What a disappointment Ambre Gris turned out to be! I was really looking forward to trying it: from descriptions I had read, I had been expecting a very potent spicy vanilla fragrance, but instead found it to be one of the most boring vanilla ones I had ever smelled. On my skin it smells identical to Givenchy's Pi - nothing more I can really add to that.
I bought this blind because I love pretty much EVERY note listed in it.
Pink pepper, Cinnamon, Tuberose, Immortelle, Myrrh, Smoky gaļac wood, Benzoin, White musks, Ambergris
Strangely, this soft, savory scent fell short of expectations. I still dont 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.