I bought a bottle of Amaranthine of eBay recently for an absolute steal! I couldn’t turn it down.
I had tried this once on paper and remember distinctly a bizarre banana-ry ylang vibe that was intriguing, but I was put off by the brand entirely. However, I’d always thought on and off about Amaranthine reminding myself I need to sample it properly… well… now I have a bottle :) Here’s what I make of it…
Amaranthine opens with pink pepper, a touch of citrus, a spiky and slightly abrasive clove note along with pungent banana leaf. The banana leaf smells soiled – slightly rotten as it always does (on the rare occasions I’ve smelt banana in a perfume that is…). It’s banana-ry, and green, smelling a touch like a dustbin, but is quickly almost overpowered by a soft floral (freesia mainly). I don’t really get along with freesia in a fragrance, but it’s paired with an interesting combination of notes - smelling quaint and a little old fashioned, partnered with this abstract tropical vibe. The listed green tea and cardamom give off a merely aquatic, herbaceous vibe – not at all what I imagined – slightly overwhelmed by the other unusual notes in the opening.
A touch of ylang and carnation join in, along with a little indolic jasmine and rose – the florals smell dated, but again – the clove and banana make the floral accord abstract and a little unsettling.
The clove spice settles a touch, and is joined with cumin – not overpowering, but definitely there – which again, get’s even more unsettling as the fragrance begins to turn heavily lactonic.
OK so I keep describing it as unsettling… the thing is – Amaranthine verges on repulsive for me, whilst being light on the skin and when listed on paper (in structure) - should be an easy wear. Basically it goes through a rough patch in its heart – smelling a little rotted, a little sour, and very old-school “flower-y”. The pink pepper I hate, so enjoy it more once the spice has settled a touch – which gives in to a more “snappy” greenery that smells both crisp, and sappy… does this make any sense?
The lactonic accord gets stronger in the drydown until it almost dominates. Vanilla sweetens the fragrance underneath along with the softest of woods and a touch of veitver. Listed is a “condensed milk” accord, and it adds a creamy, sourness to the sweeter vanilla – the florals getting more and more lactonic and unidentifiable as it goes on. The banana leaf sticks around longer than expected, but in no time at all, Amaranthine is a skin scent – a milk-y vanilla with just a touch of skin-like spice and a cleaner floral. It sounds pretty rancid I know… it is, but it’s enjoyable to wear and in time, I do find it easy. It’s interesting for sure, and it’s subtlety both lets it down, and thankfully enhances it by making it easier for me to enjoy. It clings to the skin in the late drydown as a milky skin scent with little throw – perfect for hot days when I don’t want anything too overpowering, but still a challenge for me to wear – happy to have it in the collection! – I say that through a gritted smile.
Amaranthine 100ml EDP Penhaligon’s – £105