Code of Conduct
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 31 to 60 of 60
o
  1. #31

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Great article, thanks!

    I also think Roja Dove's Danger features real Ambergris as a main note, as does SHL's O'Hira. Danger is super-impressive IMO, an amazing and unique fougere...

    Looking forward to see what uses Sultan Pasha finds for ambergris after his latest acquisitions! ;)

  2. #32

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Wow, thanks for the positive feedback, everyone! Once again, I am touched by the generosity of spirit and the desire to exchange knowledge here on Basenotes.

    I originally went to meet Pat Lillis, the ambergris guy featured in the article, because I was working on an ambergris section for my book, which is a guide to attars and oud oils. The most expensive attars use quantities of real ambergris, oud, sandalwood (sometimes Mysore), expensive floral absolutes like osmanthus and jasmine, sometimes even real deer musk, so I wanted to do deep background on the notes that kept popping up. But the more I explored the world of ambergris, the more I realized that this would be the kind of content that might interest everyone in the fragrance community, not just the two or three people who will probably end up buying the book. Soon, I had samples of oils, synthetics, perfumes, and attars winging their way to me from all over the world, and what started out as a two-pager turned into 15.....

    I absolutely have to give props to the people who work directly with ambergris, or with naturals in general and mixed-media artisanal perfumes, namely: Pat Lillis, Sultan Pasha, Francesca Bianchi, Mandy Aftel, Christi Meshell, Abdes Salaam Attar (Dominique Dubrana), Josh Lobb, the creative director at Les Nez, among others. Everyone was incredibly open about ambergris, willing to answer every dumb question I had, and went into their reasons for their use (or non-use) of it in their perfumes. Some indie and niche perfumers decide to use Cetalox or Ambroxan for artistic reasons, although it is far more commonly for reasons of consistency and scaling up. Some choose to use natural ambergris. I hope it was clear from the article that there is no judgement based on the decision to use natural ambergris versus a replacer - we all know instances where a talented perfumer can make a silk purse of a sow's ear, and conversely where a perfumer has access to the best materials and still cocks it up. In this article, I chose to highlight really striking examples of ambergris in perfumery, whether it be natural or synthetic.

  3. #33

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Very nice write-up, Clare. I look forward to reading your book on oud oils and attars.
    One minor clarification (if I may). You write:

    Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume proves that there is truth in advertising after all; Not a Perfume is indeed not a perfume but rather Ambroxan mixed with perfumer’s alcohol. (Mind you, they sell it for €120 for a 100ml bottle, so the joke’s certainly on someone). Not a Perfume could be a good perfume to try if you want to smell Ambroxan in isolation without investing in a perfumer’s apprentice kit.


    Despite the claims, Not a Perfume contains more than just Cetalox: there's Hedione, Iso E Super and musks beside (I think you even mention some muskiness).
    A better option I think would be Molecule 02.

  4. #34

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    Very nice write-up, Clare. I look forward to reading your book on oud oils and attars.
    One minor clarification (if I may). You write:



    Despite the claims, Not a Perfume contains more than just Cetalox: there's Hedione, Iso E Super and musks beside (I think you even mention some muskiness).
    A better option I think would be Molecule 02.
    Ah, thank you ghandajala! I didn't know that Not a Perfume contained more than Cetalox! That's interesting. So Molecule 02 is Ambroxan, and Not a Perfume is (mostly) Cetalox - do you notice a difference between Cetalox and Ambroxan, and if so, could you tell us how they are different to your nose? I'm interested because of your background as a scientist. To my (uninformed) nose, Cetalox can smell a bit harsh, like an overexposed light, and Ambroxan is more ambery-sweet.

  5. #35

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Quote Originally Posted by ClaireV View Post
    Ah, thank you ghandajala! I didn't know that Not a Perfume contained more than Cetalox! That's interesting. So Molecule 02 is Ambroxan, and Not a Perfume is (mostly) Cetalox - do you notice a difference between Cetalox and Ambroxan, and if so, could you tell us how they are different to your nose? I'm interested because of your background as a scientist. To my (uninformed) nose, Cetalox can smell a bit harsh, like an overexposed light, and Ambroxan is more ambery-sweet.
    Oh, I'm no scientist (just a lowly philologist).
    I saw a GC-MS by Givaudan chemist Philip Kraft. According to it, Not a Perfume only has 7.5% Cetalox.
    Geza Schoen compared Not a Perfume to the base of Dolce and Gabbana's Light Blue For Her (sorry, it's in German):

