Parfums de Nicolaï Amber Oud: Soothing Comfort



Close your eyes, and imagine diving into a pool of lavender ice-cream. As the bracing herbal bouquet swirls in the air, tonka and vanilla coat your body like silk, enveloping you, soothing you. Yet, with every lap you take, the water starts to change its colours. The purple and cream turn to gold, then to bronze, and finally to brown-gold as the lavender gives way first to patchouli, and then to labdanum. Dusted with tonka, your body is coated with a sweet, spicy warmth that always feels expensive. It is the world of Amber Oud from Parfums de Nicolaï, a world that has absolutely nothing to do with oud and everything to do with soothing richness.

I’ve often said that my second favorite category of perfumes are “cozy, comfort” scents, and Amber Oud certainly qualifies. The last 6 weeks have been frustrating and stressful with the website changes, and I’ve repeatedly sought the creamy embrace of Amber Oud. It riveted me from the very first time I tried it, and I say this as someone who absolutely loathes lavender. To the point of a phobia, in fact. But, lavender or not, I think Amber Oud is truly marvelous. For me, it feels like a safety blanket, one that comes close to wiping away my worries, lowering my blood pressure, and comforting me — all with a luxuriousness that feels like the very best of Guerlain. Given that Madame de Nicolaï is a member of that family and is highly influenced by the Guerlain tradition, the similarities in feel are not surprising.

"The Lavender Princess." Photo: Kirsty Mitchell. Source:

“The Lavender Princess.” Photo: Kirsty Mitchell. Source:

Nonetheless, let me be clear at the outset about one thing: if Amber Oud is an “oud” fragrance, then I’m Vladimir Putin. If you test the perfume expecting to detect a profound amount of agarwood, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. I have worn Amber Oud a number of times, and not once did I detect even an iota of agarwood. Not once. Cedar and some amorphous, indistinct woodiness, definitely. Actual oud, no.

Amber Oud in its two sizes, 30 ml and 100 ml. Source: Luckyscent.

Amber Oud in its two sizes, 30 ml and 100 ml. Source: Luckyscent.

On her website, Patricia de Nicolaï describes Amber Oud and its notes as follows:

Amber Oud is created thanks to the famous perfumers amber combination, based on vanilla and labdanum. A perfume sublimated by the powerful agarwood note.

Top notes are lavender, thyme, sage and artemisia; middle notes are cinnamon, saffron, agarwood [oud], cedar, patchouli and sandalwood; base notes are vanilla, tonka bean, styrax, musk, castoreum and amber.

As noted above, I couldn’t detect any agarwood in Amber Oud, let alone a “powerful” one. So, a more apt description of the perfume might be that of Luckyscent:



Amber Oud embodies a golden effervescence, a freshness you wouldn’t expect from its name. Debuting with clean spice notes and a bubbly profile, the scent presents a generous herbal bouquet. Wafts of lavender, thyme, sage, and artemisia provide a stunning balance to the warm and rich notes lying deep within the scent. The warmth of amber, vanilla, and patchouli anchors the scent but doesn’t disrupt its clean and elegant persona. Laced with saffron and a dash of cinnamon, Amber Oud is sure to surprise you with its intriguing blend of grace and mystery.

As you can see, Luckyscent doesn’t mention oud once in their summation of the scent. On the other hand, I disagree with them on a few things: this is not a scent with “mystery,” I don’t think Amber Oud is really “clean” (thank God), and I’m a bit dubious about the “bubbly profile” bit. Yet, Luckyscent comes close in nailing the perfume’s essence. They are especially correct in noting the perfume’s golden touch infused with a generous herbal bouquet, and how patchouli is an anchor.



Amber Oud opens on my skin with a bouquet that is, at once, herbal and sweet. Immediately, you are hit with the lavender which is simultaneously pungent, brisk, dried, sharp, but sweet and creamy. It is thoroughly infused with tonka, then dashes of golden warmth from the amber, and slivers of vanilla mousse.

From afar, it’s nothing but a tableau of lavender and creamy sweetness, but there are other elements woven in as well. There is a tiny touch of greenness from the other herbs, most noticeably sage. A quiet spiciness and very muted, abstract woodiness also linger at the edges. The latter has a dried, peppery, aromatic and sweet quality that clearly stems from the cedar. Lurking far, far in the background, if you really focus, you can pull out the red-gold threads of saffron, mostly from a faintly buttery, spicy undertone. In the same way, you can just barely make out the contours of cinnamon dusted on the vanilla mousse. However, it takes a great deal of concentration to tease out these nuances, for Amber Oud’s opening on my skin is primarily just lavender tonka vanilla.

