The masculine half of the new Amouage Journey duo, Journey Man, continues the Asian trip (see my review of Journey Woman). But this time creative director Christopher Chong uses the familiar Amouage language of incense and spice to take us there, and creates a darker and moodier scene.
Amouage Journey Man reads to me like a tobacco perfume more than anything else. The burning sensation, though, comes from spice- lots and lots of spice, especially fiery pepper. The first image in Kafkaesque's review of the fragrance is of a fire-breathing Chinese dragon. It's very fitting as Journey's opening is seriously crackling and lashing at you before it welcomes you with enveloping warmth. The softening effect is accompanied with booze and leather as you're seated in a comfortable corner to take it all in.
There's a distinct Asian feel here, probably through the various spices used to create the special atmosphere (no cumin, though, to the husband's relief). The cardamom note unfolds beautifully, foody yet not, and the low-to-moderate sweetness provides the cushiony layer just under the tobacco and incense smoke that provide the larger part of body and dry-down of Journey Man. I know that this doesn't sound especially original for the incense perfume fiend, and perhaps it's really not, but the extra spiciness and meticulous execution of the unfolding process manage to hold my interest and give me jolts of delight as I burry my face in my shirt to get a warmer, more intimate feel of the scent.
Longevity is as expected from a rich Amouage, but sillage is surprisingly low after the first half an hour or so. Journey is noticeable, of course, and clings nicely to fabric, but there's a polite or refined feel to the way it wears and asserts itself only in one's personal space. It's a good one wearable for both men and women who favor this style, and beyond the initial meeting with the dragon, Journey is actually effortless and easy to wear. I suspect it's more of a cold weather scent; I can almost olfactively see the person, man or woman, in a long and dark winter coat steeped in this perfume. Whoever he or she may be, they're irresistible.
Notes: Sichuan pepper, bergamot, cardamom, neroli bigarade, juniper berry, incense, pure geraniol, tobacco leaf, tonka bean, cypriol, leather, ambrox.
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.
Photo: a scene from Spring In a Small Town, a 1948 Chinese movie, starring Wei Wei, Shi Yu, and Li Wei.