Perfume Review Amouage Farah Attar- Gotta Collect ‘Em All

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When it comes to perfume I certainly have a few obsessive tendencies, which is stating the obvious. One of those is my desire to have everything in the lines I admire most. Amouage is one of those lines and I do own all of the releases most are aware of. Then in 2010 I was in a shop and noticed a much smaller bottle with the familiar Amouage logo. I asked what that was and the next words began a quest which only recently has successfully ended. What was in that bottle was Amouage Tribute Attar which I would find out was a follow-up to Homage Attar which was released the previous year. So I ended up buying both of those and erroneously thought I still had a complete Amouage collection. Then a correspondent from Oman told me about the 20 other attars in the Amouage flagship store. Now I had to try each and every one.

Over the last few years using all of the ways one can employ using the internet I have managed to collect samples, and bottles, of all but one of them. Then just after the New Year my final quarry was in sight and I captured my final Amouage Attar. The last one for me to try was, I believe, one of the first produced Farah Attar.

attars-degs

Traditional Attar Distillation Apparatus called Degs

For those unfamiliar with attars they are extremely concentrated perfumes where the distillate, usually of a flower, usually rose; is added directly to an oil base of sandalwood and/or oud. That’s it there is no alcohol or water added to dilute it. Attars are like the fine wine of perfumery as they actually age and the attar evolves over time. I’ve only owned my attars for a few years so I take that last bit on faith but it makes sense to me. What I do know through my own experience is attars are the most revelatory experiences within perfumery. Because these are combinations of unadulterated oils as close to being “fresh from the still” there is a vitality to the attars that I find nowhere else in fragrance.

modern attar distillation

Modern Attar Distillation apparatus

Farah Attar is about as traditional an attar as it gets as all of the key ingredients are here; rose, oud, and sandalwood. Even if it was just that it would be wonderful but what makes the Amouage Attars stand out is there is always a bit of a twist to add even more complexity. While this could be gilding the lily it actually works to soften the focal points and to allow the wearer the opportunity to approach them from a different perspective. In Farah the group of extra notes are saffron, amber, and a spice mélange. They add depth and grace to the traditional trio that form the spine of Farah Attar.

All attars have multi-day longevity from just a drop but they are very much skin scents. When I wear one it is one drop to the hollow of my throat and it is really only for my enjoyment for the next couple of days.

One of the reasons I wanted to write about Farah Attar was because it looks like these attars might be the first casualty of the IFRA/EU regulations. Kafkaesque covers the issues on her blog post at this link. At this moment it seems like the attar factory in Oman is not operating and all that is out there to be purchased is the remainder of the stock. I hope this turns out to have another reason behind it but Kafkaesque’s research seems to indicate otherwise.

These Amouage Attars are among the most priceless jewels in my perfume collection and the thought that other perfume lovers will not get the chance to experience them is heartbreaking to me. So if this has made you want to go exploring you will need to get moving before your quarry is extinct. I now sit with the satisfaction of having captured all of them. My little box of attars will provide pleasure for as long as I love perfume.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample of Amouage Farah Attar I purchased.

Mark Behnke

3 thoughts on “Perfume Review Amouage Farah Attar- Gotta Collect ‘Em All

  1. Your post made me smile at the thought of you coming across your first attar bottle, blinking, sitting up, and then falling into the pit of obsession. Just when you thought you had the full line, you discover there are not 1, not 3, but 20 more! ROFL. I can actually imagine your expression during all of this. lol  

    I don't know if I should tell you that Amouage recently came out (earlier this year, I believe) with a couple of new ones as well. I have the impression that there are now (or, rather, were) about 26 or so in total, roughly speaking. A friend in Dubai told me and was splitting them all in a group, until her supply dried up because of the recent developments. 

    Thank you for the link love, by the way. As for the situation with the upcoming legislation in the UAE, rumour has it that there may even be a similar law planed for Oman itself. I haven't been able to find anything on that, but an Oman specific law adopting IFRA/EU standards would explain a lot. 

    On a happier note, I'm looking forward to exploring more of the line myself and I got a few more samples, though they're hardly gloriously large full bottles like yours. 🙂  I just wish the bloody U.S. Customs would stop holding them hostage. It's been more than 2 weeks! Release my attars, "set them free, why don't you babe"….  😉

    I got Al Shoumoukh, Molook, Basmah, Bard al Badour, Rayaheen, Ayoon Al Maha, and Homage, to go with my Tribute, Al Mas, Asrar and Sandal. I had planned to review them, but now, I'm not sure what the point may be. Salt in people's wounds, and all that. Or salt in MY wounds, rather. 

    Anyway, I quite envy you your collection, but also congratulate you. Years of joy to come, most definitely. Having such a set may be, quite literally, priceless if things continue as they are. Do you have an absolute favorite, or top 3 favorites?   

    • Kafkaesque,

      Yes I am sure I had a comical expression on my face when this White Rabbit whisked me away to my own Wonderland.

      I had also heard about two new ones but I have always been patient and bided my time for them to become available. Because of recent developments I might have missed out.

      Maybe if you play them a little Diana Ross and The Supremes the Customs officials will send them on.

      My three favorites are Homage, Basma, and Silver Oud; two of which are on their way to you. I really hope you reconsider and review the attars you have. I thought about this piece in the same way but ultimately decided to write about Farah because these are special fragrances which need those of us who admire them to share that. I don’t see it as “salt in the wound”; I see it as communicating the potential of what fragrance can aspire to.

      Thanks very much for your support.

      Mark

      • Thank you for sharing your thoughts on why reviews would be useful. I appreciate that. It sometimes seems as though covering something so expensive is difficult enough for the general reader, never mind when you toss in limited availability. When the item because *completely* inaccessible, however, it seems even more futile. But you have a point about sharing the beauty and specialness of the attars, if only to celebrate what once was, and the very best of perfumery. 

        Since Customs has finally released the hounds, I will be able to decide in a few days, and I'll keep your thoughts in mind. 🙂  

        As a side note, Silver Oud seems to be a lot of people's favorite Amouage attar. I had planned to get a sample in my next go-round, back in the days when I thought I had ample time to explore the line. I'm rather grieving that that is now gone as an option. Honestly, what a bloody waste this whole thing is! Such pointless destruction.

        I will try Basma as one of the first ones, and with you in mind. Perhaps you singing Diana Ross & The Supremes, as I rather like that image. Actually, I see you more as a Marvin Gaye or Barry White chap. Yes, I think I shall try Basma with the mental image of you singing "Never, never gonna give you up." 😉  lol

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