It took me quite a while to come around and love Blue Amber by Montale. Six years, to be accurate. It's the weirdest thing and had I not tested Blue Amber from several sources, including at Montale's Paris boutique, I would have thought it was a matter of a faulty sample. But despite my general love for amber perfumes and dark vanilla there was a facet of Blue Amber that kept smelling to me as stale as when I first tried it in late 2006.
Lots of ambers (and Montale perfumes) have graced my skin since then. A new sample appeared here recently (from Luckyscent, I think) and I felt adventurous enough to give it some wrist time. And then neck time. And cleavage. You get the picture. All of a sudden this sweet amber with its slightly spicy and grownup opening has become part of my happy place. Blue Amber is a sibling to MPG Ambre Preciux and Histoires de Parfums Ambre 114, only perhaps creamier and smoother.
There aren't many twists and turns in Montale Blue Amber. It's a little crisper in the top notes and more pillowy as body heat works on it, but essentially this is a polished vanillic amber, sweet but not foody (amber-loving guys are likely to enjoy it), marginally powdery and most of all: charming and a little bewitching. The biggest magic, though, are the longevity (basically, Blue Amber is eternal), projection (you will be noticed), and sillage (you will be remembered). It can be a bit much, though, so judicious spraying is highly encouraged.
Montale Blue Amber ($110, 50ml) is available from Luckyscent, MiN NY and in a larger bottle also from Parfum1.com.
Image: Alec Shanks, Folies Bergère, 1932