Balancing Act – Review: L’Artisan Parfumeur L’Eau D’Ambre

L´Eau D´Ambre is my winter go-to fragrance, like a favorite sweater it fits comfortably and never goes out of style.

It was one of the first fragrances by L´Artisan that I tried and it somehow symbolizes all that is great about the brand. When I think L´Artisan, I think Ambre.

Created by Jean-Claude Ellena back in 1978, it is the quintessential amber fragrance for me. Warm, sweet-ish, soft, cuddly, comfortable. The notes according to Luckyscent include cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, amber, vanilla, rose, patchouli, sandalwood, benzoin and tonka bean.

There are ambers that are too dry or medicinal for me. Currently I am trying to find a way to co-exist with Ambre Fetiche by Annick Goutal, I´ll keep you posted how that goes, for now it is 1:0 for the perfume. 😉

But not L´Eau d´Ambre. I think it is the masterful use of vanilla that turns the amber into something perfect for me, softly swaying in a delicate balance of dry and sweet.

It starts out spicy, but soon the rich amber dressed up in the cuddly softness of vanilla, tonka and some patchouli, to keep it from getting too sweet, appears and stays for about four hours.

I am aware that some people think this is “a bland amber for people who don´t like amber” (quote from a review on Basenotes). Maybe I am an amber wimp 😉

If so, that is something I can live with.

What I don´t want to live without, is L´Eau d´Ambre.

Picture source:, some rights reserved, thank you!

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33 Responses to Balancing Act – Review: L’Artisan Parfumeur L’Eau D’Ambre

  1. Tara says:

    Hi Olfactoria, just found your lovely blog. Especially nice because you’re based in Europe (I’m in the UK). Your review of L’Eau d’Ambre made me think this is probably the amber for me, I can’t wait to dig out my sample when I get home. It’s been so long since I’ve tried it and there are a number of attention grabbing ambers out there (I’m looking at you Ambre Sultan and Ambre Russe!), I think it is easy to overlook this one.
    SOTD Patchouli 24 – I really need a full bottle of this!

  2. Victoria says:

    Oh, it is a great amber, not wimpy at all! You’ve described it perfectly–warm, sweet, cuddly, and yet it is complex enough to be interesting. 🙂

  3. deeHowe says:

    For a self-confessed amber AND L’Artisan lover, I should be ashamed of myself. I have not tried this! Well, I did spray some on a cotton ball during a trip to the Perfume House, when I tried to smell the WHOLE line in one day… so it’s a blur.

    *adding sample to luckyscent basket*

    Have you tried the extreme version (EDP) at all? If so, is it worth trying both?

    • Olfactoria says:

      I did try the extreme once, but it didn’t stand out as different enough to warrant further testing, but I may be wrong, I wouldn’t want to make any definitive statements here 😉

      • deeHowe says:

        Good to know—I get pretty good milage out of L’AP’s EDT’s, so I think I’ll stick with sampling that one… since there are *already* five or six other samples in my cart this time round!

        Maybe luckyscent will think of offering quantity discounts?

  4. Marina says:

    Definitely quintessential. A standard against which ambers should be measured maybe. Everything in proportion here. Perhaps that might be perceived as boring, I don’t know. I think this is very wearable.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I think you are right, perfection can be perceived as boring, because it only presents a smooth surface, no sharp edges. But that suits me just fine sometimes, jarring and irritating has its place too, but maybe another day…

  5. Ines says:

    I don’t think you’re an amber wimp (says the person who recently acquired the bottle). It is a perfect amber for any situation when you just want to smell nice and not make everyone wonder what in the world are you wearing (plus, I think this scent has brought me more compliments than any other I have).
    The bad news is if I understood it correctly, it’s no longer in production.

    I just read all the comments – there is an extreme version of this? oooh, I have goosebumps just thinking of the possible way it smells…

  6. I don’t see this one as wimpy at all! In fact, I was just trying to talk my friend into trying this one a few days ago. He said that he has read the forums stating that it is “wimpy” (and what would he know, he doesn’t own a single amber heavy fragrance). I disagree! For me this is the epitome of amber…and I was raised by amber resin burning hippies. There’s nothing holding D’Ambre back!

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  8. Amy says:

    This was my “one and only” fragrance for a long time. They had it at a little boutique near my work and I probably used up half of their sample bottle before I finally broke down and bought it. At the time, it felt insane to spend over a hundred bucks on perfume, but it had simply captured my heart. My scent wardrobe has increased significantly since then, but I still reach for D’Ambre often this time of year. Your review really speaks to why that is. I don’t want to live without it either! Please tell me it is not discontinued…

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is really wonderful when a perfume captures us and “completes” us in a way.
      Sadly I cannot say for sure what the fate of L´Eau d´Ambre will be. I heard two conflicting opinions from L´Artisan representatives and retailers on the topic of discontinuation. If I ever hear something definite, I´ll let you know! Thanks for reading, Amy! 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Amy, I have confirmation from L’Artisan directly that they are NOT discontinuing L’Eau d’Ambre! Yippie!

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  18. milleiles says:

    I am reopening this old tread! I was looking for an amber “for people who dont like amber” and l’Artisan end up to not be the one. The one which work well for me is Ambre nue from Atelier cologne. I recommand it to amber beginners!

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