Armani Privé issued a trilogy of perfumes early this year under the title La Collection des Mille et une Nuits. Ambre Orient, Rose d’Arabie and Oud Royal.
I was raiding my sample box for amber scents, a passion sparked by Ambre Fetiche, and came upon this sample of Ambre Orient I had previously ignored. I am glad I found it, Ambre Oriental is a very nice amber fragrance. The question is: is it worth the price Armani charges?
Well, let’s take a closer look.
Let’s listen to Scheherazade: “Sinbad the sailor was shipwrecked near a desert island, an island where amber sprung from a fountain and flowed down to the sea…”. For his part, Avicenna imagined that amber flowed from underwater springs or springs at the sea’s edge.
Then, 12th century scientists and mariners quickly gauged that the dull gray blocks of “anbar”, washed up on sea-shores, were trading at the price of gold with apothecaries and alchemists who attributed amber with magic, aphrodisiacal and perfumed powers.
From the earliest origins of perfumery, infusions of amber have delivered warm, golden and vibrant light to the greatest fragrances.
Just as the sun turns to gold as its mingles and sets over the water, Giorgio Armani has elected to work a liquid amber. Giorgio Armani masters the drape of a lamé blouse; fabrics that ripple and swing to the rhythm of movements. Each fold catches the light, shifting from warm, coppery gold to shades of pale, almost white gold.
Amber Orient is in the image of this liquid gold; a bit quiet when thyme and incense veil its top note, all the fiery warmth of wood breaks out at the heart: red patchouli, incandescent oud and unctuous sandalwood. At the base, the white light of vanilla reveals the final burning flames.
Giorgio Armani illuminates skin with the light of amber.
I don’t know about you, but on me that particular PR copy in combination with smelling the scent on my skin works wonders. Normally I hate the hyped drivel most companies choose to go with their perfumes, and maybe the heady amber is clouding my judgment, but doesn’t the golden sun mingling with water, and the liquid gold, and the illumination of skin with golden liquid amber sound like something you could enjoy? I know I could.
This perfume has a mind-altering power over me, all of a sudden I am partial to faux history and golden sunsets. Let’s try to stay objective here for a moment.
Notes, let us look at the notes, nothing like a good list to bring back rational thought:
Bergamot, thyme, frankincense, geranium, patchouli, oud, sandalwood and vanilla. It was created by Fabrice Pellegin in 2010.
The thyme in the opening is fresh and a bit sharp, but not too much, just to add a little bracing wake-up call of “Hey, Sleepy! Great perfume coming your way!”.
Then I smell the warm melange of incense-flooded and spicy amber and labdanum, and sun-warmed woody notes on a generous fluffy pillow of vanilla that diffuses around me, taking me in, making me comfortable and seeing to it that I have everything I need.
Okay, maybe that was not so objective. Or rational. But what the heck, I don’t have to be rational, isn’t that what the best perfumes do to us? Take away our walls of defense, making us feel instead of think, providing food for our emotional side, not the intellectual part?
That latter side of me is crying out right now, saying “How many amber perfumes does one person need? Look how expensive that Armani scent is! Doesn’t is smell very similar to countless other ambers? Look, here, there is your big bottle of Ambre Fetiche, Ambre Sultan right next to it, your wish list sports Dior Mitzah already, what else do you want? Get thee away from another amber, good woman!
Okay, so my rational side and my perfume-loving soul may not see eye to eye here. But let my biased soul tell you something:
I love Ambre Orient. It is smooth and warm and radiant. It is light and airy despite being such a voluminous oriental, somehow Armani manages to imbue his trademark flowing fabric-quality in this perfume.
It may not be the most original creation on earth, it certainly has been done before, but this particular soft lightness is rather unique in my (skewed by fumes and PR copy) opinion.
I can highly recommend Armani Privé Ambre Orient for amber lovers with a big budget, for those who have fallen in love I recommend a decant. And for those who have fallen in love and are under an embargo, I recommend patience. :)