A Renaissance Man


– a review of AmouageBeloved Man’

Sometimes, assumptions can be dangerous. Dangerous, because assumptions lead to expectations, expectations are not always fulfilled, and disappointment can be deadly. If I have a credo I try my utmost to live by, it’s that I might as well bite the bullet and expect the unexpected. It’s one way to save what’s left of  my sanity.

This was brought home when I received the hotly anticipated Amouage Beloved Man, anticipated because c’mon, it’s an Amouage!, and hotly since Beloved Woman blew so many of us away last year, yours truly included.

Of all the many things I so adore about the house of Amouage, one of them is the unique way their masculine and feminine perfumes play off and enrich each other – as if they exude two sides of the same eternal stories; The Age of Opulence (Gold), Grand Adventures (Epic), Great Expectations (Jubilation), A Haunting Affair (Memoir), The Memory of Loss (Honour), or even Beautiful Chaos (Interlude).

It could be me and my own warped perspective, it could even be my warped nose for all I know, but every Amouage I’ve ever encountered tells a story to a degree very few other perfumes do, and that’s something else to love about them.

In my own not-so-humble opinion, Amouage creates some of the Best Masculines On Planet Earth. In the (unlikely, if not impossible) event someone walks through my door with the intention to stay a while, he is doomed in more ways than one. To wear an Amouage (or three) is a given. No questions and no quarter. I shall insist. Nicely. If all else fails, I’ll quote the Universal Law of Dividends With Compound Interest.

So what – or who? – is this Beloved Man? Inspired by the 1980 movie ‘Somewhere in Time’ starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, Beloved Man is a bit of a departure from the usual Amouage masculines, less operatic, brighter and more timeless in feel and aura. It starts with elemi on me, all a summer-bright, charming, citrusy burst of light and ‘Hello, there!’ On this woman, it makes a definite statement, a subversive statement to femininity akin to wearing a tux with heels. Slowly – it would be far too obvious to give it all away too soon – the bright beginning fades as floral notes begin to bloom.

Geranium, jasmine and iris, says my note list, but just as in Beloved Woman (also created by Bernard Ellena), they’re seamlessly, flawlessly blended. I could tell you that it begins with geranium and ends with a deliciously dark, grassy, leather-tinged iris, but as it shifts and moves and evolves and involves you through the hours and the day, it grows lusher, woodier and, dare I write it, even a touch melancholy, a surprising twilit twist on a perfume that begins with such a luminous burst of light.

If you somehow expected your usual Amouage rollercoaster ride (or wafts of Wagnerian scope, scale and pitch), you’ll be in for a surprise. Beloved Man is none of that. Instead of rewriting the rule book of machismo with a capital M, it tells its story in a lower, more understated key. The surprises in its depth will find you, not the other way around, like all the most evocative fragrant love stories, the ones we remember the longest and best. Next to Beloved Woman, it tells that other story of definition…no need to conform to a script, only a wish to transcend the rules we write as we go and the yearning we may find – through time and beyond it.

On a humdrum afternoon last week, a friend of mine dropped by. We talked about things old friends will talk about, and in the course of our conversation (I wasn’t about to waste an opportunity with testosterone in the room), out came Beloved Man. He graciously offered his left arm to Art. Up came the Armani sleeve, out came a generous spray to adorn some stellar Norse knotwork. We waited a couple of minutes for the fallout to evaporate. Next came the big surprise. Lo and behold, out of the mouth of this iconoclastic, volatile black metal aficionado, Amouage virgin and notorious thirty-something Lothario came the words:

It smells like me, but better.

Who knows – there might be hope for him yet!

But in the event I were ever to give Beloved Man to an exemplar of same, I think it would suit the kind of man who had nothing in particular to prove, a man who had no doubts about who he was or what he wanted. He has no wish to break or bend rules he doesn’t define himself, no desire to assume another identity or persona. He is, in a phrase, all of a piece. Intriguing, complex, infinitely curious and yet with a smoother, softer and no less masculine edge he isn’t afraid to show to an appreciative audience. A Renaissance man, as iconoclastic as he wants to be and as classic as he always is and also – as surely as he must be…

 A. Beloved. Man.

Some day, I hope to find him. In time – or beyond it.

