L'Eau d'Ambre by L'Artisan Parfumeur
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L'Eau d'Ambre is a perfume by L'Artisan Parfumeur for women and was released in 1978. The scent is spicy-sweet. It is being marketed by Puig.

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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBlack pepper, Cardamom, Coriander
Heart Notes Heart NotesGeranium, Patchouli, Labdanum
Base Notes Base NotesTonka bean, Musk, Vanilla, Benzoin

Ratings

Scent

7.3 (126 Ratings)

Longevity

7.5 (103 Ratings)

Sillage

6.3 (98 Ratings)

Bottle

7.8 (104 Ratings)
Submitted by Lila, last update on 31.03.2019
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Reviews

jtd

484 Reviews
jtd
jtd
Helpful Review    5
l'eau d'ambre
Back in the day, counter-culturalism had style. The movement’s cri de coeur that the personal was political gave fashion new political significance. Style became a function of free speech and Hippies and Yippies groomed and dressed both to identify themselves to fellow travelers and to scare the stiffs. But costume wasn’t the only prop. The culture war of the ’60s and ’70s took place on an olfactory level.

As much as hair and costume, scent drew the line between us and them. To the straights, head shop scents like musk, patchouli and amber oils meant poor hygiene and the imagined miasma of a Haight Ashbury commune. To counter-culturalists traditional perfumes and colognes would have been the stink of The Man. A problem with this sort of transactional style is that it’s easy to co-opt symbols and drain them of their meaning and intent. In 1967, bellbottoms and peasant blouses were far out. By 1972 the patterns for them could probably be found in the back of issues of Family Circle Magazine. In the early ’70s amber was the scent of rebellion. By 1978, the hippie-amber gave way to fancy French perfume. If niche was an alternative to the mainstream perfume, the scents embraced within the counter-culture were a logical place for the early indies to plant their flag and l’Artisan Parfumeur had already made its reputation on amber. The brand’s famous amber balls were its first product when the line launched in 1976. Perfumes didn’t enter the line-up until 1978 when l’Eau d’Ambre launched the perfume line, along with Mure et Musc, Santal, Vanilia, Tuberose.

The perfume is simple in that it derives from its principal materials–at no moment during its evolution would you ever imagine that you’re not smelling a potent amber-patch accord. Yet even as early as 1978, Jean-Claude Ellena’s ability to make resins sheer was apparent. A mercifully unsweetened dose of vanilla keeps the perfume from ever falling into goopy head shop syrup. The perfume has been attributed to both Ellena and Jean-François Laporte. Perhaps Ellena was perfumer and Laporte was artistic director, as was the case with some of the other l’Artisan perfumes. The two might have looked to the head shop for inspiration, but l’Eau d’Ambre was no sloppy copy. As an artist trained in compositional rigor and the dynamics of his materials Ellena managed to create something that, as hippies would appreciate, smells really fucking good, but stands up to the interrogation of olfactory art.

Ellena navigated the risks of his chosen materials smartly, avoiding both the lotus-eating laziness of head shop oils and the orientalist theatricality of the Shalimar set. He focussed on labdanum’s mineralic side, giving the perfume a whiff of paint or putty that reminds me of the scent of an artist’s studio. The top and heartnotes are boosted by geranium. In the setting of an overtly resinous accord geranium acts like a breeze that blows out the cobwebs that can gather around patchouli and labdanum. It counteracts the density of the central amber accord, a trick performed by bergamot in oriental perfumes from Emeraude to Youth Dew to Opium. l’Eau d’Ambre’s aromatic geranium creates a tension that distinguishes the perfume from its head-bobbing hippie predecessors. Rather than complicate the composition, geranium streamlines it, reminding the nose that despite the perfume’s simplicity it has deliberate point of view.

L’Eau d’Ambre’s success lies in its simplicity, perhaps one reason that it has weathered materials restrictions and any possible reformulation so gracefully. The materials are allowed to state their own case without adornment or needless complexity. L’Eau d’Ambre wasn’t the first indie perfume but it was a frontrunner and demonstrated how well the niche movement bridged the desire for new, clear, materials-based fragrances and the long history of oriental perfumes.

from scenthurdle.com
1 Replies
10.0 5.0 7.5 7.0/10
Sherapop

1239 Reviews
Sherapop
Sherapop
4
Labdanum Amber for Purists
L'Artisan Parfumeur L'EAU D'AMBRE presents to my nose straight-up labdanum amber. Perfect for amber purists. I detect no "adulterants"--as an amber aficionado might characterize them. Smooth and creamy, this is a perfect wintertime scent for someone who loves amber for the sake of amber.

How does it differ from Prada L'EAU AMBREE? Quite a lot, despite the similarity in names. The Prada smells much closer to ambergris to me and was recently reminding me in intermittent wafts of Balmain AMBRE GRIS.

The two types of amber subsumed under the single label 'amber' smell very different to me. One is creamy and buttery, and more or less sweet: labdanum + vanillin. The second type strikes me more as a metal mesh and is not very sweet.

These days I'm smelling a lot of high-concentration ambroxan, which is intended to mimic ambergris, but when it is overused I do not like at all, as I find that it generally overwhelms the more subtle notes in most of the perfumes in which it figures. Neither Balmain AMBRE GRIS nor Prada L'EAU AMBREE is an ambroxan bomb, though both are definitely "ambergris-like". For an example of what I do not like, consider Le Labo ANOTHER 13 or Juliette Has A Gun NOT A PERFUME. I definitely agree with those names.

L'Artisan Parfumeur L'EAU D'AMBRE without question fits into the first, not the second category of ambers. As far as the sweetness is concerned, I'd say that this composition lies at about the midpoint of the labdanum ambers I've tried, being slightly but not overly sweet. I do not smell the alleged geranium present in this scent, nor do I believe that I detect any patchouli. To me this is a minimalist amber, so I am not surprised that it was composed by Jean-Claude Ellena!

I like L'EAU D'AMBRE and recommend this to all and only labdanum amber purists! To me this composition seems quite suitable for guys and gals alike, but only if they like amber for the sake of amber. Some people will no doubt find this creation boring, and may complain that it is the base of a thousand perfumes--which I do believe that it is. But it smells good nonetheless!

Statements

Carlitos01 9 months ago
A dominating amber note and frame that blends with an enchanting vanilla, patchouli and fresh spices.
A pleasure to wear; recommended!+2
8.0
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