This blog is a constantly evolving forum for thoughts on perfume, perfume-making, plants (especially orchids and flora of the Pacific Northwest) and life in general. It started out chronicling the adventures of Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes, established in July 2010, and has expanded in other directions. A big part of the blog is thinking about the ongoing process of learning and experimentation that leads to new perfumes, the exploration of perfumery materials, and the theory and practice of perfume making. I no longer post reviews of the perfumes that I sample, unless specifically requested to do so. To counter my inherent grumpy tendencies, I try to write about something I appreciate at least once a week. Once in a while I get up on my soapbox and write about things that aren't at all related to perfumery. I am grateful to all of you, the readers, who contribute to the blog by commenting and making this a truly interactive perfume project.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
ARABIAN PERFUMES: MAJID MUZAFFAR ITERJI PART 1
To continue my exploration of Arabian perfumes, here are five from Majid Muzaffar Iterji. From the information on their website, this company appears to be a well-established Saudi Arabian perfume manufacturer. They specialize in traditional, mid-level perfumes that, in my experience, are quite variable in quality. Some of their offerings can be purchased fairly reasonably online in the US from Amber and Musk.
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I find it interesting that most of the online vendors of Arabian perfumes downplay or completely omit the names of the manufacturers. I find this practice extremely annoying, especially since many of the common, traditional names for perfumes are used over and over again by just about every perfume manufacturer.
Majid Muzaffar Iterji Oud Mubakhar Malaki (spray) An oud fragrance pure and simple, this alcohol-based perfume is woody, resinous, aromatic, very natural smelling. I love oud, and that’s what this is, even though it’s probably just a good synthetic reconstruction. It’s simple enough to really let the single note shine, the only embellishment being a tiny bit of spice, probably cinnamon. The fact that this is an alcohol spray rather than an oil cuts down on the intensity, making for a nice light woody sillage that lasts for about 6-8 hours.
Majid Muzaffar Iterj Ehtefal This alcohol-based perfume starts out with strong citrus and a touch of aldehydes, as well as some sharp white flowers. It seems like more of a European designer-type perfume than an Arabian one, but it’s stronger and a little more pleasant and natural-smelling than many of its Western counterparts. I’m not a big fan of citrus-florals, but this one is enjoyable to wear. As it dries down it becomes warmer and smoother, remaining floral, but in a way that manages to appeal to me. The sample I got was generous, so I’ll probably use this in my rotation when (or if) I want a fresh, citrusy floral.
Majid Muzaffar Iterji Ward Al Manara As would be expected from the name, this perfume oil is an extremely strong rose, with powerful citronella notes and a strange woody undertone that I find detracts from the rose. To me it smells extremely synthetic. It stays completely linear for the entire time it’s present, which is only about 3-4 hours, starting out too strong even when carefully dabbed, but fading quickly. This perfume oil was a big disappointment.
Majid Muzaffar Iterji Al Berwaz This perfume oil is strong and predominantly woody, with oud, cedar, and other similar notes, mostly the “other” notes. In the opening there are undertones of lavender, rose, and fruit. I would characterize this as smelling more masculine than feminine, probably because it’s sharp and not at all sweet despite the fruit and floral notes. The scent is linear, lasting 6-8 hours. I like it, but it would not be one of my top choices from this perfumer.
Majid Muzaffar Iterji Mukhallat Al Manara This perfume oil contains the typical mix of citrusy rose, saffron and oud. It’s sweet, it’s strong, it’s good, it’s long-lasting, it’s linear, and it’s very traditional smelling. This is an excellent scent that is among my favorites from this perfumer.
I am a research scientist based in the Seattle metropolitan area who has many other parallel lives. This blog is primarily about my experiences as a perfumer but will also weave in threads from my lives as an orchid grower, runner, theatre person, and lover of food, fashion, travel, and other good things in life.
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