Rania J. Ambre Loup: Sultry & Seductive

Source: depositphotos.com

Source: depositphotos.com

Names are suggestive things, whether in literature, art, or perfumery. In my experience, fragrances often fail to live up to the moniker bestowed on them but, sometimes, the good ones lead you elsewhere, evoking other images and worlds. With Ambre Loup, I never thought a golden wolf, but of dark, elemental, and wholly primal forces, encircling and bowing to a central core. Like dancers in an ancient ritual, they go round and round, faster and faster, until they turn into a mesmerizing blur, creating an intoxicating whole. That, in turn, brought to mind a perfumed version of Dances with Wolves, the famous film about Native-American Indians, or the ancient Navajo Fire Dance.

Close your eyes, and imagine the sun setting in a sky golden, hazy, and thick with heat. Blackness looms on the horizon, a drum beat rings out, and dancers begin to circle a giant totem made of tobacco. Ambergris, labdanum, vanilla, spices, aromatic cedar, the stickiest and blackest of resins — one by one they whoop and stomp, round and round, their feet beating up clouds of cinnamon and cloves, as the golden thickness of the dying sun hangs heavier and heavier atop their heads. The blackness crashes like a wave over the land, engulfing the dancers, merging with their aroma to create a blanket of rich, dark tobacco that is sweetened with vanilla, rendered musky with ambergris, and thick with labdanum. Village elders watch the dance from under the shade of giant cedar trees, puffing on tobacco pipes, and sipping rum or scotch. All of it swirls into one, all of it engulfs you, a cloud that is so thick and richly heady, you can feel it coating your skin, stroking you with heavy fingers of opulent darkness, caressing you, seducing you. This is the narcotic world of Ambre Loup from Rania J. Parfumeur.

"Navajo Fire Dance" by Leigh William Robinson, 1866 1955. Source: Pinterest & YouTube.

“Navajo Fire Dance” by Leigh William Robinson, 1866-1955. Source: Pinterest & YouTube.

Rania Jouaneh via Fragrantica.

Rania Jouaneh via Fragrantica.

Rania J. is a Parisian perfume house whose founder and nose, Rania Jouaneh, is strongly influenced by her Middle Eastern roots. As she explains on her website, her “passion for fragrances and perfumes originates from her childhood in the Middle East and Africa where she was surrounded by the aromas of the jasmine trees under which she played, the spice markets, souks and African bazaars.” She describes her fragrances as “eco-perfumes,” not only because she sources her materials “directly from producers and distillers who continue to produce using traditional methods” but also because she uses “Sustainable Development criteria” in her “choice of raw materials, bottles, reduced packaging, recyclable materials. Rania J. does not engage in animal testing.”

Originally, her fragrances were all-natural, but that is no longer the case. In a 2013 interview with Fragrantica, she said:

I’ve changed the House’s concept—I’ve decided not to confine myself with only natural oils. Now you can smell synthetic musks [an accord based on the Galaxolide molecule… — Fragrantica interviewer’s insertion] and synthetic amber in all my fragrances. I still love using lots of natural oils but they can’t compete with synthetics in persistence, which is evident at the drydown. If clients are not satisfied with the persistence, we will try to meet their expectations.

Source: Rania J. website.

Source: Rania J. website.

Ambre Loup is an eau de parfum, but it doesn’t feel like one to me. It has more intensity, density, strength, and longevity than many regular eau de parfums that I’ve tried. It feels more like an extrait or pure parfum, except Ambre Loup has greater sillage than most things in that category, too. It essentially feels like a Slumberhouse fragrance, and that similarity extends to more than mere longevity and sillage, as I’ll explain shortly. All of that from a fragrance whose notes seem quite traditional. According to the Rania J. website, Ambre Loup contains:

Top note : Clove, spices
Middle Note : Balsam Peru Essential Oil, Labdanum [Amber] Absolute, Vanilla Absolute
Base Note : Agarwood/ Oud, Gaiac Wood, Cedar wood

Labdanum compiled into a chunk. Source: Fragrantica

Labdanum compiled into a chunk. Source: Fragrantica

Vetiver and tonka bean are also mentioned in her written description for the scent; I definitely smell the former which makes me wonder why it was omitted from the list. Another omission would seem to be ambergris which shows up on First in Fragrance‘s note list. That list is telling for another reason as well: it states that the top two layers of the scent contain the same four ingredients, as if Rania J. sought to concentrate, then amplify, the key notes to the greatest degree possible:

Top Note: Ambergris, Labdanum (Rockrose), Balsam of Peru, Vanilla
Heart Note: Ambergris, Labdanum (Rockrose), Balsam of Peru, Vanilla
Base Note: Agarwood (Oud), Tonka Bean, Cedarwood, Musk

Neither list includes tobacco, but Ambre Loup opens on my skin with a thick, dense blanket of precisely that. The labdanum, ambergris, and Peru balsam have combined to replicate precisely and exactly the smell of tobacco on my skin, a multi-faceted accord that resembles simultaneously the aroma of fragrant tobacco leaves drying in the sun and the sweetness of pipe tobacco, with a pinch of the darker, rather leathery and almost tarry nuances of tobacco juice. If I close my eyes and focus as I sniff, I can make out the barely delineated edges of the components that make up the “tobacco,” from the musky warmth of the ambergris to the toffee’d, slightly leathered labdanum, as well as the quietly smoky, cinnamon-spiced, balsamic stickiness of Peru balsam resin. But it takes effort because all of the elements are so finely blended, so heavily integrated, that I’m essentially left with the sense of “tobacco.”

