Blog post by Gwen
Amber, warm and potent, is my go-to cold weather note. Earthy, musky, sweet, deep and dark, it has the character to stand up to winter when most other notes hibernate.
Amber's rich aspects make it an olfactive sandbox for perfumers to play in, blending, treating and coaxing the best out of its different aspects to create some of my favourite fragrances like rich and earthy Amber Russe and musky and exotic Ambre Fetiché.
But right now, I’m favouring Alambar by Laboratorio Olfattivo. I’ve been wearing it exclusively since I bought a bottle.
Laboratorio Olfattivo is an Italian niche line that started producing perfumes in 2010. According to their website, they offer “an innovative collection of fragrances in which artistic research and the art of perfume making play the leading role. It is an artistic workshop in constant ferment, energized by perfume artists who work in total freedom, without any constraints on their creativity.”
This got my attention, but what kept it was their line-up of perfumers: Rosine Courage, Marie Duchene, Pierre Guillaume and Enrico Buccella.
Ahh, yes, Enrico Buccella, the nose behind one of my favourite niche lines, Sigilli. His Bayan Mulak is on my "desert island" list, as is his Pyrgos – and believe me, it is a surprisingly short list for all the perfumes I own and love.
So, what does one of my favourite noses do with one of my favourite notes? He creates one of my favourite amber fragrances.
It opens with citrusy bergamot – not a blast, not a hit, just a citrus presence – before coca appears, adding a note of deep dark chocolate sweetened by earthy, musky amber. As it moves to the heart, a whiff of rose - likely from genariol – gives it a gorgeous floral aspect, while cinnamon adds spicy warmth. Then vanilla appears – exotic, sweet and delicious. But before you can even think, ‘gourmand’ amber wafts up and balances it perfectly – allowing the cinnamon to play up its warmth and the vanilla to highlight its sweetness, but only in supporting roles. On me, it never gets ‘gourmandy,’ just deliciously seductive.
Amber is at the base too, where incense dries it out and gives it a slight smokiness and musk plays up amber’s animalic aspect and smoothes the whole composition out at the drydown.
Oh, yes, the drydown… Alambar is all about the amber – the juice is even amber coloured – and amber is shot through every stage of this fragrance, but it is so harmoniously blended that it never grows harsh or overpowering, even at a concentration of 17%. Alambar is a sophisticated unisex fragrance that develops into a skin scent of pure amber – warmed, sweetened, softened, but not so much that it loses its earthy/musky mojo.
I see this one shooting up the "Desert Island" list with a bullet.
Check out Alambar in our Shop.