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Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier

Here Comes the Sun: Ambre Nuit, Eau du Sud, and Eau Mer

in Reviews/Thoughts by
End Of The World - Dungeness Simon & His Camera / Foter / CC BY-ND

Ambre Nuit by Dior Privee

It’s no rarity in the niche world to have a fragrance name at odds with its contents. Le Labo is legendary for that, as both Rose 31 and Ylang 49 can attest to. Patricia de Nicolai’s recent Amber Oud was patently devoid of either amber or oud. And to many who have worn Ambre Nuit by Dior Privee, the same brush applies: where the hell is the amber?  Well, it’s there, friends, you just have to be patient, and perhaps shift expectations of what an ‘amber’ fragrance is. KEEP ON READING

Black, Blue, Brown, Red and White: The United Colors of Montale

in Reviews by

There are 104 Montale fragrances registered in the Fragrantica database, all of which were released in the last eight years. It is impossible to keep up, so I am just going to give a brief rundown of some of the most popular ones (well, the only ones I’ve tried outside of Aoud Cuir d’Arabie, that is, but I  refuse to talk about that one).

Blue Amber: Ambers, and especially vanillic ambers, are the comfort blankets of the perfume world for me, so I have to constantly be on guard against my Pavlovian response to them (basically, sit, roll over, and present tummy for rubbing), otherwise I’d end up with ten bottles of minute variations on the same theme. My response to Blue Amber’s big, dopey play-dough amber is initially the predictable one – I want to roll around in it. Done in the Montale style – rich, slightly synthetic, and none too subtle – it has the potential to be someone’s baby bear porridge of the amber category. Weight-wise, it sits between the sheer woody-rose amber of Histories de Parfums’ Ambre 114 and the heavier, more aromatic Ambre Precieux by MPG. Blue Amber is nicely balanced – its toffee and whiskey opening is cut with a huge dose of that icy bergamot oil Montale uses in their aoud compositions, and a big saltmarsh vetiver note in the base adds a pleasing shot of brine. Salt and lemon are very effective palate cleansers. Still, my wallet is safe. It is very nice but, in the end, nothing exceptional. Ambre 114 satisfies me on the sheer amber side, and Ambre Russe is my heavy hitter for winter. Having established – after much trial and error – my North and my South of the amber territory, I am finding it easier to dismiss contenders that fall in the middle. KEEP ON READING

Ambra Mediterranea by Profumi del Forte: Amber with a Five O’ Clock Shadow

in Reviews by

natural-amber-textute-3-1023017-m

Profumi del Forte’s Versilia Vintage Ambra Mediterranea is a woody, smoky, and resinous amber that I see as the John Wayne of ambers – uncompromisingly masculine, rough around the corners, and utterly compelling. Nothing soft or vanillic here. You won’t find people on Fragrantica or Basenotes describing it as the perfect ‘cashmere sweater’ scent. No, this is an amber with dangly bits between its legs and a five o’clock shadow.

Amusingly, the presentation of this fragrance is at complete odds with the character of the scent itself. The bottle is a slim, white classical-looking thing with what looks to be the paw prints of a pussycat all over it. It’s just straight up fricking adorable. The press babble – ‘gentle luminous notes remind us of the Mediterranean breezes’, and so on – is more than a little misleading. If you ask me, the people at Profumi del Forte have missed a prime marketing opportunity here. If they’d put it in a matt, black bottle with horns on it and wrapped it in leather, I bet you anything it would have been catnip to all those overgrown schoolboys on YouTube looking for ‘panty-droppers’ and ‘beast mode projection’. As it is, this fragrance only seems to attract attention among hardcore amber fans. That’s a pity, because this is a truly great fragrance, and would make a superb masculine. KEEP ON READING

Bahiana – A Fruity Floral With Brains

in Reviews by

Bahiana Maitre Parfumeur Gantier

Bahiana by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier is an absolute delight from beginning to end. Part of the delight comes from surprise – this is the rare tropical fruity floral that manages to side step all of the “flip-flops and pina colada” associations that usually go along with the genre. It opens on the most realistic note of freshly peeled mandarins that I have ever smelled. It is so good that I blinked in astonishment and then spent the next few hours spritzing it on again to play this part of the show back again. KEEP ON READING

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