Photo: Wanna Be A Country Cleaver, Megan Cleaver, via

Photo: Wanna Be A Country Cleaver, Megan Cleaver, via

I normally despise lavender, shivering at its pungent harshness, its cologne-like briskness, its medicinal and soapy facets, but what a lavender it is here. Simply beautiful, and it just gets lovelier with time. The herbaceous quality of the flower loses much of its sharpness after 5 minutes, and turns more into lavender ice cream cocooned in a soft, golden glow. To the extent that there is “amber” in the fragrance, it really translates at this stage as a warm, deep richness upon which is anchored the dominant duo of lavender and tonka.

I find the whole thing utterly addictive, but I’d be the first to say that none of it is complicated, edgy, original, or even particularly oriental in feel. In fact, Amber Oud seems to straddle two categories — the herbal aromatic and the gourmand — without really falling into either one. And, for all that the perfume has sweetness, it never feels really gourmand to me. The tonka is just enough to cut through the lavender’s herbaceousness and stop it from being barber-shop pungent, sharp, or abrasive.

Artist unknown. Source: pinterest via eBay.

Artist unknown. Source: pinterest via eBay.

There is an incredible smoothness to the blend, and its seamless richness feels very luxurious. Amber Oud really evokes the best of Guerlain, because there is no doubt in my mind that the most expensive, high-quality ingredients have been used. (Minus the nonexistent oud note.) Initially, Amber Oud feels very concentrated and dense in its opening moments, like rich damask silk on the skin. Yet, the richness of the notes belies the perfume’s overall airiness and generally soft sillage. At first, Amber Oud’s projection is quite good. 3 tiny squirts from my wonky decant created a dense cloud of lavender cream that wafted 3 inches above the skin, but the sillage starts to soften and drop after only 20 minutes. By the end of the first hour, the perfume hovers just an inch above the skin.

Amber Oud shifts slowly and incrementally. After 30 minutes, the perfume is noticeably creamier, as the vanilla becomes more prominent. It combines with the tonka to create the silkiest, smoothest crème anglaise sauce into which the fragrant, aromatic lavender has been melted. It’s a sweetly spicy mix, shot through with subtle veins of cedar woodiness.



At the end of the 1st hour, the perfume begins its shift into the second stage as a patchouli note seeps up from the base, adding an additional element of spicy warmth. Those of you who are phobic about patchouli, don’t worry. This is a really refined, smooth take on the note, thanks to the tonka. The overall effect reminds me of Serge Lutens‘ beautiful bell jar exclusive, Fourreau Noir, the only other lavender fragrance I have ever fallen for. There are differences, however. Amber Oud lacks Fourreau Noir’s dominant tendrils of black smoke; the lavender here is much smoother and softer; and the scent as a whole feels creamier, sweeter, and slightly denser.

By the end of the second hour, the patchouli and amber share center stage with the lavender cream. Amber Oud has lost its purple and vanilla hues, and turned thoroughly golden. The perfume is drier, and less vanillic, but the amber feels quite generalized at this stage, instead of actual labdanum amber with its particular, distinctive character. As a whole, Amber Oud is a warm, spicy sweet, herbal amber with vanilla and patchouli, and the tiniest flecks of cedar. It feels as though it’s about to turn into a skin scent at any moment, but that only occurs just before end of the 3rd hour.



Amber Oud changes by such tiny degrees that you’re almost surprised when you suddenly realise that you’re wearing a patchouli-amber scent, infused with vanilla, and with only tiny streaks of the most abstract herbal bouquet. The dominant, main lavender ice-cream note of the beginning has largely faded away by the 2.75 hour mark, though you can still smell it in the background. Like fluid, liquid silk, the perfume flows into a new stage where the patchouli is increasingly the driving force behind the amber cloud, followed thereafter by tonka and vanilla. Small slivers of cedar dart about, lending far more dryness to the scent than initially existed, but the oud remains completely nonexistent.

