The British niche brand that takes its inspiration from precious gems and treasures had been under-performing for a while, despite the evident quality of their fragrances since launching in 2013.
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That’s all changing with the appointment of Cristopher Chong as creative director. He helped Amouage become the powerhouse it is today during his 12 years at the Oman-based brand. And no doubt the owner of Thameen, Basel Binjabr, wants some of the same magic too.
Chong’s influence is already evident in the launch of the Britologne Collection and the collaboration with (and acknowledgement) of top perfumers for the London-based house.
We take you through their best releases. Where known, the name of the perfumer is included in brackets after the name of the fragrance.
Thameen Carved Oud Extrait de Parfum
It seems every niche brand must have an oud fragrance or two in their repertoire. While it’s not hyped as much as others in the genre, this 2013 release (now part of the Treasure Collection) should more than satiate your precious ingredient fix.
The spicy-aromatic intro is on the quiet side. It allows the oud (sourced from the south of India) to take centre stage with its richness. Cedarwood and patchouli amplify the woody profile.
The powdery iris facet segues ever so smoothly into the drydown where creamy sandalwood and earthy vetiver stand out.
A fine debut, along with Amber Room, Moon of Baroda, Noorolain Taif and Peacock Throne.
Thameen Green Pearl Extrait de Parfum
The website blurb for this 2016 release (inspired by the glowing fluorite pearls from China) from the Treasure Collection promises “a soothing and calming mood”. When so beautifully executed, how could we say no.
The intro is all about the crisp freshness of bergamot. Notes of apple and neroli set it on a green path, with a hint of sweet sunniness from mandarin orange.
There’s more greenery of the aromatic-herbal variety from tea and artemisia (nothing too bitter), with a twist of spicy black pepper in the background.
The drydown is earthy in style, with oakmoss and musk providing the finishing touches.
We’ve added it to our list of favourite greens.
Thameen Diadem Extrait de Parfum
Frankincense (also known as olibanum), derived from the resin of the trunk of the Boswellia tree, always gets our attention. And it’s especially captivating in this 2018 release from the Sovereign Collection.
Here, the precious ingredient (sourced from Oman) is at its complex fresh and spicy best, with aromatic assistance from lavender and cardamom.
It’s an integral part of this fragrance’s amber accord that also takes in the creaminess of vanilla absolute and earthiness of patchouli.
When combined with floral notes of saffron and rose, the result is heavenly indeed.
Thameen Sceptre Extrait de Parfum
There’s a fair amount of pepperiness in the opening of this 2018 release from the Sovereign Collection. Perhaps too much for some.
Don’t walk away just yet, as the notes of peach and ylang-ylang provide a welcome fruity contrast, while the wisteria note is pushed in a spicy direction too.
The amber accord in the drydown highlights the warm balsamic tones of Somali myrrh and Siam benzoin.
Highly recommended if lots of sensual spice is your thing.
Thameen Imperial Crown Extrait de Parfum
With its inspiration – the State Imperial Crown in the Tower of London – we were expecting a lot from this 2018 addition to the Sovereign Collection. And it doesn’t disappoint.
The contrast between fresh and warm spiciness from notes of black pepper, pink pepper and elemi makes for an appealing opening.
The balsamic, citrus tones of the latter (often used in incense) complements the wondrous wafts of Somali frankincense. Some more info about this ingredient, which as we know was brought by the Three Wise Men, along with gold and myrrh, on their visit to Jesus after his birth (that’s how precious it is).
The resin is sourced from trees of the Boswellia species and in this perfume, it’s beautifully aromatic and woody. We trust the brand is using ethically sourced frankincense, as there is much controversy about exploitative practices in the production of this ingredient.
Okay, now where were we? Oh yes, there’s a mildly animalic leather accord in the mix, which is amplified by the smoky tones of guaiac wood and earthiness of patchouli in the drydown.
Thoroughly intriguing stuff.
Thameen Peregrina Extrait de Parfum
There’s lots of love for this 2019 release from the Treasure Collection and all well deserved.
Damask rose, lush and almost honeyed, stands out among the heady bouquet of jasmine and lily-of-the-valley notes.
It goes in a gorgeously gourmand direction with the creaminess of vanilla and caramel. Myrrh adds a balsamic oriental layer.
The powderiness of white musk is boosted in the drydown with some clever effects.
It’s undeniably sweet, but so well done, we’re back for more.
Thameen Royal Sapphire Extrait de Parfum
The name alone sounds terrifically aristocratic and with its inspiration from the St Edwards Sapphire (apparently the oldest gemstone in the British royal collection), this 2019 release from the Sovereign Collection radiates quality.
Bergamot and mandarin introduce citric sunniness to the composition. It’s fresh and on the right side of sweetness.
Jasmine (intense and heady) is partnered with beautifully rendered orange blossom (honeyed and sensual). Their indolic character is given sparkle ’n shine with the synthetic Ambroxan.
Patchouli and moss balance the slight sweetness with earthiness.
Thameen Cullinan Diamond Extrait de Parfum
When a fragrance is named after the world’s largest rough diamond, it needs to be an impressively grand affair. And that’s exactly what this 2021 release from the Sovereign Collection does with elegant flair.
Starting with the bright spiciness of black pepper, it moves onto a suitably regal interpretation of the queen of florals (rose) laced with creamy vanilla and earthy orris.
Skilful use of the rather fancy-sounding Cashmere Musk (FYI: a compound of synthetics and essential oils) brings it all together in a most sensual way.
It’s warm, it’s powdery, it’s slightly animalic. In fact, it’s rather lovely.
Thameen Bravi Cologne Elixir (Bruno Jovanovic)
Christopher Chong joined Thameen in 2022 as their creative director. He’s been a busy boy collaborating with top perfumers on the new Britologne Collection (Fanfare, Bohemian Infusion, Bravi) that debuted in 2023.
All three are well worth sniffing out if you want modern interpretations of the cologne style but with more oomph and elements of the unexpected. We’ll focus on Bravi here.
It begins innocently enough with lots of zesty ginger supported by the spicy freshness of bergamot and bitter orange.
Things get more seductive as tuberose gets the honeyed and milky treatment. The white floral is prominent without being over-powering but is still not one for beginners.
The softly caramel tones of tobacco mingle with creamy vanilla in the warm drydown.
We love the contrasts (fresh and warm, innocent and carnal, classic and contemporary) in this one.
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Richard Goller is a fragrance and grooming blogger. His blog is called Fragroom. A senior editor with 20 years' experience, his blog allows him to combine two of his passions: engaging content and the always-intriguing world of fragrances. When he isn't blogging, you'll find Richard indulging in his newly found passion for balcony gardening.