Armani Prive Ambre d’Orient : Fragrance Review


The Arabian Tales still retain perfumery under their spell… L’Artisan Traversée du Bosphore took us on a journey to Ottoman era Istanbul. By Kilian Rose Oud suggested the heavily embroidered silks and glittering gold bangles of an Indian wedding. Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady transformed English roses into a Moorish garden. Even ordinarily minimalist Diptyque presented Eau Duelle as a silver foil decorated sweetmeat. Now, we can add three new chapters to the 1001 Nights with a trio from Armani Privé La Collection des Mille et une Nuits: Ambre d’Orient, Oud Royal and Rose d’Arabie.


Ambre d’Orient was created by Firmenich perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin, who is also responsible for the aforementioned Eau Duelle, Thierry Mugler Womanity as well as two terrific (though now discontinued) L’Occitane fragrances, Amber and Cinnamon Orange.

Ambre d’Orient takes the classical amber theme by constructing the amber accord around labdanum, traditional oriental balsamic notes and vanilla. The main point of difference is a sheer, fruity rose-jasmine accord, which gives the composition a playful, lively character. Herbal and incense accents further dispel the opaque richness of amber; while patchouli—another classical oriental note—gives a warm, glowing sensation to the vanilla and woods in the drydown.

Despite a lush dose of vanilla, Ambre d’Orient does not become cloying. In fact, for such a rich and bold oriental, it does not have the languorous heft of some fragrances in this genre. The fragrance clings to the skin like the softest of cashmeres, with enough sillage to be noticed. The closest equivalents would be Annick Goutal Ambre Fétiche and Tom Ford Amber Absolute; although by contrast, Ambre d’Orient is lighter and more radiant. It is a well-crafted, high-quality fragrance, but be forewarned, being Armani Privé, Ambre d’Orient is priced quite luxuriously!

Armani Privé Ambre d’Orient (fragrance family: oriental) includes notes of bergamot, thyme, incense, geranium, patchouli, oud, sandalwood, vanilla. Armani Privé fragrances are available from Saks5thAvenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York.

Photograph © Vera, all rights reserved.



  • Sveta: My word, V! That photo is stunning! I clicked on it and couldn’t take my eyes off it. Now it is my screensaver. Lovely review too, there can never too much ambre for me. :-)) Is it in Saks already? December 8, 2010 at 10:04am Reply

  • Olfactoria: Ambre Fetiche has a very medicinal smell for me, is the Armani similar in that respect, or what made you liken those two? Armani Prive has some interesting fragrances in its line up, thanks for reminding me to go through my samples of older ones again. December 8, 2010 at 6:34am Reply

  • Victoria: Good morning (well, it must be day for you!) 🙂 The reason I draw the parallel is because both Ambre Fetiche and Ambre d’Orient are build with the same amber accord–a classical warm, rich, sweet, balsamic amber. Out of the two, Ambre Fetiche is more traditional, while Ambre d’Orient is crisper and airier(relatively speaking). I do not notice the same medicinal note in it. December 8, 2010 at 9:51am Reply

  • Victoria: Sveta, I know, I love Vera’s work!
    I was told at Saks in August that they will be receiving the collection in the fall, but I have not been back to check. My friend who shared the samples with me bought her either from Selfridges or Harrod’s back in the summer. It was an exclusive back then, but now the fragrances are on a wider distribution. They are nice, but quite expensive, so I did not research this further. My decants will suffice for now. December 8, 2010 at 10:29am Reply

  • Marina: I wonder when and if the oud bandwagon will stop rolling (not that it should, but I am just curious). Looking forward to Avon Oud and BBW Oud etc :))) December 8, 2010 at 10:38am Reply

  • Victoria: Well, you said it… I checked my list, and Bath & Body Works has oud in their Twilight Wood and in Citron! And Avon included it in Uomo and Tomorrow for Men. So, I believe that we have gone as far with this trend as we could. December 8, 2010 at 10:44am Reply

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