Ambre Precieux – Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier & Ambra Nera – Farmacia SS. Annunziata

Two ambers here, samples given by the lovely Amber King Steve over at The Scented Hound.
I have always felt like I’ve found “my amber soliflore” – L’Eau D’Ambre Extreme by L’Artisan Parfumeur. I’m always open to discovering something new, but have never really explored other amber soliflores out of choice because of this reason.
Well, the hound challenged me with a bunch of ambers and some of them have been quite something. I’ve been missing out.! Here’s two of ‘em :)

A little something medicinal opens Ambre Precieux. Listed is lavender, maybe that’s the herbal boost. Of course piled on top of that quickly after is the leading amber. The amber I find very similar to that in the L’Artisan, however this one is more herbal, bitter and resinous – it doesn’t have the plush, creamy coziness of L’Eau D’Ambre Extreme – ANYWAY – enough comparisons already, back to this.

Ok so I actually get the lavender for a good while underneath the amber. It’s herbal and camphorous – how I like it, but without the dewy freshness that could have really made this opening good! There’s a bit of a resin overload with the amber. It’s bitter, almost crumbly, with just a scattering of pillow soft powder, sweetened with a hint of vanilla.

In the heart is a little crackling of spice, and a tiny hint of incense, but mainly this is all about the amber, and, a pretty good amber it is. I wouldn’t define it as even remotely sexy as many do, I find it quite stern and uptight, that herbal edge like a razor blade expression *desperately trying not to include my reference Tilda Swinton picture here…*.
The vanilla keeps this fragrance just about cuddly and comforting – as with all amber soliflores, it is a perfect winter scent – it practically smells like a sweater.

In the drydown the incense turns a little myrrh-y which puts me off a tad, myrrh + amber is like a breath attack (I always say both notes have a “breathy” quality which can gross me out), thankfully here it’s quite tame and maybe is that little “animalic” edge people talk about.
As for me, I’ll stick with my safe ole’ powdery fav :) Onto the next one…

Oh shit! Yes! This is better :D Brilliant opening. A rich animalic amber, bitter-sweet, not a smidge of powder yet – with the consistency of thick syrup. There’s a complicated herbal element in there, a much more prominent camphorous accord up top – almost mentholated (I’m glad I reviewed this one second or the MPeG may not have been so pleasantly written!).

A bitter greenery cuts underneath the amber, and it smells almost as though there’s a big shred of leather underneath. It’s aromatic and smoky, the leathery aroma turning almost musky – still very animalic to my nose. Lots of different things going on to a point where my sentences are getting a little scrambled.

Unfortunately it tames a little quickly (not that the heart isn’t good – I just love that opening so much) – and brings to mind old books and buildings, similarly to how Dark Aoud conjures these images. There’s that vanillic benzoin with a papery texture, dusty woods, that patchouli and vetiver providing an astringent green, and the amber – a smoked caramel syrup.

The incense smoke turns almost metallic (which I love!) – an edge much more razor-sharp than the now wimpy lavender in Ambre Precieux. The vanilla sweetens even more underneath, but never overpowering – the amber restrained, and definitely not taking the leading role as I expected. The resins, the sweetness, the metallic smoke, the leather – it all combines into something that makes me both go “MMM” and “EW!” – the perfect combination.

The drydown brings the rich caramel benzoin from the heart and entwines it with the vetiver - an unusual combination that brings to mind the vanilla/vetiver pairing of Fat Electrician by ELdO, only with smoky liqueurs and resins above it. The leather/vanilla remains papery, and Ambra Nera quietens into a shadow. A big dose of civet keeps it feeling rich and slightly sour, with a pungent animal presence. I really like it.

Ambre Precieux 100ml Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier - $120 Luckyscent
Ambra Nera 100ml Farmacia SS. Annunziata – $160 Luckyscent

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23 thoughts on “Ambre Precieux – Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier & Ambra Nera – Farmacia SS. Annunziata

  1. lucasai says:

    Reviews good as always. Ampre Precieux is something I’ve been wanting to test for a while already.

    • I’m really underwhelmed by the Precieux – the Ambra Nera though – oh man, was not expecting that at all! Haven’t read a single review of it or heard it mentioned so was expecting a pretty bogstandard amber. It’s gread :D

      • lucasai says:

        Those surprises are usually quite funny, right? And as far as I can easily get a sample of MPG I can’t get a sample of Ambra Nera that easily…
        Are you familiar with Ambre Nue, Atelier Cologne?

      • Owww, I think they sell samples on Luckyscent :D
        No I’m not, I actually haven’t sampled any of the Atelier line, I’ve been meaning to read your review of the new Atelier rose, I’ll do it now :)
        Is it good (Ambre Nue) ?

