Jo Malone Amber&Lavender is an interesting fragrance. At the beginning you feel the barber-shop vibe (a bergamot-mint-lavender aromatic accord, actually present throughout) immediately followed by a ostensibly incensey resinous sort of aura. I was almost sure about a frankincense presence for a while (and also now I wonder if a touch is included in the recipe) but I suppose that a resinous-dusty myrrh/cloves accord elicits this almost liturgical prickly effect in the air. I catch in the air myrhh more than (yet present) amber indeed. Anyway I detect a stout patchouli, resinous patterns and a sort of woody (piney) smoky undertone conjuring me for a while the Tom Ford Bois Marocain's woodsy-misty atmosphere (also Durbano Black Tourmaline jumps on mind). A fleeting lily of the valley provides a sort of floral melancholic undertone that counteracts barbershop and misty neutrality. The dry down is virile woodiness, lavender, soft amber and spices (finally drier). A more than decent shadowy concoction unfortunately (in my humble opinion) missing that "quid" to standout.
13th September, 2014 (last edited: 27th September, 2014)
This an amber-lavender scent - JM is usually straightforward in that the title says it all. Not here though, there is a touch bergamot-style freshness present for most of the time, whilst a gentle spice note is present in the drydown. The amber is not very dark or smoky and more on the bright side and on me well balanced with the lavender. The latter is unusually slim and youthful. Projection and silage are good, and - most surprisingly for a JM scent on my skin - longevity is a brilliant seven hours. Whilst great for layering, this fragrance is also one of the most interesting and complex Jo Malone's I have experienced so far.
Pretty straightforward fragrance. Very little sweetness and the lavender carries the fragrance throughout. Projection is average and longevity is average. There's nothing that makes this stand out and when a fragrance is this simple and linear it better have exceptional notes. It doesn't and in the end this becomes an expensive paper weight.
Top: Mint, Bergamot, Lavender
Middle: Clove, Cinnamon, Lily-of-the-valley
Base: Myrrh, Patchouli, Amber
Formerly a bespoke fragrance for Malone's husband, Amber & Lavender is a dry soapy fougere which used to be one of my favorite clean fragrances five or so years ago but now, either due to evolving tastes or a possible reformulation, smells somewhat imbalanced and not very lavendery or ambery. It smells like Cartier's Roadster run over by a truck.
The opening is bright, minty, airy and somewhat astringent. I suspect this is mostly due to a high dose of mint intermingling with an airy effervescent clove note with the french lavender providing only the camphoric and slightly smoky aspects of its less fragrant characteristics. In a formula boasting sharp bright notes such as clove and mint, I would have preferred the denser more fragrant english lavender to provide balance and some lavender persistence. Instead the clove and mint combo further overpower any tinny floral echoes from the lily of the valley note, and drill down further into the basenotes where a bitter myrrh note does the same squashing act on the amber. I was hoping for a warm lavish amber base...instead I get the three stooges shouting at the top of their voices: clove, mint, and myrrh.
A&L is a clean soapy herbal Gendarme-like fragrance. If you are looking for a top notch lavender fragrance, this isn't it. If you are looking for a sensual amber fragrance, this isn't is. Even in the spartan simple-formula Jo Malone catalog A&L struggles to stand out. I would like to know what Malone's husband wears now. I suspect he has moved on for a reason.
SirSlarty and Diamondflame's reviews are the most accurate of this scent, in my opinion.
Amber & Lavender is a comforting fragrance, as stated before by Indie_Guy, and definitely more masculine.
However, it is not very sweet. This is more of an up-front lavender with herbs and an oakmoss base. Clean and green. If you have ever smelled Molton Brown's Active Cassia Body Wash or Body Spray, then this is almost exactly like that. However, this came first, so the Molton Brown would be like this, then. Still, this is a wonderful masculine scent that is warm and comforting with a clean, astringent lavender up front. Lasts a while on me. I have never smelled Esencia Loewe, so I can't comment on the similarities there, but this is a very distinctive and enjoyable smell. However, if we're talking unisex, this is most definitely on the masculine side. This can work in all seasons, although it kind of feels out of place in summer. Don't over-do it - it can be headache inducing. Otherwise, I think this fragrance is fantastic.