Perfume Directory

Ambush (original) (1955)
by Dana


Ambush (original) information

Year of Launch1955
Average Rating
(based on 25 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerJean Carles
Parent CompanyPatriarch Partners > Dana Classics

About Ambush (original)

Ambush (original) is a feminine perfume by Dana. The scent was launched in 1955 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Jean Carles

Ambush (original) fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Ambush (original)

Jack, your comments on Ambush are interesting, especially your list of ingredients.
I submit that Ambush is a (slightly mixed up) floral chypre. Using the Basenotes list of notes, oakmoss is a mid-note, not a base note, and patchouli is the base. Maybe to help counteract all the sweetness. Make no mistake, the original Ambush is very sweet!
It was my first scent that I wore when I was 13, in cologne form, of course. Women wore Tabu, girls wore
As far as the old Canoe-Ambush debate, yeah, we were talking about it in the sixties. We all tried Canoe on, to compare, but none of us wanted to wear it.
Dana now calls Canoe a classic fougere, but lists musk in the base. Is this really a" classic" fougere?
There are some similarities in scent, probably from the citrus top notes, and the patchouli base, but Canoe doesn't have the heavy floral heart that Ambush has. My crowd thought Canoe smelled like aftershave, and Ambush was girly.
So, Ambush doesn't seem fougere to me at all, I lived in its' heady and heavy florals for a few years. I do agree that there was carnation in there also.
09th July, 2014
I agree with Mysticman that this is very close to Dana's CANOE - like that 1936 classic, this is a fougere with pronounced lavender and bergamot notes. Odd that Dana would put this formula out with a new name and attempt to lure feminine buyers twenty years after Canoe's debut . It may be that Canoe was such a hit and more with men than with women, that Dana wanted to regain the lost lady audience.

It still doesn't seem right for women - still seems to me that fougeres belong with men alone. One type of scent that is never unisex. Still one of the great fougere formulas, regardless of what Dana does with it.

Barbara Herman's note breakdown follows:

Top - Lavender, Bergamot, Lemon, Clary Sage
Heart - Geranium, Rose, Carnation
Base - Vanilla, Heliotrope, Tonka, Sandalwood

First Edit- The more I smell this, the more I detect an anise/tarragon heart that is not mentioned in the ingredients. However, this does not take it out of the fougere category, just further shares the ever-evolving note experience.

Second Edit - There is a pronounced caraway seed note when initially applied as the bottle is near to empty. Interesting.
29th April, 2014 (last edited: 25th November, 2014)
Almost identical to Dana's Canoe for men (which actually started as a feminine scent), but in a somewhat deeper and richer formulation. The topnotes of citrus, lavender and heliotrope are distinctive. It's floral, fresh, light and moody all at once, and like Canoe, seems better suited to foggy or even rainy weather than to summer sunshine.

This is definitely a product of a simpler time, and evokes the era of the late 50's and 60's. Too bad it's not sill available to allow modern folks a chance to experience one of the classics of another era.
20th December, 2013
I really liked Dana's Tabu for many years in spite of its potency.

However, when I tried Ambush, the tangle between sweetness & patchouli didn't work for me....There seems to be a lingering sweetness in both Ambush & Canoe that is more than I want.
01st July, 2012
I love Ambush and have for years. My aunt introduced me to Ambush when I was 13 or 14 and I have loved it since. I would give anything to have the old Ambush back or to find someone who could make this scent for me. I still have some I am hanging on to on the off chance that I can someday find someone who can duplicate this scent for me.
23rd April, 2010
When I heard they'd changed the Ambush formula, I immediately went out and bought a bottle of the old formula. Like the other reviewers, this is the smell of my mom in the 1970s. I held on to it for a while for sentimental reasons, but now I find I really enjoy it on its own merits. There's a sweet powdery smell to it, a little like Love's Baby Soft. Now I'm cautiously rationing it out to make it last.
08th April, 2009

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