Ambre Vie by Christi Meshell for House of Matriarch 2012


Post by FeralJasmine


I love amber and there is probably no note that I wear more regularly. I have different ambers for different seasons, but I adore them all. I am considering adding Ambre Vie to my line-up and am weighing my decision and seeking enablement.

Ambre Vie by Christi Meshell for House of Matriarch 2012

Ambre Vie: Soft Amber Waves

Ambre Vie House of Matriarch FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Ambreine (labdanum), resins, mimosa petals, davana (artemisia), costus, amber, natural musk

Ambre Vie is an all-natural vanillic amber. It’s beautifully smooth and opens with a soft wave of spices and mimosa, but nothing dramatic. From the moment of spraying it smells somehow “settled,” as if it has melded with skin. I find it very hard to differentiate the various spice notes from one another. The labdanum is smooth and supple. The vanilla is there from the beginning, but it is soft and low-key and serves just to round out the amber. There is a dessert-wine, Tokai-like note which is probably the balsamic note referred to on Fragrantica. There are soft sweet powdery undertones, which I love in amber perfumes. On me it’s very soft and work-appropriate. Over the course of an hour the winey and mimosa notes disappear and the powder is a little more pronounced, but other than that it’s pretty linear. The remarks on House of Matriarch’s website refer to the drydown “becoming mysteriously stronger with time,” and all I can say is, not on me. It’s a skin scent within 90 minutes and gone at the two-hour mark.

Ambre Vie House of Matriarch Yellow_dragon jar Wikipedia)Photo Stolen Wikipedia

A commenter on Fragrantica calls it a “reference amber” and I agree with this. It’s like your perfect pound cake recipe that, while not being in any way unusual, is always delicious and never lets you down. Another Fragrantica commenter, Deadidol, says “Like its closest analog, HdP’s Ambre 114, this scent utilizes more than 100 materials to achieve its effect, yet the result is largely free from bombast. There’s musk lurking beneath, but it merges with the buttery tones of the base to keep from announcing itself too loudly. Similarly, soft, smoky notes appear alongside what seems to be clove, but these notes never get close enough the surface for full recognition.”

When I dream of the perfect workhorse amber perfume to suit all occasions and seasons and never call unwanted attention to itself (while inviting the wanted kind!), it’s pretty much like Ambre Vie. I wish it were more intense and lasted longer, and if it did, I wouldn’t be deliberating, I would be buying. I suspect that this is unique to my perfume-eating skin, because commenters have reported that it does last several hours on them. But ultimately I will almost surely buy a bottle because it is so very pretty, so well-made, and so right.

SONY DSCPhoto Stolen SteamRadio

Further reading: hausofwaft
House of Matriarch starts from $24/3.3ml

Speak to me of amber! What are your favorite perfumes based on this lovely note?
FeralJasmine x

15 thoughts on “Ambre Vie by Christi Meshell for House of Matriarch 2012

  1. Hey there FeralJasmine,
    I LOVE amber fragrances and have quite a collection. As we get into cooler weather here in Sydney I’ll be bringing out the big guns. YAY!
    This one sounds lush too.
    Portia xx


    • I really like this one. I can’t say why exactly, except that it’s like your black dress that always looks right for every occasion.


      • Hey love,
        I fixed the name above.
        Big gun ambers? Well, off the top of my head these are the most worn in this house. I love Ambre Ceruleen by Huitiem Art, Ambre Russe by Parfum d’Empire, L’Eau d’Ambre by L’Artisan, Rima XI by Carner, Sweet Oriental Dream by Montale, Ambre & Santal by L`Occitane and Olympic Amber by Olympic Orchids.
        Do you have some to add?
        Portia xx


        • Tommi Sooni II is gorgeous, I have it too. Good call.
          I also forgot to add Amre 114, Ambre Aurea by Profumo Roma, Trouble by Boucheron, DIOR Ambre Nuit and others I can’t think of…..
          Portia xx


          • And the late lamented Armani Ambre Orient. Surely the corporate suit who axed that one will be reincarnated at a very low level indeed.


          • HA! LOVED Ambre Orient but never bought a bottle. I wonder how many others are in the same boat?
            Portia xx


  2. Hi FeralJ,
    This time of year I find it difficult to remember my favorite ambers. I recall HdP’s 114, Ellen Covey’s Olympic Amber and Rasasi’s Amber Oudh. I also have memories of several of the Aloes of Ish Amber Ladies, especially the Marium scent. I know there are many other favorites but I just can’t think of them when the springtime flowers are scenting the air! I believe I have tried Ambre Vie but it is yet another amber that I don’t recall right now. Have to fix that 😉 There may be a sample somewhere around here!
    Azar xx


    • Good point about the time of year, Azar. Up here at over 5000 feet we still have very cool nights that are perfect for them, but much of the country is probably muttering “Amber is SO last season.” I have some summer ambers that I love, and it’s nearly time to locate them in the melee of bottles.


  3. Not much lasts on me either and that doesn’t stop me from buying the ones I really love. Perhaps when you’re able to spritz on clothing as well as skin you’d get more mileage? If it wears linear and you’re loving it just for it being a wonderful amber and not for the development of notes then I would just do that. I also like the short lived ones for bedtime scents because if I’ll be falling asleep around the time it fades away, no biggie. Go ahead, treat yourself!


    • Tried Ambre Vie on clothing yesterday and it did last longer; I put it on in the morning and could still smell it at lunchtime, which is respectable and makes it worth buying at least a small bottle. And using it as a bedtime scent will be luscious! Thanks for the suggestions.


  4. Amber is a note I’ve only recently started to enjoy – in the past I’ve found it a bit too rich.

    My favourites in this area are Ambre 114, Amber Absolute and Ambre Sultan. I was using the Prada Amber shower gel for a while, and that was a great start to the day.


    • Hi Greg, thanks for stopping by! Amber Absolute is a real beauty, and I wear that one a fair amount myself. Ambre Sultan has a bit much cumin for me but is lovely on my husband. You might enjoy the Tommi Sooni II that I mention above. It isn’t too floral after the first 15 minutes and is a light amber, on the fresh side, which is great in summer and could work well for men. Also have it in mind to sample LM Parfums Ambre Muscadin at some point. It is an Amber-musk, quite French and elegant in its effect, and to my nose too masculine to wear myself, but I think that many men would love it.


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