Memo Shams EDP Perfume Review

Memo Shams perfume

This makes me sound like such a snob, but when I looked up the notes of the perfume, Memo Shams, I thought, “I’ve had enough of oud. Let’s move on.” Like many fragrance fanatics, I’m sick of oud. How could this one be any different than any of the other countless spicy ouds that have saturated the niche, luxury market within the past 2 years? Well, it is different. I’m so happy that dear friend, Ron of Notable Scents, made me wear this. Memo, a niche Parisian perfume house, created Shams, Arabic for “sun”. Shams is a modern, contemporary take of an amber oud fragrance. And in my opinion, this is one of the easiest oud fragrances to wear. And you won’t be sacrificing interest for “wearability”.

Shams is a sweet amber leather with a rich saffron spice over oud. In the opening, I get the radiance of spicy pepper and ginger smoothed by amber resins. the saffron adds a richness. The soft birch leather in this is what pulls me in. Most birch in fragrance is sharp and harsh. This birch is soft and supple, reminding me of a luxurious leather bag (this is the mix of tonka-birch). The leather mixes with a woody and mushroomy oud, salty vetiver, and sweet amber that almost reminds me of honey. The dry-down is a soft, sweet vanilla-amber oud. Memo Shams is an oud fragrance but isn’t all about the oud. The oud is blended perfectly into this warm, amber fragrance. You know how most oud is aggressive and jumps out of the composition and slaps you in the face? The oud in Shams is halcyonic and mild mannered. It lets the other notes have some attention too. I think it’s all perfectly blended.

This is the type of perfume that I find comforting and luxurious. When I wear it, I can’t stop sniffing myself. Shams is rich, warm, and dense but it does have a novel radiance that I don’t smell in other oud perfumes. Since the scent is incredibly long-wearing, it wears a bit linear. It does shift and change but this takes hours. It progresses slothfully.

Grace Bradley

Notes listed include pepper, ginger, saffron, vetiver, cypriol, tonka bean, birch, tolu, styrax, oud and labdanum.

Give Memo Shams a try if you like amber-oud perfumes or sweet amber fragrances or perfumes like Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Wood, Tauer Lonestar Memories, By Kilian Pure Oud, Juliette Has a Gun Midnight Oud, Olivier Durbano Tourmaline, and/or By Kilian Amber Oud. I would never describe Memo Shams as a “Montale” oud. I don’t get that type of medicinal oud in Shams, like I said, Shams doesn’t slap you in the face. Shams is unisex and a must try for anyone looking for a sweeter oud fragrance.

This scent has mega sillage (above average projection) and above average longevity. One spray is all you need.

Memo Shams isn’t available in the U.S. but you can purchase decants at The Perfume Court. It’s also available at Harvey Nichols. And if you are in Europe, check it out.

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONA spicy leather-oud over a sweet amber base; a modern, “ready-to-wear” oud. One of the easiest to wear ouds in my opinion. This is full-bottle worthy to me. Yes, even though I’m burnt out on oud, I love Shams.

Want more reviews? Try…


The Scented Salamander

*Product pic from Fragrantica. Grace Bradley pic from Small decant given to me by Ron.

17 thoughts on “Memo Shams EDP Perfume Review

  1. Have you tried Byredo’s Accord Oud yet? The blackcurrant makes it very accessible and, dare I say, feminine.

    1. Yes, I have. It’s funny because I don’t think of it as an oud but as a “blackcurrant leather”. And, hey, that’s good too!

    1. Haha, thank you for sharing it! I would have never tried it because I’m oud’d out and the note list didn’t stand out to me.
      I feel it’s a very “me” fragrance – woody, spicy, sweet. And geez, this stuff is crazy long-lasting.

  2. I hadn’t heard about this line. I like the packaging, and you make it sound great! I’ll have to keep my eyes out for it.

    1. I don’t think this line is available in the U.S. I’ve never heard of it before either until Ron sent me some saying that I’d love it. He was right.

  3. Nah, I don’t think this one is for me. It sounds really luxurious but birch type leathers are just too dry for me, even when they are soft. They are just too refined for me.

    And yeah, I’m over the oud too. I found my oud in Xerjoff Mamluk, where it is so perfectly melded with smooth animalic honey that I can barely smell it. All the rest of the worlds ouds could just disappear and I wouldn’t even mind. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. After being oud’d out and learning a lot more about oud, I realize that Shams isn’t really oud but nagarmotha/cypriol which I tend to like better than oud. Which apparently makes me tasteless.

      Not to keep going on about Shams because I know that’s annoying…it’s not really birchy (nothing like Tauer Lonestar Memories or even Chanel Cuir de Russie). It’s just a spicy, soft warm thing that I still wear and like after all these years. I’m happy to see that Memo is a line more readily available in the US now.

      1. Lol! I’m not too familiar with oud since most of the time it is paired with some of my most hated notes, like incense, labdanum or rose. Not sure if I’ve tried anything with nagarmotha. Oh, apparently it is in Lampblack and in the Amouage Journeys… can’t really place the note though.

        When you say soft birch leather I’m thinking of the cozy ones like Cuir Ottoman… I like that one but in the end it’s rather too elegant. I like my leather skanky! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Comments are closed.