Amber Vanilla has the richness of a Pre-Raphaelite painting, reminiscent of a jewel-encrusted medieval fabric, dark golden heavy velvet. According to various sites, the notes here are just those in the name, amber and vanilla, but I don’t believe that for a second, this is a complex albeit very smooth blend. Amber opens the composition and it is dark, warm and intense; there is a depth to it that is very incense-like to my nose and I suspect there is an incense note in Amber Vanilla. The fragrance becomes darker and more resinous as it settles on my skin, and even when the vanilla drydown comes, bringing some sweet softness to the blend, the perfume does not lose the vague churchy feel that, to me, is the essence of its uniqueness.
Like the first Regina Harris perfume oil, Amber Vanilla has a certain religious atmosphere yet it is an incredibly sensual fragrance. This scent reminded me of the story of St. Theresa of Avila, Roman Catholic mystic, who entered states of ecstasy while studying religious texts in a Carmelite cloister, and of Bernini’s sculpture, The Ecstasy of St Theresa. “I saw in his [angel’s] hand a long golden arrow, its metal point tipped with fire. With this he appeared to pierce my heart again and again, reaching into my insides and ripping them from me, leaving me embracing in the great love of God." Just like in the story of St Theresa and in Bernini’s magnificent work, in Amber Vanilla divinity interacts with matter and spiritual merges with corporal.
Amber Vanilla Perfume Oil can be found at Beautyhabit, $125.00 for 15ml