Photo: Werner Kunz at

Photo: Werner Kunz at

3.5 hours into its development, Amber Oud is a blur of spicy, sweet patchouli infused with a darker amber that is finally starting to resemble labdanum. The vanilla melts into the base, losing its distinctive edge, while the first whispers of the latter’s honeyed, toffee’d, dark aroma takes its place. The effect is to turn Amber Oud’s visuals from gold flecked with cream, to bronze and brown. From a distance, Amber Oud is not as easy to detect, but, up close you are struck by its cozy warmth, its silky spiciness, and its woody sweetness. Eventually, the labdanum shows its true nature with a darker warmth that turns Amber Oud all brown in hue. The perfume clings to the skin like the thinnest glaze of labdanum and patchouli, dusted over by a fine mist of tonka that feels a little bit powdered at times. In its final moments, Amber Oud is an abstract touch of warm, soft, slightly spicy, slightly woody sweetness.



All in all, Amber Oud lasted just short of 8 hours on my skin, with generally soft sillage after the 2 hour. I loved every bit of it, but particularly the opening 90 minutes with the lavender ice-cream. It felt incredibly soothing, a bouquet that would lull you to sleep in a wave of serenity. I thoroughly appreciated how neither the tonka and vanilla felt like a cloying ball of goo, along with the fact that there was almost no powder throughout Amber Oud’s lifetime. The golden haze of the later stages — with patchouli that is first flecked with vanilla, then with amber, and finally with true labdanum — was wonderful. Everything felt perfectly balanced, seamless, and rich.

Amber Oud is not perfect, however. I wish it had taken longer for the scent to turn sheer in weight and soft in projection, but that is a minor thing. The real issue with Amber Oud may be its price. The Parfums de Nicolaï line has always been very reasonably priced — intentionally so, in fact — but Amber Oud and its sibling, Rose Oud, cost quite a bit more. A tiny 30 ml bottle is priced at $78 or €58, while the large 100 ml/3.3 oz bottle costs $235 or €174. Presumably, the reasoning for putting the new Ouds at a much higher level than the rest of the line is the fact that they contain a “powerful” oud note. However, no-one I know who has tried Amber Oud has found it to be an “oud” fragrance. As you will see in a minute, many Fragrantica commentators can’t detect any oud at all. In short, I feel as though I’m being treated like an idiot when a perfume’s price is yanked up for a note that is basically nonexistent.

Is Amber Oud over-priced at $235 given its safe and largely simplistic nature? I think it’s going to come down to personal tastes. I would have said it was ridiculously priced the first time I smelled it when I detected nothing but lavender-vanilla for the first two hours. Yet, the perfume as a whole is beautiful, feels extremely luxurious, and is something that I feel like reaching for continuously when stressed. So, for me, the price is worth it, but I realise that it is a very subjective, personal calculation which will be different for each person. I would not be remotely surprised if a number of you found Amber Oud to be lovely, but far too simple or basic for $235. (As a side note, I realise that there is a much cheaper option at $78 for 30 ml, but that feels a little high for such a tiny size. Plus, this is a scent that I personally would want to use frequently and to spray with abandon; 30 ml wouldn’t cut it for that purpose.)

Kilian Amber Oud in the refill bottle. Source: Harvey Nichols.

Kilian Amber Oud in the refill bottle. Source: Harvey Nichols.

Amber Oud is frequently compared to Kilian‘s Amber Oud, perhaps because the latter also contains virtually no oud. Personally, I don’t think the two perfumes are comparable except in terms of their overall feel. The Kilian fragrance doesn’t have any lavender or patchouli, and I didn’t detect any labdanum, merely a generalized “amber.” The price structure is different as well. Kilian’s Amber costs $185 for a 50 ml refill bottle, so it is much more expensive on a price-per-ml basis. (I’m not even getting into the full $385 cost for the proper, black, 50 ml bottle.)

On Fragrantica, a number of people find the Nicolaï Amber Oud to be much better than the Kilian fragrance, while a few strongly disagree. Personally, I’m not a fan of the very wispy Kilian version, so I’m with the first group. Below are a range of opinions on the Nicolaï scent:

