Winter’s almost here and it’s time to update your perfume wardrobe. Think warm wood perfumes laced with the smell of oriental spices or gourmand accords built around a rich, ambery character. Given the vast selection of choices available, we’ve scoured the web to find some of the best homegrown oriental blends from Sawalef Perfumes for the coming season.
This week we’ll be featuring new releases from Sawalef Perfumes, a brand previously published on the blog (which you can read here). Sawalef has been able to make a mark in the ‘oriental’ fragrance genre over a very short span of time.
But now you might ask, what makes oriental fragrances so popular among Emiratis and the Middle Easterners? Well, apart from its anchoring base notes, the difference lies in the quality of ingredients used within. Also, oriental scents are extracted and mixed in an oil base that allows the perfume to linger on the skin for longer, therefore evaporating slowly over a longer duration. And comparably, they’re heavy on the base notes which helps to increase the overall projection of the scent.
Oriental scent structure mainly comprises of ingredients such as incense, musk, amber, heliotrope and vanilla. Shalimar de Guerlain is one of the first oriental fragrances in genealogy.
Sawalef Perfumes ~ Memories EDP
Memories EDP Fragrance Notes:
Top Notes: Ylang Ylang, Amber
Middle Notes: Jamine, Rose, Violet
Base Notes: Cashmere, Tonka Bean, Vanilla, Musk
Memories EDP opens on a sensual blend of luscious florals, exotic woods, cashmere musk and an overdose of creamy white amber. This is straight up amber in the traditional labdanum-vanilla vein. Despite the strong character of ylang ylang, it is only discernibly present and surfaces very briefly before the vanillic-amber takes over.
Once the top notes fade, I detect the floral heart of rose and jasmine. Overall, it’s a rather linear scent that doesn’t evolve too much. It settles down as a relatively restrained scent for its type with moderate sillage but scores well on longevity. So if you’re looking for a soft, powdery scent that mellows into a warm, comforting scent then this is right up your alley. Personally, I find it very appealing but the minimal sillage trail leaves me wanting more.
Sawalef Perfumes ~ Anaqa EDP
Anaqa EDP Fragrance Notes:
Top Notes: Turkish Rose
Middle Notes: Patchouli
Base Notes: Amber
Featuring notes of Turkish rose, patchouli and amber, Anaqa has made to our list for Sawalef Perfume’s bestselling winter-scents. This modern floral-oriental fragrance has in fact been of Sawalef’s finest releases till date.
I can also detect hues of white flowers, resins and exotic spice notes that gives character and depth to the concoction. If patchouli isn’t your favorite fragrance note to begin with, I would still recommend trying this fragrance due to it’s uncharacteristic notes composition. This potent elixir has the ultimate earthy richness that emulates and balances the sweet floral heart. Despite it being lauded as a gender-neutral scent, I find it to have a distinct feminine composition. Again, this scores high on all dimensions: projection, sillage and longevity.
Sawalef Perfumes ~ Empire EDP
Empire EDP Fragrance Notes:
Top Notes: Saffron, Nutmeg, Cardamom
Middle Notes: Orange Blossom, Patchouli
Base Notes: Vanilla, Sandalwood, Soft Leather
Empire – invoked here in both name and packaging. It’s the perfect blend of classically feminine and masculine notes, both sweet and woody, with saffron, patchouli, vanilla, leather and stays on the skin all day.
Empire is a complex woody oriental with equal parts creamy and spicy. It coalesces the creamy saffron note into a vanilla gourmand, great on its own or paired with Oud fragrances. It’s certainly one of my favourites from the collection. There is a hint of leather in the background, faint, but the combination in here makes it very interesting. The dry down was phenomenal! On me, the longevity has been impressive (~6 hours) with moderate sillage.
These are our favourite newcomers of the year so far. But if you’re looking for one scent to start with, I’d recommend Anaqa. A guaranteed compliment-getter!
Sawalef Perfumes are available now online and the fragrances are priced at Dhs 350 for 100 ml.