06.10.2021 - 10:34 AM

Almodóvar Artist’s Secret Splinter

For an unknown reason, my mind associates this scent to the figure of the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, his films, his characters, to his women. It is probably only the nationality that unites the designer and the director, both of Spanish origin. Or perhaps the Spanish name of the cologne, Ambar. Fact is, I imagine Almodóvar’s muse Marisa Paredes wearing this hidden gem. The natural amber fossil uncannily inspired Ambar. Vegetable amber is the fossil sap of prehistoric trees, stone-like nuggets of a honey-coloured hue admired for their ancient beauty. Jesús del Pozo presented this perfume in a beautiful bottle that gives the impression of a fallen piece of this semiprecious gem.

Ambar is not a traditional amber perfume, which is often thick, boozy, honey-like and sweet; instead, it is an upbeat and modern take on the amber theme, perfect for warmer weather. Jesús del Pozo worked with Marie Salamagne to develop the sophisticated perfume. The curved bottle enhances the sensuality of the fragrance, created by art director Juan Gatti. When I smell the bottle, I can really smell the citrus notes, but once sprinkled on me, the cardamom tames the opening citrus notes and takes on a very spicy, exotic sweetness, evoking the free and natural seduction of newly washed naked skin.

To begin with, Ambar is not a fragrance for everyone. On my skin, it’s fairly masculine, which I enjoy. The scent itself is a wonderfully diaphanous blend of crunchy tangerine and bergamot. It opens sourly, and the bergamot and mandarin fruits are fresh but not synthetic citrus. On me, citrus is in the foreground without being over the top. While it is not artificial, they have a slightly soapy and sharp smell. Right now, I adore the scent because it is fresh but amber and soothing—very well blended, balanced. Cardamom is present and in the foreground, but once again, it doesn’t take over the whole fragrance. After a few minutes, the exotic suggestion of cedar shavings and tea leaves shows up.

Later, it slowly calms down and settles on a flowery bouquet of peonies with an amber feel but still has that citrus note that doesn’t fade entirely and stays on for a long time. The scent is now dancing on a red floral heart of feeble rosy peony and powdery iris. I wouldn’t mind if the peony and iris were more prominent. As the fragrance dries, the floral notes grow, giving it an extra layer and making it even more beautiful. The peony sticks its head in there, but it’s minimal. It adds a little sweetness to the elixir without entering the vast white floral territory. This fragrance is multifaceted, truly unique, like an exotic dessert. It is astounding. A whiff of tea gives the scent a slight spice, spreading over a light cedar.

Then, in the base, I can still feel that amber sensation. The citrus fruits vanished, and I am left with a mixture of iris and woods. The dry shade of cedar is perceivable, very dominant in comparison with amber. I feel the faint scent of vanilla that seems to pull and blend the distinct notes into a creamy and tasty concoction. Last, but not least, there is a deep sage. I’m fond of the ultimate effect, a soft, warm, soapy, slightly sweet scent.

The loudest notes I smell are cardamon, cedar, amber and tea. It is modern, uplifting, with character, has an amber look, although not as much as some might expect because of its name. It is exotic, slightly woody and resinous, non-vanilla. As all Jesús del Pozo fragrances, Ambar is very affordable. The sillage is decent. It’s not everywhere, but I still smell it here and there after hours without having to reapply. Plus, it hangs around for quite a while, which for an EDT is a surprise. I see a man wearing it with no problem. Ambar is much more unisex than feminine. If you know Lalique Le Parfum Eau de Parfum, then Ambar and Le Parfum are cut from the same cloth, they share the same vibe. It is not a secret that men appreciate and wear Le Parfum, either. A daytime, inoffensive fragrance with great longevity. The sillage is not as intensive as I hoped, but it’s fine. I think wearing this in spring would be a pleasurable experience, either. However, it’s a good intensity for the office and just all too masculine for me, which is a plus.

I base the review on a 100ml bottle I have owned since November 2020.

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