· Ambre 114: If you are a fan of amber fragrances, and especially if you like huge, golden holy dragons of scents, like Maître Parfumeur et Gantier’s Ambre Précieux and Artisan’s Ambre Extrême, then you definitely need to try Ambre 114 – you’re going to love it. Ambre 114 pays great emphasis on its gorgeous ambergris note, around which everything seems to revolve with inevitable attraction. It is a wonderfully aromatic take on amber, no doubt due to the use of thyme and nutmeg in the composition. The potion gradually changes from herbal luminescence to a mysterious darkness dimly lit by an incandescent heart of gold. Throughout the development the nose is seduced by a progressively intensifying, exotic smokiness, which finally disperses in the drydown to reveal the most gorgeous vanillic tolu-tobacco accord. Comforting and sensuous at once, this warm golden scent will be perfect for the colder months, ideally in front of a roaring fire.
· 1969: As a teenager, I spent a good number of years obsessed with song lyrics and titles – analyzing them, devising games to play with my friends and often, quite embarrassingly I must admit, replying to questions with them. Something that I discovered through this minor quirk is that numerous songs in both English and other languages are titled 1969. Even more songs reference 1969 in their lyrics. People are fascinated by this year, which has attained a power akin to a magical number in our culture. I am not surprised to see the date crop up on a perfume bottle; 1969 is indeed, as the perfume’s box indicates, a mythical year:
The Beatles give their last public performance.
Boeing 747 makes its maiden flight.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono conduct their Bed-In at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal; they record “Give Peace a Chance”
The first message is sent over ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet; a few months later the first link is established.
The world watches as man takes his first steps on the Moon.
Perhaps it is that last reference, Woodstock, which has me expecting a patchouli-ladden, headshop extravaganza, done in the most sophisticated manner possible bien sûr, but 1969 is anything but. It is a surprise, much like every event in the unexpectedly significant last year of the decade it pays homage to. It smells like a quaintly decorated shop of sweet culinary delights and fruits. At the very same time, it smells like freshly washed shiny hair, warmed by the sun. It smells edible, but not quite, like candied fruit bewitched. The opening is intense and fruity, like citrus fruits preserved in sugar. And ever so slowly it becomes softer and softer, until the intensity of the fruit dissipates and unfolds, to reveal a perfectly blended, lightly sweet softness underneath. Smelling close, there is something lovely and strange emerging out of the smooth sweetness – something cooling, like mint. The passing of time brings floral notes to the fore, a gentle rose and a shy, mild carnation that become the most salient features of this scent, until finally, in the drydown we are left with a bed of cacao opening its arms to receive the shower of flower petals. This fragrance seems deceptively simple at first, but becomes more and more complex as you get to know it. Its most striking feature, the way it combines coolness with warmth, is definitely worth getting to know.
While we continue to discover the Histoires de Parfum line together, I would like to bring your attention to the fact that the lovely Marina over at Perfume Smelling Things is running a raffle today! The lucky winner will receive a sample packet of all 12 Histoires de Parfum scents.
Images: www.music1969.com and www.histoiresdeparfums.com