Photo by Daniel Fox. Source: petapixel.com. (Website link embedded within.)

Photo by Daniel Fox. Source: petapixel.com. (Website link embedded within.)

This accord lies at the heart of Ambre Loup from start to finish, but there is much more to the fragrance’s stunning opening, an opening that made me do a double-take from the very first moment and say, “Wow.” The tobacco is drenched in rum, along with a slug of what I would swear is salty scotch. I feel quite crazy for detecting scotch of all things, but Ambre Loup unmistakably radiates drops of the earthy, peaty, salty qualities of good single malt whisky. The saltiness undoubtedly stems from the ambergris, while the rest may possibly arise from the wood notes, but it was still an unexpected touch. That said, the wood notes are quietly visible in their own right in the base, smelling simultaneously like freshly sawed cedar with a pinch of pencil shavings and a few slivers of lightly smoked guaiac. Up top, the main “tobacco” accord is dusted with spices, primarily cloves, but wisps of cinnamon occasionally weave in and out as well. The whole thing lies cloaked in a thick fog of dark, musky amber, adding one more layer of richness to a very hefty, dense bouquet.

Art by Jaison Cianelli at cianellistudios.com.

Art by Jaison Cianelli at cianellistudios.com.

Ambre Loup shifts incrementally and very slowly. After 35 minutes, the ambergris and labdanum are so fused together, I can no longer tease them apart from the “tobacco” even when I concentrate. At the same time, the boozy mix of rum and whisky retreats to the sidelines, then vanishes entirely at the 75 minute mark. Near the end of the 2nd hour, swirls of spicy, vanillic sweetness appear, spiraling outwards from the tobacco like spider veins, emanating from both the Peru balsam and the actual vanilla. At the same time, the cedar grows more fragrant, and starts to seep upwards. Yet, both the vanilla and the cedar wax and wane; every time I think one of them has weakened, they return as strong as ever a short while later.

Photo: my own.

Photo: my own.

One thing that is constant is how Ambre Loup calls to mind some other fragrances that I’ve really liked. If Slumberhouse‘s gorgeous Kiste and O’Drui‘s Peety had a love child that bore a trace of Papillon‘s Anubis, then the result might be a little like Ambre Loup. Let me be clear, the scents don’t actually smell alike, because there are no honeyed, fruity, peachy, sweet tea, animalic, or urinous notes in Ambre Loup, but the “tobacco” and the overall feel of the scents ties them together in my mind. Kiste’s spiced, tobacco’d, resinous, thickly golden, musky darkness is a spiritual cousin to Ambre Loup, but there are also strong echoes of Peety’s cinnamon-vanilla pipe tobacco during the latter’s drydown phase as well. Take both those things, mix them with wisps of Anubis’ resinous smokiness and a thick slug of dark vanilla, place them on a strongly woody base, and the end result wouldn’t be too far off from Ambre Loup after a few hours have passed. The tobacco accord becomes particularly close to that in Peety roughly 3.5 hours into Ambre Loup’s development when the vanilla emerges in its own right, instead of just being part and parcel of the ambergris-labdanum-Peru Balsam’s “tobacco”.

Source: cianellistudios.com

Source: cianellistudios.com

Yet Ambre Loup is a woodier scent than either Kiste or Peety. The cedar is noticeable from the very first moment, smudging the edges with a quiet fragrancy that called to mind freshly sawed wood or a new chest of drawers, but the note starts to make a real impact near the start of the 5th hour. At that point, Ambre Loup turns woodier, smokier, and drier, losing much of its sweetness from the vanilla and the ambergris. The guaiac weaves in and out, slightly smoky in a way that smells like autumn leaves burning in a bonfire, and it wraps the “tobacco” with tendrils of smoke. Tiny streaks of leatheriness stir in the base, probably stemming from the “tobacco” which is now darker, earthier, and grittier, much like an absolute rather than the earlier pipe tobacco or cigar leaves. Once in a while, near the end of the 8th hour, I think I can even smell a smoky oud as well, but it’s an imperceptible, elusive note that only shows up once in a while in the background.

Source: hqdesktop.net/wallpapers

Source: hqdesktop.net/wallpapers

Ambre Loup’s drydown begins when most other fragrances are drawing their dying breaths. At the end of the 9th hour and the start of the 10th, Ambre Loup turns to the dark side, as if night had fallen on the amber’s golden sun. There is no vanilla, no spices, no sweetness, no soft or golden warmth. The fragrance essentially smells of tobacco absolute with the darkest resins and woods. The latter are still slightly smoky but, more and more, they feel green. Actually, to be quite precise, they resemble smoky, woody Haitian vetiver more than anything else. I’ve tried Ambre Loup twice and the drydown each time smells primarily like “tobacco” coated by resinous Peru balsam, then laced with smoky vetiver and a sliver of woods. The scent continues that way for 7-10 hours (!!) until, to my surprise, a lightly spiced, golden, slightly vanillic sweetness returns and replaces the woodiness. In its dying moments, Ambre Loup is nothing more than cozy, golden, “tobacco”-ish softness with a trace of sweetness.

Ambre Loup’s longevity is massive. Using 3 big smears equal to 2 sprays from an actual bottle, it lasted just under 22 hours on my voracious, perfume-eating skin. On one tiny spot, I thought I could detect a wisp of musky, resinous sweetness 24 hours after I’d put on the fragrance. This is such a rare occurrence for me, you have no idea. But Ambre Loup did well even using a small amount. With the equivalent of one spray, it lasted 17.5 hours.

