I realised a while ago that I haven’t reviewed L’Eau d’Ambre Extreme… This fragrance was my first niche bottle. Actually, I bought Dzing! first but my bottle broke, I managed to get a refund and pretty spontaneously decided to exchange it for this instead.
When I sprayed Ambre Extreme on my hand for the first time before I bought it, I had never smelt an amber soliflore before. I was blown away by it, it was warm, creamy and skin like. But before I get onto my review and get ahead of myself with descriptive words, let me just say why this is the only fragrance in my collection I haven’t reviewed.
I think I’m kind of embarrassed to like this… Well, actually that’s not true. I really, really like Ambre Extreme. Maybe it’s because I’m attached to it after all this time, maybe I was just completely captivated by the pure smell of amber and I am hooked on that. No one else seems to really enjoy this fragrance. Someone recently put a post on Basenotes entitled “The Must Try Ambers” with a list including: Ambre Sultan, Ambre Russe, Ambre Precieux, Ambre 114, Blue Amber… this list goes on. My L’Artisan was not in sight…
Luca Turin gives this 2 stars in the Perfumes The A-Z Guide, not that this bothers me, but it is described as “just amber”. I’ll further quote: “…Why anyone would want to buy plain Ambre Extreme instead beats me.”.
Well, I bought it! And I thoroughly enjoy it. This is why:
L’Eau D’Ambre Extreme opens with a tickly pinch of pepper, some other exotic spices and a boatload of creamy amber. When I first sniffed amber, I described it as “breathy”, and that’s what I get from it, but not in the uncomfortable way that I get with myrrh so often. It is breathy and familiar, instantly comfortable.
The spice in Ambre Extreme is extremely subtle compared to that in other strong ambers such as Ambre Sultan (bitter herbal greenery and spice), Ambre Russe (boozy topnotes and complex smoky accords throughout), instead they are a delicate enhancement and the amber takes centre stage. This is the exact reason I love it. It is so simple, so easy to wear, a huge compliment getter, and it is the perfect fragrance to pick up when you have no idea what to wear.
Normally, this type of fragrance is the complete opposite to what I want, I want complexity and challenging fragrances, I want something that doesn’t smell so human and simple, but this, it’s just nice. What a boring word to use but it’s true, Ambre Extreme is reallllyyyy “nice”.
Sometimes a natural scent can have such a presence it works perfectly on its own, from time to time of course – amber is one of them. No one moans when there is a strong oud on it’s own, or a tuberose, but with amber people seem to always expect so much more of it. Maybe it’s because it has been done before, maybe we’re tired of these plain scents, but my point is, if you’re going to have one, then at least make it something you are going to wear lots and really enjoy. For me, this is Ambre Extreme. It is my “plain Jane” scent and there surely shouldn’t be any reason to ignore it because of that. In fact, it is the most used fragrance in my collection.
It is breathy, warm, skin like, slightly honeyed and musty. At times there is the slightest waft of soap, but then it becomes dusty again. Sometimes it will have facets of gentle florals, at other times spice.
A beautiful sweet, creamy amber from top to bottom, and to be honest, not much else. But you know, when amber smells this good on its own, who cares :) Enjoy it for what it is.
L’Eau D’Ambre Extreme EDP 100ml – £88 artisanparfumeur.com