Maison Francis Kurkdjian Amyris Homme Extrait de Parfum (2019) is probably the last thing anyone expected to see, as an extrait version of the original Amyris Homme (2012) feels a bit unjustified because it was always meant to be “the mass appeal one” from the range, and mass appeal fragrances typically don’t get the extrait treatment unless you happen to be Chanel. What the extrait treatment does for the Amyris Homme composition is not super obvious but substantial for those who are patient, although it won’t make fans of those who hated the original. Primarily for this reason I have to make it clear that if you strongly disliked Amyris Homme, there is nothing for you here, but if you were on the fence about it leaning towards positive, the extrait formula might tip you over the edge. Likewise, if you are already a fan of Amyris Homme, you may enjoy this too, but also may see it as a bit redundant because as an extrait Amyris loses a bit of the sparkle that made it such a versatile stunner in the first place. I like this quite a bit but I don’t know if I’d ever feel the need to own a heavier version of Amyris Homme because it doesn’t feel like it needs to be heavier, even if I’m in the minority of guys in regards to projection being the number one facet to consider in fragrances.
In the most blunt way possible, this can be described as a thicker, smoother, and warmer Amyris Homme. The opening is the same sweet citrus and white floral overtones but this time rounded with bits of cinnamon and a sweeter mandarin edge. Rosemary seems to mostly back off from the opening, and the reminder that Paco Rabanne borrowed much of this for the DNA of Invictus (2013) also comes flooding back because now thanks to added sweetness, Amyris feels more like the designer ilk it inspired even more. Elemi and a light iris still play with each other in the heart, but now a saffron accord like the one in Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 (2014) also adds a bit of heft. Before long, the tonka base that anchored most of Amyris Homme becomes evident here, thicker and devoid mostly of the scratchy dry woody amber aromachemical punch that MFK listed as coffee and oud in the original. Amyris Homme Extrait de Parfum is ironically closer to being gourmand without these inclusions because of the added vanilla, but is still pretty versatile at least situationally. As with Amyris Homme, you also want to avoid overspraying because the extrait can be come a cloying nightmare if you do, which is a flaw it inherited from its papa. Wear time is over 10 hours and sillage is more noticeable but this is not a beast mode fragrance at all even if it fares better in colder weather or in romantic scenarios where sweet fragrances are often desired. I like this a lot, but I don’t think I’d ever have a use for this myself, and I wear the original Amyris Homme a lot.
Amyris Homme Extrait de Parfum will disappoint fragrance dudebros with backwards hats and screwface smirks looking for the newest niche-quality club banger to troll for attention with on Instagram, but I don’t think Maison Francis Kurkdjian is quite ready yet to go the Parfum de Marly route and fully sell his soul to the devil. If that devil was me, he’d only have to release a proper barbershop fragrance or stinky animal-parts chypre and I’d be ready to guarantee eternal life to the man but that will likely never happen, but neither will an MFK version of Paco Rabanne 1 Million (2008). After all, Kurkdjian started his perfumer career with the banger-to-end-all-bangers that is Jean-Paul Gaultier Le Mâle (1994), so does he really need to revisit such intentionally gauche territory with his own line? I think not. Fans of MFK’s older more “niche-like” works will still hate this too, so the bulk of buyers for Amyris Homme Extrait de Parfum will be those willing to slap another $100 on the price tag for a little extra performance or people so in love with the original that a richer and warmer iteration that’s really only marginally better in cold weather seems paradoxically like a must-have. For everyone else, approach with cautious optimism if you liked Amyris Homme to begin with, or pass along for the next one. Thumbs up.