Damp, rich and inky soil, full of crumbling mulched wood, shot through with lipstick iris and a no-holds-barred-sweet amber – this is the striking statement of Ambrarem and I am so glad it exists to make it. I can imagine it is the kind of thing that will be considered unwearable by many. Me, I feel like saying, ‘Where have you been all my life?’
I am naturally drawn to earthy tones and smoke, to wood notes that are so deep they sing of violence rather than the usual harmonies of fragrant wood types. And I love thick nectarous rose perfumes and florals of that nature. Here the shades of these things successfully intermingle to produce magic; granted there are no floral notes listed, but the surge of ambery sweetness gives Ambrarem that aspect.
I feel grateful that Histoire de Parfums can offer something so out of the ordinary and unusual that still, like the best perfumes, reaches out to some secret recess of the wearer’s mental makeup. A perfume of communion.
Softens considerably over the course of the wear and snuggles up just fine.
Ambrarem opens with a beautiful, powerful, evocative powdery-chypre accord of amber, a resinous note which to me smells almost like olibanum (the elemi?), a waxy, buttery note of iris, balsamic-earthy green notes and something underneath which may be oud and something dustier like dry tobacco or other woods. Elegant and pleasantly noble, with an intricated personality ranging from dark and gloomy to the mature and self-conscious sensuality of a classic "poudré" scent, warm, rich and nostalgic, softened by amber which creates a dusty, warm, sweet cradle for the heart of the scent. In the middle there is also a herbal-fruity accord with a sort of earthy bittersweet feature that kind of reminds me of rhubarb, and that I guess is maybe due to spices and red pepper. I miss a bit the sandalwood note which is supposed to be there. The evolution leads towards a smoky-earthy drydown, with a fascinating gradual progression that comprises a sort of an arising fog that slowly captivates and envelops all the warm and sweet initial notes in a dark oud aroma – a discreet, pleasant, smoky and gentle oud note. Complex but incredibly mellow and harmonic, yet somehow not memorable (I don't know why exactly, just a feeling - all notes are kind of "ordinary", good but nothing really new or "wowing") but surely pleasant. One of those scents I personally would not rush out home to buy right away, but surely I would at a bargain discount sale.
I cannot not love this fragrance. I've tested Ambrarem over the course of 3 samples and each time I fall more in love with it. Right off the bat I get a huge oud/iris combo that is almost saccharine with a heavy dose of castoreum underneath it. This initial phase lasts for about 1 - 1.5 hours and will turn some people off because of how animalic and oudy it is in this initial phase. But then comes the dry down and this is where the magic happens for me. Starting at around 1.5 hours in the iris begins to fade and the amber comes up. The castoreum and oud are still there but balanced out by the sweet amber. And this amber note is enchanting. This is one of those fragrances that I wear and while I'm doing something a movement of my arm or change in the air current will bring the scent to me again - and every time I think how wonderful this scent smells.
I would definitely recommend sampling this one, do not blind buy as this fragrance's opening will turn some people off. For me, it's one of my favorites. Longevity is excellent - 12+ hours. I would say sillage is excellent, you don't need to spray too much to get a lot of performance. Wearability is where Ambrarem fails, it's hard to justify a bottle of this since the notes (castoreum and oud) can be a real turn off for some people. Also, I live in a fairly warm-weather location that doesn't allow for wearing "heavy" fragrances like this very often.
Marine rot and forest fire - what not to love?
I had a blotter with Montblanc Legend in my pocket from this morning. After spraying some Ambrarem on my wrist, I took out the blotter and realized that Ambrarem is niche at its finest. Why? Because in comparison to a mainstream scent, Ambrarem is very very difficult to enjoy. Give it to your average Wal Mart shopper, and they will recoil in horror, yet the perfume community is raving about it.
What not to like? It is truly marine in a way that only a beach can smell after a storm subsides, and the tide goes out, leaving marine life to rot under the sunlight. May not sound pleasant, but the only people who would not feel a sense awe at this natural beauty, are those who have never seen the sea.
