Ubar opens with a tenacious floral blast – a sweet/sour civet cut underneath straight away makes the huge florals fly off the skin in a powerful musk cloud. A sweet aldehydic orange turns into an almost bitter grapefruit, loud and mouth-watering but far too “perfumey” to be considered a “fresh citrus opening”.
As the tart citrus evapourates, the florals bombard the heart but with a little more clarity so they can be understood a little better: a bright rose, clean and fruity with a gorgeous jam like quality, a spicy lily with a clove-y impact, a gigantic jasmine grandiflorum with power like I have never smelt.
The civet underneath is prominent throughout, more musky than animalic – and a big dusting of powder scatteres over Ubar. As it begins to settle, the sandalwood comes in along with a delicate trail of incense. The spicy florals keep the bouquet piquant and interesting, and the lily of the valley becomes more prominent as the overwhelming opening subsides. Ubar never loses it’s power however, remaining just as loud and enveloping as it is in the start.
Ubar is without a doubt, slightly dated smelling – but not in an old-fashioned unwearable way. It smells timeless, but unfortunately I read one association online which I now can’t get out of my head… Lou Lou by Cacharel. Ubar is very similar, and I know Lou Lou extremely well. Ubar is more refined, modern, and citrus heavy in comparison though – it’s ingredients presented with far more clarity and the powder handled with a much lighter hand. Ubar is far superior to Lou Lou with a greater development which eventual results in a breakaway of the association, but they without a doubt have their similarities.
Anyway. The drydown brings a prominent patchouli and a more subdued vanilla. The rose for me is the lead, pushing the jasmine to the side just a little bit, morphing Ubar’s drydown into a lovely rose/patchouli. It is not as straightforward as it sounds though, the musk, powder and jasmine still pushing heavy to the side whilst a rich orange blossom hides in the background trying not to be noticed. There’s a mere hint of ylang ylang that rises up after about an hour, and maybe even a little bit of violet? It all remains completely harmonious though, start to finish. I can comfortably wear Ubar, but it doesn’t suit me, and for that reason I don’t think I’ll ever end up with a bottle – it is however a beautiful perfume and the first Amouage I have explored in-depth. A very nice start.
Amouage 50ml EDP Ubar – £135 Les Senteurs