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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Perfume Review: Yves Rocher Voile d'Ambre

Tom asked last Friday if I could review a twenty dollar scent for a change. I am always up for a challenge, especially the kind that isn’t really challenging at all. In our age of online discount stores and eBay, bargains for all sorts of fantastic scents are only a click away (Yatagan for $25.00, anyone?). Apart from discounted but usually pricey, high-end fragrances, I own and love truly budget perfumes, like Coty Wild Woods and Dana English Leather Musk. Yves Rocher’s Voile d’Ambre, at $23.00 for 1.7oz (never mind that it says on the site that the regular price is $46.00; you hardly ever see Yves Rocher charging regular prices, there are always sales going on), is another cheap-ish favorite in my collection.

Those who are familiar with the company know that for every ten or so bottles of what I call “olfactory filler”, there is a really nice, even, dare I say it, original scent at Yves Rocher. For me, the examples of good quality, interesting Rocher scents would be the dark and brooding Isphahan, the somewhat Poisonesque Nuit d’Orchidee, the ethereal, ladylike Magnolia, the super-cuddly Cocoon and the recent release, Voile d’Ambre, this poor perfumista’s Flowerbomb Extreme. The “poor” comment is not a reflection on the quality of the blend. To me it is right on the level of Flowerbomb Extreme, that is to say it is not a masterpiece of originality at all, but is very pretty and lovable. The two are not by any means identical, however Voile d’Ambre has the same kind of glamorous candied-ness that I like in Flowerbomb Extreme.

Don’t let the word “amber” in the name mislead you into believing that it is an amber-heavy fragrance. The note, although present, is not especially prominent. It serves more as a warm background for the rest of the notes (green mandarin, cardamom, myrrh, incense, opoponax, vanilla, sandalwood and patchouli). Incense and myrrh are also rather subdued if not entirely non-existent. The beginning smells of sugared citrus fruits and sweet spice, the heart is vaguely floral, honeyed, resinous and vanillic, the drydown is a very satisfying blend of soft wood, warm patchouli and more vanilla. Voile d’Ambre is a very attractive scent that feels dressed-up enough to be taken out to a party and yet, because of the vanilla, sweet amber and warm drydown, has a comforting feel. The fragrance is sweet but not cloying. It should suit very well those, who like me, have a soft spot for these kinds of vaguely gourmand compositions.

Voile d’Ambre is available at Yves Rocher, $23.00 for 1.7oz, $9.50 for a 1/2oz and $3.00 for a miniature. The body lotion and shower gel are both really nice as well; they are highly perfumed and very true to the scent of Eau de Parfum.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly: I never made it into an Yves Rocher shop....from time to time I stand, mouth open, in front of the shop window, amazed how they can do it: Come up with a new decoration about every 24 hours, new perfumes on a weekly basis and everything is on sales! The next time I will be brave and will spy...trying to discover their secret!

2:39 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know that Yves Rocher puts in his concentrates more money than LVMH ? It sounds surprising, but that's a true side that you might not notice if you are outside the manufacturing. :))))

2:53 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

Like Andy, I have never tried an Yves Rocher. . . I guess I should.:)

7:18 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

"Olfactory filler" - love that! :-) I've only tried a few Yves Rocher scents and gave up on them. Obviously, I should have persisted. And such heavenly prices!

7:27 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Voile D'Ambre is the first Yves Rocher scent I tried. It was a little citrus-heavy for me, and at first I was disappointed. However, during a particularly anxious period recently, I found myself reaching for this over and over again. It is a lovely comfort scent, as you say.

7:33 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

If you figure out their secret, please let me know :-) I mean, how can they afford to have their products constantly on sale? And I am not exaggerating. There is always sale. It's a mystery!

8:41 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Dear Anonymous,
Somehow I am not surprised at all. Nothing I hear about LVMH shocks me anymore :-)

8:42 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't think Voile d'Ambre is your kind of scent, but try looking on eBay for a miniature for their discontinued Isphahan. Dark and beautiful, it was.

