Originally posted at Dreamwidth on January 21, 2010
Green Tea, White Freesia, Banana Tree Leaf, Coriander Seed Oil, Cardamom Absolute
Rose, Carnation, Clove Oil, Orange Blossom, Ylang Ylang Oil, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute
Musk, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Condensed Milk, Tonka Bean Absolute
Created in 2009, Amaranthine is a corrupted floral oriental for those private moments when everything is anticipation.
It opens with a dramatic flourish of spices and tropical green. This unsettling lick of drama is beautifully ambushed by an unctuous accord of jasmine and ylang-ylang, a heady bloom renowned for its aphrodisiac properties, and clove swathed in spices, tea, musk and the rounded beauty of tonka bean absolute.
Wow. On first sniff it's a real shocker, not at all what I'd expect from a Penhaligon's scent. As I put it on, I'm wondering *what the hell* is in those top notes that smells a) so good and b) so different. I think it's the freesia and cardamom. This is a dirty, dirty scent, there's little that is clean and crisp here, which perhaps you might expect with the green tea and freesia. It is green, but in a "sap rising" kind of way.
The floral notes of this are very good, althought not separately identifiable as one separate flower. Underneath is the sandlewood which gives it a wonderfully strong base. The base eventually diminishes to sandlewood and tonka, becoming oh so similar to a number of other scents I have with similar base notes. It fades a little too fast for my liking, but I don't think that's a problem, as this is not a day scent. This is a scent designed for rudery and passionate nights in, not business meetings, church functions or picking kids up from school. (Luckily it had faded by the time of the school run!)
It's quite hard to write dispassionately about a scent that I'm really loving (I had the same problem with Shalimar) as I'm responding to it on an emotional level. I think I've found my fragrance for the honeymoon! It's not for everyone, but if you like Clinique Aromatics Elixir, you may also like this. Both have the same filthiness at their heart. As mentioned before, Penhaligon's are on Twitter and are very helpful when it comes to providing samples. (Kudos to Katie Puckrik, who made me aware of this here.)