Friday, March 5, 2010

50 fragrances in a week + Review of Ambre Russe by Parfum d'Empire

It's been a real hectic week with a lot of smelling and evaluation (over 50) and it is very frustrating that I am unable to make any descriptive mention of them on this blog until the green light but nevertheless, the line up of new fragrances for this year is rather exciting. Keep your eyes (and nose) open for Voyage d'Hermes and Versus. Meanwhile, I received a request to do a review of Parfum d'Empire's Ambre Russe so here it is.

Like the other perfumes of Parfum d'Empire, Ambre Russe is an oriental olfactory time-machine back to Tsaric Russia. The opening reminds me of those whisky filled dark chocolates you buy at airports. It's a strong 'alcoholic' opening that leaves you a bit tipsy, and just as you think that's all, you get slapped face on by a thick cloud of frankincense and dark tea. You'll recognise the amber accord, but before you think - oh amber .. warm, fuzzy, snuggly, comfy, you are wrong. This is serious amber, R(21) amber rated for violence. The perfume remains smokey like a slow-burning cork and warm leather but there's not much going on here except the occasional coriander and cinnamon passing by so don't mind them and that pretty much sums up the fragrance. It is dark, gloomy and heavy, but strangely in a controlled fashion. I find this picture the best description of this fragrance.

This is not something anyone can pull off for you do need the thick jaws, thick wrists, fat fingers and furry chest to make this fragrance work for you, otherwise you will only end up awkwardly strange. Nevertheless, it is great art in a bottle thus is worth a keep. Ambre Russe is created by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato and features notes of rum, incense, coriander, cinnamon, vanilla, samovar tea, amber, honey and leather.

Rating: ****1/2                                                                                                                     image source:

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