MPG Ambre Precieux & Ambre Precieux Ultime

Source: Pinterest via Uploaded. Original source or photographer unknown.

Source: Pinterest via Uploaded. Original source or photographer unknown.

Sometimes, the simplest things can be the most comforting. Ambre Precieux from Maître Parfumeur et Gantier (or “MPG“) is one of those things for me. An instant love, a soothing blanket, an addictive scent with a narcotic hold on me from the very first moment that I tried it and that I keep turning to again and again. Caramel amber with creamy vanilla, smoky incense, and bits of toffee in a lusciously sweet, frothy mix that has been lightly dusted with spices — it’s like a perfume lover’s dream latte, only far better than anything Starbucks could ever put out. In fact, Ambre Precieux is so deeply comforting to me that I ordered a full bottle within moments of sniffing it, and I’ve gone through a rather alarming amount of it in just a short time. You know how people sometimes say that a fragrance makes them want to eat their arm? That is Ambre Precieux for me.

"Abstract streams of gold." Photo: Jason Tockey. Site:

“Abstract streams of gold.” Photo: Jason Tockey. Site:

So, when I heard that MPG was coming out with a deeper, richer version of the fragrance — an eau de parfum this time — called Ambre Precieux Ultime, I practically salivated on myself. I had to try it. Immediately. The fact that the Ultime is a limited-edition release and only 1000 bottles were made added to my sense of urgency.

Others felt the same way, too. Ambre Precieux is not only one of the benchmark fragrances in the genre, but a mainstay in many amber lovers’ collection. Such is the love that people feel for the original that several friends of mine rushed to get their hands on the new Ultime, buying full bottles blindly and without regard to the higher price. I didn’t succumb to that extent because I’m wary about blind buys in general — and I’m glad I waited. The two fragrances don’t diverge enormously, but there are some definite, noticeable differences that impact my views of each one. As a result, I thought it would useful to cover both fragrances simultaneously.


Current but reformulated bottle of AP and the version I have. Source: Fragrantica

Current but reformulated bottle of AP and the version I have. Source: Fragrantica

The original Ambre Precieux is an eau de toilette that was released in 1988, and soon became an instant classic. There really was nothing else like it at the time. Even Serge Lutens‘ famous, and equally significant, Ambre Sultan came out later, and it is quite a different scent altogether. Ambre Precieux may have been the very first amber soliflore, centered on ambergris as much as labdanum amber, and backed up with heavy amounts of resins, vanilla and some aromatic notes as well. MPG provides the following note list, though it omits the incense which they specifically mention in their description as providing a “mystical facet”:

Top Notes : Myrtle, Lavander.
Heart Notes : Coumarin, Vanilla, Nutmeg, Labdanum Cistus (labdanum amber).
Base Notes : Balm of Peru, Tolu, Grey Amber (ambergris).

The original date of release in 1988 was a long time ago, and the perfume industry is constantly tinkering with things, usually to lower their cost margins, so the fragrance has been reformulated since then. The bottle design has changed to what you see in the image above but, more importantly, the lavender/myrtle top notes have reportedly been weakened quite a bit. I’ve never tried the vintage, unreformulated version, so I can’t speak to the differences myself, but it is pretty unanimous that the fragrance is not the same as it once was. It doesn’t matter to me because, for my tastes and with my lavender issues, I think the current version is fantastic. It’s not perfect, but I love it passionately nonetheless.

"Gold love" by HelaLe on (Website link embedded within.)

“Gold love” by HelaLe on (Website link embedded within.)

Ambre Precieux opens on my skin with rich, deep amber. There is a heavy wave of ambergris with its strong undertones of caramel and a slightly lesser amount of labdanum with its hints of toffee. Both are drenched in vanilla (that seems a lot like a Bourbon vanilla), and then lashed with incense. The end result is golden, lush, smoky, narcotic, addictively rich, and with the sweetness of your favorite vanilla-infused dessert. Like the frothiest latte, it is covered with a sprinkling of spices; there almost seems to be something like cinnamon in addition to the specified nutmeg. The latter is dry, a hair bitter, and a wee bit woody in nature. It tries to cut through the gourmand richness but never quite succeeds. The increasing smokiness of the incense is much more effective, though only to a point.

Lurking at the edges are whiffs of something fresh and aromatic. In the earliest moments, their shape can be vaguely deciphered through the amber fog as myrtle and lavender. The latter is sweet, fresh, and creamy like ice-cream, rather than the dreaded dry lavender of my nightmares with its medicinal, pungently aggressive herbal qualities. The myrtle is so minor, it merely makes you think of something green and natural, like the leaves of the trees. Both elements are thoroughly blanketed by the amber duet, the vanilla, incense, and spiciness, all of which continue to bloom to the point that the fresher, herbal notes are barely noticeable on my skin after the first 25 minutes.

What is interesting to me is how the weather impacted the strength of the top notes. The lavender and myrtle weren’t recognizable in any strongly delineated way when I wore Ambre Precieux during the last weeks of summer. There was a ghostly, nebulous suggestion, at best, a mere idea of something fresh hovering around the far periphery. The summer heat brought out the richer base notes on my skin, and squashed the top ones. Even inside my air-conditioned house, everything was all about the creamy amber, vanilla, incense milkshake. Now, however, in cold weather, the lavender and myrtle mix has suddenly come out of the thick fog, surprising me with their presence and with how perfectly they balance the darker, thicker elements. The incense note is suddenly substantially stronger too, cutting through the vanilla much more, and making the fragrance less sweet as a whole.

