I’m wary of ambers – they can be too warm, too monolithic (sitting like a migraine-triggering lump on one’s skin), too familiar. Many wear out their welcome as far as I’m concerned, smelling the same for hours on end and too rich by half. The ambers I do go for tend to have the sweets severely cut down – like Olympic Orchid’s quirky Olympic Amber that is dark, dry and smells of boot polish. Or they are not the principal theme of the perfume, revealing their hand only in the later stages.
Blue Amber is hugely sweet but in the baby powder rather than the treacly mode that so many ambers adopt. Here it reminded me of certain characterless vintages of a bygone era – yup, not all discontinued vintage perfumes were masterpieces of chypric archness, many just smelled of talc and flavourless boiled sweets. It also has a whopping dose of synthetic vanilla, equal in power to the resinous ambery base.
But its main flaw is that it is trying to do something interesting (a pink-clad bawling baby amber, I’ll try some of that) with ingredients that my nose perceives as el cheapo. A kind of eau-de-pesticide feel hangs around its edges – maybe a side effect of all that powder mixing with resins? It does get increasingly resinous in the drydown but it’s just not for me.
Blue Amber is my go to when I want to have the Amber glow to last for days. It has a brutal opening that is almost sour, however smooths out nicely and is never too sweet. It spreads and reaches into the pores, very tenacious, lasting many hours and can be detected through showers. It leaves a lingering comforting "Baby Powder" effect. My girl likes to snuggle up often.
Overall the sweeter, linear, ambered Nutmeg of Ambre 114 is my personal fave, however this has it's place. Thumb's up!!
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.