I bought this blind because I love pretty much EVERY note listed in it.
Pink pepper, Cinnamon, Tuberose, Immortelle, Myrrh, Smoky gaïac wood, Benzoin, White musks, Ambergris
Strangely, this soft, savory scent fell short of expectations. I still don’t quite understand how something with notes like cinnamon, myrrh and tuberose can smell so light and watered-down. The scent does smell complex and redolent of salt-water and powdery, unlit incense, but I was expecting an oil painting and got watercolor instead.
Maybe it just doesn't suit my skin. Definitely try first before buying!
In its favor, Ambre Gris tells you all about itself up front. It's plainspoken, there are no surprises and it doesn't take much concentration. Against it, AG has the feel not so much of synthetic perfumery as fake food. It's a twinkie instead of shortcake. It's margarine and cornstarch syrup on your pancakes.
That said, I kind of like it. There's something about it that's just off, not quite right. It's like the background hum of industrial fluorescent lighting that recedes in your mind to a dull hum until you turn it off and realize that what you perceived as a quiet hum or buzz was in fact low-volume disharmony. In filtering it you had just unconsciously redefined it so as to tolerate it. Honestly though, I do like AG a bit. But here's how: one spritz. One spritz is comfortable. Two is queasy. Three is so far over the line that, in the manner of the instant conditioning that you experience vomiting a particular food that you then never want to eat again, you'll never want to smell it again.
You're getting the Fine Gray Amber. Nothing like the wishful thinkers who thought they were going to get the full blast of ambergris (maybe never having smelled the real deal raw--YAW!).
But Oh, THIS is a CLASSY scent! I can't hide my exitement, having worn it on special occasions for the last few years where I know I will be RECOGNIZED but not separated...
The House of Balmain has done well. Sweet but aristocratic, woody yet balanced, LONG lasting and claaaa-ssssy! Women think they have smelled it before but can't remember when (HOW). Men just want to know what it is so they can buy it for their wives.
I get something unique here, and thank goodness it isn't unrefined Ambergris--a fine job has been done here, which might take our generation a bit of time and humbling to recognize. This laaaaasts into the day and evening... a lovely smoking bit of light as the nose listens...
Starts out very sweet, very tasty, with a cinnamon note mixed with a very light myrrh. Over time the fragrance will gain a dominance of amber with an aroma followed by Musk.
A very good fragrance, definitely geared for cold climates. Makes a good gift for a girlfriend.
I'm really sad about this one. I have many Balmain that I adore and thought this would better the best. I've been waiting and waiting for a bottle for ages. I've finally got it and..... oh dear... I shouldn't have expected so much. It's missed the mark entirely in my humble opinion.
The opening was much sweeter than I was expecting it to be. It has a citrus/pepper note that seemed very air freshener-esque like one of those little trees hanging in the car. This developed into a greeny galbanum, herbesque note. I say esques because they don't seem quite true to the things they feel like they smell like. Then the whole thing mellows and morphs into an overpowering false powdery amberish note, that to me bears no resemblance at all to ambergris or even amber. I think it smells like a reed diffuser air freshener bought from an incense shop. I feel the whole thing smells totally artificial and I would be surprised if there was anything natural at all in this. I would love to stand corrected.
It dries down to something pleasant enough if you like gentle ambery powdery things. I just expected too much with that name from that maker.