First Smell: Odin 06 Amanu

I’m trying to articulate what it is I like so much about the new Odin fragrance, 06 Amanu. I’ve been wearing it every day for a week, putting it on in the morning without hesitation or thought of any other scent.

It’s got some citrus top notes—what I would describe as bitter orange and grapefruit—with momentary hints of melon, followed by a more floral orange. The listed top notes are:

Blood Orange, Green Galbanum, Lentisque

I wasn’t familiar with the last two, so I looked them up. Galbanum is a tree resin that has been used for incense in the Middle East since biblical times. It’s described variously as having a “green” scent, and being sort of like green apples with a somewhat fruity/floral scent.

Lentisque is related to the pistachio tree, and is also described—rather vaguely—as “green”-smelling.

Later, Amanu 06 turns more floral, but not femininely so; the listed mid-notes of Jasmin Sambac and Magnolia are certainly there, but I’m smelling iris. Aged Cedarleaf is also mentioned. The basenotes are Amberwood, Sheer Musk, and Live Moss.

I would put 06 Amanu is the same category as Odin’s fourth release, 04 Pentrana, and other lightly floral, lightly musky fragrances like Frederic Malle’s Dans Tes Bras. (Both 04 Petrana and Dans Tes Bras use heliotrope, some sort of violet, and white musk.)

I keep going back to how Malle has described Dans Tes Bras: “The whole idea was to depict intimacy—when you travel through it, you get the scent of skin.” He continued, “The very best perfumes in the world, such as Guerlain’s Shalimar and Piguet’s Fracas, have the quality of melding with the skin.” This is precisely why I like Odin 06 Amanu so much: it simply blends with my skin. Like Dans Tes Bras, it is completely inoffensive to me, and yet it’s also not so bland that it disappears altogether; it’s soothing.

In another interview, Malle said the scent of Dans Tes Bras was “saltiness and a hint of sunscreen.” In a way, maybe he’s saying that it’s like clean skin in hot weather. That’s a nice way of describing these “skin scents.”

Odin, for their part, describes 06 Amanu like this:

Combining tones from the Mediterranean and ancient Turkey, Odin New York creates a new fragrance that evokes a lush earthy aroma. The invigorating jasmine mixes with the rustic cedar leaf and amberwood creating an intricately layered scent with a beautiful balance of fresh, floral and woodsy notes.

The primitive ambiance of southern Mediterranean peaks combined with the ancient fertility of Anatolian soils brings forth a herbaceous blend of ascending verdant galbanum and raw lentisque. The cortex of Amanu revolves around the woody rusticity of cedarleaf and the heady complexity of jasmine sambac. Rooting textures of amberwood, musk and live virgin moss endow this earthy scent with a lush maternity.

It’s beautiful copy, but that didn’t give me much of an idea what it would be like before I smelled it. (As a side note, Odin’s press release ends with “lush maternity,” while the description on the Barneys website says “lush maturity.” Hmmm.)

This is the problem with writing about smells and flavors: without an extensive background is focused tasting and smelling, some of these descriptions are at best vague and at worst whimsical. I could be convinced that I’m smelling something earthy in 06 Amanu, but am I? Maybe I should trust my first instincts, and saying it’s floral and musky.

For now at least, 06 Amanu seems to be available only at Barneys, and like its brethren, it’s $110 for 100ml.

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5 Responses to First Smell: Odin 06 Amanu

  1. April says:

    This sounds like a beautiful scent. Is there an equivalent for women? Or do you think a particularly brave woman could wear this?

  2. See, that’s the thing about most niche fragrances these days: they’re created and worn the way fragrances used to be, which is unisex. Some notes, and by extension, some fragrances, skew one way or another, but everything Odin has released is firmly unisex by design. Most fragrance aficianados will say that jasmine and tuberose are more feminine. It isn’t true of rose anymore (see Rose 31 and Paestum Rose, among others). And while I would have said that leather accords are more masculine, I can think of leathery fragrances that have been sold to women (Dzing is one) at leats as much as to men.

    And then there’s the story of Jicky, one of the greatest fragrances by Geurlain. It was created in 1889, and was originally worn more by men than by women. That shifted dramatically starting in maybe the 60s, when it started to be associated with women like Jackie Kennedy, Anita Ekberg, and Brigitte Bardot. Marketing shifted accordingly, and today it’s sold as a women’s fragrance (although the Geurlain sales people know its history and will gladly encourage men who show interest). It’s a lavender-vanilla fragrance, which is a good classic masculine combination (see also Caron’s Pour un Homme — similarly lavender and vanilla, yet quite different).

    But back to Odin. There’s no reason a woman wouldn’t want to try it. In fact, it’s actually a brave man who wears it, given its softness and lack of the typical contemporary masculine punch.

  3. Pingback: Fragrance Foundation Indie FiFi Award Nominees | EauMG

  4. Catherine says:

    I have bought a sample which I totally loved so I just purchased the 100ml. Im a woman and this scent is just wonderful on me 🙂

  5. Pingback: First Smell: S-ex by S-Perfume | cocktails & cologne

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