So I got one of the travel bottles, just to see what the buzz was, and after wearing it for 5 days straight…well…it became hard to ignore the fact that I never wear anything for 5 days straight.
It's Amber of course, and there are those who are not fans of amber. But if you are one who likes it, and likes it fairly straight-up, it won't hurt to pay attention to the uniformly positive ratings this wonderful fragrance garnered here.
The purring, golden part of Shalimar without the animalic "dangly" bits :-)
I love Shalimar, and this has a similar effect in that it makes my eyes roll back in my head with sheer pleasure at its sensual character. It is not anywhere as dirty as Shalimar, and lacks the leathery, stormy, baby diaper parts that make Shalimar so interesting. But I have the feeling that nine out of ten people in my vicinity would rather than I smell like Ambre 114 instead. Sometimes, that is reason enough. Not everyone likes complicated smells. After all, it took me a full two weeks of wearing Shalimar every day before I could claim to love it or even bear it, so can you imagine what an innocent bystander (i.e., those in our social/family circle who are not into perfumes) might think? This perfume has the advantage of being perfectly attractive even to people who don't think about perfume -it is instantly legible and automatically liked, like a beautiful girl who turns up to a boring party peopled exclusively by bored men.
And I like it too! I hope that comes across. I love it, even. At the start, there is a hit of smooth, deep, resinous amber, creating a sort of come hither trail that you can imagine streaming out in your wake. It is peppered with some herbes de provence, providing a little bit of ballast to the smooth roundness, but it is just a smattering, not a full handful of herbs.
The level of comfort and attraction I experienced with this fragrance was immediate. It is sweet, but not cloyingly so. It is also not gourmand, to my nose at least. Something can be sweet and creamy without being edible, you know, and this is a good example (L'Heure Bleue is another - its anisic pastry smell is almost edible but then just instinctively you know that you wouldn't want to put it in your mouth).
Soapy, bright, balsamic amber. More resinous, sweet and soothing comparing to other amber fragrances, less rich and exotic. Not among the best ones, but still pretty good. Beautiful dark drydown, despite being quite much subtle.
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)
I picked up a dirt-cheap travel-size bottle of Ambre 114 when a local store stopped carrying Histoire de Parfums last year and sold them off at a huge discount. It was a random choice, but it really paid off, because it's become one of my favorite scents.
It kicks off like a classic powdery old-fashioned amber perfume, but very quickly gets overtaken by a fantastic smoky sandalwood. If you can imagine the legendary Santal Noble with amber in the background and a puff of Iso E Super smoke to modernize it, that's pretty close to what Ambre 114 smells like on me, but I don't think that description makes it sound as great as it actually smells. To be frank, the benzoin in the amber gives it a slightly powdery vibe which may scare away newbies, but a whiff of this under a sweater on a cold day is pure bliss.
Oh, and it's got perfect luxury concentration and lasts forever because it's mostly basenotes. 5 stars all the way.
Really like this one. Amber done right. Has that vanilla flavoring vibe in it (not too much though). It is not cloying at all, and is wearabe for any occassion IMO. If you enjoy vanilla or gourmands, you should like this one. I will be purchasing a bottle of this one.