Portrayal Woman is an olfactive portrayal of the 1920s cultural liberation and features a top note of jasmine; middle notes of Craven A tobacco accord dusted with vanilla; and a base note of elemi. It is an eau de parfum, edp.
Portrayal is a manifestation of a person's orientation to him or herself. A reflection of his or her unique authenticity, it is about breaking free from the cages solitude society sets around people because their truths are often seen as shockingly unconventional.
"A person who dares to defy the norms of their society, Portrayal is for the bold," says Christopher Chong, Creative Director of Amouage. It is inspired by times of dramatic social change and the people who pushed beyond the limits of mass culture during their times. It is a reflection of the birth of a new age and the freedoms that come with it."
At the heart of Portrayal Woman is a smoky yet sweet melange created by the fusion of Craven, a tobacco with a dusting of vanilla. Brought together with jasmine at its top and elemi at its base, it recreates 1920's liberation. The floral fragrance is for the poised and playfully refined woman who dares to defy. It is heartened with an undertone of the sensuality of tuberose that together radiates a sultry trail of seductive sillage.
An excerpt of a review from cafleurbon:
A late-night party of The Coterie in Belgravia, London. The French doors are open to the night which swoons with jazz. Flappers and debutantes mingle; fringe skirts swing, bare arms click with bakelite bracelets, and cigarette smoke curls lazily in the air. In the corner, a countess sporting a tuxedo and a monocle argues about Marx with an earnest poetess. And through it all seeps the honeyed perfume of the jasmine blossoms outside.
Portrayal Woman is inspired by London of the 1920s and the people who transgressed boundaries during times of dramatic social change. In the words of creative director Christopher Chong, Amouage Portrayal Woman is about “A person who dares to defy the norms of their society … and the people who pushed beyond the limits of mass culture during their times. It is a reflection of the birth of a new age and the freedoms that come with it.” With its unconventionally rich jasmine and tart, green tobacco, this is exactly the sort of luxurious but quirky perfume transgressive socialite Nancy Cunard might have favoured.
Firmenich perfumers Annick Menardo and Pierre Negrin have created a dizzingly complex and multifaceted fragrance with few ingredients. Even in the bottle, the creamy, rich scent of jasmine is so saturated that it seems to be several flowers folded into one: its syrupy headiness emits echoes of green leaf, orange blossom and tuberose that twine together like lovers in a slow waltz. Sprayed on, the jasmine releases its crushed-flower sweetness more fully, its indolic side edges in and the flower’s full sensuality is released.
Unexpectedly, a piercingly sharp note cuts through all that intoxicating bloom, like a break in the music. At first, its smells like petitgrain; acerbic, citric, slightly flowery. But I gradually realize that this aroma is distinctly herbal, moist tobacco leaf. Together, the thick nectarous fragrance of jasmine and the chartreuse, soil-and-earth bitterness circle each other in counter tempos: one slow and languorous as a waltz at the end of the party; the other with the staccato, deliberate strides of the tango. For some time, it steps back and forth between the masculine, loamy bite of the tobacco and the lazy voluptuousness of jasmine, never quite settling on either.
In the dry-down, an unaccustomed, powdery vanilla adds a layer of sweetness that bridges the bitter and floral notes like a handshake at arm’s length. Elemi comes in near the end to provide some resiny ballast in the base. By the time Portrayal Woman has fully developed, its multifaceted jasmine and tobacco are full display. The effect is exuberant, take-no-prisoners sensuality. Heady, offbeat and glamourous, Portrayal Woman is not a scent to be taken lightly. But then, neither are rulebreakers.