Perfume Review: Parfum d'Empire Ambre Russe, Eau Suave, Eau de Gloire, Iskander and Cuir Ottoman
Review by Tom
Luckyscent was nice enough to give me samples of the new (to them) Parfum d'Empire scents to try out, lovely fragrance pushers that they are. Since I am nothing if not an enabler, here are my impressions of the five(with links to Colombina's reviews)
Colombina reviewed this as a "a nostalgic but humorous olfactory portrait of Imperial Russia" While I would usually roll my eyes at the obviousness of notes of vodka, leather and tea in a scent named Anything Russe, I have to write that I loved this: The spikey vodka opening is quickly joined by wonderful black tea, becoming more honeyed as the scent develops. There is a very interesting middle of cumin sweetened by a slight winey note (perhaps that's the champagne), along with a wonderful smokey leather in the drydown. Oh, and the amber, you ask? Oh yes, the amber: it's pervasive and delightful, it's resinous heat weaves in and out in the wearing of it. Reading this, you might think that this is a heavy scent: it's not, at least not in the way that Ambre Sultan can be. This doesn't have the Lutens heat, this is the amber of the Tsars, not the amber of the Souks. If you have a dislike for the heaviness of the Lutens, this will definately be your cup of tea. If you're an amber junkie like me, this needs to be on your list.
Colombina wrote of this as a rose scent, but to me, it never really gets to really rosy: the saffron and fruits conspire to keep the roses from becoming overwhelming. I know, usually fruit and floral in the same perfume make me want to hurt someone, but this is done so well and, well, feminine that although I can't see me wearing it I can certainly see why someone else would
Eau de Gloire
Colombina wrote of this as being substantial to the point of being at one stage cloying. I find its opening rather similar to Guerlain Imperiale (well, since it's inspired by Napoleons love of colognes, that's not surprising), before it takes off in its own rather odd direction: anise and immortelle are in there, as well as tobacco, tea and rosemary. It reads as if it should be totally overwhelming, but it's strangely subdued on me. It's "masculine" in that way that some older colognes are; it's complex, but you have to get right up into someones serious personal space to smell it. Ladies (and gents, let's not be sexist) this is the one to get your husband who says he doesn't like cologne. He'll like it, and more important you'll like it on him.
Colombina wrote of this as bracing and fresh. My first whiff of this made me do my version of Columbina's squeal of delight: a happy Spicoli-like "whoooooah". A wonderful grapefruit peel note opens it, ever so slightly candied. Tarragon joins the party as the grapefruit fades a bit, like late afternoon shadows in a citrus grove. Then a wonderful ambered musk comes in at the drydown making my credit card start to literally levitate. That is until I tried...
Colombina wrote that "Quite frankly, all I want to do is sit with my nose glued to my wrist, whimpering happily". I can't help but agree. This is to me everything that Santa Maria Novello's Nostalgia should have been and wasn't: it has the indolent leather and slightly brittle metallic tang that makes me think of a vintage sports car, along with a really great animal note, that along with benzoin and a slightly sweet resinousness that makes me imagine the hottie mechanic that keeps it running.
It's my fantasy, k?
All of these are available at Luckyscent for $110 for a decently-sized 100ml bottle. I doubt I will be able to stop myself from getting Cuir Ottoman by the end of the week...