"Luminous," by Jaison Cianelli at

“Luminous,” by Jaison Cianelli at

Speaking of sweetness, as regular readers know, I am not one for gourmand fragrance. At all. Intentionally gourmand or dessert fragrances are always painfully sugary to me, too cloying, and too gooey. Ambre Precieux is not meant to be anything but an oriental but — for someone like me who has a limited tolerance for sweetness — it reads like a “gourmand.” In fact, it turns out that Ambre Precieux is my ideal version of the genre. Sweetness countered by oriental qualities, and vanilla that doesn’t drip sugared icing like Pink Sugar or a true vanilla soliflore. Here, the vanilla and caramel amber are in perfect harmony, because both are indirectly kept in check by the innate dryness of smoky incense. The fact that there is that tiny, wee hint of something mysteriously aromatic, lavendery, and fresh in the background is part of what adds to the interest or charm. The perfume would be much more boring without it, in my opinion.



By my subjective standards and with my low threshold for extreme sweetness, the end result is the perfect dessert or latte scent — and I can’t get enough of it. Really. I can’t tell you the number of nights I’ve lain in bed, sniffing my arm compulsively, with Ambre Precieux swirling around me like a cloud from my pillows and sheets, and pondering whether I should lick my arm. All of that brings me to my next point which is the paradoxical nature of Ambre Precieux’s sillage and weight.

Ambre Precieux is extremely strong on my skin in its opening hours, more like an eau de parfum than an eau de toilette. Using 2 sprays from an actual bottle, I had 4 inches of sillage at first. During the summer, when the heat made the fragrance bloom, that was 5-6 inches in the opening minutes. With 3+ sprays, the cloud was truly large, indeed. In all cases, though, the numbers start to drop within 30 minutes, then further still by the end of the first hour, resulting in a scent that hovers an inch above the skin for quite a while.

Up close, however, it is very strong and rich, while simultaneously feeling airy. Potent sheerness, you might say. This is where the eau de toilette issue makes itself noticed because Ambre Precieux has a lightness that almost verges on the wispy at times. It isn’t a dense, thick scent, even if the richness of its notes gives you that impression at first. As time progresses, its gauzy nature becomes more evident because this is, ultimately, a soft-bodied scent. Don’t let its projection in the first 30 minutes fool you.



Yet, even when the perfume is hovering one inch above the skin, Ambre Precieux still manages to have a cloud-like effect around me. Tendrils curl and weave all around, even when I’m sitting still. Later, when the perfume is a skin scent, I could swear that I could smell it rippling in the air. I rarely encounter fragrances that are somehow harder to detect up close than afar but Ambre Precieux has this strange way of somehow not  appearing to be on my skin, while also bouncing all around me at the same time. I cannot explain it properly, but there is an odd ballooning effect mixed with a ghostly quality during the fragrance’s middle and end stages. My only explanation is that the perfume projects so powerfully from my body in the first 30-60 minutes that it leaves its molecules in the air, creating a presence that remains long after the scent has become a sheer gauze on my skin.

Ambre Precieux doesn’t change significantly from its opening bouquet, and is largely a linear scent. The dark smokiness of the incense, the labdanum, and the vanilla all wax and wane like the tides, but it is largely a question of degree. Almost every part of the fragrance remains the same from start to finish except for two things. First, the fresh, aromatic wisps of the lavender and myrtle vanish entirely after 2.5 hours; and, second, they are replaced by the coumarin which adds a light dusting of sweetened powder around the same time and further underscores my impression of a Starbuck’s latte.

Painting by Hultberg Artworks. (Website link embedded within.)

Painting by Hultberg Artworks. (Website link embedded within.)

Roughly 3.75 hours into its development, the notes realign themselves in terms of their prominence and strength. Both the caramel quality of the ambergris and the vanilla weaken, while the incense and the labdanum’s dark traits grow stronger. At times, Ambre Precieux feels like it’s primarily labdanum and incense, with only light lashings of ambergris, vanilla, and coumarin. The balance and ratios keep changing, but there is no doubt that the smokiness grows significant enough to muffle the sweeter elements. In the final hours, though, the incense fades and they re-emerge, turning Ambre Precieux into a blur of labdanum and sweet caramel ambergris laced with vanilla and only a touch of incense.

All in all, Ambre Precieux consistently lasts between 9.5 to 11.5 hours, depending on the quantity that I apply, but it is not always an easy scent to detect up close due to that paradoxical sillage/cloud thing that I mentioned earlier. When I use 2 sprays from an actual bottle, Ambre Precieux lasts 9.5 hours and turns into a skin scent at the 3.75 hour mark. Sometimes, after 5.5 hours, it almost feels as though it’s died on me, but the fragrance clings on tenaciously, sending out tendrils of scent despite the fact that I sometimes have to bring my nose right to my arm to detect it up close. The numbers are better with 3 sprays, giving me 11.5 hours for longevity. It takes 4 hours for Ambre Precieux to turn into a skin scent, but the initial projection is huge with about half a foot projection in the first 30 minutes. I happen to be a chronic over-sprayer for my personal usage and outside of testing, but even I go easy on Ambre Precieux unless I intentionally want a large cloud around me. The problem is that I find it such a sheer scent in terms of its body, that I still end up applying 6 sprays at bedtime, as well as some on my sheets.


