Perfume Review. Daim Brun: Armani Privé Ambre Soie by Giorgio Armani
Armani Privé line of fragrances was the result of Armani’s (very understandable) desire to own a scent nobody else was wearing; it was meant to be a private collection of fragrances to be worn by Armani and his close friends. Price was no object; Armani wanted only the finest, purest ingredients, as natural as possible. The perfumes were to be complex compositions, a unisex “haute couture” line. All his life Armani has enjoyed traveling to the East, exploring Tunisia and Morocco, so of course he required a touch of the exotic in his new exclusive scents. Armani Privé line was meant to stimulate memories, evoke past times and faraway places. Eventually Armani was persuaded to start selling his Privé scents, but exclusively in Armani boutiques and selected stores. The line right now consists of four scents, Ambre Soie, Bois d'Encens, Eau de Jade, and Pierre de Lune; according to people in the know, a fifth scent, Armani Privé Amethyst, is about to be released in the UK.
Ambre Soie, allegedly inspired by the sensual feel of silk (soie) and the exotic markets of the East and North Africa, was the Privé scent I wanted to try the most. An amber scent in another très exclusif collection, Ambre Narguile by Hermes, is one of my absolute favorites. In anticipation of something perhaps even more wonderful, I sprayed on some Ambre Soie…It starts rich and dark and surprisingly similar to Serge Lutens Daim Blond, a sweet, warm scent that evokes suede. Whatever that note is, it vanishes within seconds and now it is a very sweet amber scent, almost chewy caramel-like in its sweetness. Cinnamon is quite apparent here, adding yet more warmth to the composition.
This might sound strange coming from someone who enjoys Ambre Narguile, definitely a sweet scent, but Ambre Soie is a tad too sweet at this point even for my taste. When the drydown comes, the inexplicable suede note appears again, this time accompanied by a darkly elegant patchouli accord. Again, I am reminded of Daim Blond and also of Poivre Samarcade by Hermes, both suede-based scents. I am unable to find anything silk-like in Ambre Soie; this is a much richer, heavier, more substantial fragrance than one that would evoke that smooth, lustrous material. On my skin and to my nose, Ambre Soie is sumptuous dark brown suede.
This is a beautiful, rich scent, however, since it reminds me so much of the two of my favorites, one of which I already own, I don’t think I will be buying a bottle of Ambre Soie. This is not a bad thing, taking into account that Privé Eaux de Parfum retail for $185 for 1.7 oz. If you can find them, that is. As far as I know, Armani Privé line of fragrance is carried by Saks; at the moment though, only Bois d'Encens and Pierre de Lune come up when you search the site.
* A “group portrait” of Armani Privé scents are from http://www.gribouille-industry.com/. The photo of Ambre Soie is from http://www.fragrancefoundation.org.uk/.