  • Its a very nice Amber+Oud combination. In comparison with Amber Oud by KILIAN, I have to say that Ms. Nicolai perfume is much better (as smell, longevity, projection & price). I think I made a mistake by buying the small bottle. 2 thumbs up
  • Similar to Amber Oud by KILIAN, But to me Nicolai is much better. Great scent, happy to have in my collection
  •  I’m a little bit disappointed. You can’t detect the oud, and the amber note is not prominent in the opening nor in the dry down. Also the longevity is a bit poor on my skin. [¶] To me, you can’t even compare this with the Amber Oud of By Kilian! The Kilian version is supreme!! But then, everyone has his own taste. Beside all that, the fragrance has a pleasent smell!
  • Nice surprise!!! I was expecting the ordinary but… Wow! Yes yes, it is Much more AMBER LAVENDER than AMBER OUD! But still so lovely! [¶] Smells soft and wonderful on skin… On me lasts 6-8 hours! Good projection too! [¶] Just one advice: if you’re looking for “the most prominent and strongest” Oud (that I particularly dislike)… Go look another place!
  • This smells incredible. [¶] Very good quality scent and very well blended. [¶] If you like sweet-oriental frags. or amber fragances, you must try this.
    Longevity and sillage are both moderate-low.
    scent: 9/10
    longevity: 6/10
    sillage: 5/10
    P.D.: The bad thing is the price…..


On Luckyscent, there are only two reviews, one of which is from a woman who thought the perfume’s herbaceousness rendered Amber Oud more masculine than unisex in nature:

This is not a unisex scent. I bought a sample of this to compare to By Kilian’s Amber Oud, which I really like. As soon as I first put it on, it immediately smelled like a strong men’s cologne. It brings to mind an upscale version of Old Spice, but also with some green notes to it, probably from the sage and thyme. I wouldn’t mind smelling this on a man, though. I passed the sample on to my husband.

The Perfume Shrine talks about both the issue of masculinity and the oud, though they categorize the last situation differently than I do:

Amber Oud by de Nicolai however is oud prowling in kitten’s paws, so delicate and purring you might be mistaken for thinking there is some problem with the labeling. Because Amber Oud is mostly a glorious aromatic amber fragrance with copious helpings of premium grade lavender fanned on resinous, plush notes of velvet. […][¶]

In Patricia de Nicolai’s Amber Oud the blast of lavender at the beginning is the dominant force which takes you by surprise and which might make women think this is more men’s gear than girly girl stuff. But they need not fear. Gents and ladies alike will appreciate the seamless procession into a balsamic smelling nucleus. […] Seekers of oud (lured by the name) might feel cheated and there is no eye-catching innovativeness in the formula itself, but de Nicolai is continuing on a path of wearable, presentable, smooth perfumes that have earned her brand a steady following.



The Non-Blonde has a similar assessment:

The first thing to notice about Nicolai’s Amber Oud and Rose Oud is that they don’t smell very oudy. […][¶]

Amber Oud doesn’t smell particularly ambery, especially compared to the Oriental fantasy of Kilian’s perfume with the same name. It’s actually a very herbal-aromatic concoction, like a darkened and deepened fougere that still maintains the bones of a great and classic men’s cologne. It took me a couple of testings to really find the oud in this perfume, but it’s there, hiding right behind the spicy front put by saffron and cinnamon. It’s instantly likable, decidedly fresh, and very refined. Amber Oud probably suits and appeals to me more than it does for women. I just wish it wasn’t so safe.

I agree, Amber Oud is very safe, but I didn’t find it to be half as herbal-aromatic as she did. On my skin, that phase was only a small portion of the scent, and always festooned by copious vanilla and tonka to create lavender ice-cream more than a fresh aromatic scent. Plus, the main heart of the Amber Oud was patchouli, followed by a resinous labdanum finish at the end. As for the hiding wood note, I found that it was always cedar, not oud.

Clearly, skin chemistry is going to make a difference in terms of what you experience, and how unisex it may be. Similarly, personal valuation will determine if the end result is too simplistic for the price, or cozy comfort that is well worth it. All I can say is that lovers of lavender, amber, and patchouli, as well as Kilian’s Amber Oud, should really try the Nicolaï version. I absolutely love its serene, soothing warmth and luxurious comfort.