While Ambre Loup’s projection is only moderate, its sillage was surprisingly tenacious. With the equivalent of 2 sprays from a bottle, Ambre Loup opened with 3 inches of projection, but cast a scent trail that easily extended 8 to 10 inches. The numbers dropped at the end of the 2nd hour to about 1.5 inches of projection and 5 inches of sillage. However, it took 9.5 hours (!!) for Ambre Loup to turn into a skin scent. I was even more amazed to detect tiny tendrils of resinous tobacco wafting up around me 14.5 hours into the perfume’s development. Having sillage after so much time, even slightly, is unusual.

Source: 123rf.com

Source: 123rf.com

I’m someone who loves opulent, intense, long-lasting powerhouses above all else, so I feel rather churlish when I say that Ambre Loup’s longevity is one of its downsides for me when combined with its monolithic heftiness. Every single time I’ve worn Ambre Loup, I spend the first 3 hours intent on buying a full bottle — and I would have done so immediately at that point in my initial test had Twisted Lily not been back-ordered at the time. Then, sometime around the 7th hour, I become a little tired of the singularity. Ambre Loup is first and foremost a “tobacco” scent on my skin from start to finish, and the rest are just nuances. Some greater than others, like the vanilla or the woods, and they wax and wane a lot, but the core of Ambre Loup — especially from afar as the sillage curls around me — is of sweetened, resinous, musky, ambered-covered “tobacco.” It’s a little tiring after a while, but it’s thoroughly exhausting after 17 hours sans cesse, never mind almost 22 hours. O’Driu’s Peety wore me out in the same way. There is only so much tobacco-amber that I can take.

Various interviews that I’ve read with Rania Jouaneh often mention how each of her fragrances is meant to highlight a single note, essentially operating as a soliflore, so some linearity is to be expected. I don’t mind it one bit when I love the scent in question — and I most definitely do here — but Ambre Loup has such density, heft, and richness that 17 or 22 hours of essentially the same note feels like a surfeit of richness. Even a mixed feast becomes too much after that period of time, a gluttonous excess that leaves one exhausted, so having just one dish makes the surfeit all the more intense. What I can’t shake is the thought that Ambre Loup often feels like a mere base accord (albeit, a nuanced one) rather than a fragrance with an olfactory pyramid with stages.

And, yet, I really cannot rave enough about the first 6 hours. It’s such an intoxicating, heady, utterly addictive brew with such sultry seductiveness that I keep wavering on whether to buy a full bottle. I rationalise how its excess would be manageable once in a while, a metaphoric feast for special occasions. I rationalise how, the rest of the time, Ambre Loup would be a perfect layering base for leathers, more traditional ambers, rich florals (jasmine or ylang-ylang for me, roses for other people), or patchoulis. Layering would be a way to alleviate the singularity with other elements, and I think of how perfectly the “tobacco” would work with the rich vanilla-patchouli of Loree Rodkin‘s Gothic I.

It’s a testament to how hard I fell for Ambre Loup in its first 6 hours that I’m engaging in these mental acrobats, but I wouldn’t be doing it if the fragrance were not reasonably priced for the quality and longevity. Ambre Loup costs $149 or €92 for a small 50 ml bottle and, quite clearly, a little goes a long way. This is a fragrance that feels and smells much more expensive than its price.

Source: Wallpaperscraft.com

Source: Wallpaperscraft.com

But the scent that I’ve described here — with its confluence of notes creating a “tobacco” aroma — is not the one that other people experience. On Fragrantica, a number of people think Ambre Loup resembles Serge LutensAmbre Sultan. The labdanum’s powerful role is clearly responsible but, on my skin, Ambre Loup doesn’t resemble that material and its usual facets. Nor does it smell like labdanum and ambergris the way those notes often combine in scents like, for example, Profumum‘s Ambra Aurea. By the same token, on my skin, Ambre Loup doesn’t resemble like the labdanum and resin combination found in a whole host of fragrances from O Hira to Ambre Precieux. My skin really and truly recreates the smell of tobacco, period.

Ambre Sultan via makeup.com.ua

Ambre Sultan via makeup.com.ua

For everyone else, though, Ambre Loup is an amber fragrance with intense resinous stickiness, warmth, sweetness, and woodiness. One Fragrantica poster also detected vetiver, just as I did, in addition to a very strong oud note. Another describes Ambre Loup very differently: “Herbal amber, swoons into a softer burnt caramel, kinda like Slumberhouse‘s Rume or Ore. Comforting and reminds me of viscous sugar being burned.” A third found similarities to Ambre Sultan “without the spicy herbal edge.”

For “Amer1212,” a self-described amber and ambergris lover, the fragrance was a one of the best ambers that he’d tried, and he rated it a 5 out of 5. He called it a “lustful amber” with an erotic quality, writing in part:

 The lustful amber ! [¶] the opening is resinous ambrey vibe with drops of agar (oud) little animalistic..then turns into a sensitive quite sweet warm amber & vanilla & labdanum with little woods & dried fruits in the background ( vetiver , cedar , dates or grapes ).

Its a romantic erotic specific amber based scent , with brilliant quality, [¶] With spiritual character & sensitive dark depth & exotic sense , its talks a story about the hype of the ” Amber ” it cross between the east & the west culture in it own world ! & makes it more than a typical Amber scent ! […][¶]  this Amber knocks me out ! Its one of the best amber based scents I tried in my opinion.

Photo: Warren Photographic at WarrenPhotographic.co.uk (Direct website link embedded within.)

Photo: Warren Photographic at WarrenPhotographic.co.uk (Direct website link embedded within.)