Ambre Precieux Ultime via Fragrantica.

Ambre Precieux Ultime via Fragrantica.

Ambre Precieux is so beloved that MPG came up with an Ultime version which it issued last month. There are only 1000 bottles. The fragrance is not meant to be a reinvention of Ambre Precieux, but a deeper, more concentrated version where the ratios of its much-loved base notes have been amplified. It is also an eau de parfum, perhaps to answer the common complaint that the original Ambre Precieux was too thin or sheer.

Ambre Precieux Ultime and its notes are described in a press copy that is quoted by Luckyscent on its website:

Since the inception of Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, Ambre Précieux, one of the star scents of the brand and appreciated as one of the best amber products on the market, has not been modified in its composition. MPG has decided to reimagine this note by doubling its concentration to make the rich woody balms and vanilla stand out while maintaining the balance of the composition. Ambre Précieux Ultime takes you to the gates of the Orient with its sunny yet complex notes. Its rich woody and powdered facets, reminiscent of the one thousand and one nights, will seduce you and become your dearest olfactive treasure.

[Notes:] Myrtle, lavander, coumarine, vanilla, nutmeg, labdanum cistus, incense, balm from Peru, tolu, grey amber.

"Javascapes 3" by Photographer Daniel G. Walczyk. Source: (Website link embedded within.)

“Javascapes 3” by Photographer Daniel G. Walczyk. Source: (Website link embedded within.)

Ambre Precieux Ultime opens on my skin with amber, a heavy dose of labdanum, vanilla, and a ton of myrtle. Incense follows on their heels, trailed by a good dose of nutmeg spiciness. I’m struck immediately by the differences. The myrtle is whopping here as compared to the nebulous amount in the reformulated Ambre Precieux. The labdanum, too, has been amped up to a large degree, and the spiciness is more noticeable. However, the ambergris with all its caramel deliciousness is much weaker. So is the vanilla, which is rather a shame as I loved that part of the original very much. As a whole, Ambre Precieux Ultime opens as a significantly darker, spicier, smokier scent. The sweetness has been reduced to the point that there is no mistaking Ambre Precieux Ultime for even a quasi-gourmand. This is a pure oriental, period. At the same time, the fragrance has more depth and body, much like an aged wine over a lighter, younger one.

The time when Ambre Precieux Ultime is the most complex and the most different from the original is in its first hour on my skin. So, I thought it might help to give some rough estimate ratios for the notes in each scent and how they compare, putting them on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is the highest. I have to emphasize, though, that these are very rough numbers, and pertain primarily to the opening phases of the two fragrances.

Myrtle 2.5, Lavender 2.5
Amber at 8.5, then 7.5
Vanilla at 6.5, then 5
Labdanum at 6, then 8
Balsams at 6, then 7
Incense at 5.5, then 6.5
Myrtle 6.5, Lavender 3
Amber at 5.5, then 6
Vanilla at 4, then 5
Labdanum 9
Balsams 7.5
Incense at 7, then 7.5





Again, these are pretty rough estimates that focus primarily on the first few hours of the fragrances. Furthermore, the prominence or power of the individual notes fluctuate during the middle stages of both perfumes, often from one moment to the next. Lastly, the two fragrances are extremely similar in their drydown, and the greatest divergence after the opening is in their depth, body, fullness and projection. Having said all that, though, I found the opening blast of the two versions to be noticeably different on my skin in terms of the ratios. There is a ton more myrtle freshness, labdanum darkness, and incense smokiness, but not a huge amount of ambergris Caramel Vanilla Latte.

"Javascapes" by Photographer Daniel G. Walczyk. Source: (Website link embedded within.)

“Javascapes” by Photographer Daniel G. Walczyk. Source: (Website link embedded within.)

Ambre Precieux Ultime begins to change after 45 minutes. The myrtle starts to weaken, though it never really departs until the start of the 3rd hour. At that point, the coumarin awakens, adding a creamy quality to the base. The fragrance is becoming closer to the original, except it’s deeper, more balsamic, and resinous. Although the caramel undertones of the ambergris are slowly making a comeback, they are still overshadowed by the darker elements in the scent which, as a whole, visually skews brown to me, not gold.

Ambre Precieux Ultime feels like a thicker scent, relatively speaking, but it is also softer in terms of its projection. Using the same amounts as I did for Ambre Precieux original, the Ultime only radiated 2.5 inches at the start. At the end of the 2nd hour and the start of the 3rd, the scent hovered only half an inch. It turned into a true skin scent roughly 4.25 hours into its development. In general, the way fragrances are composed, eau de parfums have a richer concentration than eau de toilettes and can often have greater projection, but not always. Pure parfums or extraits have the least of all. On my skin, Ambre Precieux Ultime feels more like an extrait in terms of its sillage, while the original acted more like an eau de parfum. I have to admit, I was very disappointed with the Ultime’s sillage.

