Baniyas is the latest extrait de parfum of the Velvet Collection by Abu Dhabi-based brand Widian, and I’m hoping for a bit of a lush, sunny, warm scent mood to help my shivery self find a bit of a return to its feel-good temperature. It’s freezing cold here – as, admittedly, it probably is everywhere in our climes – and a stubborn, more-or-less blanket of snow and ice covers lawns, cars and roofs. It’s been sub-zero for over a week now, so it’s finally really wintry. I hope this cold weather continues through Christmas time, but I strongly suspect that we will be sitting in front of the Christmas tree again on Christmas Eve with 15 degrees and drizzle.
Velvet Collection – Abu Dhabi’s Treasures
But enough of the weather banter. Baniyas is our star of the day. A fragrance that, as mentioned above, is part of Widian ‘s Velvet Collection, which revolves around specific locations in Abu Dhabi. The Hili eau de parfum, for example, is inspired by the gardens of Hili, a park full of archaeological sites. Delma revolves around an island in the Arabian Gulf and Liwa around a desert oasis. All actual places of interest in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Which brings us to the fragrance Baniyas, because for this I find several possible sources of inspiration, while the press text gives me no clue at all with this creation.
Baniyas – sports club, fort or island?
Well, I found all these three possibilities when I started my research on the name Baniyas. Only two of the three options have a definite relation to the name. The connection to Qasr Al Hosn Fort, built in the the 18th and 19th century and located in the middle of the capital, Abu Dhabi, has a watchtower that bears a striking resemblance to the structure visible in the background in the above press photo by Widian. Unfortunately, I have not found a good, freely available photo of the watchtower. However, if you are interested, you can find one quite quickly by entering the name of the fort in one of the popular search engines.
But there is also a sports club called Baniyas FC, which is based in the district of the same name that has sprung up from the desert floor. Then there is the island of Sir Bani Yas, where there is a nature reserve, where among other things there are numerous antelopes. And so the circle closes, because on the picture of the article there are two antelopes to the left and right of the tower, which I – together with the desert landscape in the background – could not really associate with Fort Qasr Al Hosn, located in the middle of the capital Abu Dhabi.
Perfumer Jordi Fernández took on the creative task of developing Baniyas and used the fragrance notes of bergamot, wormwood, lavender, geranium, cedarwood, agarwood (oud), patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver for the extrait de parfum.
Scent journey to the east
Exceedingly fruity and sweet, Baniyas starts the fragrance course. I would almost guess a hefty helping of ripe red berries is hidden in this creation, in a lovely and very complex melange with velvety sandalwood and balsamic cedar.
The oud I perceive only very subtle. The otherwise typical notes merge with the densely woven fragrance that seems warm, a little spicy and woody. After some time, the extrait de parfum by Widian becomes creamier and soft-soapy, but the basic olfactory colouration of sweet-fruity and woody nuances remains, eventually becoming a little darker.
With Baniyas Widian serves all friends of sweet and fruity-woody fragrance compositions with medium presence and excellent durability. A very complex fragrance that lasts for hours on the skin, but hardly changes during this time. Lush, but not too present, Baniyas can be used in the office and everyday life, and definitely throughout the year. 🙂