Ambre sultan

Ambre sultan by Serge Lutens
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Ambre sultan (Serge Lutens)
Ambre sultan (Serge Lutens)
Ambre sultan (Serge Lutens)
8.1 / 10     452 RatingsRatingsRatings
Ambre sultan is a popular perfume by Serge Lutens for women and men and was released in 1993. The scent is oriental-spicy. The longevity is above-average. It is still in production.

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Fragrance Notes

Amber, Angelica root, Benzoin, Coriander, Labdanum, Bay leaf, Myrtle, Oregano, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Styrax, Tolu balsam, Vanilla



8.1 (452 Ratings)


8.7 (314 Ratings)


7.8 (293 Ratings)


7.7 (270 Ratings)
Submitted by Kankuro, last update on 19.04.2017

Interesting Facts

Ambre sultan was additionally released in 2000 as a limited edition "Noël 2000" of 500 bottles. In 2006 the bottle collection "Les Fauves Royaux" followed, attaching the design Tigre to the scent.

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Sillage 7.0/10
Longevity 8.0/10
Scent 8.5/10
Helpful Review    4 Awards
Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens
I typically approach perfumes with a reputation with some trepidation as I'm not certain to what extent their reputation is deserved. “Amber Sultan” from Serge Lutens is a perfect example to illustrate this point. I adore amber-centred scents, which, of course, does not mean I love a fragrance only because it contains this note. However pleasant amber may be to my nose, I only take to an amber fragrance if it manages to grab my attention or intrigues me somehow.

The head of “Ambre Sultan” plays an intensively herbal and aromatic overture, thanks to the presence of bay leaf, oregano and coriander. Nevertheless, there's no trace of freshness; on the contrary, the herbal trio produces a dense aroma, indicating which path the fragrance is going to take next. After the herbal introduction, the resinous stage begins. The resins enrich the perfume with thickness as well as sweetness. Without further ado, the resinous curtain slowly rises to reveal the focal note of the composition. The amber in “Ambre Sultan” rests on a silky, vanillic cushion and is of a truly superior quality. It enwraps its wearer in the most exquisite olfactory veil of sensuality.

What makes “Ambre Sultan” so fascinating to me is that every time I spray it on, it feels like I'm embarking on an adventurous treasure hunt. First, there's a quick flight over a herbal garden, then a plunge into a thick, resinous syrup before finally reaching the gold in the form of the purest amber. Together with “Ambre Russe” by Parfum d'Empire, “Ambre Sultan” is an undisputed masterpiece among amber-centred fragrances. Absolutely divine!
wanted to love it but.....
Someday I'll learn to love these Ambre dominant fragrances, I really really wanted to like it but, to me its nothing more than a refined , easy to wear and lighter Ambre Absolue which can only be enjoyed in a cold weather , Unfortunately the climate of my city doesn't allow me to wear in any setting. I'll wait for the suitable season to give it another try.
Scent 8.0/10
1 Award
This fragrance is a pungent gourmand, dates and figs mixing with cumin and tobacco—an interesting blend that, to me, smells like Christmas and an English pudding aflame. It’s a richly dark, plummy, and yummy smell.
Scent 9.0/10
Helpful Review    3 Awards
Antidote for a cold spring day
We've had a very long and very cool spring this year (2014). It's now May and 48 degrees today with a forecast of snow for tomorrow. My heart cried out for Ambre Sultan. It's dry warm spices and lingering amber warm even the damp air. It is a noble antidote to these strange days. I feel fortified and calmed by it's stalwart longevity.
A grand fragrance and a wardrobe classic. I recommend it for men and women.
4 Awards
~ Magical Sultan ~
~ This to me as a fragrance minimalist with just a few lovelies is one of those mythical 'fumes that only exists on other purists and perfumistas shelves and only read about in eloquent reviews but never actually smelled. But today the scent is reality and Sultan has opened with a dark musty incense vibe that evokes in me the mystical image of what the restricted section of the H.P. library must surely smell like? With images of old dust covered leather magic books surrounded with decants of spells, potions and herbs in wizard beakers! To my nose and vivid imagination this is worn by a more mature Hermione or an alluring witch professor but her powers are beyond ordinary curses and charms. No, this elixir is the stuff love potions are made of. Deep infatuation wafts in this mystical myrrh and amber and seduces with it's sillage of spices, herbs and even a sweet vanilla finale. This is not my usual type of innocent flowery scent by nature it's more like a "moth to the flame attraction" of something in the shadows that draws my nose in closer! There is no clear favor of gender in this S.L. formula it adapts to whoever it chooses being obviously very unisex in its composition. I only hope I have captured a glimpse of "the Sultan" in my words as I felt in its grip and compelled to write deservedly something very favorable. FB worthy the verdict is still out for this romantic floral lover? As I am drawn more to the light and lavender of her brother Gris Clair. Regardless, it is now sealed I will always have an alluring 5ml sample kept in the dark corner of my fragrance top shelf (with perhaps a little dust and the occasional spider) teasing me for those times when I am drawn to the dark side and want to inhale Sultans shadowy seductive sillage ~ ~ ~