With regard to the longevity, it was merely okay. On occasion, it somehow managed to end up being less than the Eau de Toilette version on me. With 2 sprays, the Ultime generally lasted 8.5 to 9 hours; with 3 sprays, it lasted 9.5 to 10 hours. Those aren’t bad numbers but, given how the regular Ambre Precieux performs on my skin (even when I’m not applying 6 to 8 sprays at bedtime), I had expected more.

If you’re starting to sense disappointment dripping from my words, you wouldn’t be completely mistaken. There is some of that here. It all comes down to my expectations and personal tastes. I had thought the Ultime would be my ideal vanilla-amber scent, one with great sillage as well as the depth that the original lacked. Instead, I found a fragrance that wasn’t particularly vanillic, was more purely oriental than a deliciously balanced quasi-gourmand, and with almost intimate projection and merely okay longevity. While I liked the more full-bodied aspects of the Ultime, I wasn’t so fond of the increased myrtle presence. Yes, I know the unreformulated, original Ambre Precieux had quite a bit of that, but I was always happy with my quiet, almost nebulous wisps.

"Passion,"  by Jaison Cianelli at (website link embedded within.)

“Passion,” by Jaison Cianelli at (website link embedded within.)

All of this stems from one thing: my love for the caramel, vanilla amber with its perfect level of sweetness and coziness. Somehow, I had managed to stumble across the ideal “gourmand” (by my standards) mixed with a quasi-vanilla amber. I merely wanted a more concentrated, lusher, heftier version of it. That’s not what I found. Still, the Ultime is a wonderful fragrance, and I’m very happy that I have a large amount of it. There is no disappointment in that regard. I will absolutely wear it, too, but… sprayed on top of my Ambre Precieux. Because, yes, I prefer the regular eau de toilette version. By a long shot.

Unreformulated Ambre Precieux EDT in its older, original bottle and box. Photo: Roland Richter. Source:

Unreformulated Ambre Precieux EDT in its older, original bottle and box. Photo: Roland Richter. Source:

Even better, the eau de toilette is cheaper. Although the retail price difference isn’t massive ($130 versus $195 for the Ultime, both in 100 ml sizes), you can find Ambre Precieux EDT discounted on a number of sites, like Amazon or eBay, for about $95. If you aren’t finicky about buying unused testers, you could save even more money. I’ve seen unopened Ambre Precieux testers on eBay (without a box) for as low as $62. I bought mine for an utter steal, and there are few things I like more than a bargain. Plus, you can occasionally find the original, unreformulated Ambre Precieux in its diamond-cut bottle on eBay for a good price, and that may appeal to those of you who would enjoy an increased dose of the aromatics in the opening.

If you love the regular Ambre Precieux, it is definitely worth your while to test the Ultime. If you’ve never tried either one, but are an amber lover or someone who enjoys cozy comfort scents, then I think you should try them both. Which one suits you best will come down to your individual preferences, as well as what you’re looking for in terms of a fragrance’s body, depth, and projection. I think you’re bound to love one of them. To guide you, you can turn to the many, many positive comments for Ambre Precieux Original on Fragrantica and Luckyscent, as well the gazillion blog reviews that you will find with easy Googling. For the Ultime, there are a handful of posts on its Fragrantica page, but only one person has actually tried the fragrance and talks about its scent. (Nutshell spoiler: they loved it, and said: “wow! get your nose on this. now.”)

At the end of the day, neither fragrance is complex, revolutionary, or perfect, but I will never be without my Ambre Precieux. Never, ever.

Cost & Availability: Ambre Precieux is an eau de toilette that only comes in a 100 ml size and retails for $130, €100 or £95, though it’s easy to find at a discount in America. Ambre Precieux Ultime is an eau de parfum, only comes in a 100 ml bottle, and retails for $195, €150, or £135. In the U.S.: Luckyscent sells Ambre Precieux and Ambre Ultime. Discount Prices: You can find the original Ambre Precieux at deep discounts on eBay, starting at around $76 for unused tester bottles, sometimes much less. Samples are easy to find there as well. Amazon sells it for $95, for about $105. Outside of the U.S.: MPG sells Ambre Precieux but not Ambre Ultime on its website. Both are available from First in Fragrance, which ships worldwide and sells samples. The U.K.’s Les Senteurs has Ambre Precieux and the Ultime, and sells samples. On Amazon U.K., Ambre Precieux is discounted to £69. Italy’s Sacre Cuore sells the Ambre Precieux, but not the Ultime. The NL’s ParfuMaria carries MPG but I don’t see either fragrance on their website. Samples: you can buy samples at a few of the sites above, though not always for the Ultime version. Surrender to Chance has the regular AP starting at $3 for a 1 ml vial. They don’t have the Ultime at this time.

42 thoughts on “MPG Ambre Precieux & Ambre Precieux Ultime

  1. I got a lot less projection from the Ultime also & that’s my biggest disappointment with it.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the original was an instant love for you because of that wonderful “caramel deliciousness” but I thought the linearity & sillage issue would have kept it only in the “like” category. I just won’t wear the original around my 91 year old father, who sent me to the bathroom to wash it off 2 weeks ago (and I only used 2 sprays).

