people find objectable. But I doubt that it's the case here. The thing is, that I sort of like this weird note. Or at least, I can't keep my nose away from it.
I can't help but think of model/actress Rossy De Palma, famous for being ugly and beautiful at the same time (and that nose!). I tried to find photos from a story she did for Vogue about 15 years ago that demonstrated this quality perfectly, but they don't seem to exist online. Her face is hypnotic. One moment she's ugly and all you see is her nose. But you still can't take your eyes off this face, and suddenly you see her beauty and her striking features.
To my nose, Aomassai is just like that. The first thing I smell is Frangelico. A mix of booze and hazelnuts. It's rich and caramely, tempting with sweetness, yet the weirdness is there, somewhat medicinal, and can't be ignored. Later come spice and wenge wood, a note I adore. It keeps the liqueur feel and sweetness, though less foody by the end of it. Still, Rossy and her nose are there, keeping the fragrance from floating quietly into a pretty drydown. I keep sniffing my wrist, fascinated and... not repulsed, maybe taken aback just a little. I like it. I think.
Next fragrance review will be something way less controversial. The Blond and I will team to talk about Andy Tauer perfumes, which we both adore.