Ambre Russe opens with a sharp blast of vodka. A true to life, salty alcohol note with the beautifully rich amber sweetness underneath.
Pretty much instantly a slightly savoury spice comes in, like a de-sweetened cardamon, and a mellow incense. The incense is far from churchy and smells extremely exotic.
Ambre Russe is extremely complex, and my nose is no where near trained enough to disect it much further. There is a slightly stale note that joins in along with some tobacco and tea leaves. It is a complicated and slightly confused melange of spices, textures, sweet and savoury notes on top of a beautiful opulent amber.
This fragrance is unlike any other amber I have tried, it remains relatively savoury, despite the amber providing a great deal of honeyed sweetness. Also, unlike Luten’s Ambre Sultan, it is not medicinal and the spices seem far more exotic and complimentary.
Parfum D’Empire have created an outstanding amber, which is literally huge. It is complex, exotic and completely original. The fragrance stays strong throughout the day and is an outstanding alternative in the amber genre.
The spices and incense remind me very much so of…
Wazamba… which I guess is to be expected in a brand. It opens with an everchanging combination of notes ranging from savoury spices, to citrus and cypress, and then suddenly a sweetness emerges out of the cloud of resinous dust and leaves it all behind.
Wazamba is bizarrely sweeter than Ambre Russe, but shares a similar incense note. There is some fresh apple in there which brightens up the composition, but after the initial confusion, Wazamba remains relatively linear. It is resinous, and has a blossoming immortelle note throughout, which confuses me as it’s not listed at all, however I’ve noted other reviewers have also picked up on this.
I don’t have much experience with myrrh, but I can pick it up from what I remember of my previous encounters with it, apparantly it’s pretty obvious in this composition, but as with AR, this is an extremely complex fragrance that is very difficult for a beginner like myself to disect.
So on a whole, Wazamba is a sweet, resinous blend of what smells like pine, immortelle, powdered incense, and sweet smoked woods. It is like nothing else I’ve ever smelt, and the quality is utterly outstanding. As with AR, longevity is wonderful as to be expected.
Although I highly rate these fragrances, they are not really to my taste… and I don’t think I will ever own one of them, but if they sound appealing to you, then you must try them, they will be much better than my attempt at describing them.
I haven’t really explored the Parfum D’Empire line beyond these, and a few others - my favourite being Cuir Ottoman which is on it’s way in the post to me right now! I will review this at a later date as I truly believe it is outstanding, even if not the most original idea to some.
Apologies for these reviews being so brief, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to break down these fragrances, but I think they need to be known and Parfum D’Empire should be gaining a lot more credit than they do, so I’m sure for them, any news is good news :)
Parfum D’Empire Ambre Russe 100ml – £84.50 Les Senteurs
Parfum D’Empire Wazamba 100ml – £84.50 Les Senteurs