    You owe it to yourself now to try Ambre Dore, the oud version of AP. It projects forever like crazy & is thick & rich with a slightly skanky opening. Great review-you described both scents perfectly.

    • Something I’ve realised lately is that my comfort scents are frequently really simple ones, and that means some linearity as well. I think the very fact that they’re simple is part of what makes them so relaxing for me and why they’re bedtime scents in particular. I don’t have to constantly think about them and analyse their layers or notes. They’re all golden clouds with some sweetness (though never an actual “gourmand” by normal definitions), and they’re all uncomplicated enough to be simply enjoyable.

      Anything with genuine complexity simply gets my mind going into over-drive, because I can’t turn off the analysis. Those are scents for the day, for events, for going out, or for feeling whatever particular emotion/vibe I associate with them. They don’t always serve as relaxing, comfort cozy things, though. I remember one night I wore Anubis to bed. I was exhausted, but I found myself unable to go to sleep because I kept sniffing my arm and thinking about the notes, what was happening, their changes, etc. etc.

      With Ambre Precieux, I can simply wear it. My only problem and thought is whether I should lick my arm, or spray on more. LOL.

      As for Ambre Dore, I will try it at some point. The thing is, the very elements which make A/P so delicious for me might be ruined or detracted by an oud note. Would it still be my version of a “gourmand,” (which no real gourmand lover would probably agree with) and would it still be like a caramel latte? With a wood note and “slightly skanky opening,” I’m not so sure. Still, your description sounds utterly fantastic, so perhaps it might simply be a great oriental, even if it’s not one of my “cozy comfort, quasi-gourmand” things. One thing is for sure: I will try it because of how much you (and some others) love it. Absolutely definite! 🙂

      • I tried your idea of layering AP over Loree Rodkin Gothic 1 last night after a shower &, like you, found the results “amazing.” The patchouli in the LR was tampled down a bit, but it made a resurgence this morning. Great Idea. I LOVE the patchouli in LR Gothic 1.

        As for Ambre Dore, the slightly barnyardy opening lasts some minutes, but the oud softens & becomes very smooth. It’s very well blended into the rest of the perfume. I remember telling you that that Persolaise said Ambre Dore feels like “a smudge of nutella on a stubbly beard.” rough & smooth-who can resist that?
        Happy Thanksgiving, dear K.

        • Ambre Precieux is going to be a super layering fragrance, I think, for a wide range of categories and not just for patchouli. Leathers would be a great target, too, imo, as would tobaccos and some florientals. I’m so glad you tried it with the Gothic I and liked the results, Ed.

          Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, my dear!

  2. I should be getting a split of the Ultime any day now. I realized, much to my dismay, that I haven’t the original! An accidental omission in my collection for this amber lover. No side-by-side comparison for me (at least not yet).

    It’s hard not to blind buy a full bottle because of this review, but I just got my Chef’s Essences (awesome in a bottle!!) and will not go down that road. . . .

    Kafka, my dear, this review is extraordinarily thorough, and a thorough delight, but I didn’t expect a comparison chart! Thank goodness these are scents you love!!!!

    One last thing, though I love the last paragraph, what makes for “perfection” in a scent? If you’ll “never ever” be without Ambre Precieux, that sounds perfect enough to me.

    Thanks for the great review. I’ll re-read it and “follow along” when I get my decant. Tomorrow or Monday most likely! 🙂

    • With regard to being “perfect,” Ambre Precieux would have been perfect for me had it been a richer, thicker, deeper scent without that weirdly ghostly sillage issue where it sometimes seemed as though it had died but, yet, somehow, was still around me from a distance. It is just way, way too sheer and soft to be perfect for my tastes, but God, it’s lovely.

      As for my chart, HAHAHAHA. 😀 I keep telling people that I’m OCD! I really can’t seem to help myself, both when it comes to specifics and the length of things. I said that my goal of shorter reviews would come crashing straight into my OCD, and ‘lo and behold…. LOL 😀

  3. My dear K yet again you have pleasantly surprised me! Ambre Precieux is one of my absolute favourites and has been a staple in my fragrance hareem for many years. It’s just so absolutely delicious and so soothing. It’s also an amazing layering agent and shockingly lasts an outstanding 24 hours on my skin which is rather strange considering it’s rather sheer and an edt.

    • 24 hours???!?!?!?!!!!! My God, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced any scent that does that, and most certainly not a mere eau de toilette. Lucky, lucky you! Still, I’m not completely surprised, either. There is some serious power to Ambre Precieux despite its sheerness. (It really can be quite gauzy, can’t it?) But, at the same time, it somehow manages to have low, ghostly, almost nonexistent sillage, too, mainly after the first few hours. It’s a very odd paradox, and I don’t fully understand it.

      Mostly, though, I’m just glad to hear that someone else finds it utterly soothing as well. It has some sort of magic in that regard, doesn’t it, an ability to really relax one in its deliciousness. So, so good. As for being one of your favorites, don’t think I’ve forgotten about your absolute favorite amber of them all. One day, hopefully soon, I will get a sample of the Profumi Med. one!

  4. I’ve only tried the regular, and briefly, and I recall liking it. I think I should retest it. Tastes change but my amber repertoire is a bit scarce, and this sounds like a good candidate.