“Deadidol,” however, was less enthused, partially because he found the scent to be “foodie” and “edible” for his tastes, but primarily because he found Ambre Loup to last too long, going strong well after 12 hours. His detailed review reads, in part, as follows:

This is an immense, thick amber—structured upon materials that lend themselves well to hard-hitting compositions. What stands out upfront is a hefty Peru balsam that delivers a semi-gourmand effect that’s countered by what initially appear to be somewhat challenging facets: a pungent oud; a musk that smells a little like castoreum; and some strong, spicy notes. At the outset, the cedar and guaiac aren’t that clear, and the labdanum that really forms the body of the whole thing sits patiently behind the foodier parts, playing more of a structural role than a featured note itself. Vanilla glazes the whole thing, but it isn’t overly sweet per se. It seems to function more by filling in any empty spaces left behind by the other components. The overall feel is a slightly cinnamon-like resinous amber—not too far removed from the dry down of Ambre Sultan.

Ambre Loup is a tad too foody for my own tastes; the balsam and the spices make it lean far more toward the edible than the sappy or liturgical. Yet it manages to sidestep the standard oriental cliches that veer powdery or saccharine and the result is a fairly straightforward but accomplished amber.

However, it lasts far too long. There are some synthetic basenotes here that are very exceptionally well done (in that they don’t feel overly synthetic), but it’s the latter half of Ambre Loup feels like it was built to last until next week. The natural materials used in this scent certainly lend themselves well to a long lifespan, but this was still going strong 12 hour later on me—and that’s perhaps a tad too much.

Well, after my experience, I wholeheartedly agree that “Ambre Loup feels like it was built to last until next week.” (And now I’m back to hesitating on my full-bottle purchase as I remember just how I felt at hour 10, let alone hours 15, 17, and 20.)

Still, whether it’s “tobacco” or amber, whether it’s too long-lasting for words or has dream longevity, if you love dark, resinous, and ambered fragrances, then I strongly urge you try Ambre Loup for yourself. I think it’s superb. In fact, Ms. Jouaneh shows such an appreciation for opulent richness, quality, smoothness, and heft that I plan to try the rest of the line. Really beautifully done.

[UPDATE 06/2015: I couldn’t stop thinking about this fragrance in the weeks after my review, and I ended up buying a full bottle. Every time I wear it, I love it more. Yes, it still lasts an exhausting length of time, but I find Ambre Loup to be completely intoxicating and it has become one of the top 2 favorite fragrances that I’ve tried this year. I’m quite obsessed with it, in fact. When I’m not testing and have free time to wear perfume for myself, it is always Ambre Loup that I want to wear. Every year, there is one fragrance that dominates my mind and feels like an addiction. Ambre Loup is my 2015 addiction, hands down and above all else.]

[UPDATE March 20, 2022: Has Ambre Loup been reformulated? I think that answer may be yes.]

[UPDATE March 21, 2022: Rania J. responds, explicitly admitting to repeated, secret concentration changes but claims that Ambre Loup has “not” been changed or altered.]

Cost & Availability: Ambre Loup is an eau de parfum that only comes in a 50 ml bottle for $149 or €92. In the U.S.: Twisted Lily is the exclusive vendor for the Rania J. line at this time, sells samples, and ships worldwide. Outside the U.S.: you can find Ambre Loup at Germany’s First in Fragrance, the Netherlands’ ParfuMaria, and Paris’ Jovoy. The Rania J. line does not seem to be sold in Canada or the U.K., but it is carried at numerous German shops, the Swiss Theodora, the Czech Egoiste, Austria’s Oxa, and shops in Estonia, Kuwait, and the UAE. You can find a list of those retailers on the Rania J. Stockist page. Rania J.’s website has no e-shop from which you can buy the perfumes directly, but she offers a Sample Pack of her 6 fragrances in 1 ml vials for €10 with shipping included. Samples: Several of the sites above sell samples, like Twisted Lily, ParfuMaria’s sample program, and FiF. In the U.S., you can also order from The Perfumed Court where prices start at $5.95 for a 1/2 ml vial, but it’s only $4 for a 1 ml vial from Twisted Lily. Twisted Lily also has a Rania J. Sample Pack of all 6 fragrances for $22.

69 thoughts on “Rania J. Ambre Loup: Sultry & Seductive

  1. This sounds right up my proverbial alley, though as much as it might be almost 100% to my tastes, too much longevity is not a good thing for me. I really do feel olfactory fatigue after a few hours, and underspraying is not a good solution.

    FYI. . .I finally caved and ordered a fb of Kiste yesterday and am wearing it right now. I do believe it is now officially my favorite fragrance of all time! 🙂

    • Hurrah for Kiste being such a resounding success, Julie! As for Ambre Loup and olfactory exhaustion, I should point out that Kiste is not exactly a model of brevity or demureness. ;)~ On my skin, that lasted almost 17 hours and recently went up to 20 hours. On a friend’s skin, it endures a full day. So, if you manage with Kiste’s intense richness, then I do think you should consider at least trying Ambre Loup. I think you’d really enjoy it.

      • Kiste is sold out at Twisted Lily, so I was able to add a sample of Ambre Loup to my order! Yay! I think I will really enjoy it, too. 🙂

        As for the longevity of Kiste on me, I haven’t timed it, but it is not a full day, but I haven’t timed it. Then again, I never use more than one good spray. I get so much pleasure out of the scent, it’s funny to read you write, “If you manage. . .” !

