Perfume Reviews

Negative Reviews of Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens

Total Reviews: 18
I'm apologizing beforehand...but I have to bring this down a peg. This fragrance is single-handedly responsible for ruining amber notes for me for a half a year. What was the problem? THE HERBS! Something about the medicinal herbs and the overbearing amber pounding my head relentlessly, it made me sick. Then every amber made me feel sick. Be careful with this stuff, if it doesn't agree with you it will stick around and haunt you.

Honestly I can't even properly review this because I won't subject myself to this again, but this is truly one of my most hated scents. Amber and green herbs that shouldn't be there, that's what this is to me.
12th June, 2012
I just don't get it. I don't dislike this scent, but I never want to smell like this. There's this pack of herbs that they sell in the Chinese supermarkets that you boil to create this incredible, herbal broth. That's exactly what Ambre Sultan smells like. This is not a good thing. We've got an herbal, minty amber. The initial blast almost smells like spearmint gum, but then it breaks into that bizarre...

TWO HOURS LATER: So it's two hours later and I'm returning to writing this review. Now that I've let this thing dry down, I must say that the dry down is beautiful and delicious. It's an excellent vanilla and herb mixture, which actually creates a chicken broth effect in the best possible way. I'm still a little ambivalent, but this is definitely a scent that gets better as time progresses.
28th May, 2012
Sorry, I so wanted to like this.... All I got was musk, sweet musk. From beginning to end. No herbs or spices, no sex, no edginess, no deep dark anything.
04th February, 2012
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Oregano tastes great in food, but it's not something I want to smell like, and that's the predominate note I get from Ambre Sultan before it dries down to the smell of weeds. Sorry, Serge, I love some of your fragrances (Five O'Clock au Gingembre, Gris Clair), but I can't get aboard the Ambre Sultan train.
30th November, 2010
pcrisp Show all reviews
United States
For me, this is pretty much an unwearable scent. I seriously can barely breath when wearing this. It's definitely amber, but waaaayyy too much of it, and it's just too musty for me. It reminds me of some perfumes that my mom used to wear, but that's not how I want to smell. To be fair, apparently I'm not a big fan of amber so it didn't have much of a chance to start with.
02nd August, 2010
This won't be a popular position to take, but I haven't liked a Serge Lutens fragrance to date, out of about half a dozen samples I have accumulated. Ambre Sultan is no exception. In a word, they are all too subtle (limited silage), offer poor duration (Ambre Sultan is a bit better than others in this regard), too sweet, and too gourmand. In each of them, there's some combination of gingerbread (or, stale ginger root), cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, powder, and ambergris. All cloying stuff, and as it turns out, I despise cinnamon notes in fragrances, across the board, which doesn't help. Ambre Sultan IS a well-constructed, subtle and natural fragrance, but is totally, unwaveringly dull. Also not designed for those who don't like wearing food on their wrists & neck. Save a boatload of money and just put two gingerbread men doused with vanilla extract in your pocket.

04th August, 2009
JonB Show all reviews
United States
Ambre sultan comes off as harsh throughout. In comparison, I much prefer L'air du desert marocain. After sampling both of these, I decided on a bottle of the Tauer.
24th July, 2009
I had the misfortune of smelling Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier's Ambre Precieux before smelling Ambre Sultan. Why do I say misfortune? Because the MPG offering was my first experience with a purely amber scent and I loved it. It set the bar high and I was interested in trying this one because it gets more hype here than probably any other amber scent. What soon followed after applying it to myself was disappointment. There was none of the smooth, rich, creamy amber found in the MPG scent. Here, it was spicy and harsh, almost grating to my nose. Very disappointing as far as amber scents go.
12th May, 2009
I'll always choose a niche fragrance over a designer creation. And Serge Lutens is regarded as a hallmark for the niche sector, a really distinctive brand, but I just cannot wear any of his fragrances. Ambre Sultan makes no exception... it definitely shares the same base with other Lutens creations, such as Chergui or Arabie: it's stuffy, cloying, medicinal, excessively sweet, way too heavy on amber and vanilla, therefore very, very difficult to wear. I actually find all the Lutens scents much more suitable for room or car odorizers. The worst thing about it is that after smelling it for a few hours, I literally threw up! The good thing is that the Serge Lutens line is really different, but not necessarily good different.
21st March, 2009
Oh lord. When Chinese kids are ill, they sometimes are given 'Fu Cha' to drink, 'Bitter Tea'. This medicinal tea is very herbal, very bitter, and is said to make you feel better.

It never did make _me_ feel better, and just as I thought I would never have to smell that smell again, there's Ambre Sultan.

This scent is identical to this 'Fu Cha'. It's dark, bitter, herbal and medicinal. Very pompous, loud and bombastic, a real Lutens Oriental

I can't wear it. Perhaps you can.
14th March, 2009
everso Show all reviews
United States
terrible and unwearable. it smells sort of like a garbage can after leftover indian food has been thrown in it. amazing what the name "serge lutens" can, they're gonna market the smell of fish under the name "la peche pour nuit" and everyone will be jumping up and down again! AVOID.
10th January, 2009
bbobkc Show all reviews
United States
Maybe I should wait to review this as I have only worn it twice but all I get is powder and play dough. For the money one has to pay for this, I don't think so.
03rd November, 2007
No no no. This is vile. This conjures up a combination of tandoori and bonfire. Why would I want to smell anything like this?
04th July, 2007
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Too over-the-top for me. It actually gives me a headache and makes me feel sick.

An idea for a cheaper alternative to this expensive, pungent scent: buy a tub of ground black pepper, pour it into a fragrance bottle and fill it up with black pepper essential oil.
30th March, 2007
There is a nice amber note in here, but it's overwhelmed by a synthetic, headache inducing scent-something approximating burnt rubber or latex. I much prefer ambre precieux and ambre extreme.
22nd October, 2006
Based on all the good reviews, I'm thinking it might be a skin thing, but this is god-awful on me! Horribly bitter and medicinal. I dunno if this makes any sense, but it smells like the taste of novacaine at the dentist's office.
05th April, 2006
I bought a bottle of this on-line after reading all the great reviews on here. Big mistake. On me it smells just like Pine-Sol. It's very sharp and bitter. I much prefer some of the other amber fragrances out there that add more sweetness, like Etro's Ambre.
17th January, 2006
Amber, amber and more amber. If you like to smell like amber and nothing else, feel free to splurge on this. Or you could simply buy some amber scented perfume oil, save the money and smell the same. Amber overdose.
06th December, 2002