    • Your “amber repertoire is a bit scarce”? *faints* 😉

      I’m teasing you. Really, I am. But I do hope you will try it again, particularly since you once told me that you’re partial to “whopping orientals.” 🙂 Okay, Ambre Precieux doesn’t fully or properly qualify (in part because its sheerness makes the whole “whopping” thing dubious), but it’s definitely an oriental in most people’s eyes, even if I view its sweetness as something almost “gourmand” in nature.

      • You’re right! But the line between orientals and amber themed fragrances is so thin sometimes, that if it smells good, it smells good. I don’t recall if you tried Ambre Fetiche, but if you haven’t I seriously urge you to. I’m not sure if the repackaging implies a reform, but the older version (which is my holy Amber, followed by Mona’s Ambre) is a smoky and ‘chewy’ vanillic resinous amber. It is strong and lasting, and can be quite soothing at times.:-)

        • I’ve tried Ambre Fetiche, though I haven’t reviewed it officially. It’s a whole different kettle of fish to this scent, because the Goutal is heavily leathery, smoky, dark and a bit dry. It’s primarily dark labdanum and leathery, tarry styrax on my skin, instead of caramel ambergris with vanilla that has a soft, golden, gourmand quality. I like the Goutal, but I don’t love its opening with a passion. The middle and drydown stages are very nice, though! As a whole, I would describe it as a sultry, complex fragrance that has masculine streaks and sex appeal.

          For me personally, though, I do not find it “delicious” or soothing. For one thing, as I explained to Ed up above, my true comfort scents are quite simple, very golden ones, and the Goutal is too intense, dark, and complicated for that. None of that is a bad thing, though! In many ways, the Goutal is a more interesting scent and with substantially more character or oomph! 🙂

  5. Fantastic review, as ever, Kafka. I haven’t tried either AP or APU but am watching responses before committing. I own and love Ambre Dore and can safely place it in my top 10, for all of its lush, creamy, skankiness. I’m in Florence atm and off to a perfumery today that stocks the brand so hopefully they will have both in. Oh and more charts please!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the review, Jfe90, and I’m tickled pink that my chart proved to be a hit with you as well. All that time figuring out HTML codes seemed to have been worth it! LOL. I hope you got your hands on a sample of one of the Ambre Precieux versions in Florence, and I’d love to hear what you think of either one.

      Frankly, I would advise against expecting something like Ambre Dore. Expectations may lead to disappointment in this case. From what I hear of the latter, it is a much more complex, nuanced, and perhaps “interesting” scent. Ambre Precieux is very simple, very uncomplicated, basic fragrance, and is best approached as a comfort fragrance with some quasi-gourmand tendencies. There is some darkness, but vanilla is as great a streak as the incense.

      I really think that the expectations that you go in with will determine your reaction. If you put aside thoughts of Ambre Dore or anything revolutionary, and expect only a simple comfort scent, then I think you may love AP (or its much darker, smokier, more purely oriental, deeper offspring). If you expect anything truly distinctive, then I think you’ll be disappointed. I hope you’ll let me know what you think.

      BTW, have a super time in Florence. I’m sure you’ve already been to the Santa Maria Novella farmacia but if you haven’t and end up stopping by, give a sniff to some of my favorites: the Patchouli and Nostalagia. I love the diesel note in the opening 10 minutes of the latter, and it works so well with the leather. And the Patchouli is a hardcore patch head’s dream! 🙂

  6. I got a sample of the Ultime and was favorably impressed based on a quick test, but I don’t think I’ve ever tried the original and now I really need to. Maybe I’ll wear it tomorrow and give it a good all-day test. I can see how it could use a touch more vanilla (even though you can’t get enough labdanum for me). It also had a roughness to it, was that the myrtle? I don’t think myrtle is a note I can pick out.
    Im extra disjointed tonight. Sorry, very tired.

    • Interesting about the roughness you detected in the Ultime, Mikasminion. If it was aromatic and kinda “fresh,” then it may have been the myrtle. Personally, I suspect it might have been the interplay of the incense with the balsamic resins and the labdanum amber. If what you detected was very dark, then it was probably one of those, or their combination.

      I do think that labdanum can skew a bit dirty and masculine, sometimes even with a leathery feel deep, deep down. For me, generally, it has a toffee nuance — and that is even more true when its darkness is diluted or tempered by vanilla. There isn’t a lot of vanilla in the Ultime, particularly as compared to the original Ambre Precieux, so perhaps that is what happened on your skin? Then again, it might well be the incense which is much more significant in the Ultime than in the regular one. Maybe you’ll get a better idea of the nature or source of the “roughness” when you give the Ultime a more thorough wearing. 🙂

  7. Hello dear Kafka…I have never tried Ambre Precieux and now I feel like I should just go all out and get a “large sample”. Actually, I am annoyed at the fact that I was supposed to receive a sample as part of a swap but my swap partner had gone AWOL although I am just hoping that she just got very busy…a quick email would have been nice. Anyway, I take it that given its sillage, it doesn’t make for a good office scent?

    As to the Ultime, I will try it if I can get hold of it.

    Great reviews!

    • The sillage is a paradox, imo. Super potent at first, but then it turns soft. Quicker than you’d expect from such an early blast. And, after six hours, you even end up wondering sometimes if the perfume has died on you. Yet, at other times, it’s all around you.

