Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Ambre Fétiche by Annick Goutal

Total Reviews: 9
I like Ambre Fetiche, but I have to admit that the opening smells more like a byproduct of the petroleum industry than a perfume. Something plasticky and greasy in the top notes suggests Vaseline to me, or perhaps pleather. I don’t find this unpleasant, merely a little unsettling, especially when mixed with the sickly, biscuity undertone of the amber underneath.

The mental image: a prostitute at the Bunny Ranch, Nevada, at 2:30 in the afternoon, a big dollop of lubricant making a snail’s trail down the inside of her left thigh while a man in Stetsons huffs and puffs on top of her. The man's breath smells like biscuit crumbs - he hasn't washed his teeth. Bored, she turns her head to admire her new white pleather knee-highs, up around her ears now and close enough for inspection. Squeak-squeak goes the pleather with every thrust.

Biscuits, syrup, Vaseline, pleather. Stale cigarette smoke mingling with the powerfully sweet Victoria’s Secret Amber Romance body lotion she applied that morning.

The texture of the perfume is both dry-harsh and syrupy-sweet, resulting in an interesting pulling apart motion in the fabric, like honey rubbed against the grain of a plank of wood. The syrupy white amber is thickly poured, but clashes against the parched powder of benzoin. The resin sticks in my craw and the syrup cloys. It’s too intense, this feeling. The only other perfume that mimics this effect is Byredo’s 1996.

The discordant harmony of the birch tar, the amber, and the iris produces something of a similar push-pull feeling within me: I like it, and then I like it not. Each time I wear this fragrance, it’s like plucking out petals and never knowing whether you’re going to end up. Sometimes, I find the thought of the ride quite exciting. Sometimes, the thought of it exhausts me. Either way, like the Bunny Girl's client, it always lasts way longer than I want it to.
13th February, 2016
ill stay neutral here. i am not amber fun, but this is XXL amber scent, the only question do you like such potent dry and bitter amber- leathery scent?
it opens up sweetk creamy, nice to my nose , then it goes so bitter-dry heart(too much of benzoin) that i hate , the drydown again is more accaptable to me and the scent lasts 3 days at least!, so strong that my mobile phone took over the scent from the blotter! cant imagine how long it would take to use up 50ml bottle!
24th October, 2012
What in my opinion does defines the initial Ambre Fetiche's "scrawled" mess is a rough and averagely dry (for a while at least) combination of spices (i think cinnamon overall), light smoky frankincense, labdanum, dried fruits (plums?) and dusty ( styrax) amber. Some woodsy resins lurk around in the middle of the sweet tornado. The burst is originally shocking in its salty-sweet (yet fruity) dissonance but in a while its kind of doping dirtiness starts to crab you for the throat as the alcohol's need does with the alcohol dependents under abstinence. In this phase the sweetness, still notable, bursts and fades a touch in a sort of mild-opaque olfactory alternance  and the perfume is a bit decadent in its slightly bitter and resinous undertone simil-beeswax, in its play of lights and shades and due to a touch of bergamot and patchouli (i suppose). Many micro particles of cream, incense, spices and moss keep on swirling around in an even more increasing  milky-powdery sweet way till when  a subtle sophisticated floral-musky accent plays its game leaning the juice over a more feminine side. The juice holds on being powdery because of the benzoin, the powdery-detergent  effect from iris, white woods and some incense still lingering around. The final touch of leather whereof many talk about is a pattern of final suede that emerges when the molecular milky dust starts a bit to recede and a more defined floral spark soars in the air. Another ambery fragrance whereof i appreciate the alternance of the different stages in its long trip. Just the dry down is fully satisfactory to me but at this point the lasting power has finally exausted its energy.
01st August, 2012 (last edited: 15th July, 2014)
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Well, this does have amber in its name and is an oriental in design. Although those things usually have little appeal to me, I do find this to be an interesting scent. It starts off very ambery and rich, with plummy and buttery notes. It is very sweet. The sweetness abates somewhat, and interesting incense and leather notes appear. The scent takes on a brown hue in my mind. The leather note is intriguing – I’d say that people who like leather scents should check this out. Suddenly the sweetness appears, in a new guise: cocoa! I get the definite note of chocolate (blended with vanilla and cinnamon) here. Not my style, but an interesting experience.
24th June, 2010
I would never use more than two sprays... it is brutally strong! I'm actually starting to feel like I should have used one.

