I just came across a sample of People of the Labyrinths A*Maze parfum, which I'd grabbed at the Scent Bar last year.
I remember at the time sniffing the A*maze spot on my wrist, and thinking it was too dense and muddled and painful and what-in-tarnation? I never revisited it until just now, and boy, do I have a different tune to trill.
This whole time that I've been banging on about finding a deep, dark rose, A*Maze has been patiently waiting for me me to wake up and smell the flowers.
A*Maze has the thick rose density of Frédéric Malle Une Rose, with something of Amouage Homage Attar in its fruity-oudy-citrus richness. And all my other old friends are on board: saffron, sandalwood, musk, civet.
I'm George Clooney with his latest favorite girl he's ever loved -- all over again.
A year later...
You falling in love with A*maze after all this time, after enduring your many rose trials, is like some chick movie in which the gorgeous lead actress suddenly realizes she's in love with her geeky best friend. Still, I'm dubious.
Une Rose is Frédéric Malle and Frédéric Malle is one cool dude (just ask him), but People of the Labyrinths sounds silly and humorless. I don't want a perfume made by people with no sense of humor. Unless they're French. But let's face it, there's nothing funnier than that Malle perfume chart:
Yeah, maybe A*Maze isn't the geeky best friend, it's Clooney's cute cocktail waitress that you'll eventually leave for the next cute cocktail waitress. And the geeky best friend will be some cheap-ass designer rose you haven't even considered trying yet.
This movie's just beginning.
I officially re-like A*Maze. It's certainly different to a Montale rose -- more fruity, less dry.
I do remember comparing A*Maze favorably to the Montales. Looking back at my perfume notes, which, not surprisingly, are mostly unreliable, I wrote: "dense fruity saffron rose, oud is subtle but perfume is still heavy, a good winter rose."
Whenever I name a season in my notes, it's usually a different season than the one in which I'm writing and thus it serves as a rationale for not buying the perfume right away. I have all these little tricks I play on myself to keep me from going hog-wild and ending up dead in Scent Bar's back alley.
In this case, me calling A*Maze a "winter rose" probably kept me from buying it and I subsequently forgot about it. Until you reminded me, though thankfully in the summertime, so I'm off the hook. I'm so easily manipulated, even by me.
Do you own A*Maze? Because you've been discovering it, abandoning it, and re-discovering it for a long time. Maybe it's time you make an honest perfume out of it. Or maybe you already have. You two are the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton of perfume. Which I guess makes all your other roses Eddie Fisher. What a sordid mess.
Yes! I own A*Maze.
I'll admit it, there are times when you go on about certain perfumes, and I'm dubious. I sometimes confess that I'm dubious, but usually I stay quiet because I know I'm a crazy perfume person too, and we crazy perfume people need leeway to engage in hyperbole, to howl over a new best scent in the world every week.
But today I'm wearing A*Maze, something over which you howled months and months ago, and I smell good.
The oud is subtle, and the rest is lovely and smooth. It's a good, dense, slightly fruity saffron rose, and while I wouldn't think I'd like something like that, I do. I do like it. And right after I announced I was finished with oud. And years after I announced I was finished with rose.
I'm not to be trusted, KP. You're much more trustworthy than I am. Though I still reserve the right to occasionally be dubious when you engage in hyperbole.
Well, this is all very gratifying to hear. The funny thing is, after your tussles with various ouds (Le Labo Oud 27 being your main opponent in the ring), I was all set to tell you not to even bother trying A*Maze, which I was sure you'd find "gross". So I was very surprised by your findings.
I mean, I'd figured you'd go for the general idea of A*Maze, given that you're pleasantly disposed towards Tom Ford Noir de Noir, with its chocolate-dipped rose and saffron dusted with oud.
But the oud is much more present in A*maze, and your beloved chocolate is not, so I wasn't sure you'd have enough friendly faces to make you feel comfortable around the rose and oud. At least the oud isn't “band-aid oud” here -- it's more lemon floor wax. Or at least, something's lemon floor wax in there.
I'm mesmerized by A*Maze's conflicting sensory triggers: its jammy rose starts to make my mouth water, and then the lemon floor wax dries up the drool. And then the drool-to-dry cycle repeats. I'm a regular Möbius strip of saliva.
A*Maze has an odd, herbal side, and I'm wondering if that's to do with henna, one of the listed notes. While experimenting with everything from Miss Clairol to food coloring as a teenage hair hopper, henna was one of the well-trod stations of the follicular cross.
I remember the smell as muddy, vegetal and bitter. Ayala Moriel at Smelly Blog writes that henna has “nothing 'pretty' about it, but it adds substance and depth and a certain powdery-woody-floralcy”. As the Clairol Girl would say, "I don't understand it, but I love it!"
There's also a honey cast to A*Maze, an animalic floral niff that marries the saffron/rose/floor wax to the skin in a salty, sensual way. I've got the parfum version of A*Maze, and though it comes out swinging, it suddenly quiets down dramatically after about a half hour.
I'm in thrall to A*Maze's oddness. Every time I open my perfume cabinet I see it, and when I see it, I have to sniff it, and when I sniff it, I have to wear it. Boy, A*Maze really pushes me around!
And Dan, I do appreciate the leeway to engage in hyperbole. But in my defense, I do give long, hard consideration to a perfume before actually pulling the trigger for my own bottle. So by the time something like A*maze makes it past the velvet rope into my collection, I've already formed a relationship with it. Unlike some crazy perfume people I know, with their pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey buying sprees....
Fumies, any recent "pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey" purchases?