Ambra fragrance notes

  • Head

    • galbanum, cistus, marine notes, elemi, cardamom
  • Heart

    • labdanum, myrrh, frankincense, pepper, carnation, nutmeg
  • Base

    • ambergris, animal notes, woods

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Latest Reviews of Ambra

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When I visit Quebec City, I stay at the hotel within Le Monastere des Augustines, in the heart of the old city. The Augustinian sisters have devoted themselves to caring for the body and soul, as is evident from its accommodations and amenities geared toward health, wellness, and most of all, quietude. There was a 'brume d'ambiance' named 1639, the year Hôtel-Dieu de Québec monastery was founded. This room mist contained not only various resins and coniferous oils, it had cardamom. I only have just a few drops of it, but whenever I smell it I immediately return to my time there.

Lorenzo Villoresi Ambra opens with cardamom, and it reminds me of this 1639 room mist, but even more so, it reminds me of that stillness, that space carved out for reflection, away from what plagues me due to the attention economy in which we are so steeped. The opening of Ambra is also accompanied by a cool, bitter-green galbanum and a peppery, lemony elemi, with a kola-nut myrrh making its presence known not long thereafter. However, it is the ambergris that is at the core: here it has a cool salinity and a "levitation above skin" quality. A small amount of true ambergris tincture must be here, it has to be, it just has that vitality and "animal magic" that would be near impossible to produce with any facsimile.

When it simmers down, it feels a bit warmer and even more enveloping due to the enduring labdanum and other resins, a fragrance to wear when one seeks time for stillness, to meditate. Wearing Ambra today reminds me of the importance of returning to my practice, as I know I've personally reached a tipping point taking in so much stimuli, information, that it has become a troubling din. When I was at St. Joseph's Abbey this past weekend, walking through the cloisters and entering the silence within its walls, I knew that a shift was in order, an important shift.
13th October 2022
Ambra opens sharp and bitter, a blast of citrus and galbanum backed by dry incense and breathy ambergris. It evolves slowly and steadily, presenting in its first few hours as a spicy Italian aromatic with mystical touches, floral, green, and smoky.

Ambra draws much from the chypre, to the point that I would argue it is, in fact, an extension of that genre: an amber/ambergris chypre.

The labdanum comes out strongly before ever positioning itself as part of a broader amber accord, which is a nice trick. In fact, Ambra does not reveal itself to be a recognizeable "amber" until it has sat for quite a while on skin. When the drydown eventually assembles a dry, classic amber swirling in myrrh and frankincense, it's a bravura finish to an astonishingly artful perfume.

One of Villoresi's greatest works. Sublime stuff.
23rd February 2022

A spicy amber with a big dose of warming myrrh and a freshening terpenic quality. Suffers at the beginning from being over-polished. The blend seems a touch too smooth, giving the feel of either aldehydes or soap. A bit like looking at the thing through milk-bottle lenses whereas something a bit more rough or daring would have made the composition come alive.
However, it sheds this quality as time passes and the perfume begins to come alive on one's skin. Now it is a sophisticated (but not over-blended) and mellow amber, the characteristic sweetness of the family held nicely in check by the spices and resins.
27th April 2017
I've recently tried this, the new version and I find it quite stunning. I believe there is Ambergris in the base, and not the synthetic stuff either. It is smooth. I certainly get a green feel strongest in the opening but it seems to move to the background relatively quickly. It had to grow on me but when I couldn't stop sniffing my arm, I realized I want it in my collection. It's not like other ambers I've sampled, unique and classy to my nose.
10th December 2015