Amouage Homage Attar

...the majesty of perfume at its most exalted.

The daddy of perfume criticism, Luca Turin, calls Amouage Homage Attar “breathtakingly beautiful...dizzyingly rich...filled with stratospheric light and ice”. Talk about a come-on! The idea that mere perfume can alter the very molecules of humdrum reality and render one breathless, dizzy, and floating around Earth with a bunch of space junk is irresistible. Thus my obsession with Homage Attar.

Attar is an Arabic word meaning “fragrance”. It’s an extremely concentrated form of natural perfume extracted from flowers and woods, used by the kings and queens of antiquity right up to the present day hoi polloi. I was determined to get my polloi paws on Homage, and zeroed in on it at my favorite fancy fragrance shop.

After uttering the secret passwords (“OH MY GOD -- YOU GUYS HAVE HOMAGE! THIS SHIT IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE SHIT! GIVE IT TO ME NOW!), I was presented with a small crystal cube of a bottle filled with a golden oil. I pulled out the glass wand to anoint my nooks and crannies with the elixir that could turn the ancient gods into slaves of man. And me into a slave of Homage.

Turin was right: in no time at all I was drifting through space with the remains of Skylab. Homage is transcendent -- a glorious choir of Taif rose, Omani silver frankincense and Cambodian oud. As one of many perfume world examples of “When Bad Smells Smell Good”, oud is a resin produced by the rot of mold-infected Aquilaria trees. Its complex aroma varies from medicinal, to leathery, to bitter, to sea-salty. Oud gives a perfume mystery and the whiff of a dark past.

The oud in Homage begins with a faint floor polish accord, and then warms into leather. Homage’s rose provides a fruity fullness, without ever smelling truly “rosy”. The frankincense lends a chilly briskness, jasmine and citrus oils heighten the radiance, and a smidge of musk and sandalwood cushions the landing.

I’ve never smelled a perfume so pure, so perfectly harmonized that not one voice sings out over the others. Luca Turin calls Homage an “incense rose”, but the song that I’m hearing is "floral leather". The scent of Homage lifting off my skin fills me with wonderment at the majesty of perfume at its most exalted. This shit is the shit.

image by Bill Randell


  1. Katie: I agree. Homage Attar is an angelic symphony of voices. The sillage is amazing. It just sings naturals and quality. I do get rose incense and a bit of oud at the base -- I can see where you get leather floral. The only other successful leather floral that I know of is Kelly Caleche by Hermes, but my what a study in contrasts these two make. They could hardly be more different in style and in how they present the concept of "leather floral". Kelly Caleche has JCE's trademark liquid clarity, it's almost transparent. Whereas Homage is dense dense dense. I have but a drop left in my vial, but that should last me a while. Thanks for the review.

  2. PS: there must be dozens of leather florals, what are some others? I suppose that any floral with a smokey, oud, or saffron note would also give the impression of leather. Doesn't have to club you over the head like birch tar...

  3. Scott, I must have my head up my rosy oud ass, because compared to my syrup-thick regulars like Frédéric Malle Une Rose and POTL A*Maze, Homage Attar doesn't seem all that dense. To me, it's a sheer shimmer of a thing. But with perfume, perspective is all, because next to Kelly Calèche, you're right, Homage is dense.

    Do you know, there's something about Kelly Calèche's transparent-yet-penetrating leather that makes me feel a little ill. (Melon smells do the same thing to me.)

    It was fun to think of other leather florals. I came up with these:

    Frédéric Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse
    Ulrich Lang Anvers 2
    Cacherel Anaïs Anaïs
    Chanel No. 19

    (I've not smelled this one, but it fits the bill) Montale Oud Queen Roses

  4. Katie-- thank you so much for getting back to me!!
    Just by chance, I've had By Kilian Pure Oud sitting on my wish list for months now-- the price scared me off ($10!!), but now I think I need to try. And where did you get to smell the real oud?
    Also-- I'm sloooowly making my way through the whole Amouage line, and one just is better than the next. Homage Attar: must do.
    --Rita @

  5. Hi Rita! I presume the $10 By Kilian Pure Oud is the sample size? Otherwise, it's not a very scary price at all, unless we're living in 1809!

    I smelled my first real oud the other day at the Beverly Hills Barney's, where the legendary SA Anthony (he adores perfume and loves his job and always inspires) had a tiny rollerball vial, which he told me was worth $1,000! He dabbed a bit on my arm ($60 right there, I'll bet!), and a smoother, deeper, richer oud than any I've smelled in perfumes issued forth. It walked a tightrope between diaper and leather. It did have a bit of Band-Aid in there, but not as sharply rubbery as in the perfume versions. And it mellowed to warm, animalic skin, but not beastly animalic like Serge Lutens Musc Kublai Khan, for example.

    Re By Kilian Pure Oud, I happened to have a sample with me, and Anthony smelled it next to his REAL pure oud, and he pronounced it "very close". Of course, the BK Pure Oud is a composition with other ingredients, but the word from oud connoisseurs is that it's a believable oud.

    I wouldn't enjoy BK Pure Oud as a fragrance on its own, but I've been REALLY loving wearing my sample with BK Back to Black, where it deepens and earthifies B2B's puffball-ness.

  6. I should clarify that real oud is not actually sold at Barney's - the SA's stash was his own.

  7. i was just at aedes surrounded by the "epic" amouage meow meow and was SCARED to get my attar on.
    i salute you.
    i waft at you.
    i billow in your general direction.

  8. Hi Katie, I hopelessly fell in love with Homage Attar, especially the drydown. I would be very glad if you could help me analyse what it actually is- sandelwood and musc? what else? And do you have any recommendations what other perfumes I could try in this direction? Thank you so much,

  9. Cybele - to me, Homage's drydown smells like floral leather, which I'd attribute to the blend of rose/jasmine/oud.

    While there are other rose/ouds out there that I love and wear (By Kilian Rose Oud, Juliette Has a Gun Midnight Oud, People of the Labyrinths A*Maze), they're all thicker than Homage, without that pure, essential oil character of the attar. In my opinion, the only perfumes that will be reminiscent of Homage will be other Amouage attars. (There's a great selection of them in London at Selfriges, Harrods and the Amouage flagship store.)

  10. thank you Katie! I luckily will be in London soon and will also try other rose/ouds. Cybele

  11. Hi Katie, may I ask you for your help? I am looking for some ouds and attars to try for a guy, he already loves Oud 27 and other favorites are Yatagan and Rien. Have you tried Tribute Attar? How does it compare to Homage? I am not sure if he would like the rose in Homage but I am positiv he would love its pure, suave quality. And how about Kurkdjian's Oud? I am also considering Amougae Opus VII (black bottle), have you tried it? Would love your advise, Cybele

  12. Cybele, I haven't tried Opus VII. Tribute is more earthy and typically masculine than Homage. He might go for that one. Oud-wise, I also love Pure Oud from By Kilian. It's easier to wear than Oud 27.

    1. Thank you so much, Pure Oud is on my list. Would you say Tribute can compete with the beauty of Homage- this exquisit quality? And one more question-have you tried Trayee? All the best to you and thanks again.

    2. Cybele, Tribute feels more ordinary to me than Homage. For me Homage is the the best of Amouage's attars that I've sampled. Haven't tried Trayee.

    3. Thank you again, that's was what I suspected and I will get him Homage. Cybele

  13. that was Cybele