Thursday, September 04, 2014

A Tale of Two Ambers: Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens and Ambre by L'Occitane

There was a point in my early perfume lust quests where I was a serious amber aficionado it came directly from a childhood surrounded by the wonderfully crumbly headshop amber perfumes, many people in my family wore it. The truth is that stuff is still wonderful to smell and if you love it keep loving it, I think it is one of those genuine cheap thrills that worth keeping around.

 For years I had a tiny bottle of amber perfume oil bought at some random shop but I grew out of it, associated it with period of disruption in my life, and eventually gave it to young woman I worked with who at the time I think was trying to find something different for herself. As for me and amber we parted ways, it was weird, at one moment it was what I wanted to call my signature, and then well a falling out in the desire to grow up and put some distance between me and childhood loves happened and so amber was put aside. Yet, I was never quite able to trade those bottles out. Last night I was wanting something opposite of abhorrent summer weather and suddently out came my mini bottle of Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens and Ambre by L'Occitane. I think it might be time for me to return to my amber perfumes.

Ambre Sultan and Ambre could not be more opposite in their ideas but at the same time they are still both recognizably amber scents. Ambre Sultan is a dry weathered amber that recalls desert nights and old empires, it use the notes of oregano and bay in such a unique way that it creates one of the more original amber openings, it is arid and recalls mountaintops with windswept Joshua trees. It feels like wearing some sort of epic movie about sultans and power plays.

 L'Occitane's Ambre on the other hand is the story of cozy amber and cream. It is a warm kitchen on a crisp Autumn day where a apple clafouti bakes in the oven with plenty of vanilla and because the cook was feeling creative has thrown a few dry apricots into the batter. It is incredibly smooth and enveloping and strangely un-spiced but rich from the notes of tonka bean and vanilla. There is just a hint of tarry leather in it that always catches me off-guard but eventually leaves I see it as the old leather work glove that has been left in the kitchen.

Try Ambre Sultan if you like Femme by Rochas, Ambre Russe by Parfums d'Empire, Madame X by Ava Luxe, Organza Indecence by Givenchy or Black by Bvlgari.

Try Ambre if you like Ambre Narguile by Hermes, Voile d'Ambre by Yves Rocher, L de Lolita Lempicka, or Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang by Estee Lauder

image: Alonzo King LINES Ballet Dancers

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