EXCELLENT silliage and longevity. I messed up and applied this just before a road trip and my friends were rolling down the windows to get away from the aroma.

I get heavy incense wih a touch of amber at first, but later the two balance out - that's honestly about all I get. For me, the incense is overwhelming for the first hour and borders on nauseating... I dont enjoy it until after that, and wouldnt wear it if I had to meet with say, a date, within that hour window.

Overall I'm still debating on whether or not to sell the bottle entirely. I'll give it a few more wears... if I keep this one, I'll be keeping it because I personally like the way I smell, as nobody else seems to be tripping over themselves to ask me what it is.
05th February, 2010 (last edited: 28th November, 2012)

So many mentions of birch tar… When I encounter birch tar in many fragrances, the birch tar is so strongly obnoxious that I have to scrub it off. The odd thing About Ambre Fetiche is that I don’t get the birch tar note at all… And I get very little smokiness or incense. I do get a light frankincense and labdanum in the opening, but they do not come on as strongly as they might: They remain subtle and yet they keep the amber under control. Ambre Fitiche begins as a dry amber and I like that idea – there are more than enough sweet amber scents in the world. Unfortunately, the dryness doesn’t continue… the fragrance picks up a less ambery / more generically sweet powdery character from the benzoin and iris in the heart and vanilla in the base. I pretty much lose interest in this because I don’t understand the exchange of a full bodied rich, dry amber to a thinner benzoin / vanilla watery sweetness. The leather doesn’t save Ambre Fetiche from the thinness and powderiness, either. To my nose this is a very nice amber fragrance – nothing special but well structured and proportioned… one of many…

19th January, 2010
The opening reminded me of plain biscuits (crackers), weirdly. It doesn't start off sweet, but works its way slowly into a rather conventional smoky vanilla base that is very lightly spiced. While I enjoy it, it is hardly mind-blowing. I would have preferred a little more intensity in this one.
07th January, 2010 (last edited: 07th April, 2010)
An oddly gourmandy amber, odd because it's not gourmandy in the vanilla-sweet and syrupy way usual to amber fragrances but rather due to a buttery freshly baked bread accord. Actually, it's more the feeling than the scent of freshly baked bread it captures - the sauna-like, steamy heat common to amber fragrances is here translated to a freshly opened oven and the hot air oozing out of the bread when you break the slightly burnt crust. The scent is so hot and dry it feels a bit like breathing in dust, or, unfortunately, like hitting your nose against a wall of shiny, white plastic, a similar effect to the one I felt in CB Musc Reinvention although not as intense. I prefer dusty dry amber fragrances to sticky sweet ones, but due to that plasticky feeling I can only give a neutral rating.
20th December, 2009
Bigsly Show all reviews
United States
I'll give it a neutral because it's certainly not bad. However, I'm not really sure what to think of this. At times it reminds me of a simple but nice amber fragrance, such as Etro's, but at other times it seems to be a Shalimar "wannabe." I don't get fairly constant sillage but rather a waft now and then. It's almost like too much of a tease, and makes me think of other fragrances that are similar but that I'd rather be wearing. At one point, at least two hours after spraying, I thought something great was happening, but whatever it was, it didn't last long at all. I "blow away" top notes as much as possible, so keep that in mind. I'll likely try it again, but I really don't look forward to doing so, and at this point, that's a very bad sign. Some might prefer this to fragrances like Shalimar Light, of course, but AF just seems too shy and awkward to me. My guess is that this is all about personal preference, rather than one being "better" than another.
30th April, 2009