Described, as the flower of a Thousand and One Nights, Alamut was one of the souvenirs I took from my visit to see Florentine perfumer, Lorenzo Villoresi, earlier this year. Alamut is one of my favourite fragrances by the perfumer and was created in 2006. If Diptyque’s 34 is an olfactory journey into the brand’s boutique at 34 Boulevard Saint Germain, Villoresi’s Alamut is, for me, an olfactory memory of my visit to the perfumer’s studio in Florence. It reminds me of his studio’s dark wood interior, pottery and textiles collected during the artisan’s travels and the combined scent of herbs, flowers, wood and musk, all distinctly Villoresi, which permeate the perfumer’s space. This opulent creation is contained in seductive red glass reminiscent of the opium dens of the ancient orient. The arabesque scent was created to inspire dreams of secret gardens filled with flowers, precious woods and amber. With its soft feminine heart, Alamut makes an interesting choice for male fans of oriental fragrances.
While Luca Turin considers it overly complicated, I enjoy the twists and turns this perfume provides. Musk is the predominant note from start to finish. This haze of finely powdered talc is first accompanied by a procession of different floral notes each with different intensities. The first is jasmine, then rose. As these big hitters begin their decline, an mélange of osmanthus, tuberose, ylang ylang, daffodil and orange blossom carries the fragrance to its drydown. Five minutes in, it is as if someone has flicked a switch and the perfume begins to move in a more oriental direction. Notes of amber, patchouli and benzoin become prominent and the fragrance is noticeably sweeter, more resinous. Alamut is a silage monster. With careful application you can enter a room and have everyone wondering where this scented wonder is coming from.
Men who are floral oriental fans may take pleasure in discovering this fragrance. It is a scent that can easily be passed off as feminine, but with some consideration and the right man to wear it; Alamut can work extremely well as a masculine scent. A small dose on the chest or neck will suit men both young and more mature who enjoy socializing and meeting others. They are the life of the party. On a more sober male it may appear as though you are morning granny’s passing by wearing her favourite perfume.
The Different Company Bois de Iris, Lanvin Arpege, Keiko Mecheri Bal de Roses
Perfumer: Lorenzo Villoresi
Bottle designer: Lorenzo Villoresi
Release date: 2006
Typology (via Fragrances of the World): Woody Oriental