I've stopped asking myself how many amber perfumes one needs about ten bottles ago. The deciding factor is rather simple: if I like it and feel the fragrance adds something special to my amber collection, then yes, I do need it. Enter Ambre Loup by Rania J. The name is quite telling. An amber soliflore with a wild streak in its animalic core. This is where our friends who prefer crisp and cleaner perfumes tend to leave us, skank lovers, to our own illicit pleasures.
The official notes of Ambre Loup's opening list clove and "spices". I smell a Coca Cola-like fizzy cinnamon that's just sweet enough to feel indulgent. I'm reminded of the quirkiness of Dinner by Bobo. However, where Bobo brings in the cumin and the clowns, Rania J. becomes the promised amber perfume, rich, thick, and as satisfying as ambers are for those who like them.
Then comes the twist. Ambre Loup might contain spices and vanilla, but it is not a gourmand. The furry wolf hair and animalic musk it's emitting is not a civet bomb in the style of Salome or Maai. It's smoother and doesn't necessarily try to follow the steps of Shocking de Schiaparelli or Bal a Versailles, which perhaps makes Ambre Loup an excellent introductory and a transition perfume for amber lovers who want to take a step further and explore the darker side. The fragrance is cuddly and friendly enough to feel cozy, but will not bore you out, no matter how many amber bottles are already in your rotation.
Rania J- Ambre Loup ($149, 50ml eau de parfum) is available from Twisted Lily and Luckyscent. The sample for this review was supplied by Twisted Lily at my request.
Art: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi - The moon on Musashi Plain (Musashino no tsuki) from the series One hundred aspects of the moon, (1892)