Positive Reviews of Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Find out more about Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    tdwctdwc's avatar



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    Faultless perfect amber goodness.

    Nothing needs to be added or tweaked in neither smell nor performance for me. No 'i wish', No 'if only'. Just perfect.

    A beautiful blend of sweet resins and herbal aromatic reinforcements laying on a golden silky bed of amber and vanilla.

    Bay leaf and myrrh are the middle name here and are key components to the uniqueness of this beauty.

    It's funny the color of the juice is orange because that's how i exactly envision the smell of this scent: Sunkissed sweet resins melting and gently swirling in a form of orange/golden liquid on my skin.

    Who needs gourmands when you got this ?

    02 August, 2014

    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Oriental

    Ambre Sultan goes onto my skin as a chaotic miasma that manages to be excessively sour, sickly sweet, and bitter, all at the same time. I attribute this assault on the nostrils to the confluence of sharp, bitter oregano and the trademark Sheldrake/Lutens sweet amber accord. The two come at each other as mighty waves and collide with a titanic crash.

    The first few times I tried Ambre Sultan I was unable to endure this cacophony. Over the subsequent wearings I persevered long enough to enjoy the dusky, lascivious spiced amber accord at Ambre Sultan’s heart and the luscious sweet labdanum drydown, but wasn’t convinced that they were worth waiting for. It took several more widely spaced attempts before I decided that they were. My ultimate appreciation of Ambre Sultan is based on my understanding of why that unsympathetic opening may be necessary.

    For what it’s worth, here’s my theory: Like so many of the Serge Lutens oriental fragrances, Ambre Sultan flirts with being insufferably sweet. Unlike some of the others, it avoids plunging into a powdery-syrupy quagmire. How? I attribute Ambre Sultan’s success to the balancing influence of its sharp herbal and spice components. These hard-edged savory notes offset the amber’s potential to cloy at the nostrils. However, in order to endure and yield this effect at the heart of the scent, the relatively volatile sharp notes must be used in great concentration. The end result is a unique and beautifully balanced heart accord, but at the price of a sharp and confrontational opening. Given Serge Lutens’s penchant for provocative openings, this price seems very much in line.

    Patience with Ambre Sultan yields exceptional rewards, thanks to the scent’s enormous tenacity. For that first half an hour of confusion, I get as much as twelve hours of libido enhancing ambery goodness. The dry amber skin scent persists for even longer. It’s no surprise that such a long lasting fragrance is also very potent. I find Ambre Sultan overbearing and difficult to wear in high temperatures, and prefer to use it in controlled doses in any case. Besides strong projection, Ambre Sultan leaves a trail of abundant sillage, establishing an olfactory aura around its wearer.

    Are those top notes challenging? Yes. But Ambre Sultan remains a giant among amber scents. The only amber I’ve found that can hope to rival it is the very different, and less confrontational Ambre Precieux from Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier.

    08 June, 2014

    stargarden's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is one of the most delicious fragrances I have ever tried. As a fan of the amber style accord (what does amber truly smell like? it's a fossilized resin...) - this is quite possibly my favorite take on amber as of yet.

    What really impresses me with Ambre Sultan is the three-dimensional way the fragrance works on me. Up close I can smell the herbs/oregano/spice that some have noted - but a foot or so away I get the sweetness and syrup.

    I am just at the start of what may be a long fragrant journey for me, but the Serge Lutens fragrances I have started with are all quite good (AS, Chergui, Daim Blond) -- but Ambre Sultan has made it into my top five of all time pretty quickly. Seriously bottle worthy!

