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  1. #1

    Default A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    The reviews I've read tend to focus on the first phase of its development where the gourmand aspect dominates. The honeyed cinnamon and vanilla, teaming-up with the roasted sesame seed notes in the opening have resulted in all sorts of olfactory associations with buns, cakes, and pastries.

    The magic in this fragrance is how it improves over the course of hours. Much of the sweetness of the opening fades. The heart is about the warm spices playing against a sweet tobacco accord that I can only describe as totally enveloping. When compared with other ambers I've tried, or own, it occurs that there is nothing sharp, resinous, or amber dominant about it.

    As Ambre Narguile dries down that velvety spice lingers over a base of sweet-smoky-amber. I would assume that this is the labdanum, which is used in perfumery as a substitute to ambergris. It is said to have a smell that is described as sweet, woody, ambergris, dry musk, or leathery; according to wikipedia.

    Normally when a fragrance is this well blended I can't detect individual notes, but I happily identify the transitions. With Ambre Narguile I can enjoy each phase of its journey and also pick a few of the individual accords. I get very good longevity, a liberal application lasts all day on me.

    Ambre Narguile is not an edgy composition that I appreciate as an artistic endeavour. If this was priced and distributed as a regular designer fragrance my view is that it would enjoy record sales. I feel lucky and privileged that I can own this gem; I'll never be without it.
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  2. #2

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    I pitch Ambre Narguilé in the same corner as Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille and L'Artisan's Tea for Two. They all have this sweet honeyed amber base, but differ in accents (cinnamon, tobacco and tea).
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    I think it smells great too. What does it cost? It is something I have never looked up.
    Last edited by scentsitivity; 4th September 2009 at 11:51 AM.
    Currently wearing: Augusto by Mazzolari

  4. #4
    kopah's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    It's something like $180-200 USD for 100ml.

    But, I had to get a full-size bottle, because it was the fragrance that made me love fragrances. I couldn't bear the thought of ever being without it. And every perfume novice I've ever shown it to has found it gorgeous as well.

  5. #5

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by scentsitivity View Post
    I think it smells great too. What does it cost? It is something I have never looked up.
    In Australia I paid 200$ for 60ml, about double the price of a designer.
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  6. #6
    gupts's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Oh man.....I've read so many positives about the Hermessence line of fragrances....particularly Ambre Narguile....I've got so much already on my wish list and just didn't want to get into something else that'd make my credit card bleed even more......but it's inevitable I think.....

    Thanks for your review J....I am closer to to trying this than I was before this thread came.....

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by gupts View Post
    Oh man.....I've read so many positives about the Hermessence line of fragrances....particularly Ambre Narguile....I've got so much already on my wish list and just didn't want to get into something else that'd make my credit card bleed even more......but it's inevitable I think.....

    Thanks for your review J....I am closer to to trying this than I was before this thread came.....
    IMHO, Ambre Narguillé is the best of the Hermèssence line and not even that good. The others are, for the most part, utterly forgettable.
    Looking to swap/buy/receive for free () the following samples/decants:
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    To me, this is a very cosy comfort scent, but ultimately it bores me. I gave away what was left of my bottle to a colleague who loves it. She also loves Montale's Blue Amber; they share that warm fuzziness, don't they?

    Truly a very pleasant fragrance.

  9. #9

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by gupts View Post
    Oh man.....I've read so many positives about the Hermessence line of fragrances....particularly Ambre Narguile....I've got so much already on my wish list and just didn't want to get into something else that'd make my credit card bleed even more......but it's inevitable I think.....

    Thanks for your review J....I am closer to to trying this than I was before this thread came.....
    You're most welcome bro. Quoting Chandler Burr: "It is not merely the best; there is simply nothing like it on the market, period. And no one will ever do it as well again. "

    Quote Originally Posted by Merlino View Post
    IMHO, Ambre Narguillé is the best of the Hermèssence line and not even that good. The others are, for the most part, utterly forgettable.
    Have you tried Vetiver Tonka? An amazing implementation of a gourmand vetiver.

    Quote Originally Posted by tott View Post
    To me, this is a very cosy comfort scent, but ultimately it bores me. I gave away what was left of my bottle to a colleague who loves it. She also loves Montale's Blue Amber; they share that warm fuzziness, don't they?

