Thameen¹ is a British niche perfume house that makes perfumes that are inspired by iconic jewels and jewelry. I don’t know much about the jewels worn by royalty, but I do like the idea of comparing gemstones to perfumes. In a way, you can think of perfume like a piece of jewelry, an accessory. It’s a way to add some sparkle and some glamour to your look.
Thameen is a new-to-me brand even though they’ve been around for a few years. Being British, they haven’t had much presence in the U.S. until recently. There are a lot of them (seems like that’s the rules for niche brands). I sniffed a few (very quickly) and was able to get samples of three that seemed the most “me”. So here we go:
Notes listed include black pepper, Saffron, cinnamon, lemon blossom, clary sage, Turkish rose, carnation, patchouli, amber, oud, cypriol and leather. Launched in 2016.
So, this one is inspired by a diamond necklace owned by Queen Mary that sold at auction for £1 million. Riviere is a bitter, spicy amber-style fragrance. It’s basically the “modern niche oud”. It opens with a blast of warm, dry spices; there’s a lot of cinnamon. The heart is like if a carnation corsage could be made out of leather. It eventually dries down to a woodsy amber. It doesn’t really make me think of diamonds as much as it does velvet. There’s a smooth, soft and velvet-y quality to this perfume.
Give Riviere a try if you like warm, amber-y ouds. Or perfumes like Davidoff Agar Blend, Armani Privé Oud Royal, Bois 1920 Oro, Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Desert Oud, Art de Parfum Sensual Oud and/or Tom Ford Tuscan Leather. I’d say how this one varies the most from these is that this one has cinnamon-spice.
Final EauPINION – Velvet-y amber-oud.
Notes listed include pink pepper, coriander, black pepper, roses, agarwood, amber and cashmere wood. Launched in 2013.
Nooralain Taif has this name because it’s inspired by the Noor-ul-Ain, a tiara created with one of the world’s largest pink diamonds for the 1958 Iranian royal wedding – I’ve honestly never had tiara envy until I’ve seen this one! This is a dry and bitter rose. It opens with pink pepper and dry soil. As it wears, the spices (mostly peppercorns) become stronger and spicier. The dry earth accord starts to resemble a barnyard-like oud. The rose is bittersweet. However, it really starts to bloom on the skin. It’s a bitter, fresh rose accented by a grapefruit/citrus quality that makes me think of marmalade. This brightness is a lovely contrast to the oud and earth of an otherwise “noir” composition.
Unlike Riviere, the oud in this is more fungal and earthy. It’s more oud-y while the oud in Riviere is more of modern perfumery’s adaptation of oud. Anyway, Nooralain Taif smells really expensive to me. Which is good, because the world’s largest pink diamonds are definitely out of my price range.
Final EauPINION – A “noir” rose-oud. My favorite out of the three I tried, but remember, I’m a rose person.
Notes listed include Bulgarian rose, jasmine, wisteria, magnolia, carnation, nutmeg, lily of the valley, benzoin, patchouli, white musk and amber. Launched in 2017.
The Cora is inspired by The Cora Sun Drop, which is a huge yellow diamond. I was drawn to this fragrance because I’m always searching for a really good wisteria, which oddly enough isn’t that common. The opening of The Cora is a mix of like spiced florals and honeyed tea. What I like about The Cora is that it has a bittersweetness, as many real flowers do. As it wears, it becomes more of a honeyed wisteria. This honeyed wisteria meets a corsage of carnation. Together it wears like heady, springtime lilacs and clove/carnation. The dry-down is a floral white musk with a sort of clean, soapy rose. Honestly, I expected more from the dry-down but it’s also hard for me to know what sort of direction I expected it to go into.
Give The Cora a try if you are looking for a good wisteria perfume. Or perfumes like Maison Martin Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning, Estee Lauder Pure White Linen, Cartier Carat, Montale So Flowers and/or DSH Perfumes Ma Plus Belle Histoire d’Amour. I will say that even if the dry-down was disappointing, I still think it’s a good wisteria or even the sort of “spring” floral one can wear in cooler weather.
Final EauPINION – Wisteria and carnations. Other reviews are calling this a white floral because of the jasmine. Maybe it’s the power of suggestion, but I really do get wisteria/lilac from this more than I do jasmine (because of the honey?)
Projection and longevity was average for all of these. The brand also has hair perfumes. I tried one and was surprised by how it lingered. I’d get a whiff later and think “What smells good? Oh, it’s just my dirty hair”.
1.7 oz bottles of Thameen perfume retail for $210 at Osswald. Samples are also available for purchase.
¹In my head, I always read this in my very Southern mother’s voice where it her trying to say the word for the vitamin “thiamine”.
Want more reviews? Try…
The Candy Perfume Boy – Review of The Cora
Colognoisseur – Review of The Cora
*Samples obtained by me. Product pics are from Fragrantica. Farah Pahlavi wearing the Noor-ul-Ain.