The great Iris Murdoch would hopefully forgive me for appropriating her book title (she herself lent it from Rupert Brooke’s poem “The Old Vicarage, Grantchester”) for my review, but I find it so wonderfully fitting, I started re-reading this Shakespearean comedy of errors about love’s complicated ways, swathed in Dior’s Ambre Nuit and feeling terribly pleased with myself for finding apparently disparate things and bringing them together (which is a strange, but very satisfying hobby of mine).
I have reviewed Ambre Nuit before (here), but I have had such an about-face since then that I wanted to give it the time and space to shine.
Ambre Nuit was released in 2009 and created by Francois Demachy, it includes notes of bergamot, pink pepper, spices, Turkish rose, ambergris, gaiac wood, cedar wood and patchouli.
I believe the word I assigned to Ambre Nuit in my first review, the word I found characterized it best, was: Meh.
Well, that is not true anymore. If we stick with short, but descriptive, my new word for Ambre Nuit is: Wow.
So how did I get from Meh. to Wow! in under six months?
Let me explain:
I blame the name. Name something Ambre and you are bound to raise some expectations in your audience, namely that it would be an amber scent. Am I wrong?
Ambre Nuit is NOT about amber, and while I did clock that in my first review, I guess I was also very disappointed by the fact, as I was looking for an amber, craving an amber and not getting one. Getting their hopes crushed and their cravings not met, tends to make people unhappy. Being confronted with something else instead, tends to dull the enthusiasm for that something considerably, therefore: Meh.
Six months on, I did not “need” Ambre Nuit to be about amber anymore, I could take it for what it is, a dark rose perfume and a damn good one at that.
I first re-encountered Ambre Nuit in the air at a most unlikely place, the restrooms at Heathrow airport. A woman trailed an exquisite scent in her wake and I just had to find out what it was, just before I could find the courage to approach her and ask, she passed the Dior counter that is right in the middle of the terminal – and here it was too. In a business savvy move reminiscent of Francois Coty and Estée Lauder, the salesman had sprayed the air around his counter with Ambre Nuit and it had apparently worked its magic on that woman and it started to work on me.
Although, I was still hung up on my own outdated opinion of Ambre Nuit, so I didn’t pursue it further, but I did go for Patchouli Impérial, that I had already eyed longingly at Selfridges and Harrods the previous day.
When I came home though, I couldn’t find my mini of Ambre Nuit fast enough. The reunion was a fabulous one. It smelled just as delicious on me than it had on that woman at the airport, and I almost regretted not getting this instead of the Patchouli.
What got me from the first minute (and in a bathroom no less!) is the glorious sillage of Ambre Nuit. It smells good enough up close, but where it really excels, is when you catch a whiff of yourself, when it unexpectedly bewitches you when you move, when it seduces you with its delightful rose trail.
This is a perfume for the space in between two people. Not a “come close and smell my skin” kind of scent, but a “follow me because you are enchanted” perfume.
I tried to console myself with the dark roses I already have and a frenzy of dark rose days ensued: Lyric, Ta’if, Rose Oud, Mohur, they all came out and tried to help, but while I find them gorgeous in their own way, they could not slake the thirst for Ambre Nuit that was raging inside my greedy little soul.
So I did what everyone in my situation would do – search ebay. I’m hoping for a lucky find of some amber lover’s disappointing reject to appear one of these days.
Then my moment will come…