Cost & Availability: Amber Oud is an eau de parfum that comes in two sizes. There is a tiny 30 ml/1 oz bottle that costs $78 or €58, and there is a large 100 ml/3.3 oz bottle that costs $235 or €174. In the U.S.Luckyscent sells both sizes of the perfume, and also offers samples. Beautyhabit only carries the small 30 ml size. Same story with Parfum1, but they sell samples for $4. OsswaldNY has some of the Parfums de Nicolai line, but not the two new Oud fragrances. Outside the U.S.: For Canadian readers, the US-based Perfume Shoppe carries the Parfums de Nicolaï line, but I don’t see Amber Oud on their website. In the U.K., Parfums de Nicolaï has a shop in London on Fulham Road. You can check the Store Link below for the exact address. For all European readers, you can order directly from Parfums de Nicolaï which sells Amber Oud for €58 and €178, depending on size. In France, the company has numerous boutiques, especially in Paris. First in Fragrance sells the large 100 ml bottle for €159.66. In the Netherlands, ParfuMaria carries both sizes of Amber Oud, as does Annindriya’s Perfume Lounge. In Spain, the PdN line is sold at Ruiz de Ocenda, but I don’t see the new Ouds listed. In Hungary, I found both sizes of Amber Oud at Neroli. For other locations in France and the address of the London store, you can turn to the Nicolai Store Listing. It doesn’t show any vendors outside France or the UK. I found no stores carrying the line in Asia, the Middle East, or Australia. Samples: Samples of Amber Oud are available from Luckyscent or Parfum1. Surrender to Chance does not carry it at this time.

44 thoughts on “Parfums de Nicolaï Amber Oud: Soothing Comfort

    • I definitely thought of you when I tried it, but I think you’d find it too soft as compared to the Tom Ford Lavender that you’re used to. 🙂

  1. i find this trend of jumping on this damn oud craze without any actual oud (by kilian, byredo and creed have been doing it for years) to be rather tacky at best, and rather odious. it is a particular disappointment from such a solid house as nicolai. your experience is the same as mine: a soft, charming lavender followed by a well-balanced creamy/vanilla with such a well executed patchouli-with-dry herbs note that is indeed very comforting and effortless. there IS NO oud in this scent, so why the blasted oud label? what compels established niche houses to do this? am i naive to the demands of hype & marketing?

    • I’m glad you also didn’t detect any oud in it, Tim. I read the Non-Blonde’s account of a “hidden” oud, and thought, “Huh, well, skin chemistry is a weird thing.” But I felt completely perplexed.

      Jacking up a perfume’s prices ostensibly because of the cost of oud when there is actually NO OUD smell at all really makes me feel like I’m being taken for a sucker. It’s irritating as hell. In this case, I just tried to sniff in the lavender, stay calm, ignore the name, and focus on the very pretty “Lavender Vanilla Amber” that it should have been called.

      I don’t think you’re naive to the demands of hype or marketing, but you and I are both approaching it from a very different perspective or place than the brand owners who perhaps have little choice but to jump upon the band wagon. Well, small owners like Patricia de Nicolai at least, as opposed to the very wealthy houses who coolly drive the hype and marketing to make themselves even richer. (Like you, I think a number of Kilian’s ouds, but especially his Amber Oud, have NO oud in them either or, in a few instances, just a synthetic one.) We’re considering our pocket, and they are considering theirs. The funny thing is just how non-Arabian/non-Middle Eastern all these supposed “oud” fragrances are. They are straight French perfumes, with nary a drop of true Middle Eastern orientalism to be found. In this case, Guerlain DNA, through and through — and Guerlain wouldn’t know an truly Arabic Oud scent if one bit it on its tush. (Yes, I’ve tried the Guerlain “ouds,” and I can only laugh.)

      On a happier note, I liked how you described the Nicolai perfume as “charming” and “effortless.” I think that is very accurate.

  2. I love lavender (and lavender ice cream), and I’m a fan of PdN, so I’d really like to try this one, which is funny because based on the name “Amber Oud” alone I probably wouldn’t be interested in it. I have small bottles of Le Temps d’une Fête and Odalisque that I’ve been enjoying quite a lot. It’s too bad they decided to make this one quite a bit pricier than their other scents, but I am happy they’ve continued to offer the 30 ml size for their fragrances.

    • PdN recently increased the prices of its regular line, probably so that the wide gap between those prices and the ones for the new “Ouds” wouldn’t be quite so noticeable! Isn’t that sad, given how none of the perfumes smell like the ingredient that is used to justify the price hike?

      Still, as you said, at least she still offers the 30 ml size. So, if you love lavender, I hope you have access to a place that carries the line or can order samples of it. A lavender lover would enjoy “Lavender Vanilla Amber But No Oud” (as I have decided to rename the fragrance) quite a bit, I think. lol 🙂

  3. Hmm. I left a comment this morning and it didn’t show up.

    Anyhoo, I would not have thought to even try this one. I do like PdN (and need to remember I have a full bottle of Vie de Chateau stowed away for summer). . .but the name of this brought made me assume it was simply a pallid Oud and well, I’d pass.

