Harâm / Farah by Brecourt

Year: 2010

Notes: bergamot, dates, Sri Lankan cinnamon, honey, Indonesian patchouli, tonka bean, benzoin, labdanum, leather, styrax, cedar, musks

Comment: Harâm / Farah is part of Les Contextuels Collection
While it's currently imperative for almost every fragrance house to have at least one oud creation, it also seems that no niche house is complete without a scent inspired by the exoticism of far and distant lands.

Harâm is Brecourt's attempt at the latter and, while it's one of their better offerings, its Arabie-esque aspirations are rather evident. Imagine Hermès' Hermèssence Ambre Narguilé (minus the stewed apples and frankincense) fused with the boozy fruitiness of Frapin's 1270 and you wouldn't be too far off.

With a level-headed sweetness, the cinnamon, honey and dates are highly discernible. However, the leather is more of a subtle suede accord, with the labdanum merely compensating for such a shortfall. As the sweetness becomes softer and more resinous, a light drydown of woods and amber soon emerges.

Possessing very good longevity, its sillage is still lacking but, at the same time, is stronger than other Brecourt releases. To those looking for a cheaper alternative to Hermèssence Ambre Narguilé, Harâm may prove to be a worthwhile (albeit less complex) investment.