A dry sexy amber.
There are no prominent top notes in Ambre Gris but it does open with the briefest "sparkle", which suggests orange to me, particularly on paper. Otherwise, straight away we are into an airy floral accord of rose and subtle geranium. But these early stages are only a prelude anyway, to the heart of this fragrance, which is a beautiful dry, dusty amber with salty notes , a wallop of musk, and something softly animalic. I emphasise "softly" animalic because there is nothing at all skanky about this fragrance, but it is there is definately an undertow of salty warm intimacy.
The mid development reminds me very much of L'Air de Rien by Miller Harris. Both fragrances have notes of dry, dusty old books, melancholy rooms with old wooden clocks, dust dancing in the light, and both fragrances have something of the body about them. Ambre Gris is easier and more wearable in my view. It has a slightly aromatic feel which makes it more friendly somehow. I imagine at times that there is a little heliotrope in Ambre Gris which plays a lovely part, although it is not listed. The base is a rich ambery/woody/ balsamic/ vanilla. Ambre Gris does wear quite close to the skin which I think is appropriate for this one as it is an intimate fragrance, best shared close up.
The opening is quite dense and bold, a earthy-ambery dusty and somehow metallic concoction of animalic notes, amber (both ambroxan, more dry and austere, and a light sweet amber note). there is also a prominent salty note all over, which I guess being due to aromachemicals. The nuances floating around the central axe of amber: a chypre accord of rose, geranium, musk, benzoin, vanillin, quite linear, restrained, like "frozen" in a shop window. So far so "meh", but the drydown is more interesting, it loses a bit of (frankly disappointing) "artificiality" and settles on a really pleasant and enveloping accord of ultra-dusty vanilla, with an airy, rarefied, chalky amber accord on an elegant, white-rose powdery and softly woody sheet. The overall allure becomes more fascinating, an austere and dusty scent, romantic and powdery, nothing stunning but more complex and charming than the synthetic-salty ambroxan opening. Like many niche scents of today, it has an overall "lack of substance" and depth, it smells good with that particular sort of transparent "dustiness" of many contemporary scents, but somehow a bit pale, although I guess that may be an intentional stylistic choice. However a versatile, discreet, inoffensive, decently elegant scent, not really worth its cost but nice.
A royal ambergris for us, dry/powdery but full of luxurious nuances from the aristocratic top to the diaphanous dry down. As well as for Essence de Patchouli even in this case the Perris Montecarlo's performes manage to create a solid musky-landanum/rose/geranium/hesperides olfactory "platform" to play as noble central "flexible" structure to project a dominant luxuriant element which in this case is a chypre (cedary) high quality ambergris while in the previous concoction it was a powdery/musky patchouli. Both the fragrances are finally extremely subtle, musky/powdery (almost talky/eliotropic/almondy) and fluctuating by a valzer of "neoclassic" nuances. Ambre Gris starts soon "baroquely" with a ballet of utterly refined floral notes (rose-geranium absolutely evident), a regal bergamot/orange co-operation, a touch of patchouli and musks in order to easily morph in to a delicious powdery/boise amber-vanilla combo able to convey through the ages several talky/rosey and translucent childish memories as well as a white winged horse flying through the paths of memory. Extremely lush dry unisex amber slightly leaning over a sophisticated and romantic feminine "yard". Not a great projection on me but a durable stuff in all its otherworldly volatility.