Kind Regards, Platinum1
Bottle 7.5/10
Sillage 7.5/10
Longevity 7.5/10
Scent 4.0/10
Helpful Review    6 Awards
Ambre Sultan
This fragrance opens with a spice accord comprised of coriander, bay leaf and a dash of patchouli. It is warm and dry with a sweetish undertone due to the myrrh. As the fragrance progresses, the bay leaf becomes the dominant note, but thankfully myrrh softens the herbal-green qualities of the leaf. The notes develop quite inconsistently on my skin: at times they are metallic and flat only to become rich and aromatic again. The amber I see throughout the fragrance's development is in my opinion actually an accord, a composite of the other notes, for towards the end it dissolves into its single components again. This is not my favourite amber fragrance.
1 Replies
Bottle 10.0/10
Sillage 7.5/10
Longevity 10.0/10
Scent 8.0/10
Very helpful Review    5 Awards
The Sultan's Amber
This is a superb scent. My first impressions upon sampling was a very herbal, medicinal vibe which immediately hit me upon application. However this is not a bad thing, as it gradually settled into a very warm and aromatic herbal dry down. I think this scent is very very well made and it reminds me of incense and herbs (but not in an overwhelming way), just in a really well blended sense. Depending on your tastes. I would suggest trying or sampling at least once to appreciate this (especially in the dry down). Extremely well made. If you appreciate Serge Lutens I think this is one of his best.
Bottle 10.0/10
Sillage 10.0/10
Longevity 10.0/10
Scent 9.0/10
Very helpful Review    5 Awards
The Edge
I'm a resin lover, a fan of coriander, an angelica glorifier, an admirer of woods and a patchouli supporter..

Ambre Sultan, in two weeks time, became a very loyal companion. Of course I never forgot my other friends, but this scent gives me the warmth when I need it, a uniqueness of character which pleases me and it stays with me for over 12 hours.

There's always an edge in perfume which Serge likes to cross, which is very interesting; in Ambre Sultan the edge has become its subject.
I find that even more interesting.
Bottle 10.0/10
Sillage 2.5/10
Longevity 10.0/10
Scent 7.0/10
3 Awards
Gentle Sultan
I have tried a lot of ambery fragrances in the near past, and there are really outstanding among them. AMBRE SULTAN is also outstanding.
Perky Ambre Nera, shining Fiore d'Ambra, dark brown Ambre Nue, desert-dry Ambra by Etro, oriental and lush Affaf... I really like them.
AMBRE SULTAN gives something else.

It is dry, earthy, dusty indeed, with a lot of patchouly. Since Etro's AMBRA was created earlier, I would even risk, that this one was at least inspired by Etro's creation.
Moreover it is so weak, that I had to don 3 times to the same place to get the first vague cloud. But. Or rather: BUT! This comforting fragrance grow to be sligthly sweet and powdery, and is so soothing like a mantra or a good, long conversation in the evening, next to the fireplace. It is unisex, can not give even a bit sexualism to a woman, but would be the perfect fragrance for the first rendezvous to an older man, since it is camingly attractive. For example it would fit to a sultan, who would not like to discourage his beloved lady.

Although I criticized the sillage, I had to admit, that lasting power is excellent. If I could wear this fragrance without daydreaming about a sultan, I should have given better overall rating.
Bottle 5.0/10
Sillage 7.5/10
Longevity 7.5/10
Scent 8.0/10
Very helpful Review    4 Awards
If you survive...
Amazing, innovative and unique smell.

Lots of dry spices in the opening, then dries down to a beautiful sweet amber.

If you survive the first 30 minutes, you'll LOVE this fragrance!

Sillage, lasting power and projection are good.

Updated January 2014
Scent 8.0/10
2 Awards
Spiced Amber...
A very nice take on amber by Lutens here. Ambre Sultan opens with a ton of herbs and spice. At first I was afraid the spice might be a tad too much, but things soon get under control a few minutes into the scent's development. As the spices recede, the amber emerges to mingle with them in just the right proportions of spice to amber. The dry-down adds a bit of sandalwood to sweeten things a bit, but Amber Sultan never makes the mistake of a lot of other amber scents in being *too* sweet. Even in the dry-down remnants of the spice remains to keep things interesting. Projection is above average, as is longevity. Ambre Sultan is maybe not my absolute favorite amber scent, but it must be in the top three or four I have tried to date and is highly recommended and full bottle worthy, IMO. 4 stars out of 5.
4 Awards
dry mineral amber
Ambre Sultan is my favorite ‘contemporary’ amber (as opposed to a classic amber such as Shalimar, for instance) by far. Amber can be steered into so many directions: boozy, honeyed, gourmand, resinous, vanillic. The times I’ve smelled pure labdanum resin I’ve been struck by its mineral smell. It smells a bit like warm stones. The dried, dusty herbal quality of AS (oregano, bay, myrtle) is the perfect complement to its flinty tone. While one angle is herbal, it reads as more botanical than strictly culinary. The other is mineral, but both equally enhance the resinousness and keep AS clearly out of the sweet, gourmand range.

