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Ambra del Nepal - An amber-lover’s heaven…. - December 8, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

Image - Wikipedia - Alitalia 747 arriving in Rome - Aldo Bidini

“Good news! We got your perfume!” he said.

Ah, where would I be without friends who travel?

When Terry and his wife said they would be in Florence for three days as part of a trip to Tuscany, he knew what was coming. We’d been down this road many times before. And to his credit, Terry is always gracious and happy to accommodate me, like the true friend he is.

Fact is, most of the friends I send on perfume missions kinda like it. They get go to parts of a city they might not otherwise go to, see places they wouldn’t have seen, learn a bit about fragrance and generally are pleased to have an outside the guidebook experience.

This time, I asked him to go to the i Profumi di Firenze shop at the Palazzo Vecchio. I had gotten my hands on a decant of Ambra del Nepal and desperately wanted a bottle of this amber goodness. Yes, you can buy it a Barney’s or at MiN New York, but Terry wasn’t going to New York. He was going to Florence where Ambra del Nepal lives.

Needless to say that when we met up for lunch and the perfume handoff, I got a full report on the store, the fragrances, the body lotions, potions and balms and since Terry and I met in history class at university, he gave me the history of the line.

It goes like this: in the 1960’s Florentine pharmacist Doctor Giovanni Di Massimo discovered the secret formulas for the fragrances Catherine de Medici commissioned from her perfumer in the 16th century. Inspired by this discovery, he set about to re-create the fragrances using natural ingredients. The result is the, i Profumi di Firenze fragrance line.

As we lingered over lunch I got the details of the rest of his fabulous trip, then I hurried home to enjoy my Ambra del Nepal.

It opens with a coriander – spicy and woody with orange facets, it has a resinous aspect that is heightened by a note of smoky incense. It is such a gorgeous opening that the first time I smelled it, I knew I was going to have to have a bottle. As it blooms, a note of rich resinous amber, made creamy and sweet from vanilla, wafts up from my skin. This is an amber-lover’s heaven! Oakmoss adds an earthiness that perfectly balances the sweetness of the amber while white musk adds a sensuous warmth. At the base patchouli amplifies the sweet, dark earthiness of the fragrance while sandalwood provides a woody anchor for the resins.  Sweet, animalic ambergris keeps the amber going and since mine is the “Fragranza Concentrata” (i.e. 60% concentrate) it hums for hours on my skin.

The drydown is warm and spicy with a lovely vanilla sweetness but it’s the coriander wrapped in all those resins that make it a unique amber fragrance and perfectly unisex.

I am very fortunate to have so many good friends in my life – especially ones who a) travel and b) bring me back perfumes from foreign countries. You know who you are – thank you.

Ambra del Nepal is listed in our Decant store. Decants are $5.00.