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  1. #1

    Default Ambergris: a bit fishy?

    I'm gradually discovering, as I go through all my decants of Creed stuff, that the ones I don't like all seem to have the ambergris base which I understand is a house note. It's noticeable to me when I first open the decants as just vaguely fishy. And the scent that lingers strongly, and to me overpowers whatever is left in things like MI and GIT is just a fairly harsh derivative of this smell. While not fishy after drydown it has an acidity to it that I just don't like.

    Am I right in thinking this *is* the Ambergris? I thought it was supposed to be a sweetish smell. If the harsh scent that lingers isn't Ambergris, has anyone any idea what it is likely that my wierd nostrils are detecting?

    There are Creeds that I don't have this problem with, OV, BdP, CdR etc, and these I don't think contain ambergris, or if they do it's presumably at a reduced concentration. My decants have come from different sources, so I don't at present think it's a problem with the decants themselves.

  2. #2
    Scentronic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ambergris: a bit fishy?

    I don't get any fishiness. I don't really think the "Noses" that create these fragrances would have paired up something "fishy" with "florentine iris" or the like! This ambergris is the musk, or musk substitute if you will. It does smell somewhat meaty somehow, but it is clean. Aquatic smelling, but not fishy.

    Our noses definitely play tricks on us...but I can't really shed anymore light on your claim. I know that ambergris is regurgitated whale vomit, which rises to the surface. The beaks of the squid that the whales eat supposedly irritate their stomachs, causing them to vomit. YUM! Let's make cologne out of it! (what the hell were they thinking?!) Well, it works for me!
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Ambergris: a bit fishy?

    I find the Ambergris in Creed's Acier Aluminum the most telling of ambergris' true character. The drydown is essentially nothing but ambergris and vanilla- and it's do die for. I don't find anything at all fishy about Ambergris. It's a hard to explain, but damn, it's great.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Ambergris: a bit fishy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scentronic View Post
    ...it is clean. Aquatic smelling, but not fishy.
    I think that must be the problem: clean, aquatic smelling, that's what I have to avoid! I might try a decant of Acier, to see if that confirms it.
    Thanks for your replies.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Ambergris: a bit fishy?

    The mind can definitely play tricks on you, however if you don't like the smell regardless of what it actually is, avoid it. For example, ground coffee smells like canned tuna to me. I used to drive by a Melitta factory on the way to work and would smell tuna every day (same when I worked at a bookstore with a cafe & when my father ground coffee)

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  6. #6

    Default Re: Ambergris: a bit fishy?

    As mentioned earlier, the ambergris/Creed house accord isn't just ambergris. I think there is a healthy dose of musk and as pointed out vanilla. Maybe it's the musk that you find disturbing? I love the Creed house note and wear several Creed's just because the dry down is so wonderful.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Ambergris: a bit fishy?

    Quote Originally Posted by paintrman View Post
    As mentioned earlier, the ambergris/Creed house accord isn't just ambergris. I think there is a healthy dose of musk and as pointed out vanilla. Maybe it's the musk that you find disturbing? I love the Creed house note and wear several Creed's just because the dry down is so wonderful.
    Well, I love the smell of vanilla. At present in the garden I have a large Azara Microphylla tree which is in full flower. It's always first in the spring, and the vanilla scent floats for yards around. It's like someone permanently baking chocolate cake. Just like A*men!

    You could be right about the musk actually: I have a large bottle of Aramis Devin sitting in a cupboard virtually unused since the 80s, because I found it a bit harsh, and I see musk is listed there. But compared to Devin, to me GIT and MI are much more...salty?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Ambergris: a bit fishy?

    I'm suspicious of perfumes that have a definite "ambergris" dry down. The base notes of ambergris are quite subtle (they smell nothing like fish) and would be hard to detect when combined with other compounds. It is true that ambergris, when coupled with ambroxan (an ambergris substitute), is more assertive. But, I have to say, I'm dubious about commercial perfumes containing ambergris. They may have a little, but not enough to make a difference in how the fragrance is experienced.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ambergris: a bit fishy?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Peterson View Post
    I'm suspicious of perfumes that have a definite "ambergris" dry down. The base notes of ambergris are quite subtle (they smell nothing like fish) and would be hard to detect when combined with other compounds. It is true that ambergris, when coupled with ambroxan (an ambergris substitute), is more assertive. But, I have to say, I'm dubious about commercial perfumes containing ambergris. They may have a little, but not enough to make a difference in how the fragrance is experienced.
    Wouldn't ambroxan be used instead of ambergris anyway? I was under the impression literal ambergris wasn't used.

    For instance the Creed Millesime line has been widely thought of to have that "ambergris" base, which is that note that stands out in quite a number of them. Would this be a musk instead of ambergris that people are confusing? I know a member, Tensor09, mentioned this in a thread the other day - that it was musk and not ambergris. I thought he was joking but, I may have been wrong. He never clarified.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ambergris: a bit fishy?

    If I have been exposed to it in fragrances I wear, one thing I would remember is if it were "fishy", and it doesn't smell fishy to me as mentioned years back.
    Last edited by hednic; 13th March 2015 at 07:38 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Ambergris: a bit fishy?

    Salty, a little animalic yes. ASAQ Blue Amber is an excellent Ambergris attar.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Ambergris: a bit fishy?

    Again, I'm so sorry to be on this thread when I have so little experience with commercial fragrances. However, to put my two cents (scents?) in, I only have to say that when I combine an abroxan solution with a touch of ambergris, the ambergris becomes exalted in a way. The aroma of musk has nothing to do with the smell of ambergris. Of course authentic musk is never used these days (it has a completely different odor profile than artificial musks), but synthetic musks, of course, are. I associate the smell of these musks with a kind of sweetness. The best ones (and for a little self promotion, that at Brooklyn Perfume Company), have an animalic quality that renders them erogenic unlike most artificial musks which are not.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Ambergris: a bit fishy?

    I think maybe there is a confusion between salty and fishy here.

    For instance I have some Ambergris infused in Mysore Sandalwood and it turns the slightly buttery woodiness of the sandalwood a 'shade' salty. If you could imagine sandal drift wood that has been smoothed by years in the ocean you are somewhere close.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Ambergris: a bit fishy?

    Not sure if serious.

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