Ambre Sultan by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2000

Hiya Everyone,

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.

Photo Stolen indiatimes

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.

Photo Stolen ebay

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.Β  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.

Photo Stolen wikipewdia

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.

FragranceNet has 50ml (including 15% discount) under $85
PoshPeasant has decants starting at $6

I hope you’ve enjoyed my day with Ambre Sultan, it has been a ride,
See you tomorrow,
Portia xx

25 thoughts on “Ambre Sultan by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2000

  1. I so enjoy your posts over here (AND on Perfume Posse!) but I don’t tend to comment here. However, today I just have to. Ambre Sultan! I agree: it’s a wacky epic voyage, isn’t it. Yet I love it for being an amber that’s not particularly sweet or cloying; an amber with a powerful personality. As for the whole SL line, it’s very hit or miss for me. I have a few bottles I adore, the rest leave me cold or confused.


  2. Nope, ’tis not I that sent it to you, as I have yet to try Ambre Sultan myself. However, making the move to sample this baddie will need to wait until the fall, as I’m craving citrus-y, cooling frags right now. (Feel free to tease my pale Canadian hiney, it’s only 32C here, but that’s hot enough for me!)


  3. Ambre Sultan was my very first niche perfume, and still one of my “marooned on a desert island” choices!


  4. I got some of this in a swap and knew immediately I’d found *my* amber. I bought a full bottle and wore it to death in the winter. Since then I got a sample of Histoire de Parfums Ambre 114. It’s very similar to Ambre Sultan but more sheer. It’s too hot in the U.S. to wear these now, but I’m looking forward to doing a comparison of the two. Maybe I need two ambers!


  5. Yep, I did it πŸ™‚

    Love Ambre Sultan. It was my first full bottle from SL vast line-up. My only “complaint”: it’s impossible to test anything else the day I decide to wear it! But I’m not really complaining, you understand, right? πŸ˜‰


    • OMG!! Thank You Undina! It is quite fabulous. You’re right though, big, and you don’t want to lose it. I have a FB winging its way so am paying your near empty sample forward tonight in the giveaway.
      You are AWESOME!
      Portia xx


  6. This is one of my favourites as well πŸ™‚ I find I get something new every time I wear it, sometimes it’s more harsh and herby, sometimes the vanilla stands out more than anything else, sometimes it’s all about the resins. LIke wearing a very moody living being.

    And, it’s such a coincidence I read this post here today, because today I also attempted to make Ambre Sultan Ice Cream. I got some food grade Peru Balm from Mandy Aftel a while ago and I’ve been experimenting with it. Todays batch of ice cream I made with a vanilla pod, some Peru balm, and pinches of thyme, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, dried mint adn whole cumin. Unfortunately I realised in the middle of the process that I was out of oregano and the ice cream ended up a little bit to sweet. But I will try it again, with the oregano, and brown sugar instead of white and hopefully that will end up closer to the Ambre Sultan itself πŸ™‚


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  8. I’m still testing out this gem. A little strong with the green, herbal opening but it’s growing on me. The dry down is very good and I love the how it’s sweet but not cloying at all.


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