    Truly a very pleasant fragrance.
    I can see that for some AN will be a comfort scent, all cozy. It's much more than that for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereotomy View Post
    I pitch Ambre Narguilé in the same corner as Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille and L'Artisan's Tea for Two. They all have this sweet honeyed amber base, but differ in accents (cinnamon, tobacco and tea).
    You could widen the net and put Chergui or Arabie in the group.
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  10. #10

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by jathanas View Post

    You could widen the net and put Chergui or Arabie in the group.
    That'll be one bridge too far for me. Chergui and Arabie are *very* in-your-face, very Lutensesque. I think Ambre Narguilé, Tobacco Vanille and T42 are much softer....
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  11. #11
    Merlino's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by jathanas View Post
    Have you tried Vetiver Tonka? An amazing implementation of a gourmand vetiver.
    IMO, vetiver tonka is not interesting or innovative in any way. Sure, it smells good. But it's boring... I'd buy it if I weren't a basenoter and just wanted to smell good. And only at $50 a bottle, not the insane price they're asking for it.
    Looking to swap/buy/receive for free () the following samples/decants:
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    Chant d'Aromes extrait
    Vetiver pour Elle (5ml decant)


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    Versace The Dreamer 50ml (1.7oz) BNIB
    ---

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    http://polderposh.blogspot.com/

  12. #12

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by gupts View Post
    Oh man.....I've read so many positives about the Hermessence line of fragrances....particularly Ambre Narguile....I've got so much already on my wish list and just didn't want to get into something else that'd make my credit card bleed even more......but it's inevitable I think.....
    My intro to this line was a box of 4 x 15 ml which included Ambre Narguile, Vetiver Tonka, Osmanthe Yunnan & Poivre Samarcande. I think Hermes still sell them this way, where you can pick 4 of whatever is on hand, not sure?

    I agree with the subtext of what's been said - that JCE has not set out be edgy or artsy with the Hermessences line - they are very high quality comfort scents (but with a nod and a wink - they are not simple). I sense Sheldrake is taking a similar approach at Chanel - understated elegance, sort of thing. I bought Vetiver Tonka and rate it along with Vetiver Pour Elle & Sycomore as an excellent Variation on a Theme of Vetiver. I also like Vanille Galante a lot - it avoids the usual sweet Vanilla synthetics, just as Ambre Narguile seems to side-step yer typical heavy, cloying Amber.

  13. #13

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by Merlino View Post
    IMHO, Ambre Narguillé is the best of the Hermèssence line and not even that good. The others are, for the most part, utterly forgettable.
    Well, I quite like Vetiver Tonka but feel that Montale's Red Vetyver is a more worthwhile substitute. Aside from that, I pretty much agree - they're simply not worth the money (these EDTs originally cost £90, three or four years ago, but have since increased to £120). Ambre Narguillé is quite nice but it's not as complex as it tries to make out, is quite thin for its price tag and is far too sweet (Arabie's sweet but there's a resinous aspect to it that balances out the composition).

    Still, Ambre Narguillé is like children to me - I absolutely love and enjoy spending time with them but I have no intention of having my own.
    Last edited by Trebor; 4th September 2009 at 04:07 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebor View Post
    Still, Ambre Narguillé is like children to me - I absolutely love and enjoy spending time with them but I have no intention of having my own.
    This sums up my feeling towards AN, too. I found it gorgeous and extremely wearable, but was strangely unmoved to buy a full bottle.

  15. #15

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    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    (earlier this year I paid around $254 with tax for 100mL from NYC boutique..)
    If you see this, please be warned that my wardrobe is woefully out of date. It may never be updated. Feel free to ask any questions you may have, but be warned!

  16. #16

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    My intro to this line was a box of 4 x 15 ml which included Ambre Narguile, Vetiver Tonka, Osmanthe Yunnan & Poivre Samarcande. I think Hermes still sell them this way, where you can pick 4 of whatever is on hand, not sure?

    I agree with the subtext of what's been said - that JCE has not set out be edgy or artsy with the Hermessences line - they are very high quality comfort scents (but with a nod and a wink - they are not simple). I sense Sheldrake is taking a similar approach at Chanel - understated elegance, sort of thing. I bought Vetiver Tonka and rate it along with Vetiver Pour Elle & Sycomore as an excellent Variation on a Theme of Vetiver. I also like Vanille Galante a lot - it avoids the usual sweet Vanilla synthetics, just as Ambre Narguile seems to side-step yer typical heavy, cloying Amber.
    Correct you can buy 4 * 15ml bottles of one hermessence product or 4 different ones.

    You hit the nail on the head with the assertion that these are purposely designed with restraint and not meant to be loud or edgy. Vanille Galante is impressive as it foregoes the cheaper vanillin for a more natural vanilla accord.
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    You're right - this one does get better as it moves along. I think I'll start paying it more attention. (I got the travel set of four, and I'm spending most of my time with Poivre Samarcande and Vetiver Tonka.) As I recall, AN in the first few minutes didn't compete with similar ambers like Ambre Sultan and Ambre Precieux, which knock one's socks off right off the bat, but with time it did come into its own.
    * * * *

  18. #18
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    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Nice to see Ambre Narguile getting some love.

