I give up. There's no limit to the number of great and highly desirable amber perfumes. I love them, I wear them, and I want them all. Case in point: Ambre Mirabilis from the newly launched Keiko Mecheri Bespoke collection. I did roll my eyes a little when the concept was introduced. A bespoke perfume is something a bit different. But I smelled, tested, and retested several of Keiko Mecheri's Bespoke fragrances, and I sort of get it. Let's think of it as an even more personal, a "director's cut" series of olfactory fantasies. It makes more sense in this contest.
Ambre Mirabilis is an oriental perfume, sort of an Arabian Nights themed, sensual, spicy and just a little (very little) dirty. Perumer Keiko Mecheri combined the inside pleasure of the harem with the intoxicating aspects of the bazaar outside. The result is reminiscent of a 19th century orientalist art more than the true-to-life snapshot of Uncle Serge's Arabie. Regular readers may remember that as far as I'm concerned, Arabie is so realistic that I can't wear it and keep my food down at the same time; so Keiko Mecheri's way is very welcome in this case.
The first thing I smell in Ambre Mirabilis is a soft and slightly sweeten spice market. More coriander than cumin, maybe a hint of saffron or a nutmeggy touch. It's a soft and welcoming spicy accord, nothing aggressive or harsh there. There's opulence of rose-scented sweets, fruit preserved in spice and sugar, but it's all happening behind a light smoky screen, blurring and distorting the notes just a little. There's a mystery there: dim lights, silk screens, last night's burnt incense.
Keiko Mecheri's Ambre Mirabilis is as subtle and delicate as a woody amber fragrance can be. It has a dream quality, you see and smell it through a haze. I usually go for the heavy hitters, but I've fallen for this charming one. My sample (all gone now) was of the dab-on kind; I have a feeling that were I to spray myself liberally, the lasting power (about 5 hours, if I apply enough) would improve.
Notes: ambergris, taif rose, cedar, patchouli, spices and agarwood (oud).
Keiko Mecheri Bespoke- Ambre Mirabilis ($275, 50ml EDP) is available from MiN NY and Luckyscent. The sample for this review was supplied by MiN.
Art: Arabian Nights by Hans Zatzka, early 20th century.