“Its head is in Jamaica and its heart in Florence.” This is how Maison Francis Kurkdjian‘s website describes Amyris Femme and Amyris Homme. Allegedly, however, the perfume duo was not inspired by either one of these places. The inspiration apparently came from a couple at a romantic rendezvous Mr. Kurkdjian observed while hanging out at a coffee shop in Paris.
Nevertheless, both fragrances are sunny, carefree and extremely easy to wear. From a creative point of view, neither fragrance captures one’s attention as innovative and unique. Of the two Amyris Homme is the more conventional one. It opens with bright citrus, which reminds me of the opening of Chanel Allure Edition Blanche. The orange-lemon tandem in the opening transitions into a slightly soapy iris and a tiny-bit creamy amyris, which dominate the heart.
…Amyris Homme is not one of the quickly-slapped-together citrus flankers some designers put out for the sake of staying relevant.
The conventional nature of Amyris Homme does not make it a bad fragrance. In fact, it is a very solid one. It doesn’t take long to figure out that Amyris Homme is not one of the quickly-slapped-together citrus flankers some designers put out for the sake of staying relevant. The quality of ingredients and the mastery used in composing it are evident from the very beginning. Its development through the middle notes and dry-down only solidifies the first impression of quality in ingredients and composition.
Before delving any deeper into what makes Amyris Homme worth writing about, it’s important to clear up what is in the name of the fragrance. Until I came across Amyris Homme I hadn’t heard of amyris. My first reaction was that it was some exotic wood or resin, which Francis Kurkdjian with the help sorcery and the latest technology converted into a rare juice. It turns out, amyris is just a simple torchwood. It is a plant in the citrus family, whose wood is very flammable and used for making torches (hence torchwood). The name “amyris” is derived from Greek and means fragrant. The plant releases a strong-smelling resin similar to elemi balsam, which is used in cosmetics, perfumery and as an incense. Amyris is also known as West Indian Sandalwood and is often used as a cheap substitute for real sandalwood with mixed results. Don’t let the West Indian Sandalwood confuse you: the amyris plant is not biologically related to sandalwood and Amyris Homme does not have any sandalwood notes.
Amyris Homme opens with rosemary and sweet orange (similar to the one present in Orange Sanguine but with a more citrusy aspect to it). The sweet tonka bean emerges from the very beginning. Its combination with the citrus reminds me of the opening of Chanel Allure Edition Blanche.
Iris with a slightly soapy facet emerges early on in the composition. It remains more or less in the background. Maison Francis Kurkdjian says the iris in the composition is Florentine iris, which is also known as orris root or German iris. It is native to Italy (Tuscany and Florence to be exact) and apparently appears in the coats of arms of many French royalties (e.g. Louis VII and Louis IX). To my knowledge the production of orris root butter,used in perfumery, is very expensive. Considering the price of Amyris Homme ($175 for 70ml.), I am not sure if Kurkdjian used real iris. If you have any information on this, please do share as I am extremely curious.
The centrepiece of Amyris Homme, however, is not the iris but the amyris. It is present throughout the composition and anchors it down. Amyris has a creamy resinous nuance, which remains surprisingly fresh. By the description of the notes and composition, one would almost expect the fresh opening to dissipate and creamy resinous notes to take over. This is not entirely the case here. The freshness of the fragrance remains throughout its life on my skin.
Modern woods can often be used as a euphemism for wood-smelling synthetics.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian lists modern woods as the base notes. Modern woods can often be used as a euphemism for wood-smelling synthetics. This is not the case here. I do not detect any distinctive woody notes and the dry down is by no means synthetic-smelling. It has a remaining creamy touch from the amyris in the heart and allegedly coffee and agarwood. I do not detect neither of the latter two. To me, the drydown stays fresh-creamy and very pleasant until its imminent dissipation.
Amyris Homme hits a full 10 on the versatility scale. The fresh facet makes it appropriate for warmer weather and the creamier touch makes it appropriate for colder weather.
Amyris Homme is a carefree and easy-to-wear fragrance. If I had to pick only one fragrance to wear for a year, Amyris Homme would be on top of my list because of its versatility. It is hard to imagine a situation where Amyris Homme wouldn’t be appropriate.
Anyone. The versatility of Amyris Homme allows anyone to wear it. From mid-teens to mid 60’s it will work great.
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