Black III by AJ Arabia / Widian

Year: 2015

Notes: bergamot, spearmint, dry woods, leather, patchouli, vanilla, moss, sandalwood

Comment: Black III is part of the Black Collection
Established by Ali Aljaberi, and using the expertise of perfumer Jean-Claude Astier (responsible for many of M. Micallef's fragrances), AJ Arabia is a relatively new niche house from the United Arab Emirates. Available as a parfum extrait, one is left completely dumbfounded by Black III.

Beginning with some vibrant citrus and mint, this succulent opening is extremely deceptive and only acts as a temporary smokescreen to a very bland woody-leather affair. With the emergence of some sweetness later on, there's nothing special about it to warrant the high price that it commands – especially when there are so many other generic (and cheaper) niche alternatives available.

Although not listed, the composition clearly rests on a white musk base, and its performance on the skin is no different from its siblings. Another case of the emperor's new clothes? Yes, most definitely.