Ambra Nobile from Italian niche house Nobile 1942 was released a couple of years ago, so it's not that the market was hurting for good amber perfumes. Chances are, that if you're an amber fan you already own one or five such perfumes, but who's counting? Ambra Nobile earns its place on the shelf, somewhere between Ambre Fetiche and Ambre Sultan.
Ambra Nobile is a dry amber, light on the vanilla and no booze to be found. Instead, there's something wonderfully incensy about it, almost crisp in its precision, yet rich and elaborate. Ambra Nobile feels like you just entered a semi-dark room in a beautiful mansion. You can't fully see the details, but you get the impression the place is wonderfully decorated and holds incredible artwork and treasures.
The dry woody undertones of Ambra Nobile make it gender neutral. A man who wears it should not worry about smelling like a cupcake, and a woman who chooses this Nobile 1942 fragrance will not be mistaken for wearing a Jessica Simpson. There's a quiet sophistication in Ambra Nobile that is not always found in amber perfumes-- it speaks in lower tones than one might expect and keeps just a little distance, making its moderate sillage and impressive longevity easy to carry even in crowded situations.
Notes: Neroli, Bergamot, Ambergris, Labdanum, Patchouly, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Vetiver.
Ambra Nobile ($135, 100 ml) is avialble from MiN NY and Luckyscent. At least one of the samples I've tried for this review was supplied by MiN.
Image: an art deco postcard by Tito Corbella