Notes: Rose Taifi, Silver Oud, Silver Frankincense, Jasmine, Amber, Citrus, Sandalwood
The opening is very citrusy with a citronella facet and a tangy metallic nuance which must be due to the rose essence used. Slowly the rose emerges; it is vanillic and reminds you of the rose bouquet in Amouage Lyric for Woman. The vanilla-rose accord in Homage is not as pastry-like but creates more of a general sweet effect.
I just read in the April issue of Perfumer & Flavorist that benzoin is used by perfumers when they want to get a vanillic effect which is not gourmand and which is furthermore warm and lasting in a way that vanilla or vanillin is not...
Beneath the rose and vanillic notes there is a darker leathery undercurrent which feels animalic without being zoo-like. It feels like smelling a rather buttery leather jacket up-close. The ferruginous rose continues to throw cold silvery blades at an invisible target in the air. The Oriental smell of oud comes to the fore conjuring up the vague presence of a mosque.
I discover that the perfume really does need to be applied to the pulse points for full effect.
On the pulse points:
The rose taiif comes into its own. It becomes a nocturnal, resinous rose which is gently heady and inebriating. The tangy, metallic nuances are still present, but less so. The rose note is more natural and now capable of evoking rose petals. The composition feels less vanillic than honeyed. The scent is both warm and dewy. You will still have to like a metallic rose.
As the perfume dries down I am reminded alternatively of the rose-vanilla accord of Tocade by Rochas as well as of the fruity white bouquet of Azzaro 9, which I keep smelling everywhere these days it seems. Well only really in A Scent by Issey Miyaké. The floralcy of the scent is said to be a rose enhanced by the "Tayyiba" accord, a luxurious comingling of jasmine, sweet amber and white musk.
What I did not expect was that Homage Attar would be a fresh attar, that it would be less than completely voluptuous and narcotic. The fresh facet is alluded to as being due to the "Al Andalus" accord containing orange, lemon and sandalwood. It could also be due to the use of geranium to support the rose show. The house claim is that a whole field of roses went into making Homage but more realistically, it could have been buoyed by the scent of geranium leaves, a traditional practice in perfumery.
The composition seems simple enough and will appeal to people who like to shop for things that are both luxurious and simple. I find the scent restful because of that.The scent is both fresh and substantial. The price ($350 for 12 ml) itself plays its role as an euphoric element of exclusivity. You will not encounter many people who wear it. It makes me think that when you buy Homage Atar, you buy yourself more than a perfume, you buy yourself a place of quiet.
Price update for 2014: $665 for 30 ml.
[Note: This review was written on March 29, 2009, five years ago. It is part of the unpublished materials of the blog. It probably was meant to be a longer text, but it feels complete enough as it is, retrospectively.]