    Wie war das, als Juliette has a Gun mit Not a perfume nach Molecule 02 plötzlich auch einen reinen Ambroxan-Duft rausbrachte? Ist das ein Plagiat? Ideenklau?
    „Kein Ideenklau, sondern eine PR-Katastrophe. Da muss intern eine Menge schief gelaufen sein: Die Verantwortlichen der Marke haben sich bei mir entschuldigt, sie hätten nichts von Molecule 02 gewusst und den Duft nicht absichtlich kopiert. Aber die kennen ja noch nicht mal die Zusammensetzung ihrer eigenen Düfte! Not a perfume ist doch überhaupt kein reines Ambroxan, das riecht man doch! Es ist wie die Basis des – übrigens richtig guten – Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue for her! Es wurde also tatsächlich kopiert, aber nicht bei mir.
    (source: http://www.parfumo.de/blog/2013/10/2...ystifizierung/)

  6. #36

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    This is a fantastically well written article. Thank you for sharing, I've learned something today!
    Currently wearing: Sauvage by Christian Dior

  7. #37
    Basenotes Junkie
    Funwithfrags's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Bury, UK
    Posts
    581

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    What a brilliant piece of writing. Thank you.

  8. #38
    Moderator
    rum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    UK / Île de chypre
    Posts
    13,542

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Another very well-written, thoroughly researched and meticulously structured article by Claire. No wonder I'm in love with your reviews :)

    I especially like how early on in the article you defined the difference between amber and ambergris. You are right about the confusion between the two and this article (I hope) will remain here as an invaluable guide for generations of new starters and researchers.

    Quote Originally Posted by ClaireV View Post
    so I wanted to do deep background on the notes that kept popping up. But the more I explored the world of ambergris, the more I realized that this would be the kind of content that might interest everyone in the fragrance community, not just the two or three people who will probably end up buying the book.
    Claire is writing a new book and expect two or three people to buy it??? OMG, I'll take 15 copies now if that's the case!
    We're going to need details and now you've thrown us the bait, we'll also want a release date :)

  9. #39

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    A fantastic article, Claire! Really enjoyed reading it

  10. #40
    Basenotes Junkie Still-Life With Red Rob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    (Outside)Portland, Oregon, on the Mighty Columbia, rolling on to the ocean...
    Posts
    628
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Thank you for your excellent use of the language: beyond merely describing the facts of ambergris, you also very clearly, succinctly and evocatively describe the scents and fragrance vibes of the stuff, so that I know my awareness of perfumes in general has increased. Well done!

  11. #41
    queen of the universe
    jujy54's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Rustbeltistan on Erie
    Posts
    4,185

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    great writing on an alluring subject.
    What do insomniac perfumers do to fall asleep? They count chypres!

  12. #42

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Thanks for the excellent article.

  13. #43

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Thank you, Jujy54, camorr, Eddie, Funwithfrags, Still-Life with Red Rob, arjunanand1, and Rum for your comments!

    My aunt read the article and was interested in smelling ambergris so I put a swipe of Sweet Blue Amber (ASAQ) on her arm - she thought it was repulsive! But then I caught her surreptitiously smelling her arm throughout the day, so I think she was fascinated, despite her initial misgivings. It makes you wonder who the first person was who figured out that this unprepossessing lump of slightly marshy-smelling beach flotsam would actually be an amazing addition to perfumes. But then, there was the first person to eat a raw oyster, balut, fois gras, etc...

  14. #44
    Always be smelling

    epapsiou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Oud Forest
    Posts
    6,473

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Quote Originally Posted by ClaireV View Post
    ..but then, there was the first person to eat a raw oyster, balut, fois gras, etc...
    And don't forget civet cat coffee.
    That was some freaky dude who tried that first
    Beauty needs no morality or righteousness.
    It, like nature, does not give a shit
    Currently wearing: Genny (original) by Genny

  15. #45

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Quote Originally Posted by epapsiou View Post
    And don't forget civet cat coffee.
    That was some freaky dude who tried that first
    Coffee is addictive... if that's all that was around... :)

  16. #46

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Thanks for this! Best ingredient-related article I have ever read.
    Currently wearing: Green Irish Tweed by Creed

  17. #47
    Dependent cytherian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    On a cliff overlooking Manhattan
    Posts
    3,475

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    I am stunned by the breadth and depth of this ambergris article, Claire. Truly a reference piece of work, that should be bookmarked in the "single note" sub forum of the site.

    I have dabbled in ambergris exploration but not done it seriously, due to not knowing enough and the expense it will incur. Being more informed will allow me to optimize the journey, and an article such as this is a tremendous boost. :thumbup: Thanks again! :)
    Currently wearing: Gomma by Etro

  18. #48
    Super Member galwaygirl001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Galway
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Aha! I knew there would be a book! I hardly wear perfume at all now (sorry basenotes!) but I will be buying your book. I suspect there is a novel writer in there also :-) Let me know when you convince pat to do the ambergris hunting workshop!
    Currently wearing: Patchouly by Etro

  19. #49
    Moderator
    rum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    UK / Île de chypre
    Posts
    13,542

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    I agree with Cytherian, definitely one to save. Perhaps we should have a Hall of Fame for articles like this?

