Wearing Aqaba brings a feeling of freedom and an open horizon. Discovering a large body of water in the middle of the desert... Coming across an abundant loot from a Spice Caravan… Finding a city like Aqaba and conquering it… Like Lawrence of Arabia, it’s a Westerner conquered by the East; or the East bottled by the West, if you will.

Aqaba is enjoying the golden rays of a mercifully quiet desert sun upon yellow sand, covered with a large azure blanket of skies and finding the open sea to ahead, with refreshing unknown possibiliites. It is seductive and warm yet that does not mean it should restrict itself for being worn only indoors on cold winter days...

Although it is heavy and luscious, rich with spices, resins, balsams and flowers – it radiates certain lightness that is warm and soothing - creating the imaginary sensation of lying on a warm, fine, yellow sand, enveloped by sunlight and warmth that is comforting, almost healing… It radiates a golden expanded feeling of abundance, reminiscent of amber jewels, copper and golden frankincense tears.

The perfume opens with fruity peachy notes, as well as pencil-like, smoky-dry cedwarood notes, spices (primarily clove buds), it has a generously rich, golden heart Egyptian jasmine, orange blossom and roses, and base notes of olibanum, myrrh, and sandalwood.

Aqaba has the beautiful, dark oriental notes of frankincese and myhrr, the traditionla Biblical seducers, as well as rose and spices. Most of the ingnredients smell like they’ve been just lifted off a passing Spice Caravan. However, despite this array of heavy notes, Aqaba gives a luscious, bright impression that is evocative of the contrast between the dry yellow desert sands and the jewel-like, rich blue hues of the tropical Red Sea.

Aqaba is reminiscent of Asja in its combination of cloves, fruit and resins and the modern rendition of the classic Oriental theme– yet it is a much more complex oriental (albeit not particularly original). It is almost as heavy and rich as Opium, Youth Dew and Cinnabar (and in that sense evokes the old times...) but is so light-hearted, luscious and fruity that you simply cannot think of it as old and passe...

As much as Aqaba is an old fashioned Oriental spicy perfume, I find it refreshing in the modern market that is overflown with new perfumes that are mostly unoriginal, fake, overly synthetics, watered down, and lacking character. Though Aqaba is a tad too sweet and juicy for my taste nowadays, it is a wonderful scent to wear when the weather is still cold - to remind me of desert lands and exotic spices. For the oriental lovers amongst us, Aqaba is a perfume you must try.

Aqaba can be obtained directly from its creator, via Miriam Mirani's webstore. According to the website, the notes are:

Top notes: Peach, White Cedarwood, Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom
Heart notes: Damask Rose, Egyptian Jasmine, Bulgarian Rose
Base notes: Myrrh, Frankincense, Oakmoss, Tea Leaves

Gulf of Aqaba Bay from EgyptAdventures.com
Lawrence of Arabia from IMDB.com

Asja: Honey and Cloves

Delicacy, originally uploaded by toybreaker.

Faithful to its name, Asja is all you could expect from a classical old-time oriental, but has a modern, up-bit twist that will make it adored even by those who typically dislike Orientals.

Rested on a sound foundation of all that could make a perfume an oriental - patchouli, musk, amber and clove bud absolute – Asja brings light and sparkle to this theme by using a well-balanced heart of a floral bouquet consisting primarily of carnations, and topped with a mouth-watering fruity accord.

Asja opens with a seductively luscious fruity notes that are sweet without being cloying and fresh without being flat or one-dimensional. The top not is engaging and inviting, and truly states what the perfume really is: a beautiful and rich, yet not overpowering Oriental, that is fruity and floral and not in the least cloying.

The eugenol theme (eugenol is the main constituent of clove buds and carnations) that characterizes this composition through all of its layers is pervasive but does not overpower the blend, and is not medicinal or sharp as you may expect:
There is something about the overall first impression of the top notes that brings to mind a rich, full-bodied mulled wine...As applied on the skin, a freshly-cut carnation flower emerges, immensely sweet and fresh, thanks to the addition of the round, rich and luscious fruity notes of peach and apricot, and a hint of citrus freshness.

The carnation heart is sweet and floral, and is rounded by exotic, fruity-floral notes of ylang ylang and a rich, subtle rose. It is also backed up by other spices that slowly emerge as the perfume develops on the skin: primarily Allspice Berry – the exotic large peppercorn-like spice, bold and interestingly dry and multi-layered. Allspice smells a lot like a pumpkin pie spice – a combination of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.

The eugenol note at the base is dry and sweet at once, like clove-bud absolute, which is much more subtle, refined and feminine than the essential oil. The accord at the base is especially rich and lovely – the orient at its best: patchouli, a hint of dry spices, amber, musk, honey and vanilla, and perhaps even a hint of dry moss.

Asja is a real treat, and an easy-to-wear Oriental. It is sensual, stimulating, soothing and comforting all at once. It’s a perfume you could wear everywhere for any reason (just take care of the doses) – you will enjoy it as well as others around you!
It somewhat reminds me of the charming and un-demanding Cheap and Chic by Moschino – just like it, Asja is a little flirty and mischievous, and begs for being enjoyed without hesitation or a second thought – just put it on and have fun!

Top notes: Carnation, Apricot, Peach

Heart notes Carnation, Clove bud oil, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Allspice berry

Base notes: Patcouli, Amber, Musk, Clove bud Absolute, Honey absolute

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