I ordered it blind, and if you're going to do it too, you must be passionate about leather because it's the dominant element here. Compared to other Lattafa leather scents I own, Velvet Oud
, to name one, Qaa'ed Al Shabaab feels softer, creamier, floral, less harsh and cheeky, with a touch of gentleness and superiority. Right from the start, I like the packaging, a cylindrical tan leatherette box with a touch of velvet inside. The juice has the same light brown colour reminiscent of spirits such as brandy and cognac. A coat of arms and the perfume's name is stamped into the leather like the herd mark to show the family of ownership. In the title, I said it's good for the faint of heart. But the more I spray it to capture all the nuances and colours, the more I think it's a complex, robust, strong, virile, leathery cologne that could be less suitable for newbies. This cologne is full of contrasts, symbolizing strength, delicacy, and sensuality. A mysterious and deep scent that made me stop and pay attention. The initial impression is almost harsh and unpleasant on paper, but on the skin, with its right warmth, it develops into a smoky oud wood and balsamic leather that just keeps working to give you what you need.
Qaa'ed Al Shabaab starts with what appears to be a huge creaminess, a floral sweetness, and a little balsamic with a smoky undertone. The mentholated vibe comes from green cardamom pods. I feel the balsamic vapours similar to Vicks Vaporub ointment for a few moments. A few reviewers mentioned that minty look I'm getting heavily. I let the greenish aroma fade, and the creamy osmanthus oozes along with sweet ylang-ylang. Thanks to the balsamic nuance, the bouquet is pleasant, not too sweet or cloying, and without the sudden changes typical of a perfume suited to female tastes. The cardamom adds a balsamic touch, and I don't perceive any other spicy note at the opening, no saffron, no cinnamon, no nutmeg. Also, the frankincense seems responsible for the sharp smokiness I perceive in the background.
A bitter rosy tinge participates in the intermediate stage. Not a gelatinous rose, but rather a slightly moist woody Brazilian rosewood. A very light oud accord, woody but not resinous, supports the rosy nuance, not skanky, barnyard, animalic, or pungent, just smoky with a medicinal edge. The smoke is reminiscent of logs burning on a bonfire. I hear the oud right from the start, even though it appears on the roster as a base note. During this initial test, I don't take in the pencil-shavings feel of the cedar wood, which I like and usually recognize easily. Rather, the leather chord is a root note in the heart. As mentioned above, the skin is refined, a little cloudy, and blends well with the rosy undertone. I have the impression of warming up in front of a bonfire, wearing a fine leather jacket and a bouquet of fragrant roses in my hands. There is something slightly medicinal in the surrounding air. I don't have such a balsamic leather scent in my collection. And I love it.
The base has a powdery and spicy vanilla undertone, not sweet or gourmand. A warm amber serves to create a sense of cosiness. The initial burst of balmy skin undertones transforms into a tamed powdery skin. No talcum powder from iris or violet leaves, but a coumarin dustiness. The oud is now just a memory that slowly fades away.
It's pretty linear once the menthol-balsamic aspect has subsided. The longevity is moderate, around 4 hours on my skin, and the projection is medium. After about half a day of wearing it, I can tell that it doesn't project much; although it seems strong at first, it becomes that skin-friendly scent that lasts a long time. I see it as an amiable companion during the evening and night outings. Excellent for events, meetings and dinners, but not suitable for clubbing. A fall and winter cologne, the chilly climate goes well with its smoky, leathery facets. Ultimately, this is the fragrance that meets my taste.
I base my impressions and review on a bottle I have owned since December 2022 (BC M05-22070075, PD 07.2022)