    19 March, 2014

    Kain's avatar

    Iran Iran

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    This is the third Serge Lutens fragrance that I'm testing.
    First one was Cuir Mauresque , second one was Chergui and now this one and I must say I'm quite impressed with all of them!
    It's a fragrance for women and I was expecting something very sweet and feminine, but dude is this really a fragrance for women?!
    I'm sure a man can wear it easily!
    The opening is very strong resinous spicy scent with some woods in the background.
    It does have a bitter spicy smell and I must say the opening is completely masculine! nothing feminine here!
    After a while and in the dry down, that resinous smell settled down a bit and spicy scent became a little stronger. I can smell some kind of dirty animalistic feeling too but it's weak.
    Now you can feel also some sweetness that gave the scent a really nice kick!
    In the base you have a sweet (but not too much) yummy scent with some spices and that resinous and animalistic smell completely in the background.
    It's quite sensual and beautiful.
    Projection is above average and longevity is good.
    It's a great quality fragrance that you can easily put unisex sticker on it!
    I love it.

    07 February, 2014 (Last Edited: 16 February, 2014)

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    To me, this is *the* quintessential smoky, boisé, herbal amber scent. Simple, powerful, perfect, elegant.

    10/10

    09 January, 2014 (Last Edited: 03 August, 2014)

    promqueen's avatar

    United States United States

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    Just got a sample of this and am very pleasantly surprised..I am female and don't usually like "unisex" scents but this is somehow different. A fine amber and woods in good proportion with an incense note. USE SPARINGLY however.

    03 November, 2013

    uhbhatti88's avatar

    Pakistan Pakistan

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    Aromatic Amber

    A straight amber with all it's sweetness and warmth tempered by herbs, very much in the tradition of Arab flavours: this has a very familiar Moroccan orange/cinnamon sweet tea aspect that lulls me into comfort, as it gets rounder and smoother with time.

    Excellent longevity and no feminine predisposition.

    Pros: Wonderful herbal warmth
    Cons: -"

    04 October, 2013

    Cannes's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dry and Dirty Amber

    I love ambers so I didn't feel I was taking a huge risk blind buying Amber Sultan. Initially, it's all amber to me. But after a few hours, it turns drier, sweatier, and dirtier...perfect for nighttime activities.

    23 September, 2013

    Francolino's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Some Candy Talking

    Wonderful take on Amber, rather linear but spicy over the top and on my skin smells like dry citric peels!

    First line in my wardrobe! Forget all the snobbery put on this piece of Art!

    Pros: Heavy sillage and duration
    Cons: None"

    13 September, 2013

    tempest moon's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Fire & Herbs

    This is a superb scent. My first impression upon sampling was a very herbal, medicinal vibe which immediately hit me upon application. However this is not a bad thing, as it gradually settled into a very warm and aromatic herbal dry down. I think this scent is very, very well made and it reminds me of incense and herbs (but not in an overwhelming way), just in a really well blended sense. Depending on your tastes, I would suggest trying or sampling at least once to appreciate this (especially in the dry down). Overall it’s extremely well made. If you appreciate Serge Lutens I think this is one of his best.

    Pros: Projection, sillage and longevity
    Cons: Overwhelming in excess

    30th May, 2013

    jbthorpe's avatar

    United States United States

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    I am normally not a big amber fan - heavy amber fragrances tend to nauseate me and give me a migraine. Having said that, to this day I'm not sure why I like Ambre Sultan so much. It is a gorgeous amber/incense fragrance that would smell equally as good on a man or woman. The amber is sweet and smooth and I find myself really enjoying the wafts of it that hit my nose throughout the day. Rather than running and scrubbing the amber off my arm like I normally do with other fragrances, I find myself really attracted to the Ambre Sultan. It is a bit pricey but I think it is worth worth the cost.

    Sillage: 9/10
    Longevity: 9/10
    Price: 7/10

    02 May, 2013

    OdilonRedon's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    The opulent coppery gold of the liquid doesn't prepare you for the jagged herbs of the opening. This is like pushing through a thicket of sage and marjoram and thyme on a hot morning. Then the amber appears, huge and almost stark: not sweet or cuddly amber but a salty, unpolished gem washed up on a beach. A thread of incense eventually appears and adds an extra dimension. This is a truly amazing fragrance.

