Ambra di Luna by Ramon Monegal is one of the most elegant and subtle amber perfumes I know. Amber fragrances aren't exactly for the meek. They tend to assert themselves and have a dazzling sexy presence. Ambra di Luna has these qualities, plus some serious animalic core, but it whispers and floats at skin level instead of making a statement.
The opening of Monegal's Ambra di Luna is probably the very best part. It has a woody incensy twist and hints of incredible depths. While the husband* feels Ambra di Luna doesn't fulfill all that's promised in the top notes, I find it incredibly sophisticated in the way it uses obvious dirty/animalic notes while still playing a cuddly/comfort/fuzzy game. There's a cool breeze that stirs the layers one is wearing, touching the skin exposed by the low cut dress that's under the full-length vintage fur coat. You can hear the sharp clicks of high heels on the moonlit pavement as steps are quickened in response to the chill in the air.
Ambra di Luna is very smooth. It's a skin scent that fits the body and becomes part of it very quickly. I find it incredibly sophisticated. It's another proof of Ramon Monegal's talent and creativity; there are so many amber perfumes on the shelves (and in my personal collection), yet here's something new and incredibly well-made. I wish Ambra di Luna had more sillage or at least projected better, but I get why it was composed this way. Longevity is excellent: you have to lean close or stick your face unceremoniously into your own cleavage (perfume people are classy), but it's there 12, 18 and 24 hours later.
*His two cents: "And I thought I don't like ambers... Loved the spicy, woody, dirty opening and that it was not too sweet or heavy on the vanilla. The dry-down is a bit less exciting but still very nice. Now I'm trying again other ambers to see what I've missed."
Notes: amber, Moroccan cistus oil , Egyptian jasmine, castoreum, Mysore sandalwood.
Ramon Monegal- Ambra di Luna ($185, 50ml EDP) is available at Luckyscent, Parfum1, Bergdorf Goodman, and select NEiman Marcus locations, as well as from ramonmonegal.com. The sample for this review was sent by the company.
Photo: model Anne Sainte-Marie in Jean Patou, 1955, by Henry Clark.