I was instantly smitten with Cuir and Musc, the other two Les Nombres d’Or perfiumes by Mona di Orio. It took me several more wearings to fully warm up to Ambre, probably because in a collection as full of assertive amber fragrances as mine, this one seemed a bit more quiet and understated. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, but di Orio's Ambre felt almost pastel-like when I'm more of a jewel-tone person.
Ambre is very powdery. Really really powdery.The opening smells soapy in the best possible way- like the most romantic retro Parisian boudoir, or at least my personal interpretation/fantasy of one. Gorgeous textiles, elaborate furniture and a floor-to-ceiling window that lets in a glimpse of the beautiful building across the street. Heliotrope isn't listed among the official notes (cedar, ylang ylang, benzoin, tolu, vanilla), but wearing Ambre indoors gives me that almondy impression that often characterizes this note. Most of the time, though, it's just a soft blend of exquisite wood and vanilla- not too sweet and always in perfectly good taste.
Maybe that's the problem. It's no secret that just about any Mona di Orio perfume is a passionate study of modern animalic accords. Some people can't stand this style, but I'm a devoted fan. These scents are worthy of Joan Holloway, flamenco dancers and royal courtesans, while Ambre is surprisingly well-behaved. A daytime-friendly amber is a very good idea, though. Personally, I don't mind fumigating my nearest and dearest with the likes of Ambre Sultan, Josef Statkus or L'Air du Desert Marocain, but having a more polite option might do me a world of good.
Ambre by Mona di Orio ($150, 100ml EDT) and the rest of Les Nombres d’Or series are available at Luckyscent on our side of the Atlantic, as well as from lessenteurs.com and Marie Antoinette, Paris (in store only. Apparently Paris doesn't believe in e-commerce). A press sample was provided by the company.
Photo: Corinne's Window, parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com, 2008