    08 April, 2013

    rbaker's avatar



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    The top note is characterised by a beautiful amber impression, that is deep, rich, intense, and less sweet than many of it's counterparts; a truly wonderful note.  After about a hour, however, it collapses on my skin and says very close to it, a mere shadow of its glorious debut.  Overall longevity of about four hours, and the positive rating is based mainly on the top note. 

    10th February, 2013

    juan pablo kelly's avatar



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    Amazing. One of the first scents that I became obsessed with, even fantasized about. I remember smelling it when it first was released back in the early 90s. Couldn't afford it or get it (this was before it was available in the states). Mysterious, sensuous, just more of everything compared to so many fragrances on the market at that time - and really the beginning of the niche category in a true sense. Its a heady amber with spice, yes like an exotic bazaar but so much more. Yes some of the Lutens are unwearable but this is not one of them. I finally purchased it more than a decade later on a trip to NY. Worth the wait. It is not for the faint of heart or the shy, retiring type. It is a scent of style and confidence, and extreme sensuality.

    02 December, 2012

    timdoeswell's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Ambre Sultan has captured EXACTLY what it was going for - a bone-dry amber fragrance that brings to mind a middle-eastern bazaar.

    Resinous with loads of sandalwood and coriander, this really pushes the boundaries of what western perfumes do with amber accords.

    Surprisingly, this fragrance works extremely well in the heat (as it also does in cooler weather) and makes a nice change to the generic aquatics that are mostly used in stiflingly hot weather.

    To me this scent is just a little linear to make it a must-buy, but if you truly appreciate the amber accords that are so often ruined by fragrance houses, you'd do well to sniff this out.

    16 November, 2012

    's avatar



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    Amazing, innovative and unique smell. Lots of dry spices in the opening, then dries down to a beautiful sweet amber. If you survive the first 30 minutes, you'll LOVE this fragrance.

    29 October, 2012

    D.Sprad's avatar

    United States United States

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    The Sultan and I didn't used to agree. It was once one of the very few fragrances that inspired a headache in me, that I found unpleasant in aroma and too heavy. I'm not certain what caused the turn-around, but after a long while away from the scent, I revisited it and enjoyed it immensely. It's marked one of the biggest turnarounds for any fragrance I've encountered.

    It really ought to reinforce the thought that something should never be written off based on initial impressions. This one deserves firm testing, breaks, and re-testing before any conclusions should be made on it. One just might find their tastes toward it completely reverse, whether that be for the better or the worse.

    24 June, 2012

    Akahina's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lush, rich, long lasting and a great amber scent. I get amber, Myrrh and a bit of wood and spice. I don't think this one has great silage, but just enough, pretty close to perfect. After about 8 hours this is still going strong with very little change for me, but the slight change does bring on a sweeter amber accord, not too sweet, a masculine sort of sweetness that is tempered to just the right degree with what must be patchouli. the dry down is delicious and so sexy. Sort of close to the skin but I still get the feeling that others notice it because I do without smelling my arm. Is it possible to be subtle and intense at the same time? Perhaps "intense" is not the right word because this one hovers gently around me. I love this scent. Very sexy and about the best amber scent I have smelled. (20 hours later and I can still smell this on my skin. Lovely.)

    This is one I would love to own but of the Serge Lutens fragrances I have tried I have a very soft spot for Muscs Koublai Khan and that will be the first one from this house that I purchase, this will be the second.

    For women? I think anyone can wear this one.

    Update: I am in awe. I sprayed this on my arm yesterday, in fact 34 hours ago and I can still smell this faintly in my arm. Incredible. The scent is weak, but it is still there. I used another fragrance today but not on this arm. I can hardly believe how long this lasts. The ingredients must be very high quality. I can't tell you how much I love this one.