      • lucasai says:

        Ambre Nue, yeah, it’s good. Opens citrusy (a signature of AC) but then it become a woody, dry amber, somehow smells like amber and pencil shavings, really interesting.

      • *shudders* – a citrus opening haha.
        Sounds great though, unless the pencil shavings is a rancidly raw cedar – we’ll see… I’ll be sure to look into this line a little more now :) Cheers dude

      • lucasai says:

        I think you might like those shavings! I’m sure you’ll let us know about your experience with Atelier Cologne some time later!
        Have a good evening and I’ll see you tomorrow :)

      • Thanks for reading and chatting dude, speak again :)

  2. My dear Freddie – I think I am finally starting to figure you out. I never had thought you would be for the Ambra Nera, but am thrilled that you like it so much. To me, it’s just a bit too overpowering, thick and sweet. To me, Ambre Precieux is heaven :)

    • Ow I don’t mean to be nasty about Precieux, it just seems heartless in comparison. But still, a perfectly decent amber soliflore – just not enough in there for me. It’s like a cross between the L’Artisan and the Lutens which makes me a little uneasy. I’m glad you enjoy it though – it is a hugely praised piece of work :)
      I’m thrilled to be snatching your Ambra Nera though! :D YAY!

  3. laniersmith says:

    Wonderful review…and how nice of the Hound!

  4. Melis says:

    Looking for a strictly amber perfume to add to my collection so your post caught my attention. I currently have Ambre Soie but I am looking for something a tad sweeter. Not sure if either of these are what I am looking for but really enjoyed your review.

    • I don’t think so either – do try the L’Artisan Ambre Extreme – or even better for you, try Parfumerie Generale’s L’Oiseau de Nuit, I think it will be perfect for you. It’s boozy and a touch smoky up top, but it’s sweet like liquer with a slight floral that all combined smells like rum soaked spongecake, what it dries down to is a gorgeous sweet amber – it’s really lovely!

  5. Melis says:

    Wow, I feel like you’ve just read my mind! Your description of L’Oiseau de Nuit sounds exactly what I am looking for but I was not able to put into words. How’d you do that?! Lol! Ambre Soie is great but a tad too dry. Frapin 1697-loved the booziness and sweetness but was too floral in the heart. Off to read about L’Oiseau and track down a sample. Thank you so much for the recommendation. There are no niche fragrance shops where I live, which is a shame.

    • :D Brilliant!
      Well, I have tried a LOT of fragrances haha. Glad I could be of help. I have a little page up top called Q&A where you can ask for recommendations and stuff if I can help with anything else.
      Good luck tracking a sample, don’t be put off by any so-so reviews, just try it on your own opinion :) I think it’s a great piece of work as with most in the PG line.
      If I had a bottle I’d have sent you a sample sorry :(
      Hope to speak again soon, once you find a sample please let me know what you think of it and BE HONEST haha :P

  6. Undina says:

    I still have more testing to do so I haven’t formed the opinion yet. But it was interesting to read your take on these two.

  7. I bought Ambra Nera blind because of reviews on Basenotes, and it was a good lesson to me to not be impulsive. The eucalyptus really brought up some weird images. I said I’d never try it again.

    On the other hand, I kept reading glowing reviews of the stuff. And when you think about it, amber is tree sap, and menthol/eucalyptus is tree sap, and you’d expect the two to travel in pairs. How can I be the only one who hates it? So I have given it a few more shots now.

    I still have a problem with the eucalyptus. At least now I can smell the amber. It’s not as shocking to me as it used to be. Oh well, good lesson. Funny thing, I’ve still got Onda VdP on one arm from yesterday, and AN on the other. The combined sillage is really nice.

    I have been wanting to tell you that you are a shockingly literate young man. Your reviews are a pleasure. Your powers of description are better than most people’s ever are, and as you continue writing you will continue improving. Combine that with your willingness to go seek out people like Vero Kern and Andy Tauer and I expect you will become quite a success. I’m forty years your senior and I admire you.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you developed some perfumes someday.

    • Hi there thanks for reading and the compliments on my writing <3 it means so much to me thank you :)

      I still don't get eucalyptus hugely in Ambra Nera, it's all about that furry, sticky vanilla and amber and all that smoke, I've had a ton of compliments off it too weirdly (I wear it on nights out a lot in the winter).

      Well an amber accord is just benzoin + vanilla + labdanum, not natural derived from tree sap I don't think, but it makes sense that the two accords should go together.

      I hope it starts to work out for you soon! :D
      Oh and great choice on the Onda VdP, the EDP is still my favourite but totally different! <3

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