      I think this weird ghost act is why there is some divergence on whether the perfume lasts a long time or not. Some people think it dies quickly, because they can barely smell it after a while, but others say it has moderate to big sillage. Honestly, I have no clue whether it would be work appropriate or not, since skin chemistry will play a big role. My guess is that it might be too much for your particular place unless you apply a small amount and, preferably, an hour or so before you will get to work. By then, it will have settled down a bit. You will have to let me know what you think, on all scores, once you try it, my dear. 🙂 Personally, I think you’d like it quite a bit!

      • Someone at work is very heavy handed with Tom Ford Black Orchid. I bet I could pull this off in the interest of balancing out the fumes :-). BTW, lately, I’ve had an obsession with ambers and TF Amber Absolute is to blame.

  8. I absolutely adore Ambre Preciex and it is the scent that introduced me to ambers and my hunger for ambers, in general. Now I own many just because of this golden beauty. I do get the lavender myrtle concoction in the winter (or what I think myrtle is anyways, because I just don’t know, really) and I love it. On my skin it lasts until the next day. I shower and I can smell it while showering, clinging to the root of my hair. On scarfs and sweaters, though, I find it a bit too gourmand for my taste but I still adore it. So glad you reviewed this one. Now I need to try the ultimate version of it. Though if you think it is softer and has less projection, it may not really work for my current obsessions. I like the idea of trying it on top of the original as you suggest. I have to try that!

    Talking about comfort scents, I tried Nuit de Noel and, like you, I wasn’t wowed. I guess I need a vintage whiff of it. My sample currently languishes in one of my boxes since I got it. Now I am waiting for O’Hira. I finally succumbed to temptation. I’ll let you know how it goes 😉 and tastelessly blame you if I but it afterwards 😉
    Have a wonderful Sunday darling K.

    • Nuit de Noel…. I don’t get it and, to be honest, I’m not sure the vintage version would make me see the light, either. You’ll have to let me know if it manages to convert you instead. I’ll have you be my guinea pig barometer. LOL. As for a sample of O Hira finally arriving, I hope all the hype hasn’t built up your expectations to a point where you’ll be disappointed, and I do hope you’ll like it. Remember, it’s not a powerhouse in terms of sillage and it’s got an extraits way of being rich but soft!

      As for Ambre Precieux, how super that it lasts on you almost the whole day or until the next one!! And I can totally see why this would be the perfume to set you on a path to discover more ambers, and to trigger a hunger for them in general. I think it’s such a fantastic gateway amber! You know what else I like about it? It’s great as a layering perfume to soften or warm up darker, drier, more purely masculine fragrances. It works particularly well with patchouli, imo!

  9. Christos from Memory of Scent gave me a decant of Ambre Precieux some years back, and I had my husband put some on last night so that I could smell it before I read your review (I was wearing another perfume, which is the reason I had him wear it). Your description of how it wears on you in winter is pretty accurate: when I initially smelled it on my husband’s skin, I noted that it was a very herbal amber, and then it got sweeter and creamier but still had some airiness and movement to it. “Gauziness” is a good way to describe it … it’s got amber weight, but it’s not cloying in the way that some of them can be.

    • I know you’re not the greatest amber lover, Suzanne (though you’re slowly coming around on orientals as a whole), but I do hope you’ll give Ambre Precieux a chance on your own skin one of these days. It’s definitely sweet but not extremely so (at least on my skin) or cloying, and I think you might enjoy it. Most of all, what I discovered last night is that it is a glorious layering scent on top of something with patchouli!! Delicious! (I put it on Loree Rodkin’s Gothic I which, admittedly, does skew more to the vanilla side on me than patchouli, but the overall combination was amazing.) Try some of the AP by itself, then perhaps on top of your Borneo 1834 and see what happens. 🙂

  10. LOVE Ambre Precieux! It just smells so warm and cuddly on me. I once had a guy drop down to the floor to sniff behind me knees after he asked why I smelled so good and how it surrounded me.

    • A guy dropped to the floor to sniff the back of your knees???!! My God, that’s something! I think that’s both fantastic and hilarious. I should buy more of Ambre Precieux immediately! 😀

  11. I just got my little 5ml decant of this today. The opening surprised me. I have no clue what myrtle smells like, so I’m guessing that’s what I’m smelling. First spritz – I wasn’t keen on that opening note. A bit too bright, and though I’m a lavender lover, I don’t like it on skin. But, after waiting ten minutes, I sprayed it again, on the other wrist, with more force – got more juice on me, and I like it (though that’s a bit of a weak statement). The projection is low indeed, but I love the way my wrists smell! Those top notes fade fast. I think my skin eats up scent faster than yours! I would like more projection. it’s only twentyish minutes later and though I can smell it, I like the way it smells when my nose is only inch from my skin. But if there was more projection, I think it would be cloying. So, maybe it’s not a winner for me. It’s lacking the comfort factor that I find in amber scents, the medicinal quality of Goutal’s Ambre (which I love), or the super dryness of O Hira (which I need lottery money for asap)! LOL!!!