8:43 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Have you tried Isphahan? Maybe I should re-try it myself, what I remember is a sultry and sort of Gothic dark oriental scent.

8:44 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I hope you are feeling better now!
I find myself reaching for Voile at bedtime most often. I really would recommend the shower gel and the lotion. They smell so strong that I often don't even need an EDP.

8:46 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

No, I haven't tried Isphahan and from what you say, it sounds like I'd not have given up on Yves Rocher if I had. Must start trying to find it on ebay!
And LVMH...evil. Pure evil.

8:57 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I'd love to know what you think. Do my memories deceive me, I wonder :-)

8:58 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yves Rocher was the very first "niche" shop (compared to everything else out there) I ever discovered. There were a couple in Riga, and I'd always make a point of stopping by. Never really bought anything but thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I agree with you that some of their scents are quite nice, and I've been curious to try this one.

10:51 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't tried any of Yves Rocher, but from your review it sounds great to me.

The only thing is, if we all search it on the ebay, we may not like the final price:)

11:00 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

No need to search for Voile on eBay, it is easily available at Yves Rocher site :-)

11:06 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Same here! They were the pioneers of "western" cosmetic and fragrance shopping in my home town :-) They seemed so very cool then :-)

11:07 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Have you tried the Rose Isphahan? It sounds like it has potential.

11:07 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I haven't. It does sound great though.

11:09 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

well, you certianly rose to the challenge!

Now I'm off to find some of these: I've never heard of them!

11:24 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't believe Rocher does that kind of subscription stuff. They would send you emails notifying of sales and codes, if you subscribe :-)And they have sales and codes every day.

11:35 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

They have some men's scents too. Don't know how good or bad they are :-)

11:36 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Yay!!!! Something that doesn't cost $200 and can only be purchased on the Rue Cambon!

That's just depressing about LVMH. They're trying to find a way to make their frags out of recycled tires and cornhusks to save money...

12:34 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Well, I am glad you are pelased. I don't know whether you'd love this oen. You won't hate it probably. But there lots more things on yves rocher's site. I'd highly recommend the shower gels. In all sorts of scents and size, lovely stuff and cheap.

12:36 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right. You mentioned the price, but I even didn't look at it:). How stupid I am:)

1:08 PM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I suppose you're right that it isn't "amber heavy", but still, it was enough that this amber-hater didn't like it. Quite agree though that the YR brand does a fair number of decent scents. The store itself smells so bad you'd never guess it!

1:33 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

be careful with the Rocher site...what with the low prices and the "pay later" option, the stuff is addictive :-)

4:40 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

But, as an amber-hater, you still like POTL, right? That one is all cloying amber on me. *sigh*

4:41 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just to add - they have an extremely nice shower creme called jardins du monde Kakao-Bohne aus Afrika (in German, anyway). It's not overy choco but super nice - and worth at least twice the price (i paid 1.50 euro.) I used to see/get/laugh at the Yves Rocher catalogs as a teenager but now that I'm in Europe I feel I should give them a second chance, especially as they are in every train station!

3:58 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I used to love them as a teenager..they seemed so Western and therefore so cool :-DDDD

8:25 AM EST  
Blogger Katy S said...

I ADORE a lot of the scents that have been discontinued (at least you can't get them here, over the pond, in the States), such as Ishahan, Rose Ispahan, Venice, Shafali and Orchidee and Orchidee du Nuit (I think that's right). It's terribly frustrating trying to keep enough around :-) As far as their newer ones - the Voile d'Ambre is OK, but I prefer the Rose Absolute myself - but that's me. I have two extremes I like. Super floral, or very spicy. It seems I can carry either one off, depending - now, Yria? That was just rank on me.

and SHOPS?? Yves Rocher SHOPS??? *jealous* All we have here are mail order and Internet. *sob*

9:00 PM EDT  
Blogger CIDINHA LIMA said...

Simplesmente fantástico.adoroooooooo.

6:06 PM EDT  

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