    20th April, 2012

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    A very nice take on amber by Lutens here. Ambre Sultan opens with a ton of herbs and spice. At first I was afraid the spice might be a tad too much, but things soon get under control a few minutes into the scent's development. As the spices recede, the amber emerges to mingle with them in just the right proportions of spice to amber. The dry-down adds a bit of sandalwood to sweeten things a bit, but Amber Sultan never makes the mistake of a lot of other amber scents in being *too* sweet. Even in the dry-down remnants of the spice remains to keep things interesting. Projection is above average, as is longevity. Ambre Sultan is maybe not my absolute favorite amber scent, but it must be in the top three or four I have tried to date and is highly recommended and full bottle worthy, IMO. 4 stars out of 5.

    17 March, 2012 (Last Edited: 21st December, 2012)

    Birdboy48's avatar

    United States United States

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    Others are quick to mention the spices as the primary overlay to the amber in this now-classic frag, but I don't get those spices, and hope I'm not alone in smelling incense instead. This incense note persists for hours on my skin.

    Overall, dryer than it's cousin Arabie.

    Wonderful things, both of them, but watch out for over-application, as heavy-handedness can spoil their effects.

    13 March, 2012

    glorious1's avatar

    United States United States

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    I was not at all impressed when I put it on. Thought it was a lot of hype. I had had Ambre Precieux and loved it.
    Then came the dry down!! It was magical. I enjoyed the changing scent...it turned into ember like amber.....it was as if the perfume turned into coals that resinated warmth. It felt like it was actually a physical thing. It was incredibly sexy. It was actually kind of like a hug to keep you company. At first I also wondered why Sheldrake made it for females even though we all know men would wear this....... I understand now.
    I must have it.

    23 January, 2012

    Notreveh's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    Ambre Sultan opens up with a strong resinous note right after the first spray followed by a combo of myrrh and spicy notes.

    After a couple minutes a kind of sweet/ambery chord appears resembling Wazamba from Parfums d'Empire, but here the benzoin/coriander combination gives to this particular fragrance a differentiated tone much more like the aroma of Black Cashmere from Donna Karan instead of the sweet/hay present in Wazamba.

    Anyway, a very rich, dense aroma that through time develops into a wonderful fragrance. Ambre Sultan is the ultimate proof that fragrances do NOT have gender.

    29 November, 2011

    Alityke's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I ADORE Ambre Sultan unfortunately my husband loathed it so I've never invested in a bottle. Deep, mysterious and sensually erotic and hypnotic.

    27 November, 2011

    moltening's avatar

    Thailand Thailand

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    Herbal amber scent with a medicinal opening and a slightly 'culinary' heart.
    Challenging, but easy to eventually get accustomed to.
    7/10 at best in my book!

    01st November, 2011

    sfonativeboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    I got this for my Birthday last year ...
    I love this Fragrance!

    LUSH!
    Warm, Interesting, Unique, Edgy.
    Those are the first words ...
    With time the Amber which curiously isn't listed as an ingredient...
    so lets call it ...
    "The RESINS"
    deepen to a languorous and rich creamy sensuality, with other notes coming through.

    Inhale the sweetness....
    the deliciousness

    Your mind wanders and suddenly you are far away ...
    YEMEN, OMAN and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia....perhaps
    Enamel black eyes,
    The scent of wood fires at night
    The Stars sooo close you barely touch them ...

    The Mystery ...
    The boundary between Everything and Nothing...
    Dare to open your eyes and ruin the dream.....

    08 October, 2011 (Last Edited: 16 August, 2012)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    The Ugly Duckling of ambers. Ambre Sultan's opening is quite destabilizing due to the juxtaposition of bitter/dry herbs and the usual, extremely rich and sweet, Sheldrake's hallmark. An overall effect that's somehow medicinal, bizarre and challenging...let me say "ugly". If you survive to the opening you will soon discover an incredibly satisfying amber accord that's absolutely magnificent for its beauty. At this point herbs perfectly blend with the rest and play as a necessary counterpart to the general sweetness. Luxurious, intense...immense. Together with Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier's Ambre Precieux and Parfum D'Empire's Ambre Russe, they fear no rivals.