    Your review made me want to try it! I adore lavender vanilla iced cream!! It’s heavenly stuff and I do love the smell! Yes, it’s one I’d like to wear, lol.

    The graphics you chose for this post are so enjoyable. I always enjoy your picks (both perfume and graphics, actually) but this one was a particularly lovely start to my day, especially the first second day in a row where we’ve got sunshine where I live. And that makes me start thinking about changing what scents I’m wearing. Another must-try due to you. Are thanks in order?



    • All comments on the blog went completely wonky starting yesterday, as there were still MORE technical problems, yet again, and for the 3rd week in a row. This time, on the server hosting end, which impacted 2 other aspects of the blog and…. arrrgh. At one point, there was no commenting allowed at all due to “maintenance” issues, and after that… well, who knows what happened to your comment. It probably got lost inbetween the fixes on both the DreamHost and JetPack ends. Honestly, if you only knew how many weekly issues there have been since the transfer, you wouldn’t believe it. I regret leaving WordPress HOURLY, and it was a terrible mistake on a number of levels.

      Ooops, sorry for the long vent, but it’s been stressful. So, annnnnnnnnnnway, onto happier, lighter topics… do you really like lavender ice-cream? Then, I’d suggest this one but also Histoires de Parfums 1725 which is a gourmand lavender with almond and other stuff. Honestly, that one wasn’t enough to overcome my lavender phobia, but this one WAS, which says something. Of course, there is also my beloved Fourreau Noir, which was the very *first* lavender to blow my socks off after decades of dread and lavender terror. lol.

      I ordered my sample from Parfum1 for $4, and I guess they were feeling in a generous mood because I got something that was like 2-3 ml, instead of the usual 0.7 that everyone sells! Regardless of where you get your sample, I hope you you love it as much as I did. It’s a very basic scent, but SOOOO well done and so soothing!

      • Here’s some unexpected tech stuff for you: Jetpack can cause headaches. Additionally, “migrating” an entire existing blog is a nightmare, even for experienced techies. In the long run, having your own domain name is a good thing. Finding the right plug ins will take time. Try not to panic or worry. It’ll all work out eventually and losing a comment here and there is not the end of the world!!

        I do not have a lavender phobia by any means, and yes, I simply adore lavender vanilla iced cream. I also love lavender shortbread cookies and bathe in lavender chamomile bubble bath. I also used to grow lavender (but no longer have a garden). But, that’s enough lavender (and probably TMI) don’t you think? I have never sought out a lavender perfume!

        Have you written about your lavender phobia? By the way, I tried a scent this morning that smelled exactly like I had rubbed dryer sheets on my wrists and thought of you. 🙂

        • I’m glad someone can relate to my technological trauma. LOL. But let’s not get me started on plug-ins. The last time I tinkered with one, the whole site turned jet black and nothing could be read. Heh. I have a slight Tech Curse that doesn’t help things. 😀

          As for my lavender phobia, I’ve mentioned it a number of times in the past. Until Fourreau Noir, I merely assumed that lavender wasn’t for me, as even the much-hyped Kiki from Vero Profumo left me cold. (Mostly from boredom. At least it didn’t send me into a huddled foetal position, shivering in horror like some lavender fragrances do.) I like it in food, but never on the skin. I know most people are like you, though, and love lavender. 🙂

          The most important thing in your reply was something else: what is the name of the perfume that smelled exactly like laundry dryer sheets on your skin?? I must know, so that I NEVER ever try it. *grin* Whatever I feel about lavender, it’s a thousand times more so for the vile horrors of laundry musk! And perfumes that smell like Bounce…. Urrrgghh!

          • Miller & Bertraux A Quiet Morning. I think I could have anticipated that based on the name alone. Sometimes one can tell a book by its cover.

            And though I have read about your “lavender phobia” before, I wondered if you have a true phobia brought on by some childhood mishap or bad association with lavender.

          • Well, I’ve noted the name as one to avoid, so thank you, my dear. As for my lavender phobia, it’s a childhood thing going back to when I lived in Cannes which is about 15-20 minutes away from Grasse. It has almost as much lavender everywhere as that other famous source of perfume material. Dried lavender sachets in every corner, shop, house, and restroom, all seeping its sharp pungency out at you like an assault team. Our own house had lavender bushes everywhere, too. It was all too, too much, and left a mark on my olfactive psyche. lol

  4. This smells like a must try for me. Never in a million years would I have imagined that this would contain Lavender! The one note I am slightly worried about is cedar as it smells like pencil shavings to me.

