Penhaligon’s Amaranthine received (pretty much) across the board excellent reviews. I received my bottle of Amaranthine many months ago and right away there was something about it that didn’t sit well with me. Yes, it’s Bertrand Duchafour and yes, it’s a departure for Penahligon’s but that’s not going to make me like it nor will that make me smell facets and pleasures that aren’t there.
Amaranthine is very sweet. I cannot underscore this enough - it's sweetness level is sky high. To me, it’s a milky vanillic floral. Not even particularly tropical – just a milky sweet scent with unidentifiable florals. It reminds me of Lalique Le Parfum and Kenzo both of which I like much better. Sometimes I think our readers only want good reviews but I do want to offer a contradictory point of view on Amaranthine. I enjoy the beginning of Amaranthine and this is the period of time I feel I’m being too critical, too harsh on this fragrance. But after those 15 minutes fade and it dries down to a swampy, sweet, humid mess, I can't help wonder what everyone else is smelling (only the first 15 minutes, perhaps?). Honestly, if I smelled this blindfolded, after it had been on skin for over an hour, I’d probably think it was something from Avon or Bath & Body Works. I don’t detect spices at all, nothing green, nothing woody. I'm not sure if anyone else mentioned this, but Amaranthine seems a failed Songes. Annick Goutal Songes does the tropical floral vibe with vanilla and soft spices brilliantly. To prove I don't dislike tropical florals entirely, I do love LesNez Manoumalia (this is tropical floral supreme) and L’Artisan Fleur de Liane (delightful green tropical floral).
I'm not sure what the inside of a woman's thigh smells like but I doubt it's anything like Amaranthine. Nor do I think Amaranthine smells corrupted. If anything, it's a gourmand floral concoction, basically comfy, milky, feel-good jus. I envision a tray with rice pudding, warm milk and a pile of sweaty petals and flowers turning brown in the heat of the tropics. Gag.
Turns out the opposite happened for me: I expected to love Amaranthine and I have a like (15 mins)/hate (the rest) relationship with it. I expected to hate Havana Vanille and I love it.
I’m not going to list the notes because you probably know them by now and as far as I’m concerned they’re all lies (!) Green tea? Coriander, cardamom and clove? Orange blossom? Amaranthine smells like this: ylang, indolic jasmine and condensed milk.