I just got this sample for free with my order from the lovely ladies at perfumeniche.com – they always treat me so well, and I would recommend them for an awesome read (I love their clever little blog), and hard-to-find perfume samples.
The official website describes this one as follows (pic stolen from Fragrantica):
Ambre Extrême is the more intense eau de parfum version of the original refined L’Eau d’Ambre. Much deeper and resonant, with spicy top notes and waves of golden amber and spices. If the original scent is red velvet, Ambre Extrême would be travelling in the 1930s, its Golden Age, wrapped in furs, exuding sensual elixirs while circumnavigating the globe.
Notes: amber, vanilla, fresh spices
This opens with a WAFT of pure sweet amber, and reminds me why – although I love sticky sweet – amber is sometimes too much on its own. When I sniff close to skin, t is mixed with some herb and a gorgeous dry wood, which balances the sugary sweet amber that was wafting at the beginning.
As usual, my inner elbow behaves differently from my wrist, which is annoying as I do not know which reaction I should be talking about! My inner elbow is wet and ambery, with herbs, while my wrist is a gorgeous dry wood with amber. I LOVE what is on my wrist, as it has depth – I find it hard to point out other notes, though I can detect many: some sort of sweet booze, woods, little herb, and amber. There is a powdery quality reminiscent of Parfum d’Empire’s Ambre Russe, which I have a hate-love relationship with (the vodka note behaves badly on my skin sometimes). I should test the two side by side.
Both my inner elbow and wrist are now in a drier more woody-herby phase. I find it interesting to note that I looked up the notes AFTER writing my impressions, and was surprised to find no woods mentioned. Vanilla was mentioned, and I can sense it getting creamier in its wafting as it dries down, but I find that the scent close to skin is what I am loving. This is a shame though, as fragrances – to me – are only as good as their wafts, and if this one is wafting caramel-vanilla ice cream, then it’s definitely not for me. I need a contrast (as I’ve mentioned so often before), and this just doesn’t offer it in its wafts.
It dries down (on my skin, as the wafting continues to smell like a morbid ice cream) to something spicy & sweet but with a slight animalic note. There is something in there that awakens the primal instincts, and I find this so beautifully blended. The longevity isn’t bad, but I am saddened by my favourite part becoming a skin scent, while the fluff is what the world would smell. That’s like your favourite actor being cast in a horrible role, where they have to do an accent they cannot do, and then being judged on their entire career just by that role.
Bottom Line: The wafting is lovely, but I could see it getting too sweet and slightly boring for me. Oh – but what I’m smelling close to skin? That is divine. Perhaps I’ll wear this one before bed sometimes, until my sample runs out. I doubt I’ll get a full bottle as I demand some complexity in my amber (unless I want to die of tooth-ache).