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I’d like to rough my amber up

Amber block showing striationsI’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.

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7 comments to I’d like to rough my amber up

  • Ari

    How funny- I just acquired a sample of Ambre Russe too, and did not particularly like it. It was TOO spiky! 🙂 An amber that I was impressed by recently is Tauer Lys du Desert. I’m dyyyiiinnnggg to try By Kilian Amber Oud.

    • Judith

      IT CANNOT BE TOO ROUGH FOR ME RIGHT NOW! Tie me down and rub me with amber.

      I got my hands on some Slumberhouse Ore, too, which should be downright broken-pavementy.

      I am loving Lys du Desert, I admit it. I liked Amber Oud too but am restraining myself till I can get it in the gorgeous gold spray bottle. 🙂

  • I would have bought a bottle of Ambre Russe right now but I promissed myself to slow down for a while 🙁

    Have you tried Tom Ford’s Amber Absolute? It’s a very rich amber.

    • Judith

      I haven’t! I’ll have to try that. I usually pooh-pooh Tom Ford fragrances but I do love Black Orchid and Violet Blonde.

      I have some Slumberhouse Ore that is, whew, TAKE NO PRISONERS. And I AM wearing Lys du Desert from time to time, though I wouldn’t have identified that as an amber.

  • The amber bug has bitten you, yay! 😉
    The roughest amber I know is Balsamo della Mecca by La Via di Profumo. It is a sledgehammer, but I think you might enjoy it! Have fun ambering up! 🙂

    • Judith

      Ooo, that sounds good! I will have to dig some up. 🙂 I’ll see how it compares to Slumberhouse Ore, which isn’t supposed to be an amber but which is scratching the same itch for me. (Also I’ve been wearing more patchouli.)

      You are infectious, you know, my dear.

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