    Careful with dosage, this stuff kills! Another Lutens monster!

    30th August, 2011

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Another great exotic-dark amber out there that i place on the side of Ambra Nera Farmacia SS. Annunziata, Ambre Precieux from Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, Scent Intense, Ambre Absolute Tom Ford and Shalimar. As already underlined this fragrance, despite turning out  endly dense and warm, is not caramellous or excessively resinous because of the balancing role played by the initial blast of  green, aromatic and camphoraceous elements, because of the dry-balsamic kind of patchouli, because of the taming role of the immediately bursting hand of spices, the absence (or minimal usage of) vanilla, the delicacy of myrrh and benzoin, the central influence of sandalwood and the moderate support of resins and balsams. Finally the note of amber lords all over the elements but the presence of camphoraceous, coniferous, almost mentholated elements (angelica, coriander, bay leaf) still plays a fundamental role on the flank of sharp sandalwood and patchouli and this combination controls the level of sweetness and sultriness reminding me the similar combination of the elements (coniferous-resinous-aromatic) expressed by Ambra Nera, one of my absolute favourites. The link of spices and aromatics-camphoraceous  produces a sort of incensey-woodsy effect persistent till the end. In  the final outcome the green, woodsy and musky notes surround the amber controlling the sultriness and keeping a certain level of boise'. The link of the over mentioned elements with spices and patchouli produces a sort of final slightly bitter-sweety undertone as well as some dates would appear in the composition. Ambre Sultan is surely a less sultry, edible and resinous composition than Arabie and it's able to stop there where Arabie proudly goes beyond with its brew of macerated fruits, its smokey beat, the overdosed resins and the final sugary-gummy  labdanum accord. Ambre Sultan is an opulent fragrance paradoxically versatile, bold and modern (namely neither too modern-chic nor too decadent) and its balancements, the tenacity and changeability render it a great contemporary concoction.

    22 August, 2011

    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ambre Sultan is my favorite ‘contemporary’ amber (as opposed to a classic amber such as Shalimar, for instance) by far. Amber can be steered into so many directions: boozy, honeyed, gourmand, resinous, vanillic. The times I’ve smelled pure labdanum resin I’ve been struck by its mineral smell. It smells a bit like warm stones. The dried, dusty herbal quality of AS (oregano, bay, myrtle) is the perfect complement to its flinty tone. While one angle is herbal, it reads as more botanical than strictly culinary. The other is mineral, but both equally enhance the resinousness and keep AS clearly out of the sweet, gourmand range.

    Others have mentioned that AS grows vanillic by drydown and therefore like every other contemporary amber. I get the benzoin and the patchouli, but I find the composition actually grows drier and a bit more bitter as time passes. It replaces the fading culinary feel, taking over its part in labdanum’s narrative, maintaining the dry, matte flintiness through to the rich but low-sillage drydown.

    When I first smelled AS, I could only imagine wearing it in colder weather. Fortunately for me in the 9 months of summer heat in southern California, it absolutely blooms. It’s just delectable on sweaty skin.

    16 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 25 August, 2011)

    Ralph's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I yearn for frags that you just put on in the morning and they smell good all day long. Not many of 'em actually do this but Ambre Sultan - oh yes! - delivers in spades. It's beautiful too: a superb, deep & delicious moody herbal-amber wonder.

    04 July, 2011

    MJW77's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I really enjoy this fragrance. I managed to get a couple of samples and have worn it out in the evenings a few times. I enjoy the spicy herbal opening but really love the vanilla in the drydown. It seemed to suit me and I felt perfectly comfortable wearing it. It's highly sophisticated and sexy with great sillage and longevity. To me it feels slightly more masculine than feminine. Great stuff if you can pull it off. I am seriously considering purchasing a bottle.

    01st April, 2011

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