Perfume Review: Montale Blue Amber
|Review by Kelley|
This fragrance really got me thinking. I mean, how many scents do you own that are primarily linear scents? You apply them and they don’t change much if at all. Chandler Burr described Mugler’s Angel as having many faces and said it was like having a conversation with someone that has ups and downs and is constantly changing (not a quote, just from memory). You start off with the most dramatic thing that happened to you during the week or the top notes, “Your sister’s pregnant?”, and then you switch to less important things like your job, “I can’t believe the bit*h got a promotion and I didn’t”, and finally you end with the base notes “see you later honey, after we get back from Barbados”. Sometimes, this can wear you out!
There are a few scents I can think of that are primarily top notes. Hermes’ Eau D’Orange Verte is one that comes to mind. You put it on and it screams freshness and summer goodness with its basil/mandarin orange accord. However, after about 30 minutes it’s gone. Once those top notes burn off there is nothing left. Another one is (I am sure some would disagree) Malle’s Bigarade Concentree. I can think of one scent that is primarily base notes and that is M7 by YSL. I love it especially during warm weather because it really blooms on my skin. Scents that are primarily base notes seem to stay really close to the skin.
The first time I tried Blue Amber, I wasn’t impressed. Sort of like the first time I saw the movie “Pride and Prejudice” staring Kiera Knightley until I realized that the director tried some very difficult shots with no edits (check out the party scene and you can see the actors run to make their next line clear across the room…the scene seems to go on and on forever with no cuts!). Blue Amber’s sillage is the most amazing thing about this scent and I almost didn't notice it. Amber (resin or incense) is usually used in fragrances as a base note. It’s also often used as a fixative. Base notes tend to stay close to the skin after all of the top and middle notes have burned off which is their nature. This scent is so amazing because it has a wonderful sillage! It wasn’t until a friend paid me a compliment about 5 hours after applying that I started to think…hmmm, there might be something to this.
I do smell a little of the bergamot at first but I had this idea that the name “Blue Amber” was maybe referring to a blue fruit like blueberries or blackberries or something. There is the tiniest of fruity quality as the scent opens and lasts a good hour or so. This is a sweet amber with none of the harsh edges that often accompany amber scents. The geranium in this is muted and I smell a little coriander but not much and forget about patchouli. In the middle stages I thought I smelled a little cedar but maybe that is the coriander. Later into the wearing, the vanilla starts to come forward. This is a fairly straight forward scent with little progression but it is glorious. It ends on a very strong vanilla note. Blue Amber seems to last about 10 hours on my skin. I bet this would smell wonderful on a hot day which would really activate the true nature of amber which usually needs body heat to create sillage. I have worn my sample several times over the past few months and finally decided to order a bottle. My next submission to PST is a page from the Perfume Addict’s Diary in which I try to order a bottle of Blue Amber from Switzerland.
Please chime in with your observations on top note or middle note or even base note scents. Or, what about scents that change so much they wear you out?
Montale fragrances are sold online and around the world at finer boutiques. The Oud series (like Aoud Lime) runs about $150 for the 50ml and $210 for 100ml and the Eau de Parfum line (like Blue Amber) run $125 for the 50ml and $175 for the 100ml cans. Notes include: Italian bergamot, bourbon geranium, coriander, patchouli, vetiver, amber, and vanilla.