Notes: Orange, grapefruit, elemi, geranium, jasmine, orris, saffron, cedarwood, gaiac wood, leather, patchouli, vetiver and musk. Longevity and sillage is outstanding (as are all Amouages), but it wears closer.

Amouage Beloved Man was created by perfumer Bernard Ellena in collaboration with Creative Director Christopher Chong.

Available as 100 ml eau de parfum (425$) from Amouage boutiques worldwide as well as Harrods in London, Tsum in Russia, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and coming in March/April, Bergdorf Goodman in New York.

Disclosure: Sample provided for review by Amouage.

Image of Viggo Mortensen (My definition of a Renaissance polyhistor, used for illustrative purposes) via fansshare. Some rights reserved.

26 thoughts on “A Renaissance Man

  1. I had a heads up on this review coming so it was hotly anticipated, you have not disappointed, a wonderful review as always. Now I just need to find a man who will appreciate this beauty as well as having the funds to indulge my hobby. Does a man exist?? I live in hope.;-)

  2. It was great to read your review of Amouage Beloved Man. It’s interesting to read someone else’s take on the fragrance one has just reviewed as well. I have reviewed this perfume on my blog yesterday 🙂

    1. Lucasai – I saw that after the fact! Isn’t it amazing that the same perfume can take two different people to different places and perspectives? At least, it never ceases to amaze me. 🙂

      1. Actually I love it that one perfume can smell different on each of us. That’s why it’s interesting to read those other reviews to see how a fragrance perfoms for others. One may not like it, the other one might adore it.

        PS. Please call me Lucas 🙂

      2. Lucas it is, then! Pleased to meet you, Lucas! And do you know, that’s my favortie thing about reading blogs – so many different perspectives! 🙂

  3. It sounds wonderful and very accessible to the novice as your review noted. I really think this is one that I must try too. Wonderful review…I so enjoyed reading it.

    1. Thank YOU for reading Portia! I love to read yours too, but alas, I’ve been slacking on the comments – mea culpa! 😉 I should remedy that as soon as I can…

  4. Thanks for such a wonderful review, I love reading your posts because they are a whole story.

    I am wearing this today because I could not resist its beauty in the gorgeous purple box and was fortunate enough to try it couple of times before its release thanks to the local stores having testers available. I find that it has hints of Epic and Opus VI in the dry down which are two loves of mine. It is just what you would expect from Amouage, hints of the Middle East coming through without being overly “Arabic”.

    I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who subjects visitors to forced (suggested) perfume sampling. I made a friend of mine put this on yesterday and despite his lack of Amouage (or any niche) experience his immediate response was “This is really great!” He didn’t even blink an eye when I told him the price 🙂

    1. Well, I try to get my point across in my own way, and if that means a ‘whole story’, as you so eloquently put it, then…so be it! I understand what you mean about certain shades of both Epic and (definitely!) Opus VI (a favorite of my own) – and finding that common thread large or small is always a joy. It’s like following the evolution of an idea…;) Thank you for reading – and for the compliment, too!

  5. Such a beautiful, evocative, amusing and witty review. It sounds like a lovely scent on the right man, though I think I’m now more interesting in finding a man who fits the scent than maybe the scent itself! 😉

    1. Oh, I forgot to ask, was it really inspired by “Somewhere in Time”? How lovely! That used to be one of my favorite films and I think it’s probably the best film that either Christopher Reeve or Jane Seymour ever did in their respective careers! It sounds like the scent is a perfect fit for Reeve’s character.

      1. So far as I’m aware, it was.And just as Christopher Reeve had a definite classic appeal I’m not about to argue, so does Beloved Man.

    2. Thank you so much for reading! I can totally relate about the search for the man to fit the scent! I’ll let you know if it happens. Stay tuned! 😉

  6. Tarleisio, on the whole, I vastly prefer the women’s versions of the Amouage scents (with Dia pour Homme and Interlude Man being the exceptions). But with this review, you checked off all the right boxes. All I can think is mmmmmm…want this man!

    1. I’m with you there, Suzanne! Like you, there’s something…quite manly about those masculine Amouages. Often bordering on ‘won’t take no for an answer’… But every now and then, strange things happen. As for that man thing…What’s not to love about a Renaissance Man? If you should ever find one who’s available, let me know! 😉

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