Post by SarahK
Amber is a fragrance family that I really like in theory, but in practice rarely end up wearing. Many just feel too heavy for me to wear even in the dead of winter. I may like the smell, but if it doesn’t meld with my skin, and just sits there like a thick layer of gold, I feel like a fraud wearing it.
Kalimantan by Pierre Negrin for Chantecaille 2010
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Thyme, rosemary, bergamot
Heart: Incense, labdanum, patchouli
Base: Benzoin, agar, styrax, vanilla, cedar
Kalimantan is not like this. It’s an amber suitable for any time in my book. It is my Goldilocks amber – not too sweet, not too spicy, it has some heft but is not too over the top. I can feel several layers in this scent. There’s a smooth labdanum-benzoin mix, some cedar, a gentle kicker of incense and some dry herbs, though these are not in any way foody. The aromatic green edge that the cedar and herbs give the scent means that I am as happy to wear it in the heat of summer as I am in colder weather. For me, this isn’t the smell of the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo after which the fragrance was named. It is the scent of a thyme-covered Greek hillside baking in the sunshine, so it suits the warm weather, while in cold weather it reminds me of the heat.
Photo Stolen Geograph
There aren’t a lot of reviews around for this fragrance, but those that exist often compare it to Serge Lutens’ Ambre Sultan or Andy Tauer’s L’Air du Desert Marocain. For me, LADDM is a lot drier and has a gasoline note that I do not get at all in Kalimantan. It brings to mind a road running through a parched desert, not Kalimantan’s aromatic, sun-baked hill. Kalimantan does strike me as very similar to Ambre Sultan, and if you own one, I can’t imagine needing to own the other, but the Lutens fragrance is a touch drier, with a stronger incense note in the heart, while its herbs and cedar are less golden and honeyed until you reach the drydown. Kalimantan is my favourite of the three, but that may be because I tried it before Ambre Sultan.
Photo Stolen HuffingtonPost
Come and sit with me on a Greek hilltop at sunset, watching the last rays of sun bouncing off the warm stone of a church. The bells are ringing and incense is already burning.