Fully Clothed Amber
The house of Atelier Cologne had a great idea when they decided to offer a Collection Voyage coffret of purse sprays of seven of their perfumes for a reasonable price (= about the same price per milliliter as their bottles). This sort of set-up makes it possible to really acquaint oneself with a variety of the house's perfumes rather than precipitously buying full bottles or unduly dismissing excellent creations based on a cursory sniff. AMBRE NUE might have fallen into the latter hapless group, had I sampled it only from a tiny vial on only one occasion.
I say this because my view on this composition has dramatically improved since the first time I donned it. It might be that the weather matters a lot, and it's true that I really only wear amber in cooler, preferably cold temperatures. What happened with AMBRE NUE is that the spiciness has finally come through and been processed my nose. Now it seems to me that this is not at all a naked amber, which would be a better name for something like L'Artisan Parfumeur L'AMBRE or Prada L'EAU AMBREE.
Atelier Cologne AMBRE NUE, in contrast to those other, truly naked ambers, has a lot of extra-amber activity going on, above all spices! The cinnamon is especially marked, and together with the marigold and orchid this ends up smelling very far from naked. At the same time, there is a hefty dose of amber on display, so labdanum amber addicts should be able to find lots to love here, although purists will perhaps be put-off by what they may take to be the distracting spiciness.
In the end, AMBRE NUE turns out to be a unique and spicy oriental perfume with a strong amber base. I like this very much and surmise that the middling ratings it has received are a result of dashed expectations. This is not, to reiterate, a naked amber at all. Instead, it is a fine ambroriental perfume. To me, it seems more feminine than masculine, but guys who like spicy orientals make take to this as well. AMBRE NUE is certainly not sweet, and although vanillin often figures in amber compositions, I do not smell it here as an independent note. What I do smell is a lot of cinnamon and marigold. The longevity is good, as one would expect given the substantial amber base.