Three Reasons – Review: Amouage Reflection Woman

I have already mentioned once or twice (or fifty-five times) that my husband is not very easy to please when it comes to perfume. He doesn’t like many of the fragrances I wear and actively opposes more than a few, so when he reacts positively to something I am testing – and without being asked even! – that is truly something to take note of.

Amouage Reflection Woman is one such fragrance.

I was wearing a little spray on the back of my hand one evening, a “getting-to -know-you” spritz, when my husband stopped mid-sentence and declaimed: “That is great! What is it?” Since such an enthusiastic reaction is virtually unprecedented, I had to take a closer look at Reflection, even if it wouldn’t be my first choice. But, having gotten a place in the review-testing rota thanks to my husbands endorsement, Reflection has certainly made an impression.

Notes include water violet, freesia, tropical green leaves, magnolia, ylang ylang, jasmine, amber, musk, cedarwood and sandalwood.

Amouage Reflection Woman starts out with a wave of flowers in/under water. It conjures up a drowned garden shimmering in pastel colors. The heart reveals a lot of magnolia, with a sharp edge, a little metallic rasping, before drying down to still waterlogged musky woods that hold onto the magnolia and the aquatic coldness for the longest time. It has a greater than average sillage and wears for at least six hours on me.

I have mixed feelings about Reflection Woman.

On the one hand, it has several things going for it:

1. The perfumer was Maurice Roucel. That fact alone elevates it by several places in my internal ranking.

2. The bottle looks beautiful. The theme of reflection is executed perfectly on this smooth, silvery piece of elegance.

3. It is light, fresh and perfectly appropriate as an antidote to heavy winter scents, something I crave at this stage of the winter, when the cold has been dragging on for months and I try to implore spring to come early by wearing the appropriate fragrances, actual weather outside be damned.

On the other hand, there are several things I am not so keen about:

1. The slightly overwhelming aquatic-ness of Reflection. There is no going around the fact that there is water everywhere. That L’Eau d’Issey -ish fresh watery note (that may or may be not Calone) is reminding me of the nineties and their overdose of Calvin Klein and Cool Water.

2. The price. This is priced as every other Amouage scent is, but somehow I cannot beat the feeling of being easily able to get something real similar for a lot cheaper. Like L’Eau d’Issey for instance. (Should I want that, which I don’t).

3. It is never a good idea to wanting to love something for some other reason than that you love it already yourself. Which is a complicated and linguistically inelegant way of saying: Don’t wear perfume for anybody else than yourself, if you don’t really like it anyway.

So after giving this perfume a lot of thought (and skin time), I cannot but come to the following conclusions:

1. I sincerely hope my husband is not reading this review.

2. I want to apologize to Calvin Klein, Issey Miyake, Davidoff and all their fans. I am sure you know what you are doing.

3. Amouage is a wonderful brand. I adore Epic, Lyric, Honour and Memoir and am keen to try the others, but Reflection, also maybe because it is so different in character to the oriental mainstay of the line, is not for me.

What about you? Do you wear perfume that is not really to your taste, because somebody close to you loves it? What do you think about the aquatic genre in general?

Image Source: Amouage bottle via, Water Sphere Pink Flowers courtesy of, Wallpaper of underwater flowers via, some rights reserved, thank you!

About Olfactoria

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45 Responses to Three Reasons – Review: Amouage Reflection Woman

  1. angie Cox says:

    I love Reflection on a hot summer’s day . I do wear perfumes my husband doesn’t like but never if it gave him a headache. I think you should lay very still and in the dark and try Reflection again .It’s magic is capturing cool water the way L’Hiver captures cold and frost .

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  3. Ines says:

    No, I don’t wear perfumes someone else likes and I don’t. Although I do take care not to wear something my boyfriend doesn’t like around him. Not that that happens often. 🙂
    And I better not start on aquatics. Aaargh!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Lol! So no Reflection for you, I gather? 🙂

      • Ines says:

        No. I did try it and wasn’t really impressed.
        For their price, I’m not impressed enough by many of them, of course I haven’t tried them all, and I keep getting lost in the names.
        But for Lyric, I wouldn’t mind paying the price when, eventually, my samples run out.

        • Olfactoria says:

          I totally understand. A line that is priced like Amouage has to really justify the investment with a perfume that is way above average, I must really long for it. That is why, I still have no full bottle of Amouage in my collection (but I am not through testing yet).

  4. the husband says:

    I read almost every post so no luck there.

    Regarding the negative comments about the perfume I will add the following:

    1) Call me old-fashioned, maybe stuck in the 90ies remembering all the mentioned perfumes, but the aquatic freshness is exactly (as you know) what I like best. And Kramer does too.
    2) The price – should you ever change your mind and want a bottle for olfactory reasons – will be of no concern to you.
    3) If you really don’t like it then don’t wear it. There are plenty of perfumes in our house and some that I really like on you so I am sure we will find something else.

    If you have a chance you may be able to get a small decant for special occasions though…
    kuss, m

    • Olfactoria says:

      1. I totally forgot about Kramer – he was definitely onto something! 🙂 (Seinfeld insiders will know what that is about.)
      2. That is a veiled offer any Perfumista will know better than to reject.
      3. I will sure wear it from time to time, some things are just worth it. 🙂


    • deeHowe says:

      ROTFL! The husband speaks!

      You are currently one-upping Mr. Howe, because while he’s supportive of the fragrance trying and buying, he does NOT read nearly every post.

