You Can Stand Under My Amber-ella
This has been a rainy summer. At times, it felt that "all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened". And having a large vessel built just in case seemed like not a bad idea.
I've noticed that of all scents, amber ones seem to flourish in humid and wet weather. For whatever reason, they smell better to me and on me when it rains, and, of course, there are few notes more comforting than the balmy, sweet, slightly powdery amber. I started my perfume obsession with amber-mania, over-ambered myself, and haven't touched an amber "soliflore" or a scent with a pronounced amber accord for a couple of years. It was the great deluge of summer 2009 that revived my affection for the note. Having gone through a number of old amber favorites (for example, the sublime Anne Pliska) and having discovered some new amber fragrances, I narrowed my choice of ambers that I would bring with me on the ark to the following three:
Keiko Mecheri's new Crystal d'Ambre. I will say straightaway that I don't think it would satisfy a hardcore amber fanatic, somebody who loves, for instance, the formidable Ambre Precieux by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. Crystal d'Ambre is much tamer, a softer, somewhat more transparent take on the note (I suppose, thus the "crystal" in the name). Alongside the title ingredient, the almost chocolaty benzoin and vanilla are very apparent on my skin, as is the suede-like, very vaguely animalic accord. Everything is delicately rounded and refined; this is an amber that speaks in hushed tones, an elegant, infintely wearable and comforting creation. (Keikomecheri.com, $115.00 for 75ml)
Fiore d'Ambra by Profumum left me underwhelmed in the past. This year, its piquant, honeyed warmth hit the spot. I don't know, if it really contains opium, but I do smell some spice along the lines of cloves, maybe even some cinnamon, and a certain floral piquancy that one finds in carnations. It is simultaneously less proper-perfumey and dressed-up than Crystal d'Ambre and much more sensual. The Mecheri is for rainy evenings out, the Profumum - for seductive nights in. One of my favorite characteristics of Fiori d'Ambra is the tarry, slightly burnt drydown; I find that smoky almost-leatheriness very appealing. (Luckyscent, $240.00 for 100ml)
Speaking of smoke, Neil Morris's Burnt Amber is a Guy Fawkes night in a bottle. Amber here is enveloped in the fumes of smoldering oak and oud, spiced up by pepper and sweetened by an addition of plum. Plum is always a plus, in my book. The plummy tarriness of the scent reminds me slightly of Marquis de Sade by Histoires de Parfums, only less leathery, more ambery. Having said that, Burnt Amber offers a unique take on the accord, and lovers of smoke and male readers should make a note of this perfume. Burnt Amber would definitely go with me on the ark, and I would insist on sharing it with my Noah. (Neilmorrisfragrances.com, $70.00 for 30ml)
Are there any scents that you enjoy more in wet and humid weather? What amber favorites would you want to save in the Deluge?