I’ve never been a huge amber fan, like Birgit at Olfactoria’s Travels, the “Queen of Amber”. I’ve never really been against amber, either. I like ambergris, the salty floral smell of (artificial, nowadays) fermented whale vomit; it’s my favorite feature of L’Eau de Merveilles, from Hermes. And I like the modern ingredient “amber”, which is usually a warm sweet smell reminiscent of nothing that preceded it (though supposedly it was inspired by the drydown of ambergris, which was previously used as a fixative – it would be the last thing you would smell in a perfume drydown.) I’m not sure I even knew what amber was supposed to smell like till last year.
Lately, though, I’ve been craving amber. I can’t get enough. I don’t want a sweet dessert amber, either; I want amber that wears studs and doesn’t take any crap. (Cue Kanye West – harder, better, faster, stronger. Do anybody make real shit anymore?) Combined with leather, this kind of amber is often found in men’s fragrances, and I want more of it. A lot more.
Don’t get me wrong, I still like the ambers I have. I have my Amouage Opus VI (Birgit creatively called it “holographic” and it is a sparkling, transparent-yet-persistent amber for sure), and my L’Ambre des Merveilles (the beige cashmere scarf of ambers – it is awfully easy to wear it a lot, as Birgit has been doing). On the recommendation of my Twitter inspirers, I have gotten a sample of Ambre Russe by Parfum d’Empire, and already almost drained it (which I never do with samples). I suspect a full bottle will be on its way to be soon (despite your kind offer of another supply, Undina!).
But I want still something spikier. I’m almost going to go buy some Histoires des Parfums’ 1740 – I hate the association with the Marquis de Sade (who was just disgusting, not deserving of a perfume named after him) but I do admit I love that tough-to-ignore, unshy smell.
What about you, what ambers do you love?
Image is “amber” by bitmask, via Flickr; used under Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.