Perfume

Ramon Monegal Alhambra Oud Review

Ramon Monegal Alhambra Oud by Neringa©️

“I am the garden appearing every morning with adorned

beauty; contemplate my beauty and you will be penetrated

with understanding.

In here is a cupola which by its height becomes lost from sight,

beauty in it appears both concealed and visible…

The bright stars would like to establish themselves firmly in it,

rather than continue wandering about in the vault of the sky…” -Dodds 250; a poem found in the Hall of the Two Sisters in the Alhambra inscribed in Arabic calligraphy.

From right to left clockwise: Hall of the Two Sisters in Alhambra via Encircle Photos; Hall of the Two Sisters interior detail via Redbubble; Detail of the ceiling in the Hall of the Two Sisters via Wikimedia Commons collage by Neringa©️

Alhambra derives from the Arabic الْحَمْرَاء al-Ḥamrāʼ (f.), meaning “the red one”, the complete form of which was الْقَلْعَةُ ٱلْحَمْرَاءُ al-Qalʻat al-Ḥamrāʼ  “the red fortress (qalat)”. The literal translation of Alhambra, “the red (feminine)”, reflects the colour of the red clay of the surroundings of which the fort is made – a testament to Moorish culture in Spain and the skills of Muslim and Jewish artisans, craftsmen, and builders of their era. Moorish poets described it as “a pearl set in emeralds”, an allusion to the colour of its buildings and the woods around them. It is popularly believed that Hall of the Two Sisters with it’s beauty, intricate delicacy and proportion has weaved its magic over many writers and artists, evoking exotic images and fantasies more appropriate to legend than to history. Spanish niche house of Ramon Monegal perfectly captured the magnificence of Alhambra – one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and one of the most popular destination in Spain, weaving magic into the the opulent Alhambra Oud from the Don’t Touch My Ouds line of 4 Extrait de Parfums.

Ramon Monegal of Ramon Monegal perfumes

Ramon Monegal via The New Barcelona Post

Like all the Don’t Touch My Ouds perfumes, in Alhambra Oud perfumer Ramon Monegal lets the star of the composition, Laotian oud sing with the high pitched crystalline clarity of a soprano; masterfully showcasing it’s unique and captivating facets – the citrus-sugary undertone lacquered with sweet silver needle chai with a faint peppery lime note that prickles your scent buds just enough to give the overall profile a picante, gourmand flavor that doesn’t take away from the airy citrus-lime-green Laos core. Alhambra Oud, redolent with nostalgia for a bygone era and the magnificence of 11th century begins to enchant with a mouthwatering apple; it’s refreshing, effervescent vibe so beautifully realistic – the sweet nectar bursting out with iridescence as the first rays of early morning sunlight illuminate the Court of the Lions, gentle cooling breeze combining lustrous freshness and warmth in a rounded olfactive jewel.

Ramon Monegal Alhambra Oud review

 Interpretation of the materials used in Ramon Monegal Alhambra Oud by Neringa©

Like the plasterwork decorations in a characteristic Nasrid fashion adorning the walls of Alhambra; Señor Monegal adorns Ramon Monegal Alhambra Oud in his signature filigree-like delicate, refined yet incredibly opulent olfactive strokes. After the opening’s dazzling eruption, the powerful, pearlescent bouquet of heady orange blossom and jasmine gracefully unfold; bountiful blooms releasing dewy droplets of intoxicating nectar that float in the air. From the timid bud caught in the luminous layers of the top notes, to the fully opened bloom casting its bewitching spell of the most exotic, hypnotising fragrance the opening leaves one enveloped within velvety folds of irresistible sweetness. Alhambra Oud’s finale unfolds with infinite grace and seamless transition as alluring darkness and mind-numbing sensuality collapse together in a heady embrace; deeper and more exotic notes weaving its way out of the shadows – a beguiling juxtaposition to the initial nonchalant fruity happiness. Intricate as the walls of Alhambra lavishly decorated with tiles laid in geometric patterns, displaying fine stucco carvings held up by a series of slender columns; Alhambra Oud displays the multifaceted profile of Assam oud – a force of nature with its avalanche of olfactive sensations providing boundless pleasure. The heady curlicues of oud smoke warmth permeating the composition intensifies; birch and ambroxan join hands in a dizzyingly sensual spin, faster and faster and faster; culminating in the masterfully executed crescendo – as breathtaking and majestic as the stalactite dome with its star in the centre and highly ornamented carved stucco in honour of Pythagoras’ well-known theorem.

Alhambra Oud has the glow of a candlelight in the dark, simultaneously warm and luminous, emphasizing the depth of the shadows; its bewitching charm lies in impeccable dosage and balance. Ramon Monegal Alhambra Oud truly embodies olfactory travel – as majestic and captivating as its inspiration source, with the scent of oud trailing softly through all the perfume stages; Alhambra Oud is a wonderful harmony between density and lightness, sweetness and animalic growl, luscious effervescence and warm sensuality combining influences from both Andalusian and Moorish cultures in one sumptuous blend of fruit, flowers and the mind-altering smoke of the precious oud.

Notes: Top: Oud, Apple, Orange Blossom; Heart: Oud, Rose, Jasmine; Base: Oud, Birch, Ambroxan

Disclaimer:  I would like to kindly thank  Ramon Monegal for the bottle of Alhambra Oud very generously provided for this review. My opinions are my own.

Neringa Svobutaite, Senior Contributor

Ramon Monegal Alhambra Oud

Ramon Monegal Alhambra Oud photo by Neringa©️

Thanks to the generosity of Ramon Monegal, we have one 50 ml bottle (310 Euros) of Alhambra Oud for one reader residing in the US or EU. The draw is for registered readers, so be sure to register if you have not done so. To be eligible please let us know where you live and what you enjoyed about Neringa’s review of Ramon Monegal Alhambra Oud.  You can also tell us about your favorite Ramon Monegal perfume. Draw closes on 7/23/2021

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