Abu Dhabi from The Scent of Departure line (an offshoot of Histoires de Parfums) is a little like Abu Dhabi the city: a fantasy place that takes pretty things (many quite big and impressive) and puts them together against a beautiful sea and desert backdrop.
Abu Dhabi is slightly sweetened amber fragrance that starts as a citrus-floral, becomes spicy woody and dries down into a light oriental. Some of the notes in this Scent of Departure perfume stand out and poke the nose a little at various times (geranium and cedar in particular); there's also something artificial about the way all the elements are combined, but despite the synthetic aftertaste it's still very pleasant to wear and not very demanding.
Abu Dhabi has a modern lightness that can work as a gateway to serious amber and oriental perfumes. The next logical step is Histoires de Parfums's own Ambre 114 which is denser and spicier but is similar in its restraint.While this Scent of Departure fragrance is a light eau de toilette its lasting power is quite impressive and the sillage is great, especially in summer heat.
Notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Thyme, Nutmeg, Rose, Geranium, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Cedar, Vetiver, Amber, Vanilla, Tonka beans, Benzoin, Musk, Castoreum
Scent of Departure perfumes are available at Henri Bendel in NYC as well as from IndieScents and BeautyHabit.
Photo of the fountains at the Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi by Andrew Moore, 2009.