Le Labo Another 13, Juliette Has A Gun Not a Perfume and More on Ambrox : Perfume Reviews

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Lelabo13

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Ambrox (or ambroxan), a musky-ambery aroma material with a creamy, woody facet, is suddenly getting an unexpected spotlight on stage. A few years ago, Escentric Molecules launched Escentric 02, which featured ambrox set against a sheer iris and vetiver accord, but today Juliette Has a Gun went further by presenting Not a Perfume, a dilution of ambrox in alcohol. Another ambrox heavy fragrance launched recently is Le Labo Another 13.

Without a doubt, ambrox is a great aroma material: complex, musky, and warm. Considering the disappearance of many classical basenotes from perfumer’s palette either due to price restrictions or IFRA regulations, ambrox fills quite a gap. It is able to endow a fragrance with a richness that suggests ambergris, while its radiant clean finish fits with modern concepts of perfumery. As Not a Perfume shows, it makes for a very pleasant, if obviously somewhat one-dimensional scent when used on its own.

Although Le Labo Another 13, a fragrance by Nathalie Lorson, is more than just ambrox, the chief impression is that of the musky-woody note. Initially, bright and fizzy, the composition takes a dry woody direction, which it maintains throughout its development. As one might expect from an ambrox, it is quite tenacious! The effect is pleasant, but not more than that. I find it one-dimensional and flat, much like I found Escentric 02. It is just as well, since Another 13 is a limited edition fragrance available only from a few select places.

Frankly, if one would like to experience ambrox at its best, I would rather suggest Frederic Malle Géranium pour Monsieur, Lancôme Mille et Une Rose, or Robert Piguet Calypso. Juliette has a Gun Calamity J also features ambrox quite successfully, weaving it into a woody oriental accord laced with patchouli. All of these fragrances show how ambrox as a supporting back note can create a luminous amber effect. To me, it is far more exciting than its simple alcoholic solution.

Le Labo Another 13 includes notes of ambrox, citrus, apple, pear, and ambrette seeds. It is a limited edition, with only 500 bottles produced, and it is available at Le Labo, Barney’s, Colette, and Liberty.

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13 Comments

  • Carla: Thank you for suggesting other scents with ambrox. I’m curious to try Escentric 02 and Not a Perfume, just to know what it smells like. (I thought Calamity J was nice, but just nice.) I don’t mind that companies are selling these simple creations at high prices. Those who buy think they’re worth the money… November 1, 2010 at 3:22am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Carla, ambrox is definitely an interesting material, and it is great to smell it in isolation. Instead of these pricey one note fragrances, I wish more companies would make kits with various aroma materials that fragrance lovers could use to educate themselves about notes. In the early days of my fragrance education, I had such a kit from Givaudan perfumery school, and it was amazing. I really learned a lot using it. November 1, 2010 at 10:04am Reply

  • Sveta: Not a Perfume doesn’t sound interesting to me, but Another 13 made me curious. What do ambrette seeds smell like? November 1, 2010 at 2:50pm Reply

  • Carla: Yes, a kit! I’ve been meaning to look into something like that. November 1, 2010 at 4:29pm Reply

  • Mark C: The idea of an olfactive kit sounds good! It would be great to have one kit for naturals and one for synthetics. November 1, 2010 at 4:53pm Reply

  • Kristen: Go to Perfumer’s Apprentice online and buy a kit or individual aromachemicals and naturals in small and large amounts and have fun testing or get into composing yourself! November 2, 2010 at 1:54pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Sveta, it smells fruity-musky, iris-like, cool and slightly mineral. Very interesting note. November 2, 2010 at 2:07pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Carla, I know that osmoz has some of these kits. I have not tried them, but they seem interesting.
    http://shop.osmoz.com/ November 2, 2010 at 2:08pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mark, before I started my training, I used to purchase small samples of raw materials from various sites, and while it was definitely useful, it was rather expensive in the long run (and the quality was not always great, as I have discovered later.) Still, it is an option. November 2, 2010 at 2:09pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kristen, I’ve heard of it, but I am not familiar with their products. Have you tried them yourself? November 2, 2010 at 2:13pm Reply

  • Kristen: BdJ–I have purchased maybe 70+ of the small sizes from her, and had fun sniffing the individual aromachemicals and playing around with mixing up blends. I have been very happy with the shipping and service.
    I am a happy customer (not affiliated with PA)! November 2, 2010 at 2:42pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kristen, sounds interesting! I might buy a few to see what they are like, because I always get asked about fragrance kits, and there are so few I can recommend off the top of my head that are available to general public. Thank you again. November 2, 2010 at 3:02pm Reply

  • marco ceravolo: I think Le Labo Another 13 and Juliette has a gun Not a perfume are different: the first one seems to contain a mix of similar aromachemicals like Ambroxan, Cedramber, Ambrocenide, etc.., the second one, along with LesNez L’antimatiere, contains a heavy amount of Ambrox DL (a.k.a Cetalox, Ambrox Super, etc..), which smells quite different from Ambroxan, although the names are easy to be mixed up. Ambrox DL is clearly detectable in Voyage d’Hermès, Eau de Gentiane blanc, Eau de Narcisse bleu, and many more. August 3, 2013 at 6:01pm Reply

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