Extremely natural, clear lavender opening. One of the best I've smelled. It's not piercing or sharp as some lavenders tend to be when presented in a colder, more soapy format - or when ingredient quality leaves something to be desired. This is a life-like, three dimensional lavender.
The closest relative here (and really, throughout) is Caron Pour Un Homme...but Santa Maria Novella seems much simpler and drier to me. The Caron is a shape-shifter, sometimes augmenting the lavender, sometimes smelling quite herbal and spiky, sometimes too high on the vanilla cream side. The SMN is more predictable - maybe slightly less interesting, but something I'm more likely to reach for.
The amber drydown is of the dusty, almost mineralic sort that's easy to wear in any weather, and on any occasion. The overall impression basically formal and traditional - filtered through a minimalist, elegant, modern prism that really highlights the high quality on display here. Great stuff, and a favorite of mine in both the amber and lavender categories.
19th October, 2016 (last edited: 21st November, 2016)
First off, the gender classification of this fragrance is utterly wrong. Lavanda Ambrata is as unisex as they come.
The opening of Lavanda Ambrata is similar to that of Caron's pour un Homme, with the smell of high quality lavender oil prominent to my nose. Where Caron went with vanilla with a musk base, Santa Maria Novella paired the lavender with only amber and not much else. The name of the fragrance seems to be the ingredient list as well. From beginning to (the quite long) end, both lavender and amber are equally balanced. Longevity and projection are impressive on my skin.
I am surprised that LA is not discussed more in the fragrance boards. Such must be it's under-the-radar characteristic. Lovers of Caron's Pour un Homme should pay LA some attention.
Beautiful fragrance, IMO.
This is an honest, old-school lavender scent. The lavender top notes are powerful, accurate, intense and quite beautiful.
The dry-down gets fairly sweet, floral, powdery, and a touch vanillan. Thus I lose interest. Even a bit fusty, in my opinion.
But that top note was amazing.
"Lavanda Ambrata", is a great lavender with a sweet amber base note which makes it more pleasant to wear during the day than "Imperial Lavender", a dry lavender water which is better for a non-fragrance day or to perfume an handkerchief. I particularly enjoy "Lavanda ambrata" on the countryside where a more sophisticated fragrance would be inappropriate. It could remind you "Pour un Homme" by Caron.
If you love Lanvender, then you might love this, BUT,, it feels like you just put on some straight lavender oil. You might as well dilute some lavender oil and put it on. Not one of SMNs best. And it does not last long, at least not on my skin. I say move on to another Lavender frag.
Not to be mistaken with the low-quality fragrance of the same name by Jo Malone, this is what Amber/Lavender should be (and what I had hoped from the JM version). The Jo Malone version feature a briefly lived lavender note that is piercing, and dies off quickly leaving an amber base that lasts for about an hour.
SM Novella figured out how to actually combine amber and lavender such that both notes persist throughout the entire life of the fragrance. One experiences both the sharpness of lavender and sweetness of amber together. As with other SMN fragrances, this is a simple accord of high quality, and the name is what you get. This accord lasts through the base, and at times amber is more prominent, and at times lavender, but there is never a point at which you can't detect both.
From what I've learned about SMN, it is a very old, exclusive house that only recently began exporting. The high price reflects the quality of the materials used, and the bottles themselves are from a niche italian glass manufacturer that can be reused.