Saying "Wazamba" is almost as fun as wearing this 2009 Parfum d'Empire creation. Almost. It was a love at first sniff for both the husband and me, probably because as The Blond has put it: "Wazamba is as good as something Uncle Serge could make, but he would have killed it with cumin". It's true, really. Thankfully, Parfum d'Empire already got the cumin out of their system in Aziyade (I sort of like it in theory, just don't want to wear it. Never ever, not in a million years).
One could sum up Wazamba as a dark fruity incense, but then one would be oversimplifying a complex and very interesting perfume.Wazamba takes you on a journey to a faraway place, be it West Africa as Parfum d'Empire states as the inspiration for this scent or anywhere else where your mind wanders when wearing a woody sweet incense and myrrh. For me, Wazamba moves in circles- the warm and cool notes morph into one another, fade and reappear throughout the day (and night. The lasting power of this one is "until you shower or beyond). The sweetness comes from several sources- the incense itself smells resinous and dripping with honey at times, but there's also a dried fruit compote (probably why we're reminded of a Lutens/Sheldrake composition. Think Arabie without the dirty souk or Bois et Fruits with far less"bois" and a healthy shot of incense).
The complexity is achieved by an almost green fir balsam note that interjects itself just when you think the incense is about to burn itself into ashy embers. It's sweet(ish) and cool, a little piny with a young conifer or two thrown in for good measure. The result is delightful and perfect for this weather. Highly recommended for incense fans.
Wazamba (had to say the name one more time) and the rest of Parfum d'Empire line can be found at MiN New York, BeautyHabit and LuckyScent.
Photo: Urban West-African fashion by John Atherton, Dakar, Senegal, 1967