Once the ocean calms down, the oud comes out. It is smoky, resinous, and acts to put the marine accord on solid ground. The scene which comes to mind involves camping somewhere along the Pacific Northwest Coast, getting stranded in a heavy downpour, and then trying to start a fire to warm yourself and dry your clothes.
This scent has a strong masculine element to it. I am having a hard time figuring it out, but it is something which reminds you of an old toolshed, complete with gasoline and greasy, oil soaked rags.
While not exactly pleasant, it is complex, evocative, and very original.
It was love at first sniff, but after buying a bottle, I realized that I have a very hard time wearing it as it is overbearing regardless of how much you apply.
I give it an 8/10 for everything except wearability, which I give it a 2/10 for.
Pros: Original, evocative
Cons: Not pleasant"
I may very well love Ambrarem more than Petroleum. As enamored and bewildered as I am with the latter, which I respect and admire immensely, I just find the former so much more approachable in its bewitching and entrancing qualities. On me, Ambrarem initially explodes with a fantastic greenness that is simultaneously oceanic (salty) and earthy (sandy grassy). It's really delicious; there are fantastic undertones of iris and elemi and sandalwood and castoreum and salty peppery light-vanilla bold-amber intense-castoreum and lovely-oud. It lasts quite awhile on my skin, and its various manifestations are all absolutely mesmerizing.
For me I can't wear this. I like my ambers pleasant, full and rich and smooth. This is very bracing and harsh and you can most definitely find the Oud in there. I like Oud but it needs something to balance it out, here there is no balance. If you like your Oud with more harshness and don't want it mellowed out, try this. I don't like it because it's not my type of scent but for what it is, it is very well done. There is a slight hint of dirtyness in here, I haven't tried Petroleum and if it's more harsh/and ramped up than this I probably won't.
For a long time i was looking to get an amber base fragrance for winter. Usually amber fragrance tend to be too sweet for me, because of either the vanilla or the cocoa. I tried alot of them from Annick Goutal, to Serge Luthens, or l'Artisan Parfumeur even Montale, none of them was really what i was looking for. I wanted to like l'Instant de Guerlain but never enough to buy it. Then one day i got a couple of Histoire de parfums samples (btw i liked them all, very nice line) and one of them was Ambrarem, that i ordered first for my son who is an amber lover. My first impression was wow nice fragrance, i got the amber but a smooth one, not overwhelming, not too sweet, probably the pepper and the oud tone down the natural sweetness of the amber. Nice. then I came back 5 minutes later and i was blown away. What could have been disastrous for me is the vanilla part in the base note. Instead of becoming like all of the others amber fragrance, the vanilla is there to blend all the notes together in a perfect ensemble. OUTSTANDING !!!
Here's another winner from the guys at Histoires De Parfums. Recently released as part of the series Edition Rare together with Petroleum (mineral) and Rosam (vegetative), Ambrarem is supposed to be the animalic one. It strikes as a bold yet incredibly balanced concoction of spicy/peppery oud and vanilla with a strong castoreum presence and leathery/resiny undertones. A touch of iris provides a subtle creamy/lipstick vibe while saffron enhances the oriental quality of the oud. On top of this, you have to add what looks like being the signature of this series: a mineral, sort of watery/marine note juxtaposed to the cumbersome presence of all the other elements.
If compared to the one in Petroleum, the aforementioned marine accord, is definitely toned down and sort of overwhelmed by the bold warmness provided by the oud/amber combo. Don't get me wrong, if you can't stand watery/aquatic notes in perfumery, you'll probably won't like Ambrarem either but if you're fine with the style, you'll probably discover a terrific and modern representation of the oriental genre.
That being said I still think Petroleum is the most original of the lot because of its civet/aldehydes/oud combo that is quite an experience (swimming against the stream here), but if you're into slightly dirty ambers that are bold and wearable at the same time, you can't go wrong with Ambrarem.