  2. I wasn’t sure where to ‘enter’ this site. I have been reading for months now, and I’m not sure if commenting on older posts will pop up? In any case. Here I am. I love your work, the intertwining of multi-sensory aesthetic descriptions, and serious attention to detail and thoroughness. Also, other than Chanel’s Bois-des-iles (the aldehydes stayed well past 2 hours on me…), I have to come see that your tastes and descriptions primarily match my own. Which means this blog has become my go-to guide for comparisons and learning. My recent favourite purchases which my wallet blames on you: Chypre Mousse, Amber Oud, Shangri La & Moon Bloom and Fourreau Noir. Still sampling Sacrebleu Intense and about to order Hedonist. The other bottles I can squarely blame on myself (and Serge Lutens’s amazing walks through every wooden glade imaginable).

    So I have finally gotten it together to drop a note to say thank you for such wonderful mentoring.

    • ps – you have also saved me from terrible purchases which sounded great on paper but came with cautionary notes from you. The most notable avoided wreck: Seville a l’Aube. A big thank you for that too.

    • First, welcome to the blog, Paskale. Second, thank you for an incredibly sweet, kind comment. I’m so touched that I could help in any way, let alone that I’ve pointed you towards some favourites. (Sorry about Bois des Iles’ aldehydic duration, though. LOL.) As for commenting on older posts, they all show up and I get notifications. Generally, unless it’s a truly hectic week (like the last one), I respond to all comments no matter how old the post, so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts or experiences. It will give me a chance to get to know your particular tastes better, as well as how your skin works.

      BTW, I was particularly glad to hear that Chypre Mousse worked so well for you, as that is most definitely a love it/hate it scent that is not for everyone. As for Seville à L’aube…. ha. I could only smile at your comment regarding that one. It is a fragrance that is best sampled first, imo, and not blindly purchased, though I almost never encourage blind buys of any kind whatsoever. Far too risky given all the individual variables involved. 🙂

      • Never a blind purchase! But direction on what to sample next, compare and contrast, discern etc… is appreciated. I still am looking for the perfect orange blossom after a haunting and joyful trip to Andalusia. After the usual suspects plus many more, perhaps simply bubble bath oils will do…yet to find….
        Amber (since it’s the topic): Still a no go. Ambre Loup sounds like too much for me. Will probably sample Ambre Aurea next. Ambre Sultan was over the top and heavy on me. Like a cloying king size quilt in the middle of summer.
        [sidenote: Sacrebleu Intense sampling today – 4 hours in and your description of the coziness of it’s sibling Amber Oud fits the mood of my experience perfectly. Go figure]

        • Thank God you’re not one of those wild and crazy people who buys blindly. LOL. They always make me feel so nervous. Heh. So, what would constitute your perfect orange blossom in terms of nuances and vibe? Have you tried Vero Profumo’s Rubj? So many people love it, though it was rather horrific on my skin. I would suggest perhaps Jardins d’Ecrivains’ George as a lovely orange blossom with dark notes, if you haven’t tried that one already.

          Interesting about the Sacrebleu Intense! I’ll have to ponder what that means about your skin and how it treats notes. lol

          So, amber is one of your iffy, troublesome notes? I’ll keep that in mind. If you thought that Ambre Sultan was excessively thick and heavy, I’m not sure you’ll enjoy Ambra Aurea very much. I tried that one first, and thought the Lutens was positively sheer and airy in comparison. LOL. It sounds to me that you, like another reader here, may have an easier time with ambers when they’re diluted with some freshness and counter-balancing notes. And, quite possibly, labdanum-centric soliflores (like Ambre Sultan) will skew too dark, thick, and musky for your tastes. You may do better with a mixed amber accord (labdanum diluted and shot through with benzoin and vanilla), so my suggestion to you would be to try Maitre Parfumeur’s Ambre Precieux and Histoires de Parfums’ Ambre 114 instead of the Ambra Aurea.

          • Thank you so much for all the details. As I said. Great mentoring. Orange blossoms: SL Fleurs d’Orangers was too tuberose. Azahar too sweet. The run of the mill Elie Saab creations was too run of the mill. (Although I did quite like the green almonds in Eau de Couture). I loved loved loved Pichola but my partner found it too sweet for him. Bought a decant anyways. Jo Malone too linear. Faubourg 24 too old lady. There are a few more that I can’t recall right now….My best friend wears Narciso for her. I believe in perfume ethics: you can’t take over your best friends signature scent. I tried to find George: where could I find a sample? Rubj is certainly on the to do list. As is Couvent des Minimes.
            Ambers: fantastic. Will switch directions and look those details and descriptors up instead.
            Happy weekend to all!

          • With regard to George, I don’t know where you’re located, but you can look up my review for a list of retailers. If you’re in the US, Twisted Lily carries the line and fragrance, and sells samples. 🙂

          • Never answered what I was looking for: a tender and sophisticated orange blossoms that also carries with it the smell of Cypress resins of walking around Andalusia in the April warmth. Perhaps a touch of yellow roses. But light. Lots of light. Sheerness. Green. Blossoming. Something that doesn’t smell like but maybe feels like /evokes the mood of Le Parfum de Therese.

