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