Thursday, September 21, 2023

Fate Woman is a testament to opulence in perfume

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One of my strongest perfume memories was my visit to Jovoy Paris, where I encountered just about every famous niche perfume house in the span of two hours. Before I had entered, the most expensive perfumes I had tried were mainline Chanel fragrances at a Nordstrom’s. Between the magical Parisian atmosphere and my inexperience with high-end fragrance, I was primed to fall in love with the perfumes I found at Jovoy. I left the boutique enchanted by at least a dozen houses whose market prices were entirely beyond my budget.

It’s a relief that the following years were filled with a steady disillusionment. The pedestal on which I’d placed “niche” perfumery slowly sank back to Earth, and time and time again my reaction to perfumes in the category was, “this is massively overpriced.” The feeling that niche, designer, and indie perfume labels have little to do with quality gains more traction in my mind every day. This has ultimately resulted in the boring, but true attitude I carry today: good perfume can come from absolutely anywhere.

However, there are a few survivors of this gradual disillusionment. Several niche houses will always have my intense interest, houses that charge high prices that match their resplendent creations. Most people I’ve talked to have at least one such house they adore. Mine just happens to be Amouage.

The hallmarks of Amouage hit everything I love about perfume. Their compositions are rich, yet polished. Their fragrances oscillate between experimental and safe. Their presentation is undoubtedly among the best on the market. However, nothing quite captured me like Interlude Man for years and years after I discovered it in Paris, even as I fell in love with perfumes like the celebratory Jubilation XXV and the gloriously seductive Reflection Man. However, I now know that’s largely because I was limiting myself to their men’s line.

Fate Woman Notes

Top Notes: Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Chili Pepper, Bergamot

Heart Notes: Incense, Narcissus, Labdanum, Rose, Jasmine

Base Notes: Benzoin, Vanilla, Castoreum, Leather, Oakmoss, Patchouli

Fate Woman looks like a glorious incense-spice fest that would appeal to any lover of balsamic perfumes. As soon as I saw the note pyramid, I was entranced. However, that’s only half the story of Fate Woman. On the skin, one immediately understands the feminine associations – this is a powdery-incense fragrance, a wild instance of parts coming together to create a sparkling, unexpected whole. Somehow, the striking spices and soft florals meet in the middle, creating a multifaceted, almost kaleidoscopic reincarnation of talcum powder. This talcum powder just happens to shimmer and breathe like a magical substance instead of occupying a drab white bottle at the local pharmacy.

Like the best Amouage perfumes, Fate Woman bears a strong, unified heart that reveals its finer aspects upon investigation. When I breathe in this perfume deeply, the notes spiral from the center – the delicious cinnamon, the slightly fiery pepper, the mystical incense, and polished leather. However, this perfume only works for me because I’m absolutely fine with the idea at the core. This is a perfume that will likely enchant those who are neutral-to-positive on powdery fragrances. However, those who dislike powder are not going to be able to ignore its presence in Fate Woman.

It is a testament to Amouage that this is a pretty standard entry in their catalog. Fate Woman is bold, beautiful, cohesive, and likely to catch a wearer off guard. I’ve had many experiences in the Amouage lineup where I’ve been astounded by the quality and depth of the fragrance, only to ultimately decide it’s not for me. However, the process of finding that love, or simply experience the limits of one’s appreciation, is certainly the process I treasure most when sampling perfume. It’s hard to imagine a fragrance lover who will not find that Fate Woman is an experience worth having.

The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.

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  • Jade

    Jade is the Lifestyle Editor at the Fandomentals, where they obsess over perfume and underground music. Their wacky poetry is floating around the internet - beware! Follow them for fragrance and poetry content @johndarrextreme on Instagram.

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