          • For the sense of light, along with a sheer quality, then you really should look up the Couvents de Mimimes that you’d mentioned earlier as something you’d be interested in. Love Cologne doesn’t have woodiness or any roses, but it does have a sense of lightness, along with fresh greenness and blossoming flowers on the tree. You can read my review of it, or just opt to look at eBay where you can get 5 ml decants easily and for a good price. (Or, if you’re in the US, just stop by Ulta to try it.) 🙂

  3. Kafka, I’m having quite an amber moment right now, so I’m loving all these reviews! It started with O Hira (which I adore but can’t justify ever ever ever), and then onto Mitzah (which I adore but is discontinued, darnit!!) and I’ve just ordered AG’s Ambre Fetiche, and have my eye on Ambre Sultan. Have realized, thanks to your beautiful, detailed reviews, that I’m more labdanum than ambergris in my preferences, but don’t want anything too gourmand (Ambre Narguile is too apple-pie for me). Your love of Ambre Precieux EDT has me scoping out bottles on eBay, and now I’m going to have to drop by Twisted Lily (always a treat) to check out this one, which sounds right up my alley. Any other ambers you adore?

    • O Hira is certainly impossible for all but a handful of people to justify! With regard to Mitzah, have you tried calling the Dior shop in NYC or in Las Vegas? Some places have a bottle or two left in the back, though I think it’s more common in Europe now than in the US with the more limited boutique situation here.

      One thing I strongly recommend you do is try Téo Cabanel’s Barkhane which is essentially Mitzah’s brother. You can read my review for the full details, but just know that the fragrance dies a short death on me and on some other people who have tried it. The longevity issue seems to be a bit of a split, though, as a few people report doing quite well on it, so it’s absolutely worth trying for yourself.

      I also strongly recommend you trying to get a sample of Arabian Oud’s Kalemat, which you can find on eBay quite easily in a variety of sizes.

      Some labdanum fragrances that other people really like are Armani’s Ambre Soie (wayyyyyyyyy too discreet for me) or, if incense-laden labdanum is your thing, then you should check out Tom Ford’s Sahara Noir. It’s really similar to the old TF cult hit that everyone adored called Amber Absolute, only this one is not part of the more expensive Private Blend line.

      I hope that helps. 🙂 BTW, even though you prefer labdanum than ambergris, have you tried either of the Profumum’s, Ambra Aurea or Fiore d’Ambra? No amber lover should go without having at least *tested* these two. They’re certainly not gooey gourmands, and they do have some labdanum in them. Really, I can’t rave enough about Ambra Aurea. Gorgeous.

      • I have indeed sampled Ambra Aurea (thanks to your review a while back, actually!) and agree that it is wonderful. I’ll have to check out Fiore d’Ambra. Haven’t tried too many in the Profumum line but what I have tried, I have loved. And I also love that they are so concentrated, although 100ml is a *lot*! 🙂 I do have a decant of Kalemat, thanks to Kevin, and I love it, so it’s on my list for a full bottle as soon as my decant is gone. Haven’t tried the Armani but the price point is bonkers if it’s going to be so light, IMHO. I have heard that Ambre Orient is the better/stronger of the two but discontinued. Have you tried it? Off to check out Barkhane (and your review)… also, thanks for the tip about trying the Dior stores in NYC and Vegas, definitely going to do that!

      • Update: Sarah at Bergdorf Goodman found me a large bottle and I snapped it up. So excited!!! Thanks again for the tip!!

        • HURRAH!!! I’m so glad about the Mitzah. Seriously, YAY!!!! 😀 As for your earlier question re. the Armani ambers, I haven’t tried Ambre d’Orient. As you noted, it’s discontinued, so there didn’t seem to be much point. Plus, to be honest, I’m not sure the Armani aesthetic and perfume style really meshes with my own.

          • Just a heads up that it arrived yesterday and I am so happy!!! 😀 A chunk of change but a huge bottle, totally worth it. I keep saying that I was so side-eyeing the Dior bottles because they are so huge, but now that I’ve fallen for a discontinued one I am SO glad they’re gigantic! Thanks again for the tip to try the stores despite the discontinuation, wouldn’t have thought of it without you!!

    • Yes! You must! And make sure to spray some on your clothing so that you can smell whiffs of it long after your Jovoy visit is over. Also, see what your friend who thought Fourreau Noir was “sultry” on you thinks of Ambre Loup, as I suspect she’d find this one even more so. 🙂

      • I tried it today, and I really enjoyed it! I thought it was fairly transformative in its early stages. I did get a burst of dark tobacco at the opening, but it receded right away. I got some very nice labdanum laced with balsam and pretty soon, vanilla (which became so proeminent I actually wondered if it would take over the perfume). I was rather happy with the latter, far from it, since I haven’t found my vanilla fragrance yet (I tried Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille, and I wasn’t convinced at all -though I was in a hurry when I tried it and will have to run another test). It sweetened the perfume a bit, though it never steered into gourmand category, thankfully). But the vanilla did faint substantially and I could detect mere traces during the drydown. The labdanum then came back with a vengeance. Clearly, it was the star of the show, which of course, reminded me of Mitzah. I was pondering whether the two would not be too similar for me after all. I even got some sort of an incensy feel with Ambre Loup (what a great name, by the way!), which I *think* might be due to the combination of labdanum and peru balsam? Also, is there cinnamon in Ambre Loup? I was wondering about that. Labdanum was always at the center on my skin but the tobacco impression then came back (to a lesser degree than in the opening), and then, I get some sort of uh, blackened wood if that make sense (the agarwood perhaps??). Then, it turns smokier and the woody notes turn blurrier. The drydown is basically smoky labdanum (and, yes, it holds on!).
        I really liked that first test (is it really a surprise? :)). I came home with a sample to do some further testing.I think it skews rather dark, but not in an unpalatable or knock-everyone-out way (I can imagine much darker that Ambre Loup, but still, I kept envisioning blackish brown infused with gold plus, in the later stages, dark woods). It felt fierce, but carefully controled if that makes sense. The sales assistant did advise me against spraying it on my clothes though, since apparently Ambre Loup can leave a stain on the fabric.

