More 'Oud and Roses' … but with a nice twist.
"Time stands still at the gateway of Luxor, humanity's oldest prayer site. On the banks of the Nile, the stifling heat makes me feel indolent. Crocodiles slide silently over the sand under the penetrating gaze of the Sphinx. I walk towards the age-old shade of the Colossus Ramesses II. The temple stones seem to vibrate in splendour and the roses sigh in the torpor. Luxor oud: an oasis of roses and fruit overflowing with freshness and sensuality in the country of greatness and majesty. The marriage of wood and rose under Pharaoh's whip and sceptre.
OIL OF MANDARIN, red berries, ROSE, oil of cypriol heart, ROCKROSE ABSOLUTE, oil of patchouli, styrax resin, tonka bean, OUD ACCORD".
The blurb above is taken directly from the Memo website, and while it is fanciful and a touch overly poetic, I find that this fragrance does somewhat incite imaginings of the tableau laid before us … except for the crocodiles :).
While Luxor Oud is definitely a Rose/Oud blend, I find myself appreciating it due to the sweetness it exhibits. I don't necessarily enjoy fruits in fragrances all that much, but here they display a dry character, like a bowlful of raisins or dates … and a pomegranate split open to leak juicy seeds.
The addition of Patchouli here is also responsible for blurring the line between Rose/Oud and Rose Patch fragrances, adding a rather interesting twist to the mix. I doubt very much if the Oud here is real (the words 'Oud Accord' lead me to this notion), but the Labdanum is definitely there and the Rose has a Turkish Delight quality … sweet and slightly gelatinous.
The story unravels a little with a bit of further research when one realizes that the founding couple of House Memo rely on the nose of Alienor Massenet of IFF for their frags. This discovery rubs the shine off the house for me in a way … one expects niche brands to have at least one nose directly responsible for their offerings. It seems to me that many people with the capital to launch a brand could then just go ahead and do the same. It's a different story when the fragrances are absolutely stellar, as in the case of Frederic Malle … but I've tried a few from the Memo line and this, imho, is about as good as it gets.
Don't get me wrong … I really love Luxor Oud and I enjoy wearing it. It garners many compliments and is relatively unique in the cornucopia of Oud/Rose frags out there, but the idea that it's simply a business exercise created in the labs of a huge corporation tends to bother me a bit. I'll have to put my mind to thought about why … perhaps I just feel a little disillusioned that the romance and poetry of the marketing doesn't quite match up to the juice … but I'm waffling!!
When all is said and done one could do much worse in this genre than coughing up for a bottle of Luxor Oud. It has above average sillage and longevity and smells delicious … one can't ask for much more than that.