    This was a scent, that I fell in love with prior to finding about Basenotes. I had purchased and fell in love with Un Jardin Sur Le Nil (after reading about it in Chandler Burr's New Yorker article) and I went into the Hermes boutique with the sole intention of smelling the Hermessence line. The extremely friendly SA gifted me and my husband four large glass vials of each of the 4 original scents (Ambre Narguile, Vetiver Tonka, Poivre Samarcande and Rose Ikebana). I remember wearing AN, a week later, to my Christmas party in my home. The smell of that scent, mixed with the smell of the holidays (the tree, desserts, hot cider, etc) was magical and it will always remain fixed in my subconscious whenever I smell AN.

    The magic, in AN, is the way the scent smells on other people. Whiffs of the scent, in the air, and the way it diffuses around the wearer is almost perfect. The sillage tends to make my stomach rumble. It walks that fine line between a flavor and a fragrance - and yet, it smells rich, opulent and skillfully artisanal.

    Having said that, I cannot wear AN in the Spring, Summer or Fall here in Miami...it gets WAY too cloying and I can only wear it in cool Winter weather. Therefore when I went thru my travel sized bottle I didn't replace it. But I have a sample in my sample pile and this year around the holiday season I will be wearing it for sure.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 5th September 2009 at 04:08 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebor View Post
    Well, I quite like Vetiver Tonka but feel that Montale's Red Vetyver is a more worthwhile substitute. Aside from that, I pretty much agree - they're simply not worth the money (these EDTs originally cost £90, three or four years ago, but have since increased to £120). Ambre Narguillé is quite nice but it's not as complex as it tries to make out, is quite thin for its price tag and is far too sweet (Arabie's sweet but there's a resinous aspect to it that balances out the composition).

    Still, Ambre Narguillé is like children to me - I absolutely love and enjoy spending time with them but I have no intention of having my own.
    Ambre Narguillé is like children to me as well; except I have a 2 kids and 4 * 15ml bottles of AN

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    You're right - this one does get better as it moves along. I think I'll start paying it more attention. (I got the travel set of four, and I'm spending most of my time with Poivre Samarcande and Vetiver Tonka.) As I recall, AN in the first few minutes didn't compete with similar ambers like Ambre Sultan and Ambre Precieux, which knock one's socks off right off the bat, but with time it did come into its own.
    R_P: VT is awesome and poivre is growing on me.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Nice to see Ambre Narguile getting some love.

    This was a scent, that I fell in love with prior to finding about Basenotes. I had purchased and fell in love with Un Jardin Sur Le Nil (after reading about it in Chandler Burr's New Yorker article) and I went into the Hermes boutique with the sole intention of smelling the Hermessence line. The extremely friendly SA gifted me and my husband four large glass vials of each of the 4 original scents (Ambre Narguile, Vetiver Tonka, Poivre Samarcande and Rose Ikebana). I remember wearing AN, a week later, to my Christmas party in my home. The smell of that scent, mixed with the smell of the holidays (the tree, desserts, hot cider, etc) was magical and it will always remain fixed in my subconscious whenever I smell AN.

    The magic, in AN, is the way the scent smells on other people. Whiffs of the scent, in the air, and the way it diffuses around the wearer is almost perfect. The sillage tends to make my stomach rumble. It walks that fine line between a flavor and a fragrance - and yet, it smells rich, opulent and skillfully artisanal.

    Having said that, I cannot wear AN in the Spring, Summer or Fall here in Miami...it gets WAY too cloying and I can only wear it in cool Winter weather. Therefore when I went thru my travel sized bottle I didn't replace it. But I have a sample in my sample pile and this year around the holiday season I will be wearing it for sure.
    Mike I plan to test your assertion by smelling ambre narguile on my wife tonight
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  20. #20

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by jathanas View Post
    Ambre Narguillé is like children to me as well; except I have a 2 kids and 4 * 15ml bottles of AN
    Ha, ha! Thanks for the chuckle.

  21. #21

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Nice to see Ambre Narguile getting some love.

