Once upon a time, when the title of homeowner was quite new to me, I fell in love with a picture of a crimson, crushed velvet couch that I ripped from the pages of a magazine.  The couch was as plush as they come, with a tufted-cushion seat and back, and great lines: a curved back and slender mahogany legs that curved also.  I lusted after that sofa for years, though I knew I couldn’t afford it, hoping it would magically turn up at one of the furniture stores I visited and be marked down half-price.  Of course, it never showed up, and after so many years had passed, I realized I really didn’t have the style of house, or even the style of life, to support my fantasy couch, because, let’s face it, setting is important in almost any context in which it can be applied, especially in home furnishings.  For lack of support, my dream of the perfect crimson velvet couch died.

Romancing the Rose: Amouage Lyric Woman

October 28, 2008:

Amouage Lyric Woman is available from Parfums Raffy, LuckyScent, and Aedes.com. 50 ml for $265; 100 ml for $300.

Images: Photo (top of page) is of actress Julianne Moore, photographer unknown by me. Bottle image is from Fragrantica.com.

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Or at least I thought it did, until this weekend, when my bottle of Amouage Lyric Woman showed up.  I just spent the past three days curled up in this fragrance, enjoying the richness of its fabric, the graceful arc of its lines.  Lyric is so much like my dream couch—its rich crimson hue important, but not the whole experience, merely one element of the experience.  The plushness of the materials and skillful design of the composition being equally important in its representation of regal, red velvet splendor.

Lyric Woman might be regarded and trumpeted as a rose perfume by the Amouage company, but I think most of its wearers would agree that it is less about the actual rose flower than it is about romancing the rose.  In other words, while rose is an essential part of Lyric’s fabric, it’s not the fabric itself.  Or, changing metaphors altogether and borrowing from the perfume’s marketing (as a fragrance with a “lyric-spinto” voice): It’s a rose lightly romanced with tangy bergamot, cardamom, and ginger in its early stages, when it sits high up in its balcony at the opera.  And it’s a rose so enthusiastically courted by its warm, creamy heart and base notes of jasmine, ylang-ylang, orris and vanilla that it surrenders a bit of its identity in its middle stage, as if its wandering the mezzanine during intermission with a host of ardent suitors in hot pursuit.  And, finally, it’s a rose that reemerges and is triumphantly wooed by frankincense, repairing to the fine carriage that waits outside the theater, where the two of them ride through quiet streets and smolder in each other’s embrace.

Because the rose in Amouage Lyric is never alone, never dominant, depending upon how one feels about rose perfumes, this is either cause for celebration or disappointment.  For me, a lover of rose scents of various persuasions, I wish it were just as prominent in its middle stage as it is in Lyric’s opening and drydown, but even so, I’m still smitten.  Lyric is the kind of fragrance that’s perfect for a glamorous evening out, but surprisingly, it’s not a big, poke-your-eye-out-with-my-sillage scent, and doesn’t require a fancy setting (the way a tufted crimson velvet couch might require a fancy setting).  After its sparkling opening, it wears very close to the skin, like an evening gown cut on the bias—a beautiful caress of a scent, perfect for pairing with sweaters and tweedy fall clothes. Perfect for cozying up with a book on your plain-fabric couch, too.

The official list of notes for Amouage Lyric Woman includes:

Top: Bergamot, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger
Heart: Rose, Angelica, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Geranium, Orris
Base: Oakmoss, Musk, Wood, Patchouli, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Frankincense

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