Perfume Calligraphy Rose & Saffron by Aramis (2013)

Two picks out of the limited three-scents range by Aramis (not that I don't like the black label one - I simply haven't tried it).


Perfume Calligraphy Rose

I am usually not a fan of rose – not at all, honestly, except for a couple of masculines - but this Aramis scent nails it completely. It manages to smell “rose”, but without that sort of haunting soapy heaviness many rose scents have (or on the contrary, without smelling like floor cleaner as many cheap rose scents). The key here is how perfectly they managed to balance rose with a smoky-dusty sweet resinous base, which is discreet but perfectly enhances the elegance and the juiciness of rose “taming it down” enough to provide some more dynamism and colour. This fragrance is quite simple actually, as it’s basically a resinous rose; but it’s really pleasant, solid, much versatile, surprisingly unisex and compelling. Nothing ground-breaking, but perfect for “mild fans” of rose which wouldn’t wear rose bombs, but still enjoy the note a bit. Silky, warm and classy. Honestly if I’d ever buy a scent with “rose” in its name, it would be this. It’s cozy, effortlessly refined and really pleasant to wear. Total good quality for the price.



Perfume Calligraphy Saffron

Quite another winner, to say the least, among this limited (and discontinued already?) line by Aramis. My favourite still remains Calligraphy Rose, but this Saffron sibling comes right after that. First of all I must point out that honestly, I would have called this “Calligraphy Chamomile & Tagetes”, because that’s precisely what I get out of this for the first couple of hours. An extremely pleasant, bracing and calming blend of resinous, honeyed floral notes with a peculiar sort of warm, “edible”, gently balsamic pollen-infused earthy-herbal feel with a slight sort of waxy-citric aftertaste – which is more or less what I refer to as “chamomile” (say, a steamy cup of honeyed, bergamot/rose-infused chamomile). There is saffron, too, but to me it acts more as a subtle enhancement of the spicier, more aromatic side of the blend. It’s surely not the most prominent note for me, but it’s there.

The color of the juice and the label reflect the smell quite well: all that gold, yellow and ochre – that’s how Calligraphy Saffron smells, in “synesthetic” terms. It’s exotic, elegant, soothing and almost “meditative” with its sense of golden, peaceful floral-resinous warmth, just with the right balance of thickness and dryness – the dryness mostly coming from a discreet, austere and kind of smoky accord of light leather and vetiver providing a thin, yet quite perceivable and perfectly fit “dark” and dry base tinged with a whiff of rose powder. All works just perfect: a simple composition, rich in depth more than notes, with seemingly great quality and a really desirable presence on skin – it’s long-lasting, not overly sweet (actually, considering the notes, it’s barely sweet), pleasantly linear with a slow transition towards a drier, smokier, unexpectedly more balsamic woody-resinous-leathery scent, with the right projection (more on the discreet side). If I had to mention a flaw, it would be a slightly excessive sense of restraint; personally, I would have wished something a bit more “opulent”. It’s a rich scent, but a bit too tamed down to express its richness at its best. But however, it’s great. I didn’t try the black-label “original” Calligraphy scent, but both Rose and Saffron are definitely two really great pieces of Oriental perfumery which I wouldn’t have expected from Aramis. Totally worthy the price.



  1. I'm glad you like these two as do I. I just got the original Aramis Calligraphy after many years to make my set complete. I think the rose is the best and has the same base as the original while the saffron is toally different than both. Once you get past the loud lemon opening of the original, it is very nice.

    1. I've never tried the original one, should I? It's a shame this series is getting increasingly harder to find at decent prices :(

    2. You can get it here in the US through a place called for about $35/100 ml. It's still an outrageously good buy over here.