2022 marked the emergence of an incredible new release from Amouage called Royal Tobacco, which I’ve already reviewed previously. It is easily one of my most favorite tobacco-dominant creations. But Amouage also has another phenomenal tobacco fragrance that seems to be less frequently mentioned, unfortunately so at that.
This is Journey Man, jointly composed by Pierre Negrin and Alberto Morillas, and released in 2014 alongside Journey Woman. When compared to Royal Tobacco, Journey seems quite simple, yet is always a joy to wear. If you love spicy woody perfumes, then read on.
The hallmark ingredient of Journey in the opening is Sichuan pepper, it is very fiery, spicy, yet has some distinct citric hues that really combine well with the sparkling bergamot in the initial phase. It is almost pungent at first, being so strong and prominent, but cardamom and neroli quickly arrive on the scene to smooth and temper the volatile fire residing within this red bottle. The cardamom, although being a spice, really has a suave smoothness to it and the neroli imparts a bit of honeyed sweetness to balance out the peppery tones. Gradually, puffs of smokey incense ascend through the flaming texture, lifting aloft decadent whiffs of rich tobacco reinforced with the balsamic facets of juniper berries.
Slowly the fiery pepper fades away as the tobacco rises to the fore, it is rich, full-bodied, yet dry in texture, in contrast to the more humid, caramel-like colors of the tobacco in Royal Tobacco. Here and there I detect hints of leather, albeit a leather accord more like a soft, supple suede.
In the dry down, Journey Man becomes considerably woodier thanks to cypriol oil, and creamier due to the presence of tonka bean. The leather is more pronounced in the dry down as well, but this is by no means a leather perfume. Here, the overall experience is of a smooth, refined, yet dry tobacco imbued with remnants of incense smoke and pepper, all wrapped in a sophisticated, discreet suit of suede and cardamon, and warmed ever so slightly by some creamy amber tones and musk.
Although I love tobacco as an ingredient in perfumery, cardamom is also a weak spot of mine, and it shines so wonderfully throughout the life of Journey Man. This fragrance, having a decidedly masculine profile, really hits the spot during the spring and autumn months, but I can see it working all year round. Longevity is excellent, as per the quality of Amouage offerings. If you’re intrigued by Amouage’s “hidden” tobacco gem, please get your nose on Journey Man.