    It’s right on the edge of what I like in terms of sweetness. It may even hit the sweet spot, but I’m not sure the scent does as a whole. Your observation from yesterday has me thinking that my taste has changed more than I thought. A year ago I would not have considered this all that sweet. My taste is now skewed deeply towards dark, resinous and dry scents (with a hankering for the occasional shot of rose and violet). I’m guessing I’d find the “regular” version of this too sweet. I can no longer wear Lutens’s Vanille, for instance.

    Hmm. This is not one of your tests. As I write this, it’s getting nicer and nicer. . .If it’s the drydown I do love, I’ll be picking up a fb of the cheaper one, for sure!! 🙂

  12. It’s too bad I can’t get in there and revise a comment! It’s been about an hour and a quarter since I applied this. It has changed dramatically. First of all, and most distressing, it has taken on a quality that most scrubbers and near-scrubbers do for me. That is, it seems as if it has more projection that when I first applied it and that causes me to feel a tad claustrophobic, as if I can’t get away from the smell (in other words – it is the definition of cloying). I wish I had the training to tell you what it is exactly, but I know a part of it is this take on lavender. I thought it had left, but it is dominating my olfactory perception. Again, I LOVE natural lavender, but not as a wearable scent.

    It’s driving me crazy, but this smells EXACTLY like some men’s scent that I disliked (or many of them?) That lavender barber shop thang is the opposite of comforting to me. I wonder if it reminds me of the sadly neutered reformulation of Bvlgari Black or Jicky? By the notes, neither of them seem to be candidates. I wish I could put my finger on it!! No matter – this is the exact opposite of a comfort scent for me!! Alas.

    • It sounds as though the myrtle and lavender — already more amped up in the Ultime than in the original AP — really bloomed on your skin. I can understand why it wouldn’t be your cup of tea, especially given that you’re not a fan of lavender in perfume. Interesting, though, that the Ultime’s projection blossomed over time, instead of shrinking. I think the Ultime is quite different in its ratios and in the balance of its ingredients than the original, so perhaps you should try the original AP just to see and compare?

  13. I would like to testify to the strength of Ambre Dore. It is the oud version and somehow I don’t think you would like it with the fearful bandaid beginning. Sorry to be presumptuous.
    Nice to see a breezy review, just lovely

    • I appreciate you letting me know about the note, Omni, and I did not find it presumptuous. You were kindly providing more information on a fragrance that I don’t know and that people have suggested I try. I appreciated that, particularly as you’re right that I wouldn’t enjoy any oud note that has a band-aid nuance. No, that is not my thing. But I shall try the fragrance at some point nonetheless, simply to see what all the fuss and admiration is about. 🙂

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    • It’s a totally, and completely different sort of amber. Ambra Aurea is primarily ambergris with some labdanum. Ambre Precieux is primarily labdanum with vanilla and benzoin resins. A more gourmand, fluffier, quasi-vanillic take that is also airier and far from dense, opaque, or thick. Plus, Ambre Precieux has aromatics and a slight freshness from lavender and myrtle. No smokiness at all, not that there is a lot of smokiness in Ambra Aurea on my skin anyway, but I know you find it to be so. The two scents really just aren’t comparable, though. It would be like comparing a hippo to a puppy. One has to have a certain appreciation for vanillic sweetness and some aromatics, along with a bit of powder, to like Ambre Precieux.

      • Thanks so much. Appreciate the hippo/puppy contrast! I read that you spray AP on everything so knew it must be really lovely! (I spray soft furnishings with Maroussia, which I can’t wear, and the bathroom curtains with powdery sweet Vanderbilt!) …and adore vanilla so, AP is going to be up my alley for spritzing clothes and bedroom. It’s winter in Australia and there’s nothing lovelier than throwing on a scarf in the morning rush and being stopped in one’s tracks by a mesmerizing, lingering scent from a day or two ago. Love your reviews. (ps so addicted to AA it’s going to be a FB gift to self for a certain upcoming milestone birthday. Darn, I’m old enough to douse myself in the stuff and not care what anyone thinks.)

        • Heh, I’ve got Ambre Precieux on my sheets and on the bathroom shower curtain as I type. It’s an infinitely cozy, golden, soft fluffiness to me, so perhaps a kitten would have been a better comparison than a puppy. 😀 As for dousing oneself in fragrances, I don’t think one needs any milestones for that. One can do it without shame at ANY age! (So long as one doesn’t do it at work if one’s colleagues are perfume phobic, of course.)

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  20. I love most of the perfumes of Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. They are good at making amber accords. I fell in love immediately with Ambre Doré as soon as I smelled it. This is the distilled liquid sunshine on a desert for me. It evolves something magical when sprayed on my clothes. They have recently launched a new perfume called “Ambre Mythique”. Its description says “An enchanting perfume as magical as a starry night admired from the dunes in the Oman desert. An accord of vanilla, patchouli and Tonka beans brings a sweet touch to this oriental incense and myrrh scented perfume.” It is on my must-try list now. However, I heard on Fragrantica that the ownership of MPG was sold to Taraka et Parfums group. I hope that there won’t be any bad reformulations. The bottles are changed. The colour of the juice of Ambre Doré doesn’t look golden now. It seems colourless. They discontinued my beloved perfume Jasmine too 🙁 On the other hand, the prices seem to be increased. Let’s hope for the best :/

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