Drumroll ... Just for once, it's good to be a Shams.
Shams is the Arabic word for “Sun”.
I guess it makes perfect sense since this fragrance is all about hot and spicy ingredients, mingling together to form a rather attractive masculine.
My friend K had been insisting so much that I test it that I decided to keep it for last.
Not in any way to be awkward, but simply because I was having such an underwhelming experience with the house's offerings that I chanced on the opportunity to perhaps keep the best for last.
Sorry about the wait K xx
The first thing to hit is an energising burst of black pepper nicely supported in its piquancy by a touch of ginger.
It soon goes away and is seamlessly replaced by a complex and wet woody aroma, reminiscent of the cool and pungent undergrowth of a forest during its autumnal phase.
What I specifically enjoy is the unusual choice of incense note here, namely Russian Paper (and not papyrus).
I suspect (and hope I’m not wrong) that it is another name for Papier d’Armenie, a very traditional air purifying method born in the late 19th century whereby a piece of paper soaked in styrax and benzoin and left to dry would be set alight and left to burn out.
Oddly enough, the resulting odour would be a strange mix of charred smoky paper and dusty incense.
Shams could have quickly descended into a potentially problematic stuffy and linear vibe caused by a measurable dose of the above, but thankfully, it is alleviated by the grounding multi-facetted addition of Oud.
Probably wouldn’t wear it, but certainly interesting and I can imagine, rather lush on the right man.
One word to you Memo: Alleluia!