It was new, it was exciting, it was niche, it was limited edition. I lived in the right place at the right time. I jumped at the opportunity and bought Oil Fiction as a goodbye present when I left the UK for good. It is my first JHAG perfume. You can read about the excitements and dilemmas (mine and of others) in this thread I started. I guess the initial excitement died down and I am not sure if the perfume took off as expected. After using this for a fair few months, I think I am ready to write my thoughts down.
Oil Fiction is a true amber scent, the kind of amber that is smooth and velvety. It is a soft spoken, dry, balsamic amber. Saffron is delicate but prominent and lasts for a fair bit before it merges into the powdery floral heart. Iris, which I hoped would take the centre stage (my initial expectation was that Oil Fiction would be a prominent iris and saffron fragrance) is definitely there but somewhat gets muddled into the amber. Iris leaves behind an undeniable powderyness. It is actually more floral than I initially thought. Ylang ylang and some more opulent (white?) florals emerge to take the perfume in a slightly different direction from its dry ambery beginnings. The perfume is still soft at this stage but it is more floral and more feminine. It dries down to a warm, balsamic powdery floral with hints of wood and a smidgen of patchouli.
Oil Fiction is a harmonious fragrance. It is rich, soft, full and elegant. It stays close to the skin but it is a powerful amber that lasts and lasts. It has the oriental feel without the heaviness associated with Arabian theme perfumes that I much dread. The dry down is floral-powdery-amber which to my own surprise reminds me of the dry down of Thierry Mugler's Alien Absolu, not quite as jasmine-y but very much warm, vanillaic balsamic amber. I wouldn't buy the full size paying crazy amount of money (€280 for 75mls, that is if at all I can find it in Australia) but I will surely enjoy my sample (and probably invest in Alien Absolu, because that is really something!)