      Glad to hear your side, Mr. O. 🙂

  5. Tara says:

    Not a fan of aquatics myself but will check this out as I’m interested in anything Maurice Roucel does. I wore Gucci Envy for many years in my 20’s.

    You and The Husband are too cute! I’d strongly recommend getting that decant for “special occasions” LOL!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Isn’t it funny that knowing the author of a perfume immediately raises its profile, it is always like this at least for me.
      About the husband: It is lovely that he reads it all and even uses words like decant, although this is really not his world. But he makes an effort for me, the good man! 😉

  6. deeHowe says:

    In theory the answer is, NO! I wouldn’t wear anything just because my dear husband likes it… but in reality? Mr. H really liked Michael Kors Very Hollywood when I was testing it, and I’ve seriously considered getting some to wear just to please him.

    Now, I have not actually done this; and, since he likes so many other things that I also like, he might not even notice if I did get it just for him… so. SO there we are.

    I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m going to be in trouble, because I’m supposed to be getting on a place, and I’m commenting instead. How Mr. H puts up with me at all…


  7. Tarleisio says:

    The first perfume any boyfriend ever bought for me (he was the only one who dared!) was Lancôme’s Magie Noir. I wasn’t ecstatic about it then – although he certainly was. But…I wore it for him. And never again, for many, many years…
    Fifteen years later, I met him again and was devastated – all over again. One day, he showed up…with another bottle of Magie Noir. By that time, however, I’d grown into it, and I’ve loved it ever since. So that one, yes – I wore it for someone else. He was, I have to say, very grateful! 😉
    Since then, however, I wear perfume for me. I haven’t had too many complaints so far, although a Lutens or two has not always been quite so well-received, let’s say.
    Strange about those aquatic scents everyone and their grandmothers loved in the Nineties. What were they thinking? I know…trying to get away from the Great Olfactory Shoulderpads of the Eighties! 😉
    I wanted to try Reflection, because I love magnolia, but can’t find a sample anywhere in my part of the world. Oh, well. There are a few other Amouages to love!

  8. Victoria says:

    Hmm, I would not wear something if my husband liked and I did not. He would have to bribe me somehow. 🙂

  9. And to answer the question. No. I will not. I may wear something that I sort of like that he likes, but I would never buy it unless I love it.
    I wear chypres and aldehydes which he despises. He overdoses on 70’s Studio 54 musks that I’m not wild about. Neither of us wear something for the other!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I try not to antagonize my husband with my perfume choices, which is sometimes not easily done. He tends to dislike a lot!!! (Trusting he won’t read the comments section here. ;))

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  14. andrea says:

    I have just bought this one on Harrods website as I think there is an error on the price, Harrods are selling this at £57.50 for 50ml EDP, I think it should be £157.50. Will be interesting to see if it actually gets delivered for that price.

  15. andrea says:

    I realise I commited a cardinal sin and put a price on perfume. 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      We know Amouage is worth the price they are charging, but if you find a bargain, if would be a mistake not to grab it! 😉

      • andrea says:

        If only I could find lyric for the same price. I have just received my sample and can’t stop sniffing the back of my hand, that is what you call a rose with attitude, it is certainly not a fragrance for the shy and retiring.

        • Olfactoria says:

          No, it isn’t, but it is not overwhelming either. I am curious whether Harrod’s will realize their mistake, please let me know how it turns out.

          • andrea says:

            Will be interesting to see if boyfriend is over or underwhelmed by it.I will let you know if the perfume turns up before they realise their mistake.I only hope that I like it as it was not your favourite amouage, not sure that it bodes well.

  16. andrea says:

    My parcel arrived from harrods this morning. The packaging is the old packaging which explains the cheaper price & therefore not a mistake on harrods website. It is still an unbelievable price for amouage perfume. I now see what you mean about the similarity to issey perfume, on the bright side I do like this perfume although have not experienced the dry down yet. Who knew that I would like aquatic florals. I wore the lyric to bed last night, sadly it dried down quite soapy on me, I will still give it another go though as the top & middle are beautiful.:-)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Ah, I see, so Harrod’s are not sleeping on their feet after all! 😉
      Reflection is very well made and beautiful, just not my personal cup of tea. I am glad you like it.

  17. andrea says:

    I think the price I paid is what its worth, certainly no more. It seems to be a popular one for men to like as I too have had comments from the bf and my 12 year old son, as I recall your husband also remarked on the perfume. I like it, its a good day perfume but it does not wow me. The holy grail continues.:-)

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  19. Alicia says:

    I like Reflection, but I don’t consider it extraordinary, not as Gold, Lyric and Epic. I would’t wear a fragrance my husband dislikes no matter how much I might love it. Nor would I wear a fragrance I truly dislike because he likes it, but I would wear, do wear, and will wear a perfume I do not care much for if he happens to like it very much. My husband loves Joy, which I don’t, but I wear it for him, and I am learning to love it because he does. Now : he has to buy the bottle for me. I only buy perfumes I love.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Alicia,
      that sounds like good plan, if he wants to smell it, he needs to buy it. 🙂
      I generally do the same as you, but aquatics are just not my thing.

  20. Alicia says:

    Aquatics are not my cup of tea either,but they don’t offend me. I’d wear them for my husband, but with no enthusiasm. I wore Lyric today, which I love, and was thinking of rose chypres. I remember well the now discontinued Crepe de Chine, worn by an aunt of mine and also by a friend of my mother. I liked it very much. Of course Lyric’s is a very different blossom, full of spices and incense. My favorite rose perfume though is still a French rose, Guerlain’s Nahema.

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