    This was a scent, that I fell in love with prior to finding about Basenotes. I had purchased and fell in love with Un Jardin Sur Le Nil (after reading about it in Chandler Burr's New Yorker article) and I went into the Hermes boutique with the sole intention of smelling the Hermessence line. The extremely friendly SA gifted me and my husband four large glass vials of each of the 4 original scents (Ambre Narguile, Vetiver Tonka, Poivre Samarcande and Rose Ikebana). I remember wearing AN, a week later, to my Christmas party in my home. The smell of that scent, mixed with the smell of the holidays (the tree, desserts, hot cider, etc) was magical and it will always remain fixed in my subconscious whenever I smell AN.

    The magic, in AN, is the way the scent smells on other people. Whiffs of the scent, in the air, and the way it diffuses around the wearer is almost perfect. The sillage tends to make my stomach rumble. It walks that fine line between a flavor and a fragrance - and yet, it smells rich, opulent and skillfully artisanal.

    Having said that, I cannot wear AN in the Spring, Summer or Fall here in Miami...it gets WAY too cloying and I can only wear it in cool Winter weather. Therefore when I went thru my travel sized bottle I didn't replace it. But I have a sample in my sample pile and this year around the holiday season I will be wearing it for sure.
    Great post Mike

    I had tested Ambre Narguile in the early stages of my scent hobby, although later it kinda slipped through the cracks for me as I later gunned for the more aggressive Ambers. Your post has put it back on track for me.


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  22. #22
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    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by jathanas View Post
    Mike I plan to test your assertion by smelling ambre narguile on my wife tonight
    I remember being asleep one morning, and Ray put some AN on to get ready for work, and the smell woke me up from sleep. It was like the smell of a brewing coffee pot - it instantly triggered a mental / olfactory memory for me, and after that the entire room smelled of AN for about an hour. Luxurious stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amit View Post
    Great post Mike

    I had tested Ambre Narguile in the early stages of my scent hobby, although later it kinda slipped through the cracks for me as I later gunned for the more aggressive Ambers. Your post has put it back on track for me.
    Funny, even though AN is an amber scent, I think of it more of a gourmand. My amber love is of course Ambre Sultan, so yes I see what you mean about our thresholds being raised for more 'aggressive' ambers.

  23. #23

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    It's nice but a bit too gourmand ...
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    jathanas, thanks for the Chandler Burr reference, which can be found in full here on his website.

    I discovered this for the first time during the Southern California BN Meetup at the Hermès store at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. It's really amazing. I'm a big fan of gourmand scents anyway. (I love Serge Lutens Arabie, for example.) But this is in a different class altogether. I took away a 15ml vial of Ambre Narguilé, and I'm guessing I'll buy a full bottle as soon as the vial is depleted.
    Last edited by Astaroth; 6th September 2009 at 07:09 AM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    jathanas, thanks for the Chandler Burr reference, which can be found in full here on his website.

    I discovered this for the first time during the Southern California BN Meetup at the Hermès store at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. It's really amazing. I'm a big fan of gourmand scents anyway. (I love Serge Lutens Arabie, for example.) But this is in a different class altogether. I took away a 15ml vial of Ambre Narguilé, and I'm guessing I'll buy a full bottle as soon as the vial is depleted.
    Cheers for the link to the full review Astaroth.

    AN would be irresistable to a gourmand lover; that cinnamon-roasted sesame-honey opening is magic.
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  26. #26

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    I have a sample of it. It´s J.C. Ellena´s minimalist take on Amber . I like most of Ellena´s creations and this is a great Amber interpretation.
    Last edited by eric; 25th December 2009 at 11:11 AM.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    I wore this again tonight from a new decant (I haven't worn some in almost a year) - wow, this stuff is just incredible.

    It is, one JCE's finest moments in perfumery - probably his finest achievement at Hermes, behind Terre de Hermes.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 25th December 2009 at 04:49 AM.

  28. #28

    Smile Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I wore this again tonight from a new decant (I haven't worn some in almost a year) - wow, this stuff is just incredible.

    It is, one JCE's finest moments in perfumery - probably his finest achievement at Hermes, behind Terre de Hermes.
    My two favorites of JCE's as well.

    I am in love with Ambre Narguilé.

    The one I would add to this list is Declaration Essence. I swear to God, when I wear Declaration Essence, I feel like I am the King of some country!

  29. #29

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    only recently i got a chance to sample Poivre Samarcande and it just blew me away. really class act. can't wait to sample AN. shouldnt be hard for me to fall in love with this one too considering my love for his works (TdH, Un Jardin sur le nil, Kelly Caleche edt & Hiris and ofcourse TDC)

  30. #30

    Default Re: A Beautiful Scent: Ambre Narguile

    It's a fine scent for sure. I love it and wearing it a ton during the winter but for that price tag. I'd rather sub it with Chergui.

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