Aomassaï is fragrance no. 10 from Parfumerie Generale, and is a 2006 release. It was "inspired by Southern Africa and the art of the Baoulé tribe", and includes notes of caramel, toasted hazelnuts, spices, vetiver, balsam wood, bitter orange, incense, liquorice, wengué wood, dried grasses and resin.
Aomassaï starts out as a strong, sweet gourmand, with the caramel and toasted hazelnut mingling with a touch of sweet citrus; it calls to mind a cross between a flavored coffee and a Heath bar, and is rather too heavy and sugared for a humid day in July, and probably too sugared for my taste on any day. Happily (for me, anyway) the sugar mostly fades away as the fragrance calms on skin, leaving lightly spiced woods and resins with a lingering trace of hazelnut.
After an hour, what remains is dark but soft, just a bit of wood and reeds, and what it evokes for me more than anything at this stage is the smell of a woven basket, or maybe a wicker chair with a rough wood frame. A new chair, mind you, that still has some fragrance about it. It is no longer at all too much for a hot day, in fact, it is relatively mild, and it will be interesting to see if it has enough substance to stand up to a cold day in winter.
It is an unusual fragrance, and probably the most interesting of the recent crop of releases from Parfumerie Generale. I like it very much but I can't decide if I adore it. It is certainly worth trying, at any rate, and I am putting my sample in my little pile of "try again in the fall" fragrances.
Aomassaï is an Eau de Toilette. For purchasing information, see the listing for Parfumerie Generale under Perfume Houses.
For another Africa-inspired fragrance, see Lubin Idole.