As I’ve been watching the change in creative director at Amouage I had a question in the back of my mind. In the last nine months Renaud Salmon has set a new vector for this brand. If the previous regime was operatic M. Salmon operates on a different level; one of pop music. Amouage has stood for intensely layered fragrances for over twenty years. M. Salmon based on the early releases is looking to retain the layers while finding new sources of intensity. That left me wondering if I was going to continue to see deeply resinous compositions. In Amouage Boundless the answer is yes.
As M. Salmon begins to shape his vision there is a definite shift to more modern inspirations. For Boundless it began with the 1985 song “Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora. He was thinking of the video where lead singer Jimmy McShane is running through a colorful jungle set giving off the song’s signature “oh-oh-oh-oh-ohs”. This would further refine itself to the real life “rainbow tree” which grows in vertical stripes of color. When you look at it you see a flow of multiple bandss creating a magnificent vision of chromatic layering. He would ask perfumer Karine Vinchon-Spehner to design it.
The same as its partner Material this is also focused on vanilla as a keynote. The version used here is a CO2 extraction of the prized Bourbon Vanilla. This form of extraction exposes a leathery aspect not so commonly attributed to it. Mme Vinchon-Spehner holds it back until it makes a spectacular entrance towards the end.
The opening is rich spicy citrus accord as blood orange, ginger, cardamom, and elemi add an energetic color. It has an unusual depth because the elemi holds it together. Benzoin, frankincense, and tobacco form a resinous heart accord which adds in a different stripe of color. Now is when the vanilla appears along with a wingman of myrrh. The myrrh finds that leathery piece of the vanilla, amplifying it. This is a deep jewel tone. The base is proto-gourmand chocolate as patchouli and vetiver are given a dusting of cocoa.
Boundless has 24-hour plus longevity and average sillage.
What I was wondering was if Amouage was still going to create resinous perfumes so enticing they are like the event horizons of black holes drawing you in. Boundless is one of these fragrances. It wraps me in layers of resinous colors so that I become a fragrant version of the rainbow tree. To fully answer my question I return to Mr. McShane at the end of a verse where he sings, “native beat that carries on”. M. Salmon has shown that beat will remain at Amouage.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Amouage.