Perfume Directory

Ambre Sultan (1993)
by Serge Lutens

Ambre Sultan information

Year of Launch1993
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 817 votes)

People and companies

HouseSerge Lutens
PerfumerChristopher Sheldrake
Parent CompanyShiseido

About Ambre Sultan

Ambre Sultan is a shared / unisex perfume by Serge Lutens. The scent was launched in 1993 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Christopher Sheldrake

Ambre Sultan fragrance notes

Reviews of Ambre Sultan

The first spray of this was a fantastic array of spices and resins and just a hint of something so familiar and personal, something almost sub-conscious, from my childhood. I couldn't really concentrate on breaking the fragrance down because of it, I just had to keep sniffing. It was great!

This is one of those fragrances that plays all kinds of tricks. I've learned to spray just my wrists when I'm first testing a fragrance so that I can get an idea of what it smells like to someone at arms-length from me. This fragrance smells like one thing up close when your nose is buried in your wrist and a completely different thing when a bit of the scent wafts up from my wrists, and I realized that the great spicy accord is the one I smell right up close but the one wafting up from my wrists at arms-length was the very familiar accord from my childhood, and as it got stronger, it hit me what that smell was: play-doh. Unmistakable, as true as if I had just opened one of those little yellow plastic tubs with the red lids. This only gets stronger as the heart notes continue. I've only seen a couple of reviewers here mention the play-doh note and only a couple over on the "other" fragrance review site so it seems to be a skin chemistry thing which is too bad because my bright-eyed excitement over how the scent opened turned into disappointment at smelling like I rolled around in a child's art classroom.

That being said, the scent does seem well-blended and well-put-together and is very intriguing to me from an artistic point of view. The fragrance is like vivid imagery in a way that most are not. This seems to be a regular thing for the SL line since most of them bring images and feelings directly into my mind and have some artistic merit. As for actually wearin this though, I am unlikely to wear it again unless I find myself in the highly improbable scenario that I'm meeting someone whom I need to impress by impersonating a children's teacher.
02nd March, 2015
I'm a relative noob, here....but I gotta say this is absolutely amazing. I'm in love with Iris Silver Mist, and thought that was THE ONE! It may still be, but this permeates my skin and wafts gently around me for hours...it's wonderful. The Amber wrapped in a subtle sweetness is the kicker. So far, I would put this just (barely) below L'air du desert marocain...and Ava Luxe Madame X, which has sadly, been discontinued. This is truly amazing. Im so glad I bought an FB.
10th February, 2015
Didn't take long to remember what AS smelled like. AMBRE RUSSE hit me after about 10 minutes of applying. This stuff is great. The first few minutes gave me the impression that a mistake was made purchasing AS. That impression didn't last long. You get that skankiness in the initial spray.Other than Musc Ravageur, this fragrance turns from horrible to great in a matter of minutes. You don't have to wait until the drydown to get this effect though. 8.5/10
16th September, 2014
Faultless perfect amber goodness.

Nothing needs to be added or tweaked in neither smell nor performance for me. No 'i wish', No 'if only'. Just perfect.

A beautiful blend of sweet resins and herbal aromatic reinforcements laying on a golden silky bed of amber and vanilla.

Bay leaf and myrrh are the middle name here and are key components to the uniqueness of this beauty.

It's funny the color of the juice is orange because that's how i exactly envision the smell of this scent: Sunkissed sweet resins melting and gently swirling in a form of orange/golden liquid on my skin.

Who needs gourmands when you got this ?
02nd August, 2014
Strong Amber, smokey and super super dry and very sweet. This one is pretty much linear but is very challenging expectially at the beginning. It's name applies to what it is, Amber (or the king of ambers if you will) and this is about as amber as you can get. Can come off as too mature (I see my grandmother wearing this). For me it's neutral but I still rate this a 4 out of star only because it's done so well as expected from this house and its what I expected. Amber fans may find this the holy grail for pure amber based frags.
27th June, 2014
Genre: Oriental

Ambre Sultan goes onto my skin as a chaotic miasma that manages to be excessively sour, sickly sweet, and bitter, all at the same time. I attribute this assault on the nostrils to the confluence of sharp, bitter oregano and the trademark Sheldrake/Lutens sweet amber accord. The two come at each other as mighty waves and collide with a titanic crash.

The first few times I tried Ambre Sultan I was unable to endure this cacophony. Over the subsequent wearings I persevered long enough to enjoy the dusky, lascivious spiced amber accord at Ambre Sultanís heart and the luscious sweet labdanum drydown, but wasnít convinced that they were worth waiting for. It took several more widely spaced attempts before I decided that they were. My ultimate appreciation of Ambre Sultan is based on my understanding of why that unsympathetic opening may be necessary.

For what itís worth, hereís my theory: Like so many of the Serge Lutens oriental fragrances, Ambre Sultan flirts with being insufferably sweet. Unlike some of the others, it avoids plunging into a powdery-syrupy quagmire. How? I attribute Ambre Sultanís success to the balancing influence of its sharp herbal and spice components. These hard-edged savory notes offset the amberís potential to cloy at the nostrils. However, in order to endure and yield this effect at the heart of the scent, the relatively volatile sharp notes must be used in great concentration. The end result is a unique and beautifully balanced heart accord, but at the price of a sharp and confrontational opening. Given Serge Lutensís penchant for provocative openings, this price seems very much in line.

Patience with Ambre Sultan yields exceptional rewards, thanks to the scentís enormous tenacity. For that first half an hour of confusion, I get as much as twelve hours of libido enhancing ambery goodness. The dry amber skin scent persists for even longer. Itís no surprise that such a long lasting fragrance is also very potent. I find Ambre Sultan overbearing and difficult to wear in high temperatures, and prefer to use it in controlled doses in any case. Besides strong projection, Ambre Sultan leaves a trail of abundant sillage, establishing an olfactory aura around its wearer.

Are those top notes challenging? Yes. But Ambre Sultan remains a giant among amber scents. The only amber Iíve found that can hope to rival it is the very different, and less confrontational Ambre Precieux from Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier.
08th June, 2014

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