A dry, ephemeral, elusive, vaguely aqueous, ostensibly smoky/incensey (ostensibly??) and finally powdery amber flanked by opium-like accents. Franky I've tested in past opium based essences (mostly appointed in order to deodorize and flavor the rooms "ambiences") and I detect in here that particular "translucency", something vaguely "suspended" conjuring me partially a sort of "Serge Noir" crepuscular ghostly atmosphere. Profumum Roma Fiore d'Ambra reports me immediately on mind also Diptyque Eau Duelle since I see in here an amber treatment close to the (mostly) vanillic treatment we detect in the over mentioned concoction (something rare, fluidy, aromatic, translucent, liquid). A touch of spicy dark tea and cardamom too? The opium-amber combo is under my nose something across powdery woods, molecular dry spices (cloves, pepper), mould, warm talc, incense and sticky cannabis. I finally detect a more than vague il Profvmo Black Dianthus's floral-vintage mystic atmosphere and I see around that somebody detects a carnation-like presence around (probably apparently elicited too by synthetic opium). Ghosts swift elusively for rooms of the crepuscular old parisian building in the "gray-green" hour heralding the upcoming dawn. In conclusion I detect the same Eau Duelle's aura of indecipherable, nebulous, diaphanous mystery. Stout sillage and more than appreciable lasting powder on my skin. Fully endorsed. Thumbs up.
Ok. Why am I all alone on this? Doesn't anyone else get a sharp green petitgrain/citrus opening similar to Ma Griffe? And this is actually kind of persistent to me. No one else sees an aldehyde sparkle early on?
A half hour in, a salty note is becoming more prominent, and a bit of creamy base, but nothing like the unctuous caramel of Ambra Aurea. I'm imagining a breezy Provençal hillside orange orchard (maybe I should say Provincia di Roma,) set about with herbs and flowers, fresh and and close enough to the sea to get some salt air. Carnation, geranium, tarragon, basil, black pepper, make the mix floral-spicy rather than savory-spicy.
Apparently I have led an unadventurous life, so I cannot identify whether any of the promised opium is present. Maybe I can smell poppy seeds if I scrunch up my mind's eye.
Neither have I ever smelled genuine ambergris. I find a lot of confusing references to amber, the fossilized sap, and amber, the pickled whale excrescence. Despite protestations to the contrary, there does not seem to be agreement among perfume marketers regarding which is which. In the case of Fiore d'Ambra, I do not get the sweet vanillic notes of many ambers, and the salty, somewhat animalic notes I do find make me think more of the descriptions I have read of whale ambergris.
I have sampled only two Profumum Roma fragrances, and they are very far removed from the more commonplace French-type perfumes I am familiar with. I do find them both quite elegant and skillfully blended, FdA more so than AA, because of FdA's counterpoints of sharp-hespiridic-floral-spicy balanced against salty-animalic-creamy. For guidance in deciphering Italian perfumes, I must recommend you to the highly articulate Darvant. For my part, I recommend experiencing Fiore d'Ambra.
16th June, 2014 (last edited: 25th June, 2014)
As the name goes, the opening is in fact "floral and ambery", with an earthy and slightly dark-mossy twist. The flowers are dense and narcotic, heavy and carnal – like tuberose, narcissus, gardenia, that class of sensual and rich flowers. Slight camphor base, well blended with the warm, dusty and velvety sweetness of the amber accord. I also smell quite clearly a salty-aldehydes note which enriches and amplifies the blend. Herbal notes, spices (cumin, cloves), perhaps a hint of tobacco complete the pot-pourri. Dense and elegant, not that original, a bit light too, but pleasant. On the drydown it also emerges a breezy, almost minty note, then evolving into a balsamic, herbaceous-medicinal accord, always amber-warm too, coming close again to Ambre Sultan (like Ambra Aurea), but without "that something", that "plus" it would need to actually stand close to that. Not bad, nicely done, but a bit mute to me.
A beautifully structured amber with heady dose of opium.
It's the opium that makes this work as well as it does, merging with the amber effortlessly and conjuring up a slew of visuals.
The scent opens with a furry plushness akin to L'Ombre Fauve, but the opium soon makes its appearance against a dry amber foundation. Here, the note smells floral and incensey; sweet but not overdone—just dirty enough to generate interest in an otherwise opulent composition. There's a crisp vanilla undercurrent that's held low in the mix, keeping the emphasis on the central notes and allowing the scent to modulate between dry and plush. Beautifully rendered and cozy, this is amber done right.
It sits low on the skin though, so it's clearly designed for more intimate use, but I could see better versatility in this than some of the other amber-bombs available. It's probably the kind of thing that would work as well in the office as it would on a night out, yet it works especially well as a comfort scent. Nowhere near as intense or powerful as some of the bigger ambers, but in terms of composition, Fiore d'Ambra holds its own.
Pros: Plush without being screechy.
Cons: Doesn't project—wears very close to the skin."
At first I was not impressed with the powdery, straight up nature of this amber, but sometimes things can happen in a "development." Within about an hour the powderyness subsides and gives way to a little bit of a luxuriously odd soapy smell and a bare whisper of a sweet leather. I'm sure these are just impressions because I'm not seeing anyone else mention it, nor does the official copy on that website where it can be purchased. Perhaps it's because there is actual ambergris in here, or perhaps it's the opium, as I'm unfamiliar with both of these odors. Whatever it is, it's delicious and occasionally borders on edible, but it never quite gets there. I'm am a bit disappointed with the sillage and longevity, but sometimes that's the way the cookie crumbles with a fragrance.