    • I have unofficially re-named the perfume as “Lavender Vanilla Amber” because, otherwise, talk about misleading advertising! I’m like you, I would never have imagined what the dominant notes would be if I went by the name alone.

      I wouldn’t worry about the cedar, Hajusuuri. For one thing, it’s generally quite amorphous in feel and indistinct in smell unless you really focus hard. For another, it’s supremely well-blended into the scent. Even when it is most discernible, it’s still at the edges, unlike the Lavender, patchouli, tonka, vanilla, etc. Hell, even the sage is a microscopic dot that is barely perceptible and only for the opening 5 minutes at that. It’s really just Lavender Vanilla Patchouli Amber… nothing more.

      Extremely simple and basic — probably TOO much so for the price!! I’m the first to say that, but I’ve fallen for it nonetheless. Me, the lavender phobe! Can you believe it? lol

      • I am so seriously lemming this that I almost triggered a blind buy. Parfum1 has a 20% off coupon but it excludes certain brands like PdN (boo hissss to that!). I’ll let my craving fester for a week or so and then get it from LuckyScent just based on the fact that it is free shipping and I can choose specific samples (as if I need more!)

        On your lavender phobia, well, perhaps there is a conspiracy to desensitize you 😉

        • I dashed off to buy it too when I saw that Parfum1 coupon, only to have your experience and come thudding halt over the Exception list. I’m going to do what you are, and order it from Luckyscent because of the samples. I’ve gone 2 nights without wearing it because of other fragrances that I’ve been testing, and I’ve almost got withdrawal symptoms. lol

          Promise you’ll let me know what you think when you get it? xoxox

  5. I am to the point where I almost don’t want to even try fragrances with ‘oud’ in the name.
    The marketing of ‘oud’ is beyond tiresome.
    On the other hand, Black Oud….

    • Heh, Black Oud struck a chord, did it? I’m so glad. Have you tried anything else from LM Parfums?

  6. Wow, the picture of the lavender princess is stunning!!!
    I am not much of an oud fan but after reading your wonderful review and after reading that it has nothing to do with oud, I definitely put Amber Oud on my to sniff list now (If I then detect oud, I’ll call you Vladimir…).

    • If you detect oud, you should definitely call me Vladimir. Just be careful that I don’t send you to the Lubyanka Prison as a result…. ;-P Joking aside, I do hope you will like the scent and that it works for you. Let me know what you think. 🙂

  7. Hmm. I rather liked the By Kilian for its silky, lightweight amber, though I wouldn’t buy it and didn’t bother to find any more sample sprays the way I did for Rose Oud (which was three minutes of Band-Aid and four hours of rose vanilla). But I’m not a big amber fan, I don’t care much for patchouli unless it’s very smooth and aged, and I reeeeeeeally hate lavender.

    Think I’ll skip. But I enjoyed the review.

    • (To clarify, I was speaking about the Kilian Rose Oud, not the PdN. I’m kind of POed at PdN at the moment, for taking my favoritest Le Temps d’une Fete out of regular production.)

    • I really hate lavender too, but there appear to be two exceptions to the rule. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the review.

  8. I was lucky enough to have new samples from LS where Rose and Amber Oud were in the bag! It could be one of my ‘ultimate luxuries’ to be able to apply the perfume in question at the beginning of the review, and follow it’s (your) progression. If you had not pointed out the saffron, I would have missed it. I learn so much bout parsing out notes from your reviews. I feel as though you are moving your fingers through water or sand and uncovering the depths below. I think of two perfumes right away as I wear this. Fourreau Noir and 1725. This has more vanilla and dry herbs on me. This is a very tasty perfume. Thanks for another valuable, entertaining, lesson/review, Kafka!!

    • YES, definitely Fourreau Noir and 1725, though a non-almond 1725 with more vanilla, as you noted. Did you detect any oud? I need to know if anyone will be calling me Vladimir. 😉 😀 Anyway, I’m glad the review could be of some help to you, sweetie. Are you tempted by the perfume?

  9. Well mislabelling aside this sounds like quite a lovely lavender / amber / vanilla. I’ve found that I really love the smell of lavender (well in Fourreau Noir anyway that I finally bought last week!). Always good to know that another lovely gem exists. Sorry to hear about the tech problems – sounds like an absolute nightmare.