        Eh, you made me smile with that bit about my friend. 🙂 I’ll try to run it by her but I suspect it might be too strong for her. However, it may be right up the alley of my Serge noir-loving friend. The sales assistant at Jovoy very kindly provided me with a second sample for him. I cannot wait to have his opinion when I see him in a week!

  4. Salty scotch and amber sounds so sexy and enticing. I adore cedar and all things wood-scented. I can definitely take the ceaseless amber, in fact, I want a non-stop amber rocking me to and fro, yet I’m not sure I can take the tobacco for 22 hours!
    I need to sample because I do love dark, resinous, amber fragrances. I’m in a musk kick trying to learn and discern these past weeks, but amber and woods will always be my love.
    Happy weekend dear K and thanks for your wonderful review.

    • Well, I seem to be the only one whose skin recreated “tobacco,” so you should DEFINITELY not let that stop you if everything else and everyone else’s version sounds appealing. You’re one person whom I could see the longevity working for in the best way possible. Happy Memorial Day Weekend, my sweets. 🙂

  5. Kafka! I’ve been checking everyday for signs of ” activity” and was thrilled to see you back, plus this review excited me of course. I fear Ambre Loup butted
    in front of all the other ones in my Must Try list, but I’m not complaining. 🙂 About 2 weeks ago I was reading up on Rania J.
    I’m glad you reviewed this one. (I
    always say that) I have tried Profumum’s Ambra Aurea & Fiore d’Ambra. Also Amber Sultan and other Ambers. I’m still working my way through my
    samples. Anyway thanks for the wonderful review and I hope you have a super Memorial Day weekend! 😀

  6. I definitely need to try this. It sounds incredible and depending on the scent, I don’t mind if it’s linear for a long time.
    I really enjoy reading your reviews. You always bring new ones to my attention that I’d never heard of and would like to try.

  7. Great read on this cool morning! Love the ones that are comparable and on my try list it goes. Just wish it was winter so I could cover up in all that resinous goodness! 🙂 have a great weekend Kafka!!

  8. Hi, K!!☺️
    I got my full bottle of Ambre Loup. As you requested I shall share my thoughts. I totally agree with you that this is primarily a tobacco scent, rich and thick. I also get the salty, peaty quality you experienced. I am new to the amber genre though I have Kalemat Amber and AbdesSalaamAttar’s Rose Amber. This very much reminds me of the tobacco note in Jeke and Kiste. Lovely.

    I’m beginning to think that I am somewhat anosmic or that my skin eats fragrance even more voraciously than yours. I am a self-confessed heavy sprayer and I have yet to meet a perfume that I thought was too strong nor have I ever been called out by friends or coworkers for wearing too much.

    Be well. I hope things improve for your pooch.

      • Ha, I just KNEW this would be a fantastic layering scent. 🙂 And I think Muscs Koublai Khan would be a great one to mix with Ambre Loup! Perhaps you can try it with some leathers or rose fragrances next.

    • I’m glad to hear that someone else experienced tobacco above much else, as it makes me feel rather less mad. It really *is* like the tobacco note in Kiste, isn’t it? (More Kiste, on me, than Jeke but I know why you thought of that one, too.)

      As for the skin issue, there could be two things going on: first, you could be one of those rare people whose skin eats sillage/projection even more than longevity. I have a friend who is like that and most fragrances don’t project on him at all, no matter how strong they are on other people. Vintage Opium is one exception, but things generally stay really soft on his skin. As a result, people around him never think that he’s wearing too much, even when he applies a lot. The second thing that it may be is the anosmia that you mentioned. A family member is like that. Like you, she’s a heavy sprayer but, after 3-4 hours, she simply can’t smell fragrances on herself — no matter how much she’s applied, how strong the scent, or how others can smell the perfume on her.

      In the case of Ambre Loup, the fragrance may simply be soft on you but, since you mention this strength/projection/sillage thing in general, there may be more going on here than just this particular scent not being a powerhouse on your skin. Regardless, I’m truly happy to hear that you love the Ambre Loup so much.

  9. I got my Kiste and a sample of a few frags I’ve wanted to try today. One was a scrubber (something with a hay note, and I’m disappointed), and now I’ve got one small smear of Ambre Loup on my left wrist. So far, I’m loving it!! LOVING it. I may have applied too little to really judge it properly. . . I’m tired and feel as if my nose is untrustworthy as my initial impression was “sexy root beer!!!” Maybe that’s not wrong. If it’s not too hot tomorrow, I’ll try it again when I haven’t worn three other frags earlier in the day! 🙂

    • I knew you’d love it, Julie. As for “Sexy Root Beer,” your nose may not be off at all. Labdanum can smell like root beer on some skin. It depends on skin chemistry as well as how it is handled. Armani’s Ambre Soie has a strong root beer note to a lot of people (myself included) from its labdanum. You mentioned in your subsequent comments that you’d tried Ambre Loup a few more times and with a greater quantity, so I’d be interested to know if it had the same root beer bouquet on the those occasions, too.

  10. The next day: I’ve reapplied Ambre Loup twice since I left the above comment. I adore it and next time I can afford a full bottle, I must get my grubby little hands on it!!! It doesn’t have such powerful longevity on me; I applied two generous smears this morning at 6:15 on it was nearly gone by noon. Should I wear more? Nah. On me, it smells like one of my favorite fragrances – Chergui – but without the “powder” note (whatever that is). I am smitten. It’s in the holy grail territory for me. Woo hoo!!! Now, if Twisted Lily’s sale was still on. . .!!!

