Bhutan. The small South Asian country, with the famous Grosstonational luck and a supposedly breathtaking landscape, is supposed to smell like this? About ethereal-fresh to animalic-woody-earthy?
Hmmm... A 'figure' probably, a product of imagination, a fantasy.
Whatever. In contrast to many others, I can't really understand the associations with musty forest soil, ponds and mud. For me 'Figment Man' doesn't smell at all earthy, muddy or even rotten. No, nothing like that. But I can see sandalwood and incense. Reminds me a little of those infamous incense sticks we used to torch in our shared rooms instead of airing them properly.
This central sandalwood chord is framed by an initially rather sharp, unsweet freshness breeze that lasts for quite a while and a woody resinous base that swings out for hours.
So far, so good. Almost so banal, however, if it weren't for another very distinctive chord slumbering in the heart of the fragrance, which begins to blossom soon after spraying on and only slowly fades away many, many hours later: a potpourri of animal notes. Whichever origin they may be: some suspect an overdose of civet, others a mixture of various musk compounds, some bring costus into play, a fragrance that smells of damp (animal) hair, and also 'Animalis' from the company Synarome is used: a perfume base that was already used in Jean Carles' 'Visa', as well as in the highly controversial 'Kouros', and which is described as follows:
An animalic, musky, sensuous odor with costus-like connotation. Can be described as unwashed human hair, goat smell and dirty socks.
Sounds tempting, or?
But it is. At least for some, including me.
What smells disgusting to some, however, is for others a perhaps even narcotic aphrodisiac, in any case a fragrance. However, the tolerance threshold has fallen noticeably in recent decades, more precisely since 'Cool Water' and the triumph of the Frischefougères, so that former heroes of the animal world of fragrance such as the aforementioned Kouros, or Montana's 'Parfum de peau' mutated from the almost ubiquitous Mainstreamer to the rare exotic. That Amouage comes around the corner in the never-ending age of clean scents with such an animalic, broad-legged, sexually appealing scent bully has a certain chutzpah, or at least defiance. Mr. Chong & Co. certainly did not have exorbitant sales figures in mind: this fragrance is certainly not a big seller, but you probably guessed it: works like 'Figment Man' or Dior's 'Leather Oud' are not launched today in the hope of the big Reibach. You launch them because you want to show that you can also be dirty, that you are willing to go to the limits of the intolerable (and beyond), presumably not to get into the suspicion of the mainstream, to attract attention, to stay in conversation.
To have such a fragrance in our portfolio means: look, we dare what, we do art, perfume art, even if it is art for the sake of art.
Which raises the question: is this fragrance even wearable?
I'd say yes.
No, because we are social beings who move among each other and - at least tendentially - want to please each other. Since this smell, at least according to most comments, might feel a majority as halfway evil-smelling, a public wearing is excluded as far as possible.
Yes, if a perfume enthusiast appreciates fragrances with a broader spectrum as fresh, clean, floral and vanilla and if a certain 'skingout' of dubious origin can be perceived as stimulating without having to vomit immediately. This, however, is more likely to take place in a private setting, in a very private one, I suppose, meaning between my arm and my nose. Because I appreciate this 'Figment Man' very much, as do 'Kouros' or 'Leather Oud', Mazzolaris 'Lui', Diors 'Jules' or Piguets 'Oud', as well as the original 'Rose poivrée' before it was tamed on the animal side, but wearing it in public and exposing myself to the suspicion of possibly lacking body care, no, I don't want that then.
This Bhutanese (fragrance) tiger, I let steam around beautifully at home, or take him only to tiny little excursions with...
Which, in contrast to Pond Morast-toad etc., would mean the following chain of association: a Buddhist temple waffled with smoking candles, in a predator zoo shaded by lemon trees.