Friday, February 26, 2010

Shades of gold displayed naturally.

Balmain Ambre Gris

Hello, dear readers. Long time, no talk. I’d have posted this earlier today, but...

...I took a nap.

Yep, sorry. Totally passed out. Had to get up early to take my friends Becca and Steven to the airport so they could go to Becca’s sister’s bat mitzvah, and by this afternoon, I was tired.

Then there was a knock at the door. Since I live on campus, and David is the first line of defense in any problem any student could be having, really, they knock all the time. In this particular case, it was two guys who were locked out of the campus co-op, which we live above, and were looking for David to let them in. When I opened the door, my Papaya made a run for it as she often does, and the two young men standing there grabbed her for me. When they handed her back to me, I was immediately slapped in the face with….stale cigarette smell.

Oh. Em. Gee.

Having not been around a smoker of extremely cheap cigarettes since I got into perfume two years ago, let me tell you – THAT IS NOT A PLEASANT SMELL. Wow. I never enjoyed the smell of stale cigarette smoke, but now? Yick. I may love many tobacco scents, but the actual smell of cigarettes? Ruined by all the chemicals added to make them more addictive I’d wager. Once upon a time, as someone who very rarely was a social smoker (like I went through a pack every 3-4 months because I only smoked at shows where I would have been second-hand smoking anyway), I at least had the good sense to smoke Nat Sherman MCDs, which back then cost $5.50 a pack ($11.65 now) and I had to drive across town to purchase. So let me tell you that when I say here that I think a particular scent smells like the sweet smell of wet tobacco or the plume of smoke rising from a long cigarette holder, know that I do NOT mean the wet dog and ash smell I associated with these boys tonight.

Moving on.

I got a package full of lovely samples today from the always lovely Ines, so I thought I’d share one of the scents I got today.

Here is what Luckyscent has to say about Balmain Ambre Gris:
We have been longing to have a bottle of this ever since we saw a magazine article featuring the uber-glam disco ball topper. Happily, we love the juice just as much. The opening is unexpectedly fruity and sweet, with a hint of salty ocean breeze, and just when we start wondering if we might be headed for a pina colada, velvety woods and exotic spices insinuate their way into the mix, and the fragrance becomes rich and luxurious and warm. There is an ever so discreet purr of animalic muskiness, and the immortelle adds an autumnal sweetness to the cedary woods– but there is also a surprising airiness from the tuberose that makes this a definite year rounder of a scent. The elements are so smoothly blended that it’s difficult to pick out notes – but the overall feeling is elegant, sophisticated and delightfully easy to wear. This isn’t a fragrance that is going to jump out at you and say “wear me to a gala!” This is an everyday sort of scent: soft-spoken enough for the office, lovely enough for a date night, distinctive enough to stand out from the masses without making a big fuss about it. Like that perfect cashmere cardigan – it goes anywhere and everywhere and you can’t imagine how you ever got along without it. Effortlessly beautiful.

Notes: Pink pepper, cinnamon, tuberose, immortelle, myrrh, smoky gaïac wood, benzoin, white musks, ambergris
The immediate impression I get is sweetly spicy. I strongly get cinnamon and myrrh but underneath that I definitely get the animalistic notes straining through. It’s very strongly ambery, reminding my of my middle school best friend Shannon’s penchant for burning amber incense all the time, so her room always vaguely smelled of it. It stays pretty consistent throughout and has decently large sillage, so it’s fairly strong.

I want to say more about this, but I’m fairly new to animalistic scents as an area of perfumery, so I don’t know what else to tell you. This reminds me a little of Lorenzo Villoresi Alamut, but this is less salty and more sweet. It has a little bit of tobacco and menthol in my nose, but I could be imagining that since I don’t see where it is coming from based on the notes listed. It doesn’t wow me, but it isn’t and, either.

You can buy 100ml of Ambre Gris for $135 from Luckyscent, though I spotted the same size bottle around the internet in various places for less than $25. And for $25, this is a nice buy that, trust me, if you decanted half the bottle and gave it away, it would still last you forever. Also, that bottle is adorable. I really love the disco ball top!

"This phenomenon, I had to put it in a song
And it goes like...
Whoa, amber is the color of your energy..."

- "Amber," 311 (You can listen to the song here)

Want more reviews? Try...
~ A review from I Smell, Therefore I am
~ A review from The Non-Blonde
~ A review from Perfume-Smellin’ Things
~ A review from One Thousand Scents
~ A review from The Scented Salmander


Ines said...

Diana, I still don't know what to think of it. It was more of an impulse buy after quite a long stay in a store after I realized something great wafting from my arm was it. And then, at home I just couldn't reproduce the effect. :)
There was a recent review at Perfume smelling things (I'm not sure by who) and it said that you need to give time (like half an hour or more) before it turns into a comfort smelling something.
I definitely didn't pay 135$ for it, quite the oposite, I was surprised how cheap it was (it was in Paris though).

The Left Coast Nose said...

It sounds really groovy-- like something I'd like a whole lot. Never heard of it before today. Thanks!

Dona said...

ha i thought the cigarettes were chocolate. me and my adolescent mind.