    • You bought Fourreau Noir? Hurrah!! Did you get it in the sleek black sprays that I know are carried at the store near you? BTW, was Fourreau Noir the scent that you thought may be better for your BF, or was that something else?

      As for Amber Oud, I think you’d love it, especially as this is a much more vanillic, creamy fragrance than the Lutens. Initially, much more dense in feel as well, though it soon softens.

      • Yes I bought the black atomiser and I really love it, so sleek and and of course Fourreau Noir is divine. It really is. I’ve nearly given up on finding something for the other half. He’s not really moving in the direction I’d like LOL! He likes fresh scents for himself and so far (and believe me I’ve tried quite a few on him) he likes Allure Pour Homme Sport (!) and also was quite partial to Laine de Verre. And then surprisingly he really liked Eau D’Epices as well so I got a sample of Spicebomb for him to try but he wasn’t fussed at all on that one. Eau D’Epices smelt really good on him actually so I may get one of those 15ml bottles in an Explorer Set.

        • It makes me so happy that you’ve fallen for Fourreau Noir so much! As for your other half, the mention of Laine de Verre made me blink in disbelief. My God, he really doesn’t like perfume, does he??! lol. Given that, the Eau d’Epices is quite a surprise. Huge surprise, in fact! I wonder what it is about that one that makes it such an exception? Is he really keen on orange blossoms?

          What did you think of Laine de Verre, by the way?

          • Ah you have a point about orange blossom. I will do some further investigations with that in mind.

            Well re Laine de Verre I really like aldehydes so the opening for me is not bad at all – in fact I really like that part but it does settle quickly into something that is not that exciting. I’ve only tried it once though so I should give it another whirl. On the whole though that clean, fresh, minimalist, anti perfume style doesn’t enthrall me or maybe it reminds me of the 90’s too much and my CKOne and L’Eau d’Issey.

  10. I also have an intense dislike of the scent of lavender in lotions, potions, and other scented goods. Can almost elicit a gag reflex in me! But, strangely enough, I DO like lavender- Earl Grey tea, lavender ice cream, and have had a number of lavender baked goods, which were lovely.
    I recently sampled Forreau Noir, and found it to be a beautiful composition that mixed well with my chemistry. So, long story short, I’m adding a sample of Amber Oud to my steadily-growing list. It sounds like it will be a wonderful companion to Coromandel as a comfort scent!
    Your review of Amber Oud was, as usual, sheer perfection! The accompanying artwork so beautifully reflects the moods I hope to experience when I sample this scent!
    I love how Torah commented that your reviews are like “you are moving your fingers through water or sand and uncovering the depths below”. I couldn’t agree more!!
    Best wishes for a warp-speed resolution to any further tech issues!

    • Thank you for your extremely kind words on the writing/post, as well as your good wishes for my tech/computer programming nightmares, sweet Lexi. Re. Fourreau Noir, I’m so glad you enjoyed it (though I’m still chuffed the most at your immediate and intense love for my beloved Alahine. Heh.) And a big Hurrah that Coromandel worked for you, too!

      I don’t think P. de N’s Amber Oud is anywhere as sophisticated, elegant or complex as those other scents (especially Alahine), and it’s a lot more straightforward. In many ways, that’s what makes it so cozy, and the perfume equivalent of a child’s favorite, soft blanket. When I ordered my sample from Parfum1, I was so pleasantly and happily surprised that they sent me a nice decant size instead of a tiny 0.7 ml vial. I don’t know if they will do that for everyone (I ordered 2 bottles of perfume at the same time), but I definitely recommend the service if you’re looking for a good place to try out Amber Oud. 🙂

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  12. “If Amber Oud is an oud fragrance, then I’m Vladimir Putin.” Does that mean we get to see a photo of you chopping wood while shirtless???? Yay! LOL.

    I just re-read your review because I”ve been interested in this one & think it’s going to be my next purchase. Hopefully it will wear well in the humid heat this summer if applied lightly.

    • Ha! No Putin photo in my future, thankfully. The company wrote to me and said there was no actual agarwood in the notes, but insisted that there was still “oud” by virtue of a combination accord created through things like cedar, nargamotha, etc. They argued that many other companies don’t use actual agarwood either. It was quite an interesting way of spinning things, but, bottom line, no actual agarwood in the scent at all, by their own admission.

      Let me know what you think if you try it, Ed.

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