Micallef Royal Amber perhaps.
I'm holding onto my recently-bought bottle of Ambre Sultan unopened, ready to return it. I bought it remembering a quality of spreading warm calming coziness when I'd worn my sample. Then I tried the sample a few times more and remembered that I find the bitter herbal bouquet too challenging; I think the bay leaf in particular throws me off. I'm all for resinous warmth, but I feel like I have to dig through a bitter-herbal spice rack to get to that aspect of the Sultan's charms.
Still, there must be frags that offer that burst of deep warmth without the bitterness. What has the Sultan's healing vibe without its dry, bitter slap? (Actually, for slightly punishing warmth I have vintage M7. I'm craving something a bit cozier at the moment.)
I've read good things about HdP Ambre 114, though that may not have a dense coziness?
Micallef Royal Amber perhaps.
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HdP - Ambre 114
A sandalwood and a beautiful creamy light sweet Amber with a touch of vanille and a rose note is what you get within this beautiful mix. This scent is just enchanting and really divine to your olfactory senses. No kitchen herbs here.
And it never overpowers or gets sickly sweet but just sits right on the skin giving you that perfect satisfaction.
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I was already thinking Ambre 114 might be the ticket. I'll definitely check it out.
I have a 14ml manufacturer's travel sample of 114. It is very nice, but I found it to be a bit too sweet/ feminine for my tastes. I am glad that I did not spring for a full bottle blindly.
I bought mine from The Perfume Shoppe here:
for $36. They are a reputable source. It may be a wise move to try it first.
Or, try Amber Absolute!
Last edited by srellim1; 11th March 2012 at 06:05 PM.
I agree with those who suggested Ambre 114 here. I own both this and Ambre Sultan and they have a lot of common ground but Ambre 114 lacks Ambre Sultans rather dry herbal top and goes onto the skin a bit more rounded and powdery. Also try Tom Ford Amber Absolute if you can, this is a very cozy well executed amber.
I own Ambre Sultan and enjoy it a great deal, but find Amber Absolute to be just perfect for me. A very warm labdanum/ incense amber.
I smelled Amber Absolute at the Tom Ford counter, and was struck by how strong and almost sour it seemed, at least initially on the testing paper. It didn't remind me of Ambre Sultan at all (which is fine), but seemed "thick." Any comments on how that one develops?
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I know the sharp note that you are talking about. It surprised me when I first tried it. It is much different on the skin. That note quickly subsides and gives way to a very sweet warm amber that on my skin continues to warm into a gorgeous heavy dark incense and amber vibe. Not heavy in an overbearing way... just a lot of incense. I love it.
There are much more experienced noses here who may be better equipped to provide a technical description.
I couldn't get enough ambers, I want 'em all. And I concur with the previous suggestions of Ambre 114.
Kurt smells like Teen Spirit
But the fact is, he's absolutely spot on! However, I think it'd be best to try the other recommendations before approaching this one. It'd be wise to save the best for last...
l too found the herbal notes in Ambre Sultan too much for me.
+1 for Amber Absolute, & l agree Ambra Mediterranea is an outstanding fragrance.
l would also recommend Ambra Aurea by Profumum.
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It's funny. Now and then Ambre Sultan smells quite nice to me. Especially if I don't sniff it up close. I'm just not sure whether I need a full bottle of it or not. If I were to keep it, is Ambre 114 different enough that I could reasonably own both? Or should I hold out to try these others and avoid too much overlap? (I'm not yet an amber fiend, for what that's worth, so I don't know that I need a lot yet.)
It was a calculated risk. Unfortunately, I'm bad at math.
+ 1000000 on both Ambra Mediterranea and Ambre Precieux. Incensey and crispy, sort of creme brulee-like, the former, classic and huge the latter.
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I did try L'Air du Desert Marcain at one point, but for whatever reason it just read as "old man" smell to me. Very... grandfather in his old leather chair, or something. Strange, eh? But it just didn't work for me. Plus it radiated like CRAZY in the first hour or so after I put it on, so I was quite overwhelmed.
