Fragrances are inevitably personal, but here at ITG, we know a good one when we smell it. Maison Francis Kurkdjian launched Amyris as a fragrance duo (for homme et femme, bien sûr) in an attractive pair of squat, square bottles linked by their shared use of Florentine iris and a resin derived from amyris, a flowering Jamaican tree sometimes referred to as “torchwood' for its flammability. The use of resin in a perfume usually makes for a heady, musky, amber-full fragrance, but the addition of the (super-rare!) iris balances both scents nicely. Now, we're not the “girliest” of groups, but we were surprised to find ourselves all consistently favoring the lady version versus its masculine counterpart (which boasts rosemary, mandarin, tonka bean and oud). We were less surprised when we found out that Francis Kurkdjian conceived the scent with the “Parisian woman in mind,” according to the press materials. (Since, you know, we all wish we were French.)
It’s always a perk to find a perfume that isn’t aggressively musky or sweet, that doesn’t project too much (is there anything worse than being in an elevator with someone who seems to have doused themselves in scent?) and Amyris Femme’s lighter citrusy notes (Californian orange, though it smells lemony to us) combine well with woody vetiver and a subtly musky amber base for a clean smelling perfume that’s both pretty and fresh while still being warm—and lasting all day. It’s a grown-up scent (and not “cheap' at $185 for 2.4 fl oz)— sort of sophisticated without trying too hard (i.e. going the full “old-lady”)—that won’t freak your friends out or smell like anything else out there.