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  1. #1

    Default Creed's Ambre Canelle: A Review

    By far the strongest sillage of any Creed fragrance I've encountered to date, and WOW -- what an old fashioned chameleon, as well! This stuff goes on (I'm not joking) smelling very, very as though Youth Dew and Noir Épices got together to bump uglies in some posh hotel somewhere and created a love child in the torrid process. (And at first I hated the little bastard, but he quickly grew on me.)

    Very stuffy, very dated smelling, very over-the-top in those first 5 or 10 minutes. Even in the first 15 minutes on me, in fact, AC was so strong that it was almost unbearable. (After my first 3 spritzes, I felt as though I'd drenched myself in Youth Dew and then tried to rinse it off with Noir Épices . There's a hint of my faves JHL and Cinnabar here, yes, but far more Youth Dew and Noir Épices.)

    One of the reviewers mentioned Lutens-esque qualities here. I can definitely see that myself. Dark, rich and decadent, indeed -- palpably sensuous, even. (But definitely a scent that not everyone will like!)

    Blessedly, the drydown slowly begins after 15 or 20 minutes. (Even half an hour into this scent, I couldn't help but think, "Whoa -- better, but maybe this stuff is still not for me!") Very soon, though, it started to mellow into a musky, smoky, woody, rich concoction, especially on my pulse points. In doing so, it went from being "ambergris from hell" (or "Youth Dew on acid," if you will) to one of the most pleasant things I've ever smelled on my skin. (My husband of twelve years dubbed it "Youth Dew on steroids.")

    The cinnamon is always playing in the background, yet remains relatively inobtrusive. (Odd, given the scent's name.) I also can't help but pick up a dark patchouli -- or something equally woody, mysterious and powerful -- even though I've not seen that listed among the notes. This is definitely a power scent, and yet also very romantic at the same time. I read in the review of Noir Épices that Catherine Deneuve favors that frag. (All I can say is that were she to go more Anglo and less Franco, Mlle. Deneuve would surely pick Ambre Canelle.)

    One of the reviewers mentioned jasmine, and, well, I just don't get that -- not at all. I'm not saying that there's none there, but trust me when I say that jasmine is NOT one of the notes I pick up!

    Ambre Canelle is a largely unisex power scent -- very much in the same vein as Noir Épices, JHL and Piper Nigrum. Be advised though, that (like these other frags) it MUST be applied with caution. Also, it should probably be put on a minimum of 30 minutes prior to going out, else you'll likely give those around you a nasty case of ambergris toxicity.

    I intend to always have a bottle of this stuff on hand now, you bet. But, like Iquitos, Magie Noire and Ténéré (three other dark favorites of mine), Ambre Canelle will NOT be one that I'll spritz on daily. (No, it's one of those scents I'll definitely have to be in the mood for.) Highly complex, awfully deep, relatively formal . . . and likely not for everyone. But for the incredibly low price I bought it (a paltry $35, plus $10 s/h for the 2.5 oz. tester size from eBay seller creedirect -- really the Bond No. 9 store in NYC, I've been told), I sure as hell couldn't go wrong. Am damn glad I made this purchase.

    If you get a bottle, be sure to a) give that first phoenix of a spritz to "die and be re-born from its ashes" first, and then b) let us all know what you think of this little known Creed frag (dare I say "masterpiece?").
    Last edited by tvlampboy; 1st December 2006 at 09:48 PM.

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    Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Creed's Ambre Canelle: A Review

    Thanks for the review.

    I am glad to see a recent rise in fruitful discussions on these less talked about Creed scents.

    It is certainly a refreshing change from the GIT/MI threads and provides an insight into the other gems this classic house possesses.

    I am yet to try any of the following:

    Aubepine Acacia, Ambre Cannelle, Royal Delight, Jasmine Impeatrice Eugenie

  3. #3

    Default Re: Creed's Ambre Canelle: A Review

    Thank you for the review, it was very interesting!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Creed's Ambre Canelle: A Review

    I just bought this blind today - and I share your views. It is very intriguing and strange!

    Theres certainly more going on in here than what the official Creed notes listing indicates ("cinnamon and ambergris"). I smell a sharp mandarin or bergamot at the top - after 5 minutes, theres this strange animalic accord. Is it civet? Or is it ambergris? It gets even more perplexing as the fragrance evolves - I detect some cinnamon in there too. And maybe even the mandarin/citrus from the top notes. Is there any amber in here?
    The drydown was fantastic - rich woods and musk, perhaps even a hint of ambergris. I couldnt stop smelling my wrist !

    Theres certainly more in here than just "cinnamon and ambergris" - I will need to spend more time with it to analyze it further. So far, its been another great find, and I may even prefer it to the excellent Acier Aluminum for cold weather wear !

  5. #5

    Default Re: Creed's Ambre Canelle: A Review

    Thanks for the fine reviews, Tvlampboy and Zz. You've given me new hope for this one. I tested it on wrists several times but I thought the longevity would be short, or found it that way those times. Awesome scent though, a totally beautiful package to smell, and extremely elegant with the cinnamon. Now I'll go smell it a few more times and convince myself that I need it.

