10 Jul 2023
In 2021, Chief Creative Officer Officer Renaud Salmon reintroduced the world of Amouage attars to an expectant public with six new treasures. Now, in 2023, he adds two more exquisite creations to the collection.
“As with the previous attars,” he explains, “I took my inspiration from my extensive journeys around Oman, connecting both scents with specific points on the map of the country. I feel this is Amouage’s way of showing the deep respect we hold for Oman’s extraordinary heritage, and also of highlighting the many riches this land has always had to offer to travellers. I am proud and excited to share these two new points on our fragrant map of Oman.”
Amber Sogara: From a distance, it is invisible – perfectly concealed by the colours and textures of the rock face. But those who travel closer are treated to a wholly unexpected sight: a small cluster of flat-roofed, stone houses that look as though they have been sliced out of the side of the mountain. This is the village of Al Sogara. Around 200 km away from Muscat, it is considered to be one of the most isolated and secluded settlements in the entire region.
At night, the lights in Al Sogara’s homes come together to form a drop of golden amber – magically suspended against the blackness of the mountain behind them and the star-filled sky above them. Their glow is like an undying flame reaching out from Oman’s past, reminding all who see it of the country’s rich and layered history.
Inspired by Al Sogara – this tiny location that somehow inhabits both yesterday and today – Renaud Salmon and Elise Benat have crafted an attar that is equally at home in all eras. The village has been largely untouched by the outside world for centuries, and in a similar manner, Benat’s composition presents tones and inflexions that hint at the romance of bygone years, while remaining rooted in the present.
Opening with an unexpected flourish of aldehydes – materials that lend scents a luminous, sparkling quality – Amber Sogara entices all those around it with a sensual, scarlet rose, a seductive jasmine, and an all-enveloping base of warm, animalic ambrette. Complex, surprising and beguiling, it is the scent of feeling grounded not just in one’s own time, but in all times, past and future. The perfume of endlessness.
Santal Sohar: Located north of Muscat, Sohar Governorate occupies a unique position in the region’s heritage. Centuries ago, it was the country’s capital.
Historically one of the busiest and most important ports in the area – a hub for the trade of spices, frankincense and, most notably, sandalwood – it was a crossroads for a colourful array of peoples and cultures. And, according to legend, it was also the birthplace of someone for whom travel became the backbone of his heroic exploits: none other than Sinbad the Sailor.
With this setting in mind, Renaud Salmon and Karine Vinchon-Spehner have created Santal Sohar, an evocation not just of the goods that made their way through the town, but of the spirit of openness and generosity that is invariably extended to all whose journeys bring them here.
At its beginning, Santal Sohar presents an unusual, part-herbaceous, part-floral blend of basil, rose and petitgrain, obtained by distilling all three ingredients at the same time. Their effect conjures not just the alluring pull of a sea breeze, but the coast upon which the waves crash. The attar’s mid-section is an expertly balanced kaleidoscope of spices: cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Beneath all these lies a flawless sandalwood, deepening the composition with its meditative personality. Santal Sohar is the scent of travelling without losing sight of one’s own essence. The perfume of life-enhancing journeys.
At Amouage, no detail is left to chance, and as much attention has been paid to the presentation of these precious treasures as to the scents themselves.
The traditional unit of measure of attars has long been the tola, which equates to approximately 12 millilitres. With characteristic respect to historical practices, Amouage continue to offer their attars in elegant, 1 tola bottles, topped with a discreet, metal stopper, which also acts as an applicator for the fragrance. Filled by hand in Oman, the glass bottles are housed in velvet-lined, lacquered wooden coffrets, whose design echoes the appearance of the original Amouage attars.