Blog post by Gwen
I picked up the box of perfume thinking it was a book. Along the spine it said:
“The mythical raw material, Amber, is the cornerstone of Amber 114, a composition of 114 elements…a cornucopia of spices and flowers. Created for men and women.” Hmm. A fragrance with amber as the cornerstone? A cornucopia of spices and flowers? Well that’s worth a sniff, I thought.
And that is how I bought my first bottle of Amber 114 from French niche fragrance house Histoires de Parfums. My first bottle? Oh, yes, that first whiff sent a flutter right through my perfume consciousness and created a desire for more that would not be denied. Besides, as I learned Ambre 114 is such a perfect cold weather fragrance that I never want to run out of it.
Histoires de Parfums was founded in 2000 by at ISIPCA trained perfumer Gérald Ghislain. The concept behind the name was, according to the Histoires de Parfums website to present a “Library of scents Spotless crepe paper, titles in color, bottles chiseled in glass: Histoires de Parfums is smartly bound in sixteen volumes to create a unique library.” That explains the whole perfume-box-as-a-book presentation.
Initially, the fragrances in the line were inspired by famous people who influenced the times they lived in – many of them authors - and were named for the years of their birth like 1804 for George Sand and 1740 for the Marquis de Sade – two frags I own and wear often and which helped to make Histoires de Parfums one of my go-to niche lines for great frags.
Over time, the ‘library’ concept was broadened to include places (1889 - Moulin Rouge and Olympia, Music-Hall le Parfum) and themes like the Tubéreuse series and unique, cult perfumes, such as Ambre 114.
So, here’s the 411 on Ambre 114: it opens with a vegetal note of thyme and spicy warm nutmeg that dance close together and then apart creating one of the most exciting openings I know. As it develops, the amber comes forward and is joined by rose and geranium but I gets more exciting from sweet patchouli, sandalwood, camphorous cedar and earthy vetiver. Vanilla, Tonka bean, benzoin and musk at the base make it rich, sweet, resinous and deliciouly animalic.
Ambre 114 is so constructed in such a way that on me the notes aren’t isolated or in a progression – they appear as flashes creating a smooth, gorgeous olfactory experience.
You’re gonna want to try this one.
Check out Ambre 411 in our Shop.