Described as the last story in the house’s first chapter, Amouage present their latest perfumes Fate Man and Fate Woman. Storytelling is one of the threads that bind the Amouage collection together and once again; the characters in this finale are well developed and rich with personality. Amouage’s Creative Director, Christopher Chong says, “the philosophy of fate remains wrapped in obscurity. I wanted to celebrate the power of mystery and end the narrative without a defined conclusion.” One could take a fatalist approach and propose the idle argument that the character’s of Chong’s latest opus have pre-ordained destinies they must fulfil. Christopher Chong does not dwell so much on this, instead he sets them free and relishes in the unknown that directs any form of universal truth.
It’s heavy subject matter and without getting too bogged down in philosophical thought one simply asks, what does fate smell like? The old saying, in order to know your future you must know your past, is relevant here. Viewing Fate Man and Fate Woman within the context of the collection thus far helps to understand Christopher Chong’s closing statement in this first chapter of Amouage.
Fate Man seamlessly begins where other Amouage masculines conclude. There is a superb balance of natural frankincense and woods, made buoyant with special effects only synthetics can achieve. This contrast between classic and modern, natural and synthetic is something I love about Amouage perfumes and it seems to be a creative playground for Christopher Chong and the perfumers he works with as it is common to find these juxtapositions in an Amouage creation. Fate Man begins with zesty notes of mandarin and ginger. Saffron and absinth are refreshing and novel additions, cumin creates the illusion of warm masculine skin; this is the scent of a man wearing Beloved Man, 12 hours into his day. Fate Man contains a generous dosage of everlasting flower. The flower’s savoury gourmand odour builds as the fresh top notes subside, bringing with it an element of mystery. Fans of perfumes such as Christian Dior’s Eau Noire or Annick Goutal’s Sables should appreciate this infrequent offering of a new immortelle-centric perfume. Once Fate Man has fully dried down a battle ensues between the raw, spiky dirtiness of cumin, immortelle and the clean, smooth pebble-esque feeling created by modern musks. It is a battle neither side wins, showing that sometimes in order to have harmony there needs to be disharmony.
Fate Woman explores two well-known genres of women’s perfumery, the oriental and the chypre. The perfume begins with fizzy bergamot and peppery tones. Beyond this flash of hot spices, Fate Woman presents a classic bouquet of flowers arranged with roses, narcissus and jasmine. It is from this point the perfume’s oriental notes come to the forefront with a crystalline sugary coating of benzoin and vanilla. An air of elegance is maintained with animalic notes of leather and castoreum. Fate Woman’s chypre accord is a delicate wallflower while the oriental notes parade their sweetness in a coquettish fashion. Fate is indelibly connected to time and for me, Fate Woman makes me fantasize about a bygone era of Parisian Art Deco and crystal beaded dresses full of movement as the bodies they adorn dance the Charleston. I see a 1920’s woman with her décolletage bathed in the scent of Bois des Iles. In the same way fashion reinterprets styles of the past, Fate Woman has an element of nostalgia, reinvented and made relevant for today’s modern woman.
For the presentation of these new perfumes Christopher Chong selected a glass finish that has been treated to reflect light with a nacreous effect. The aurora borealis lights inspire the Swarovski crystal that adorns the bottle’s gold-finished cap and the outer box is presented in mystical purple with gold-foiled motifs representing different cultural interpretations of fate.
Fate Man and Fate Woman are 2013 releases that will be available from your local Amouage stockist in the coming months.
perfumes experienced via press samples provided by Amouage. www.amouage.com