Aziyadé by Parfum d'Empire

Year: 2008

Notes: orange, pomegranate, prune, dates, almond, cardamom, ginger, Ceylonese cinnamon, Egyptian cumin, carob, frankincense, tobacco leaf, Madagascan vanilla, Indian patchouli, Moroccan cistus, animal accords
Inspired by a Pierre Loti novel of the same name, Aziyadé is an interesting fruity-resinous oriental that strongly calls to mind various Serge Lutens creations.

With a salient orange and pomegranate opening, its initial olfactory exoticism of tea, spices and candied fruits is in the same spirit as Serge Lutens' Arabie. However, due to Aziyadé being less fruity, syrupy and opulent, its general demeanour is actually closer to that of another Serge Lutens' offering, El Attarine (interestingly enough, released the same year). But what really sets Aziyadé apart from these two Lutens fragrances is its emphasis on the resins and (what appears to be) a notable floral heart.

Although there aren't any florals listed, it could simply be an olfactory mirage, largely due to the featured carob note (often used as a health food alternative to chocolate). Along with the tobacco, frankincense, cistus, vanilla and patchouli, it would be understandable to assume the presence of, say, ylang-ylang in the composition as a result (especially when occasional pink bubblegum nuances are discerned from time to time).

During the slightly dusty final stages, more vanilla emerges but, interwoven with remnants of almond, fruits and spices, subtle cherry accents unexpectedly greet the nose. Throughout this stage, one is gently reminded of a loukhoum-style scent, such as Serge Lutens' Rahät Loukoum, albeit less nutty and sweet. As for the so-called animal accords, they remain very much in the background but, at a guess, castoreum is among them.

Overall, one finds it a reasonably pleasant creation but it isn't entirely original. Furthermore, while it lasts rather well, its projection falters after the first hour or so. Still, for those seeking a more feminine version of El Attarine or Arabie, Aziyadé makes an acceptable alternative.