Journey Woman, the newest Amouage perfume (along with Journey Man which I'll review soon) is a big departure from what most of us consider Amouage territory: the Arabian Nights fantasy of incense and gilded precious woods. But Christopher Chong, the house's celebrated creative director, has a much broader canvas and he wants to take us further (as evident by the brilliantly puzzling Opus VIII from Amouage Library Collection). This time the journey is to China.
Inspired by Chinese Art Deco imagery, Journey Woman is a floral tea perfume. sweetened with honey and served with alongside a plate of just-ripened apricots next to a jade Chinese vase that holds a big bunch of mimosa. The color palette takes shape in front of my eyes as Journey Woman unfolds, floating just above the skin: celadon green, blush, yellow, and white.
Journey Woman is a summer perfume. The opening is all jasmine tea, green and light. But it's not quite "fresh" or refreshing", because the cut flowers are laden with heavy blossoms, the honey is rich, and the ripeness of midsummer is heady and lush. Close to the skin, more shantung than chiffon, just sweet enough and very elegant; this is a very French perfume behind the Chinese elements.
Skin chemistry is everything. Osmanthus sometimes takes a shampoo-like quality, which is what happened when I had a friend try Journey Woman. I forgot to ask her how she gets along with Nuit de Cellophane (Lutens), but I do wonder how those who were disappointed by Uncle Serge's 2009 release would respond to this Amouage perfume. For my part, I find Journey Woman cooler (as in temperature) and greener than the more musky Nuit de Cellophane, with a very pronounced and brisk tea note. It's crisp where Lutens is fuzzy, and nostalgic where NdC is modern. I spray lavishly and get a full day wear out of it, without fumigating the entire neighborhood.
See also Mark's review (of both Journey Woman and Man) on Colognoisseur.
Notes: apricots, osmanthus blossom, nutmeg, cardamom, sambac jasmine, mimosa, honey and cedar, tobacco, saffron, vanilla, cypriol, and musk.
Amouage Journey Woman will be available within a couple of months at all the usual suspect retail locations. The product for this review was sent for consideration by the company.