amber scents: 40 posts

Top 10 Amber Fragrances for Fall

Amber perfumes are some of the most popular choices for cool weather, and today Patricia explores various options, from light to dark, from simple to complex.

Ambers are crowd pleasers, the Golden Retrievers of the perfume world, ready to encompass you with a warm, furry greeting and a wag of the metaphorical tail. Granted, some are easier to love than others, and there is always someone who would rather not, but generally speaking the amber aims to please. Here are some of my favorites.

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Amber for Beginners

My “starter” amber fragrance was the easy-to-wear L’Eau Ambrée by Prada.  With mandarin, rose, and jasmine to sweeten the way, I happily wore it until the patchouli drydown started to grate on me. I graduated to the warm and beautiful L’Ambre des Merveilles by Hermès, and its sweet caramel vanilla seems perfect for the cooler months. It reminds me of Prada Candy, but I much prefer its greater complexity. Every September I reach for the stunning starry bottle turned on its side.

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Hermes L’Ambre des Merveilles : Perfume Review

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One autumn afternoon as I was walking home through a park and wading slowly through the piles of golden leaves, I wondered if there is a perfume in my collection that could match this serene and yet exhilarating atmosphere. Of course, I have my beloved Guerlain Mitsouko and Chanel Bois des Iles, which are some of the most quintessentially autumnal scents, but Mitsouko is too damp and plush, while Bois des Iles is too austere and cool. I wanted a perfume that smelled sunlit and bright, warm and bracing, with a hint of nutty sweetness from burnished leaves.

When I smelled Hermès L’Ambre des Merveilles after one such walk, I discovered with a surprise that it captured part of my golden autumnal fantasy. It’s a fragrance of woods, amber and vanilla, but L’Ambre des Merveilles avoids heavy sweetness and instead has plenty of luminosity. You can almost see the sun glittering on the crimson maple leaves as you smell it.

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Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Ambre Dore and Other New Amber Fragrances

Note: I’ve been meaning to let you know that the Long Lost Favorite Perfume series has been forced on a vacation due to my move. Most of my vintage samples are still waiting their shipment to my new home, so once they arrive, I will resume the series.

Since I posted about Hermès L’Ambre des Merveilles yesterday, I realized that it’s going to join a lineup of several other new amber perfumes for fall. Below are a few fragrances that captured my attention.

Maître Parfumeur et Gantier will launch Ambre Doré in August 2012. Created by perfumer Frederic Stalin, it’s described as “classical and mysterious.” The notes will include geranium, clary sage, styrax, oud, ambergris, coriander, saffron, myrrh, sandalwood, and vetiver. “The choice of amber was not by accident, as in this olfactive mix the oud needs to perform as is hoped for; control its strength and respect its role to bring harmony to the formula.” Eau de Parfum will retail for $120. Continue reading →

Christian Dior Oud Ispahan : Perfume Review

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There are some varieties of rose that smell fresh and delicate at first and then reveal a piquant, peppery bite. You pull away from the blossom with a start, the tingling sensation still in your nose and can’t help yourself leaning in for another inhale. My first impression of Oud Ispahan, a new addition to Christian Dior’s La Collection Privée, was similar—the compelling sparkle of the top note contrasted dramatically with the darkness of patchouli and oud.

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Schiaparelli Shocking : Vintage and Modern Perfume Review

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

The Muse

Elsa Schiaparelli was a designer who set lasting trends in fashion with her richly embroidered jackets, shoe shaped hats and lobster dresses, but I discovered her whimsical side through Shocking, a perfume she released in 1937. Shocking was a dazzling collaboration between Schiap, as she was known, Jean Carles, who created the perfume, and the Surrealist artists Marcel Vertes and Salvador Dali through whose drawings the sultry fragrance came to life.

This month, the Metropolitan Museum in New York opened the exhibit “Schiaparelli & Prada, Impossible Conversations.” Running until August 19th, the collection explores the work of two designers in a compare-and-contrast setting. It was the first time I’ve seen Schiaparelli’s work close up, and I was mesmerized. The clothes weren’t simply beautiful; they offered a glimpse into the designer’s vibrant imagination.

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Latest Comments

  • katherine x in Balmain Ivoire Perfume Giveaway: Tammy, A few lovely sweet florals are: Paris (Balenciaga) – sweet violets; Gardenia Extraordinaire (Van Cleef & Arpels); Beige (Chanel); second Baiser Vole (Cartier) -lily; Carnal Flower (Malle) -Tuberose; Fracas… April 30, 2017 at 11:04am

  • Madelyn E in Balmain Ivoire Perfume Giveaway: Oh thank you so very much for your generous giveaway ! Sweet florals : Estée Lauder – Modern Muse , White Linen , Beautiful , Sisley : Soir de Lune… April 29, 2017 at 7:29pm

  • Christine Corretti in Balmain Ivoire Perfume Giveaway: I would suggest the semi-sweet floral ‘L’Interdit’ by Guerlain and Hanae Mori’s ‘Butterfly’ (the original). Even sweeter florals: Nest’s ‘Midnight Fleur’ Jo Malone ‘Nectarine Blossom and Honey’ email contact is… April 29, 2017 at 7:22pm

  • Karen A in Balmain Ivoire Perfume Giveaway: What a generous giveaway! Please do not enter me, but I, too, wanted to add some suggestions. These Guerlains are beautiful sweet florals, French Kiss, Nuit D’amour, and Le 68.… April 29, 2017 at 6:43pm

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