Ashore by Amouage (2020)

Neutral

Amouage Ashore (2020) really just feels like a lightened-up Amouage Portrayal Woman (2019) full-stop, but I don’t want to shortchange anyone here so I’ll elaborate. MacKenzie Reilly chimed in on this one as she did with Amouage Meander (2020), with her chosen inspiration being Oman’s eastern shores. The Renaissance Collection is meant to invoke the feeling of being in key locations or in scenarios traditionally found around Oman, and I guess this is the beachy vacation one. All of the scents in the collection are not explicitly gendered, but come in gendered bottles to imply where they might be most enjoyed. That said, a good beachy jasmine perfume can work for anyone with enough confidence, so I’d call this unisex with an open mind. At it’s core, Amouage Ashore is a sort of ozonic floral fragrance with an ambergris/ambroxan base laced with the usual oriental incense and wood tricks, very light and transparent, with a bit of punch when caught in wafts. It doesn’t feel very much like the Amouage most older fans know, but I guess that is sort of the point with this line.

The opening of Ashore is all about green cardamom, pink pepper, and that bright “solar accord” which I can only imagine is the ozonic aldehyde element. A lot of this collection leans very heavily on pink pepper, which sort of gives it a designer-y feel (for better or worse), since pink pepper has been abused by designer perfume for the better part of 15 years. The light jasmine sambac note meets a dry rose, and reminds me of the jasmine tea feel of Diptyque Olene (1987), being the best part of this fragrance, The base is ambroxan buffeted with a small speck of norlimbanol woody/incense scratch, but it is used lightly here so it doesn’t feel like sandpaper as it does in something like Dior Sauvage (2015), but rather just like sand. Finish it off with a powdery dusting of sandalwood and there you have it, beachy jasmine. Wear time is at eight hours, while sillage is moderate, but this can be oversprayed for effect. If it isn’t hightly implied already, this is a summer fragrance, the fun carefree one of the collection, and the one I like most (being the only one I fully like).

The price point for something this Western and designer-like in feel stretches the imagination a bit, and the creative “renaissance” Renaud Salmon seems to be taking Amouage in with this line is decidedly more French than even the classic original Guy Robert compositions for Amouage, so take that as you may. Portrayal Woman is basically this perfume with added tonka, tuberose, and a lot of thickening agents, so they could be seen as day and night versions of each other in some ways, but Portrayal Woman is defintely the better performer for the money. For many Western guys, a white floral will never be fit for men, and these same dudes balked at both Givenchy Insensé (1993) and Jean-Paul Gaultier Fleur du Mâle (2007), explaining why they both became discontinued unicorns worshipped by cultish fans, so I can’t expect much acceptance here, but I really like Amouage Ashore and feel it could work on just about anyone if the price is right, especially if white sands and jasmine in the breeze sound like your idea of paradise. Thumbs up.

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