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Monday, June 25, 2007

Little Miss Colomina's Perfume Collection. Le Labo Ambrette 9

Ever since having discovered the luminous beauty of ambrette seed in Chanel No 18, I have been looking for other perfumes that feature a generous dose of this delicately-musky, vaguely fruity, slightly boozy note. Ambrette 9, created for Le Labo by Michel Almairac, is, as the name suggests, precisely that, a fragrance centered around ambrette seed. It is Le Labo's offering for babies and their mommies, and I cannot think of a more fitting fragrance for the target audience. It is the smell of tenderness.

Ambrette 9 is indescribably lovely on my little one, the soft musky-fruity accord enhancing the naturally sweet smell of her skin. On me it is a little less fruity, more musky and a little more floral, with almost-illusory hints of jasmine and rose. There really isn't much to tell about the scent's development, as there is basically none. From the beginning to the drydown, it is the softly radiant fragrance of ambrette accentuated by subtle floral and musky notes, but its simplicity is delightful, and, keeping in mind the delicacy of some of the potential wearers, appropriate.

Ambrette is an expensive ingredient, and Ambrette 9 is definitely not cheap. It retails for $50.00 (15ml), $125.00 (50ml), $190.00 (100ml), $600.00 (500ml) and $900.00 (1000ml, in case you perhaps want to bathe your baby in it?) and is available at and barneys'.com. Little Miss Colombina and I must have Ambrette 9 for the summer, cost notwithstanding.

The painting is Sunday Morning by Lauri Blank,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I only could have started that early...

2:49 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How sweet, Goluboczka

4:55 AM EDT  
Blogger rosarita said...

What a lovely post and painting! Thanks for starting my day w/ a (nostalgic) smile.

7:05 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I adore ambrette seed and I now definitely need to get out my sample of this one and retry it. Sounds like its simplicity might make me happier in the sweltering days of mid-summer than it did in mid-winter.

7:35 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've just inspired me to dig out my little pot of Grandiflorum Floral Ambrette and try it again. I'd forgotten how gently lovely it is. My daughter will surely love it too. Although she's only two years old, she regularly demands a 'pssht pssht' of scent for herself to 'smell like a lady'. I'm glad she's not alone in being a teeny perfumista.

7:56 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chanel 18 is my favorite of the Exclusifs & it's actually the one I meant a few posts back when I said my friend W thinks it smells like "summer sex" on me (which could be an inappropriate friend-comment but if you knew W, it isn't really). I can't imagine a baby perfume smells of "summer sex" (tho honestly, that's W's opinion, not mine) so now I need to sniff Ambrette 9 to see exactly what part of 18 is ambrette & what part is the Chanel-ness of it all.

And ... I love the light in that painting.

7:58 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

That sounds lovely! Little Miss C. is very lucky to have such a wonderful mother! I will definitely try this on my next trip to NY.

8:09 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

When did you start? And what was your first perfume? :-)

8:13 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, E!

8:13 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Anita, thank you!

8:13 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I do think that's a summery scent, just because it is so delicate. When I say, delicate, however, I don't mean short-lived. It lasts a surprisingly long time on me.

8:14 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Dear Anonymous,
I immediately gogled Grandiflorum Floral Ambrette and it looks like it isn't available online. I will have to look for it in stores then. It sounds lovely.

8:14 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I can see how ambrette-heavy scent might smell like summer sex :-) Chanel is probably sexier in that respect. Ambrette 9 is all ambrette and no Chanel-ness :-)

8:16 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I cannot remember whether you liked Chanel No 18? This one is simpler and gentler, without much ornamentation.

8:17 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awwww, such a sweet post. When I have a little one, I will certainly try some mother-daughter/son scents. Beautiful painting, BTW.

8:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Isn't it lovely, the painting, I mean? She has another one with the same two characters that I am duying to use somewhere :-)

8:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dear M., my first perfume (or one of my first - it was so long ago...) was something rather unsophisticated : Ispahan... (it was a small black bottle - in age of 17-18 I was an "existentialist", wearing only black, and running around with books from Camus...).
My perfume-taste definitely changed when I myself started to collect all the absolues, concretes, resins, etc. And then started to read your blog (God bless you & Om)

11:19 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That's what *I* was like when I was 17-18. :-) Still am, come to think of it :-) And I think that Isphahan is very sophisticated. An obscure gem, really. Dark and gorgeous.

11:25 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

You know, I have a sample of this and now you make me want to dig it out..

11:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still love black and rarely wear an other colour (and "The Plague" is still one of the best...). But I'm more peaceful now with 42...

11:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Do dig it out and report how musky it is on you. A lot? or not at all?

11:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I love black too, am trying to infuse the wardrobe with other colors, but if I let myself go, it would be all-black :-)

11:56 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Ambrette 9 is lovely (not 1000 ml lovely, but lovely) and you've described it perfectly. It is so different from the usual sorts of things made for children, and I should think a man could wear it too (?)

11:59 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

If I wasn't hoarding the rest of my sample, I'd have sprated the DH with :-) But I bet it would be great, and slightly different, probably less fruity, drier. I think I might cave on this one...

12:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I quite like it but it was very fleeting on my skin and rather linear, as you say. I still prefer Chanel 18.

1:43 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It was surprisingly tenacious on me, although quiet. Quiet and tenacious :-)
I am greedy, I want this and No 18.

1:46 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colombina, I'd been wondering about this fragrance, and now you've proved it's a must-try for me. I love tender scents. And the image you chose is beautiful.

2:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I love tender scents too. Not many of those around, I find. :-(

3:30 PM EDT  
Blogger LCLS said...

I am listing several boxes of floral ambrette on EBAY along with Sweet la Rose and Angelica..If interested let me know.

10:51 PM EDT  

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