    Thanks for these reviews. Assessments like these always make me go back and think about a scent again.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Creed's Ambre Canelle: A Review

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB
    Thanks for the fine reviews, Tvlampboy and Zz. You've given me new hope for this one. I tested it on wrists several times but I thought the longevity would be short, or found it that way those times. --Chris
    Thanks Chris - after wearing it 4-5 times, I have observed that the top and middle notes last around 4 hours, but its the drydown which stretches this scent into the high 7-8 hour longevity mark.

    I am still trying to figure out the middle notes composition of this one - is the animalic accord due to the ambergris ? If it is, it certainly doesnt smell like the sometimes "metallic" base found in some of the newer Creeds. If its civet, once again, its unrecognizable to me from my experience with that note. Tvlampboy's references to Youth Dew and Noir Epices dont help here because I havent tried them although his review certainly does a great job in describing the general flow and structure of the fragrance.

    Perhaps more experienced members like you, Scentemental, Pluran, etc can comment further on what exactly is going on in this potent juice.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Creed's Ambre Canelle: A Review

    Tvlampboy's decription is quite accurate. I find this so stuffy and soapy at the onset it's hardly bearable. A fuller scent pyramid from the very well informed website, which I find absolutely convincing:

    TOP:Cinnamon leaves, pink pepper
    MIDDLE:Rose, cinnamon, bay leaf, coriander
    BASE: Ambergris, Tonkin Musk

    Rose and bay are definitely there, I think that combination, along with coriander, creates what to me is the incredibly strong "soapy" effect. I do not like this in fragrance and I'm not sure the drydown payoff (which is great) is worth going through this for me. For a full-bodied Creed, I find Baie de Genièvre far easier to wear, and Royal Delight's luscious aristocratic raunchiness works far better for me as well (RD to me is neither androgynous nor unisex. Rather, it smells like a gentleman who has had hot sex with a refined lady or vice versa. In the balcony. At the opera. To Puccini. Command performance . Royal Delight allright).

    Edit: Oh, and Angelique Encens is way more unisex as well as a good deal sexier than Ambre Cannelle IMHO.
    Last edited by the_good_life; 20th December 2006 at 03:45 PM.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Creed's Ambre Canelle: A Review

    This is an odd one. I just got my bottle last night. I sprayed it on and it's heavy on the rose and bay leaf. There is definitely a skank note to it that isn't quite civet but maybe it's an earthy jasmine (heavy with the indoles). It opens very strong, almost an assault with lots of rose and spice. As it settles down, the powdery ambergris note enters. I am not sure it's the most potent of the Creeds that I own, in fact, it seems a little weak to me (well, after the first 10 minutes or so). I have had to apply several times in order to figure it out. It's nice and the bay leaf makes it more masculine.

    I got my bottle for $35 on Ebay. It's definitely worth it. If you are into ambergris, I highly recomend Creed's Fleurs de Bulgarie. It is perfume strength and is roses and a little bergamot and ambergris but this ambergris is balanced with musk. It lasts at least 8 hours and just about every time I wear it I get a compliment.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Creed's Ambre Canelle: A Review

    I went out to smell this last week because of this thread of two weeks ago. Verdict? Ambre Canelle is heaven on earth.

    I still haven't bought a bottle, and I am ashamed I'm writing this without giving it a full wearing, so I can't comment on two of the most important parts of a scent--drydown experience and longevity.

    However, this is what love making with Helen of Troy would be. It is also dead close to my nose's experienced recollection of Lauder's JHL. Might be the cinnamon they have in common, but the package as a whole took me back to being a kid and trying to be adult enough to sniff things at department store counters when JHL had just been released.

    So maybe another fault with this comment is that it's a personal connection with a scent. For me Ambre Canelle touches something primal and exotic, glamorous and original, about the first lessons of how a scent can make you an aura and suggest other parts of the world. When I tested this last week I couldn't stop sniffing it. When today I pulled a glove out of the pocket where I had an Ambre Canelle sprayed test strip in my coat, I got the whole beautiful ride again--oh that I were a scent upon that glove! (Juliet, Juliet!)

    I can't think of anything else to say about the scent, really, and my hat is off to Tvlampboy, Zz, and Good Life who have the presence of mind and nose to pull it apart and think about it from a critic's good distance. For me, the only real world reviewer's comment to make is that Ambre Canelle is a scent better worshiped than worn. I'd love to have it and have a couple back up bottles, but it is so grand I would seldom wear it--when would an occasion live up to wearing this magic carpet? I'd find days or events to wear it to, sure, but afterwards I'd say to myself, well, that was a great dinner, and it was great to wear my best suit in appropriate settings again, but really, Chris, when you look at it, it wasn't really up to Ambre Canelle standards.

    Too good for me. Helen, I just can't do it.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

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