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Ambre Cashmere Intense – Something to get excited about… – September 28, 2015

When I read on Now Smell This that Nicolai Parfumeur Createur (aka Parfums de Nicolaï) would launch a new unisex fragrance called Ambre Cashmere Intense this month, I felt a little tingle of excitement.

Nicolai Parfumeur Createur is one of my favourite niche fragrance houses. Started in 1989 by Patricia de Nicolaï (the great-granddaughter of Pierre Guerlain) and her husband Jean-Louis Michau, she is still head of the perfume house and in charge of creating of its fragrances. To this day, she sources the raw materials for her fragrances.

Over time, I have come to trust her vision, her style and her brand. Her fragrances never disappoint. Through her skill, talent and prowess with perfumery, de Nicolaï has created an extensive and varied line of fragrances that are some of the most beautiful ones I own.

But my little tingle of excitement was sparked by the word ‘amber’. I have a predilection for amber-based frags, a note also favoured by de Nicolaï "At the beginning of the 20th century, the discoveries of new synthetic molecules allowed the perfumers of that time to lay the foundations of the great modern perfume chords. One of the first chord conceived was the Amber' chord which is now a strong olfactory convention for us perfumers. Far from the sperm whale animal note, the Amber' chord is made thanks to the association of vanillin and labdanum. Both smooth, powerful and deep, the chord is an infinite source of creations!"

Now, here’s the really exciting part – I was going to be in Paris for the launch of Ambre Cashmere Intense! As Nicolai Parfumeur Createur only has eight stores, (seven in Paris and one in London) this meant I wouldn’t have to wait until it was launched online to get it. So, when I was in Paris last week I made a beeline to the store on Rue de Richelieu and checked it out.

OK, now this is where it gets really, really exciting - the way Ambre Cashmere Intense smells. It opens warm and spicy from black pepper cut with notes of sweet, juicy mandarin and tart lemon. The fruits balance the pepper so that the opening is warm yet light, fresh and just a little sweet - the perfect setting for a heart of iris butter and violet. The iris butter and the violet both have earthy and powdery aspects and they bolster each other beautifully while the violet aspect of the iris butter boosts the delicate violet, strengthening its sweet woody-floral scent. The woodiness is picked up by warm, woody, aromatic clove. Then there is the base…sweet, creamy vanilla alongside deep leathery labdanmun – there’s that amber accord! – and resinous, earthy benzoin. Tonka bean adds another dimension of sweetness - vanilla/caramel. The amber is present as it gets woody from patchouli and sandalwood, all of it smoothed by musk.

Ambre Cashmere Intense is a high concentration but what de Nicolaï has done is masterfully woven some pretty potent ingredients into a  refined, delicate, warm, cashmere veil of sensuous amber with a drydown that glows on my skin for hours.

And the most exciting part? You can buy a decant here.

Ambre Cashmere Intense is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1 ml.