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Mazzolari’s Ambra opens on notes of bright bergmot and sweet spices, including a potent and peculiarly soapy ginger, which together make a much less moody or exotic impression than most “amber” compositions I know. Indeed, the ginger’s prominence and soapy flavor cause it to work almost like lavender, and Ambra starts out smelling much more like a “barbershop” fougère than an oriental.
The incongruous fougère impression diminishes as vanilla, jasmine, and labdanum take their places at the center of the composition. Yet if Ambra’s heart is more recognizably oriental in flavor than its opening, it’s an oriental of the floral persuasion, and still not the kind of spiced resin structure I’d expect out of something that calls itself “Amber.”
The expected sweet amber blanket does settle heavily over the powdery vanilla drydown, while the gradual dissipation of the floral notes re-exposes the soapy ginger from the opening. All that soap and sweet powder smell intensely “perfumey” in a manner that could be interpreted as “classical” but reads to me as dowdy. Ambra offers ample sillage and projection, with impressive staying power. Good news if you enjoy this scent, less of a perk if, like me, you find it uncomfortably square and stuffy.
13 June, 2014