Although I have a bottle of Muscs Koublai Khan the Serge Lutens line has remained a mystery to me. Trolling through my sample boxes the other day I found a manufacturers sample in its posh black/white box. It had fallen out of the bag it arrived in, some lovely fumie had sent it to me (Dionne? Undina?) but as it was running free I am unsure. I want to say Thank You.
Ambre Sultan opens huge and stays that way for nearly an hour on me, then it takes you on a walking trek of itself, there is no need to worry that you’ve been distracted for 15 minutes because large chunks of time are allotted for each section, like a raga made into fragrance. I have now smelled of one perfume for 24 hours, with only 2 spritzes.
On my skin I love the crackling, nearly burnt herbs and spices that fly and waft freely as soon as you spray Ambre Sultan, as if you’ve just thrown them on a very hot, dry pan over a campfire. It’s harsh, bitter, green, wood, vanilla and smoke all at the same time and it jumps up and assaults your nostrils, BAM! Through this whirlwind of an opening begins the life of the star of this fragrance, amber; by the time you lose the cacophony of the opening the resinous vanilla has already entered and been playing in with the chorus, unnoticed. As it unfolds it lights the whole composition as if I am suddenly snuggled in my duvet all warm, clean and safe. Later on Ambre Sultan gets a little bit flesh and sweaty too. Though it doesn’t get gourmand sweet, there are lovely almost flashes of sugar/nectar that weave through, constantly cut off without notice by the greens and spices. I love the way that sometimes I get the smell of religious devotions and others almost a patisserie, there is something new, unexpected and wonderful often.
Hours and hours later, about 14 hours later I am surrounded by the still interesting, warm vanilla and wood. The scent is discernible and is good enough to be the opening of a fragrance, even though it has come a long way and changed its smellable components throughout the day countless times. This is an amber oriental done by 2 masters. Even after a good nights sleep I wake up smelling amazing, here is where you get your gourmand, I am now a freshly baked, still warm vanilla brioche, just broken open and buttered.
Fragrantica gives the notes as coriander, sandalwood, bay leaf, patchouli, angelica, resins, myrrh, amber, oregano, myrtle, benzoin and vanilla.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my day with Ambre Sultan, it has been a ride,
See you tomorrow,