Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Parfum d'Empire Ambre Russe

Parfum d'Empire Ambre Russe (Russian amber) is often referred to as a quintessential winter perfume, and I could see how a decadent ambery scent with a leathery accord (with a Russian theme at that) conveys that. However, it's actually a modern-smelling interpretation of such accords more than a typical Old World tobacco-leather or ambery-balsamic parfum fourrure. Savory rather than animalic, it reminds me of another favorite perfume of mine, a vanilla, sandalwood and jasmine blend called Creed Jasmin Impératrice Eugenie, an Oriental Floral (that smells like an Aldehydic Floral to me) that's warm and rich with sweet and spicy accents, except Ambre Russe is redolent of piquant dried fruits tossed together with more potpourri-like cinnamon spice, which to my senses altogether smells rather autumnal.

Ambre Russe (2005) is classified as a Spicy Oriental. It's not a very leathery scent like, say, Chanel Cuir de Russie or even that really handbag-leathery (though modern) one by Coach, but it inspires that sumptuous yet rugged leather atmosphere, quite like being in a den with books and a pipe, without those smells being literal. Like Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie, it's charmingly vanillic sweet yet like the best of both worlds, it smells earthy and brainy, too.

For me, the craving for such an autumnal scent is also seasonal, thus I've never considered more than a decant or a series of samples for myself, and yet I fall in love with it just a little bit more each time I wear it. Ambre Russe with all its suggestive imagery--fall, Russian leather or perhaps tea room, a trip on the Orient Express--might be just enough to turn this Spring-Summer (even Winter) Floral gal over to the more copper-toned, red velvety luxurious, warmer and more gingery (borderline sizzling hot: the not-quite-Opium but close) side of fragrances.