    I actually starting to appreciate the note more, although mostly synthetic. I've managed to pic out the similarities in Sauvage, Aventus and now L'Air Du Desert and Au Coeur du Desert. They're definitely all based on ambrox (or equivalent).

  20. #50

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    I wear and love Balmain Ambergris. I wonder how close it's smell is to the real thing!? Any insight?

  21. #51
    Dependent cytherian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    On a cliff overlooking Manhattan
    Posts
    3,475

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Quote Originally Posted by smellymomma View Post
    I wear and love Balmain Ambergris. I wonder how close it's smell is to the real thing!? Any insight?
    No... smells rather "ambery". They pulled a misnomer, as I see it... as their "Ambre Gris" is about amber, not ambergris. Still, it's a very pleasant fragrance on its own and can be had for comparatively low prices. Plus that "golden golf ball" cap is rather nifty. ;)
    Currently wearing: Gomma by Etro

  22. #52

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Quote Originally Posted by cytherian View Post
    No... smells rather "ambery". They pulled a misnomer, as I see it... as their "Ambre Gris" is about amber, not ambergris. Still, it's a very pleasant fragrance on its own and can be had for comparatively low prices. Plus that "golden golf ball" cap is rather nifty. ;)

    That's strange. It doesn't smell like Amber to me at all. Not to mention I dislike Amber. And, everywhere I've seen Balmain Ambergris has the note Ambergris.

  23. #53
    Dependent
    Aiona's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    5,346
    Blog Entries
    33

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    I'm so glad you posted this. It's so weird that it coincides with my finding a vial of ambergris ?tincture from Dominique Dubrana. It was sent as part of one of his projects involving components of his perfumes. It arrived with a vial of Aalacho, (#1?) and I'm guessing Aalacho contains ambergris. Either Aalacho, or the Cuba Express that came in the same package. And I'm so glad you posted "what it smells like." Because... yeah.... I always thought ambergris was supposed to smell like amber. But no. You hit the nail on the head with the word "poo." It smells like poo. Not baby poo. Adult poo. Ew. I'm guessing La Via Profumo uses either black or grey ambergris, then, from your description above. Such a fascinating thing. If it is used as a fixative, then that would explain why Aalacho has startling longevity for a natural perfume.
    "Embrace those things which give you pleasure, after all, there is so much mediocrity to endure elsewhere." -- Inselaffe

  24. #54
    Dependent cytherian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    On a cliff overlooking Manhattan
    Posts
    3,475

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Quote Originally Posted by smellymomma View Post
    That's strange. It doesn't smell like Amber to me at all. Not to mention I dislike Amber. And, everywhere I've seen Balmain Ambergris has the note Ambergris.
    It's not literally an amber note... it's actually myrrh and benzoin in copious amounts. Very resinous. If there is an ambergris note, it is most definitely synthetic and in a very, very small amount if that. Cinnamon is a powerful note which is prominent, and for many can smother other notes.

    Here's what Pierre Balmain's website says about Ambre Gris:

    The fragrance is a tribute to the eponymous material, as rare and precious as the Balmain woman. Ambre Gris is a perfume of character. From the beginning, the heat of the spices gives the tempo then becomes milder by the sensual caresses of the tuberose. The drydown owes its unique oriental signature to the elegant alchemy of the most beautiful raw materials: myrrh, benzoin, opoponax, tonka bean, incense. They make the sensuality of amber peak and make the fragrance unforgettable.

    So it's a "tribute" to ambergris... without using the real thing. And it's not clear that they actually use a synthetic ambergris either.


    Here's an interesting review from the Non-Blonde blogger: ANATOMY OF A LEMMING: BALMAIN AMBRE GRIS

    Best quote: "Basically, people were hoping to get some exotic animalic funk, but instead found themselves with a huge bottle of candied wood."
    Last edited by cytherian; 21st December 2016 at 02:55 PM.
    Currently wearing: Gomma by Etro

  25. #55
    Basenotes Junkie

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    parma
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Very good article Claire!
    I have a bottle of "Panache" of Nerval, i suspect there's ambergis in this fragrance (i read online this notice...)

  26. #56

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Thanks Geco! I must look that fragrance up - I've never heard of it, but if it's vintage, then I'm sure you're right about the ambergris.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geco View Post
    Very good article Claire!
    I have a bottle of "Panache" of Nerval, i suspect there's ambergis in this fragrance (i read online this notice...)

  27. #57
    Basenotes Plus
    Diamondflame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    2,221

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    How the heck did I miss this fantastic piece in 2016?? Claire, I look forward to acquiring a signed copy of your book!

  28. #58

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Thank you, dear Diamondflame! Blushing here....

  29. #59

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    Your articles are a blessing to learners like me. And I truly and deeply mean it. Wow ! Absolutely amazing. You inspire me.

  30. #60

    Default Re: Ambergris: Myths, Truths, and Half-Truths

    I so know the pain of trying to sell the high grade ambergris very good article thanks.




Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may edit your posts
  •  



Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000