Others have mentioned that AS grows vanillic by drydown and therefore like every other contemporary amber. I get the benzoin and the patchouli, but I find the composition actually grows drier and a bit more bitter as time passes. It replaces the fading culinary feel, taking over its part in labdanum’s narrative, maintaining the dry, matte flintiness through to the rich but low-sillage drydown.

When I first smelled AS, I could only imagine wearing it in colder weather. Fortunately for me in the 9 months of summer heat in southern California, it absolutely blooms. It’s just delectable on sweaty skin.
Sillage 7.5/10
Longevity 7.5/10
Scent 7.0/10
Helpful Review    4 Awards
Sounds perfect but surprisingly leaves me wanting more...
Ambre Sultan is the first fragrance that anyone will recommend to a lover of amber fragrances as a must. It's described as spicy, resinous, dark, heady and rich and all that with amber's underlying warmth binding every note together. Considering the fact that I like warm, oriental, spicy ambers, this sounded like HG to my ears. Surprisingly though, after testing it a couple of times at the store, I always left with something else by monsieur Lutens as Ambre Sultan failed to woo me. And then I went through a spending & hoarding phase last spring/summer and finally bought it.

So here I am, almost a year later, with no more than 15ml missing from my bottle. Why am I not loving the stuff? This is a question that plagues me often when I run into raving reviews and recommendations of the fragrance. The description sounds definitely up my alley and I can't honestly say that it doesn't fit the real juice (I'm being sceptical about the spicy characterization though, as personally I don't find it especially spicy). It's not that I actually dislike Ambre Sultan, I like it a lot. But I SHOULD love it based on my favorite notes and instead, I find myself rarely using it.

I recently came to a theory that it's way too rounded and smooth for me. There are no sharp edges in Ambre Sultan, no roughness, no smokiness, no overt sweetness. It's so well crafted and balanced that nothing stands out in the end; it's neither too sweet, nor too dry, not too spicy, nor too bland, not too resinous, nor too light. I understand why most people consider this a good thing, but to me this seems more like a reluctance to offend anyone which translates to a lack of character and boldness (please don't get mad at me! That's my personal opinion and an amateur's one I'll admit).

I have actually gotten compliments on Ambre Sultan and had people asking me what I wear, so it does indeed appeal to most people. But somehow, this never feels like me, it stays foreign on my skin and thus could never be a comfort scent as the rest of my ambers are. It also can't be a fashion statement since it misses the edge that I actually like in my perfumes. However, it's nice to wear when I go out clubbing or for a drink since the sillage is quite good and it seems to be a crowd pleaser.

For reference, my favorite perfumes are Idole by Lubin, Ambre Fetiche by Annique Gutal, L'Ombre Fauve by Parfumerie Generale, Dark Amber & Ginger Lily by Jo Malone, Aoud Meloki by Montale and Cadjmere by Parfumerie Generale.
Bottle 10.0/10
Sillage 10.0/10
Longevity 7.5/10
Scent 10.0/10
2 Awards
Ambre Sultan
Rich full and sexy, Ambre Sultan might be the most
accuate Amber in perfumery nothing synthitic nor
chemically enhanced Serge Lutens uses the finest
oils to bring back to nature to it's simpicity,
Aesthetic wise i can conjour in a number of ways
to describe this and let my imagination run wild.
If the color of Amber had a scent no doubt Amber
Sultan whould fail, like it's namesake it's warm
and opaque not translusent or delicate, to lure
you to an ancient world where the sky touches the
earth the note of Sandalwood adds the firey nuances, Myrrah and incense burns throughout the night
with it's pure white smoke ascends the endless sky like an offering of the night and the cool wind blows through sand dunes and refreshes your senses
This scent brings to Ancient in all of us.
Bottle 5.0/10
Sillage 7.5/10
Longevity 7.5/10
Scent 8.0/10
2 Awards
Amber, Indeed!
I'm starting to think that Amber should be declared an official perfume category. Serge Lutens AMBRE SULTAN is a beautiful member of a huge class of perfumes all of which are much more similar to one another than any of them is to any other oriental perfume.

AMBRE SULTAN opens with an evanescent herbality which is swiftly overwhelmed by the thick labadanum amber. This particular version is slightly smoky, not too sweet, and rich and thick like a perfume. Of course, Serge Lutens is one of the houses which has obstinately refused to succumb to the temptation to dilute their wares. As a consequence, the apparently high price is not really at all, since you're not getting 50ml of a fragrance with two hours of longevity. No, you're getting a very big bottle of perfume!

This entry in the Lutens line-up is no exception to the rule. Very thick and viscous and yummy. However, I generally find that amber perfumes prepared at proper concentration are all pretty thick and viscous and yummy. The drydowns of these compositions are very similar, and I honestly believe that in a blind test only a person with a huge amount of experience sniffing specifically amber perfumes could tell them apart.
1 Replies

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