Me again folks, filling in for Danielle as she prepares to hit the road for Texas!
In a recent pack of lovelies Danielle sent me, she included a spray sample of Aftelier Perfume’s Amber. She also made some chance remarks about other ambers, such as Sonoma Scent Studio’s Ambre Noir, and Olympic Orchid’s Olympic Amber. Amber is not a note I have explored much, but realising that I have samples of these three, this afternoon I took them all out for a spin.
I like the Aftelier the best. Lending ease to the amber are notes I love – lavender and bergamot – so I was always destined to love this fragrance. There is also a mustiness in the base that stops it getting too floral. Unfortunately, this is the most short-lived of my trio of ambers.
Olympic Orchid’s Amber is sweet and makes things easy for you with a hint of vanilla. By contrast, SSS’s Ambre Noir is broodingly dark and smoky. What is especially interesting is the way that these two fragrances demonstrate their makers’ signature bases. In Ellen Covey’s (OO) Amber I get some of the honeyed orchid note that is a feature of her line (even though it os not mentioned in the notes), and in Laurie Erikson’s (SSS) Ambre Noir there is a strong suggestion of the deep rich rose she uses so often. Mandy Aftel’s Amber is the only one of her fragrances I have tried, so I don’t know how it sits with her other work. Please do comment if you do.
To my nose Ambre Noir is the most extreme of the three – too extreme for my taste. It scares me a bit, even with the rose. But I’m glad to have it as a comparison for the other two and any further ambers I may try. This is how you learn, after all.
I mean, I don’t wear Piguet’s Bandit much because it is so bitter, but I am glad to have samples to set against my other, less extreme greens. Similarly, a single spritz of Fracas sent me running for the shower, but at least now I know what the reference tuberose smells like. And while Andy Tauer’s Lonestar Memories gives me more birch tar than I want to wear on my own skin, how I’d love to smell it on the skin of a strong man. (And when I meet that gorgeous man I’ll let you know!)
So: what fragrances are too extreme for you? Can you appreciate them, even if their dominant notes take you down a road you would rather not travel?