By rights this should have been the first Histoires de Parfums scent I should have tried, I have a certain reputation to live up to after all. But for very practical reasons, testing was postponed. My dear son, Niki, the Prince of Amber (apple, tree etc.), took hold of the sample and proceeded to apply it all over his tummy, proudly declaring: “Ninti smells gooooood now.”
While he was undoubtedly right, it was not enough for me to write a review about, so I had to order another sample and finally – here we are.
Ambre 114 was created by Gerard Ghislain and includes notes of thyme, nutmeg, rose, geranium, patchouli, sandalwood, cedar, vetiver, amber, vanilla, tonka bean, benzoin and musk.
Ambre 114 has its Le Labo’esque name because the formula includes 114 ingredients. Now, we know that I have not only one amber in my collection, but Ambre 114 will make its way there too eventually (in the form on one of those cute and wonderful 14ml bottles). Why, you ask? What makes this different from the others? Let me tell you!
Ambre 114 is very light, despite the genre, despite a whopping 114 ingredients, the feel of this perfume is airy and weightless. It is not dense, no heavy winter scent to stifle you in the months to come, but a very wearable, soft and exceptionally well blended warm oriental.
Ambre 114 is, after a sheer herbal opening reminscent of a diet version of Ambre Sultan, a very sweet and spicy, creamy, soft, well rounded and pleasantly woody amber with a hint of smoke.
We are reminded of Amouage Opus VI, when I say lightweight amber, but the two are very, very different. Ambre 114 is much softer and more feminine, the sweet aspects of amber are pronounced here, whereas Opus VI is dry and masculine, square-edged, angular, chiseled almost.
Those two impress me as the Yin and Yang of the amber spectrum.
“Opposites only exist in relation to each other. Yin and Yang are not opposing forces (dualities), but complementary opposites, unseen (hidden, feminine) and seen (manifest, masculine), that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system.”
So that explains why I need to add a little of Ambre 114 in my life- because who am I to upset the cosmic balance?
And, the greater workings of the universe aside, “Ninti smells goooood” too.