Arabie may be a possibility; my good friend bought it and wears it fairly often. It's very pleasant on him, though I do understand the "yummy" edible vibe it gives off. I've been a bit afraid of folks saying it smells like curry or fruitcake, but if it has a similar warming, cozy vibe to Ambre Sultan, it may well work.
I don't mind Chergui, while we're considering the SLs, but it's also not quite distinct enough for me, especially in the dry down.
A very cozy deep in sandalwood/amberyness and cheap is Sands Of Morocco Perfume By Infusion Organique
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I think you should stick with AS. I found the bay leaf too much at first too but I've adjusted to it and find it to be a non-issue now.
I disagree with Ambre Precieux as any sort of alternative, mainly because it lacks any transparency. AS is all about resinous amber whereas Ambre Precieux is more on the opaque somewhat powdered side of amber.
I like Nobile 1942's Ambra and Cotswold's Amber for coziness.
After it dries down on skin a bit, I find AA to be pretty similar to Ambre Sultan except with an incense note replacing the herbs. As time goes on, the incense note subsides and it becomes more of a pure amber. I find both AA and AS to be resinous, dry, and warm.
Amber Absolute's longevity and projection are very strong, at least as strong as Ambre Sultan on my skin (probably more). I think I prefer AA to AS because I prefer the incense to the herbs, though there are days where the herbs really appeal to me.
Another vote for the Tom Ford.
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I absolutely hated Ambre Sultan, so much so that it turned me off amber scents for a while.
I ended up returning the Sultan to his throne at Barney's, with the intention to order a decant and live with it a bit more before committing to a full bottle. But in a quick sniff-and-spray tour of Gumps/Nieman/Barney's, I managed to condense findings such that they conveniently fit in a 140-character nugget in my Twitter stream:
Ambre 114 dries to a light M7; Tom Ford Amber Absolute is a hippie in a sharp suit; Chantecaille Kalimantan an amber/incense/agar surprise.
I should add, by the way, that the Tom Ford amber really is lovely; just as others in this thread suggested, it's the warm amber note I was liking in Ambre Sultan but without the bitter, challenging blast of herbs. Interesting that they both have a "dusty" note to me as they dry down; I assume this is an aspect of benzoin or labdanum?
Sounds like Amber Absolute is indeed on its way out; the Neiman's I went to didn't have any 50ml left in stock. Which saved me from impulsively losing $200. So there's that.
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I keep reading bits about Amber Absolute being discontinued but cannot get any solid information. The trouble is that I LOVE Amber Absolute but have maybe 25ml left so I cannot justify spending the $200 at this point, but if it is being discontinued...
Does anyone have any solid information on this?
Well, the slightly amusing conclusion is this: I returned the bottle of Ambre Sultan on Monday. Then later that evening the smell was coming back into my mind. I kind of missed it. I dabbed the very last drops of my sample out. Ah yes, I do like this -- I just can't stick my nose right in it all the time or the herbal bitterness and dustiness is too much. Still, something about the overall vibe from a distance was beguiling (again). I was kind of craving it. So, yep, back I went today to get a bottle. This time I'll keep it.
(Also grabbed a travel bottle of Ambre 114 along with the Penhaligon's men's sampler pack at Gumps. Satisfying!)
I haven't tried a full day's wear of Ambre 114 yet, but judging from sampling it it seemed much less thick and bracing; it was more transparent, soft, and a bit powdery. The herbal feel of the Sultan was only there in the opening of 114 for me.
For now, I'm glad to have both. They're pretty distinct from one another.
Best fragrance of this type in my opinion. It's stunning.
HdP - Ambre 114
I've never tried Amber Absolute, sadly. Ambrosius is quite radiant and animalic; it's so many similar things together that it's really hard to describe. It's so good.