Something different from the house of Montale. Blue Amber opens with a sweet yet pleasant bergamot and geranium that quickly fades into a sweet vanilla-amber theme. This is a red berry like amber, with nothing resinous or smokey to be found. As with many of the Montale fragrances that I've tried, I smell the other supporting notes through the dominant note, and in Blue Amber that's the vanilla. I got faint touches of coriander and patchouli underneath the vanilla and amber. I really appreciate the way Montale seems to be able to layer notes this way, without having them smear together or be unidentifiable. I also appreciate the longevity I get from Montale, and with Blue Amber it was an easy 8 hours.
Blue Amber is a good winter fragrance that stands perfectly unisex. I would rate it a Thumbs Up, but not one I think I would add, as I just don't have many occasions to wear this type of scent. Very well done nonetheless.
I'm not sure where the "blue" descriptor comes from, as this strikes me as an amber/vanilla mix that, while not specifically warm, isn't cool or fresh, either. Nonetheless Blue Amber is another great entry by Montale that is starting to show me their versatility, as the only other two fragrances of theirs that I've tried are ouds.
Its dry down comes quickly (any bergamot wore for me were off in 15 minutes) and vanilla emerges as more dominant than the amber through most of its longevity, which is solid. It''s very strong on projection like Black Aoud or Red Aoud, and is very dense and therefore a reasonable value for a higher-priced fragrance. I'm not sure I could pull this off in the summer so I'd tentatively have to classify this as a cold weather day/night option.
7 out of 10
03rd June, 2015 (last edited: 04th June, 2015)
Ambers, and especially vanillic ambers, are the comfort blankets of the perfume world for me, so I have to constantly be on guard against my Pavlovian response to them (basically, sit, roll over, and present tummy for rubbing), otherwise I’d end up with ten bottles of minute variations on the same theme. My response to Blue Amber’s big, dopey play-dough amber is initially the predictable one – I want to roll around in it. Done in the Montale style – rich, slightly synthetic, and none too subtle – it has the potential to be someone’s baby bear porridge of the amber category. Weight-wise, it sits between the sheer woody-rose amber of Histories de Parfums’ Ambre 114 and the heavier, more aromatic Ambre Precieux by MPG. Blue Amber is nicely balanced - its toffee and whiskey opening is cut with a huge dose of that icy bergamot oil Montale uses in their aoud compositions, and a big saltmarsh vetiver note in the base adds a pleasing shot of brine. Salt and lemon are very effective palate cleansers. Still, my wallet is safe. It is very nice but, in the end, nothing exceptional. Ambre 114 satisfies me on the sheer amber side, and Ambre Russe is my heavy hitter for winter. Having established – after much trial and error – my North and my South of the amber territory, I am finding it easier to dismiss contenders that fall in the middle.
Surprisingly decent for being a Montale, a nice and well executed dusty-velvety ambery scent with a hint of citrus on a dry and dark woody base. Simple, compelling, slightly nostalgic and even a bit baroque, following the austere heritage of classic ambers à la Ambre Precieux. It quite lacks in class and "personality" to even compete with them, and show a bit of synthetic nuances (a sort of rubbery-medicinal feel) but it's not bad at all. As minutes pass it develops a vanilla-ambery accord, always a bit medicinal, but mellow and pleasant. Nice soft drydown. More than decent!
There's been plenty of enthusiasm over Blue Amber here on Basenotes, and I've been eager to try it. The Montale fragrances I've worn haven't all appealed to me, but most of them have been daring and distinctive. I enjoy amber as a note, but most of the amber-based scents I've worn have been far too sweet for me. I'd hoped that Blue Amber would be less syrupy than the Serge Lutens/Chistopher Sheldrake offerings, while displaying some of the accustomed Montale flair.
The good news: it's not too sweet. The bad news: it's not all that exciting, either. The amber in Blue Amber is very dominant, but it has a certain crisp, briny qaulity about it that keeps it from becoming icky-sweet. It's a subtle scent on me, and within a half an hour settles down into a soft amber/vanilla skin scent that's attractive, but devoid of sillage or projection.
All in all, it's OK, but no more daring than L'Artisan Parfumeur's L'Eau d'Ambre or Ambre Extreme. A letdown after all the buzz.