As a goal, I believe that Bogart's house intended to bring the arabian nights warmth and grandeur from the caliphates and emirates, or at least, a scent to match our imagination about that theme. I don't think Bogart has been successful in that attempt. You clearly perceive two distinct phases in the perfume evolution: A smelly Arabian evening followed by a scented Arabian night.
This fragrance deserves a more detailed note analysis for us to understand the "why" of its evolution in two separated phases: the smelly and the scented stages.
HEAD and HEART ==> In the powerful opening, the blending is based on strong accords of cumin (probably caraway variety), petitgrain (bitter essential oil extracted from the orange tree green leaves) and cardamom.
The strong and persistent petitgrain is the main responsible for the noted similarity mainly with Amouage Reflection Man and with Le Male in a lesser extent. However, when combined, the cumin and cardamom notes may develop a strong animalic scent. Cumin is a pungent bitter-sour spice note that sometimes (namely combined with cardamom) may be associated to the sweat scent or to the pee scent. Used with care, It can highlight the fragrance creation like no other. Nowadays is often used to render an intimate, animalic note in absence of a recognised animalic ingredient like civet or castoreum. Cardamom can be intensely sweet, resinous and aromatic. Combining this intense aromatic resinous note with an animalic one, amplifies the effect. It's like singing from a distance or close to the ear. You will certainly enjoy the melodious song sung from afar, but you may reject the song that has been screamed in your ear. I do belive that Bogart's aim has been to ensure this loud animalic accord would endure the entire evolution, but it resulted in a strong punch in your nose, all the way through the head and heart developpment, and only eased up during the sweeter bottom and drydown.
This pungent scent effect makes Arabian Nights to be the most polarizing fragrance of the fragrance community. You do encounter fierce haters cursing this perfume, or people madly in love with it. More than half of the haters claim this perfume to smell like pee in the top and middle stages. More than half of the lovers are quite enthusiastic about the strong animalic accord.
HEART ==> In the heart, one also perceives incense (yes, more incense amplifying the animalic effect), woods, floral accords and patchouli.
BOTTOM ==> At the base we get white musk, oak moss, cedar and vetiver. At this stage, and during the dry down, there is a slight added sweetness that some people attribute to existing tonka or vanilla. When reaching the bottom stage, the fragrance twists from an aggressive scent into an almost alluring, enchanting and persistent aroma.
The general feeling you get from the animalic side of this fragrance is a synthetic and unatural one, instead of a medicinal scent as it is usual in so many oriental fragrances with oud. The output is intense and full of incense and, when applied on your skin, the fragrance doesn't change much during its evolution. Mostly it revolves around the cumin/cardamom combo and added musk later on in the bottom phase. This perfume is not an easy one to please and a large voter base may be prodigal in "tens" and "zeros".
If you seek an arabian dark oud note in Arabian Nights, you are just wasting your time. No oud is listed and there isn't any in the fragrance composition.
The bottle is very pretty, and although bears the same Bogart visual identity, it looks and feels nicer and with better quality than the other Bogarts. Both projection and longevity are huge. In my opinion, Bogart has been able to launch a fragrance close to the niche segment, but let's respect the proper proportions.
There are similarity allusions between Bogart's Arabian Nights and Amouage Reflection Man. That similarity exists, but Reflection Man is sweeter and less animalic. An Amouage lover will never admit such similarity, but the resemblance is obvious.
No comparison is possible with "Arabian Nights" from Jesus del Pozo (an heavenly fragrance, that I will review shortly).
Let's check the math for Bogart's Arabian Nights:
- Scent opening: 5.0 (I like animalic notes as loud as in this fragrance)
- Scent drydown: 8.5 (the drydown is actually quite nice)
- Longevity: 9.5 (up to 12 hours - 3 sprays)
- Sillage: 8.5 (up to 6~8 feet with almost 3 hours of projection - 3 sprays)
- Uniqueness: 9.5 (It's almost unique. I took 0.5 due to the similarity with Amouage Reflection Man.)
- Versatility: 4.0 (be very careful when choosing the places where you are going to wear this perfume; on your own at home it's a very good choice)
- Wearability: 7.0 (adequate for cold weather, so during Winter and Fall; Use it in a warm day only when visiting your mother in law).
- Compliments: 3.0 (actually some people like it all the way, and many enjoy the drydown)
- Quality: 8.0 (a bit synthetic; good quality flask and sprayer)
- Presentation: 9.0 (quite nice and better looking than the other Bogarts)
- Price: 9.0 (100 ml non tester for 19 Euros)
Average: 7.36 / 10.00
- between 7 and 8 = above average; Allways test it before buying.
- between 8 and 9 = recomended;
- bigger than 9 = don't miss it;
Advice: DO NOT blind buy it! Actually have your eyes wide open (I mean nostrils) when testing it. Whenever you want to ride alone in a bus or train, apply 10 sprays of Bogart's Arabian Nights on a hot summer day.
I only review the fragrances I like. With Bogart's Arabian Nights I am expressing an opinion about a fragrance that I still don't realize if I love or hate it. This duality makes me feel uncomfortable with this fragrance, or even disappointed.Two things I know for sure, is that Arabian Nights will never provoke any compliments and that my wife will never use it.
Music: Rita Lee - "Lança Perfume" - either the portuguese version or the english version.