    • Wonderful! See, I told you that it may not be a longevity monster on you as you had feared, and that it would be worth trying nonetheless. Since I know you get olfactory fatigue easily, it’s good that it only lasted about 6 hours for you, no? But putting longevity aside, and getting back to the issue of what it smells like on you, I’m assuming it isn’t just “sexy root beer” if you bring up Chergui? Chergui is known as a tobacco scent, so it seems Ambre Loup has some tobacco on you, too? With the larger application, did the “root beer” accord from the labdanum go away? Also, does it compare to Lutens’ Ambre Sultan on you the way it does on others? I’m guessing not if you bring up Chergui instead.

      • I didn’t get the “sexy root beer” impression upon subsequent wearings. I did wear some Chergui last night to see how similar they are. My sense that Ambre Loup was Chergui w/o the powder note was correct, and I plan on trying them side by side on two wrists. I’d like to do that with Kiste, too. I am really a sucker for tobacco prominent fragrances!! And labdanum, too. Still hankering for a bottle of O Hira, but truth be told, wearing straight up labdanum EO is quite satisfying.

        I have absolutely no memory of what Ambre Sultan smells like, so I can’t speak to that. It must have made no impression on me back in ’07 or ’08 when I tried it (or maybe I didn’t?)

        My skin must really eat up scent, but there are some that last all day on me (and longer). They’re usually fragrances I don’t like at all, of course!!

        My dh like the Ambre Loup, too, though I did drive him crazy the other night with my “do you like this?” routine. No, he never likes any fragrances nearly as much as I do. On Friday night I was driving myself a bit loony with compulsive wrist to nose action. I adore this frag!!

  11. OMG! I found my amber fragrance thanks to you! Finally after sampling and testing so many. I am in love with Ambre Loup! I think just as much as Anubis (which I bought because of your review 🙂 Ive had 4 compliments on this just today. I want to spray this on everything I own just like with Ambre Precieux. Lol. Thanks so much for another beautiful addition to my Kafkaesque Collection! You’ve really made me so happy and I never ever want to buy another fragrance without having read your review on it! Muah! 🙂

  12. Late yesterday afternoon, after showering, I spritzed a bit of my Ambre Loup on my arm and it lasted all night through my insomniac night. Everytime I tossed and turned I kept smelling my arm because this has to be my favourite Amber, even ahead of Ambra Aurea; I didn’t think that would happen! Just a quick note: my samples besides Ambre Loup are the 3 Unums; Apoteker Tepe’s The Holy Mountain & Anabasis; Malbrum’s Tigre du Bengale; Euphorium Brooklyn’s Wald; Peccato Originale’s Iniezione di Morfina & Olfactive Studio’s Ombre Indigo…..I don’t remember ordering the last two and swore I ordered Jardin de, E’s George. Maybe it’s lack of sleep. Twisted Lily has a very good selection so I’ll get back there for more samples. I hope you don’t mind all of my random comments

  13. I somehow managed to miss this when you posted it, and just came across this review last week via your Ryder review. I probably ordered samples of this one. They arrived today, and it is utterly delicious. I rarely buy full bottles of perfume, but I am really considering this one. Somehow it reminds me of autumn in New Mexico, with dry air, the faint earthiness of adobe walls, and that wonderful pinon smoke that smells like incense. It smells like an October weekend evening in Taos, which makes me think that I need to book some reservations… I think that you’re right, it has the Slumberhouse richness and complexity, but is more me than any Slumberhouse scent that I have sniffed to date. This is the first thing that has wowed me for a while! Thank you so much for alerting me to it.

    • You’re very welcome, FeralJasmine. I was so, so pleased to read of your reaction to Ambre Loup! I know there haven’t been a lot of fragrances that have moved you lately, let alone to the point of considering a full bottle, so this is wonderful. Just out of curiosity, did you ever try Kiste? I have a vague memory that you were interested in getting a sample, but I don’t know if you did or how it may have turned out. I know prior Slumberhouse releases haven’t worked for you. Did Kiste? Somehow, I suspect it didn’t, given your comments here, but at least you found one new love!

      • I did get a sample of Kiste, and ended up buying a partial bottle of it, but I find it limited in its uses because of the very strong bourbon note, which on me is powerful and photorealistic. Can’t wear it to work because I do addictions work and I’m pretty sure it would trigger my patients Don’t wear it for daytime errands because I don’t want to smell like booze during the day. Nice for weekend evenings though.

        • Oh dear, Kiste sounds like it would definitely trigger negative things in your patients, but I’m very glad it works for you on some occasions at least. The first Slumberhouse for you and me both.

        • 7 hours? On YOUR skin???!!!!! O_O I have no words. That’s remarkable! If I recall correctly, the vast majority of things last about 45 minutes to 90 minutes on you. I remember one really strong, rich, potent extrait de parfum that I recommended for you, and I think it lasted a whole 3 hours to your astonishment. So 7 hours is really something spectacular for you! See, I wrote in my review that it went on and on and ON, seemingly about to last into the next week. LOL. 😀 For once, that happened for you, too (relative to your unusual situation and standards).

          • I have ordered a bottle. It seems clear that I can’t do without this one, and seven hours isn’t nearly enough time to get tired of it. Incidentally, with our first cold nights up here at 5500 feet, I’ve taken my first seasonal hit of Or de Serail, another beauty that I owe to your reviews. Such a beautiful amalgam of Amber and calvados. Soon it will be cool enough for Hard Leather…

          • So like most on this post I have developed an amber addiction and await my Ambre Loup sample. I was eyeing Or de Serail. I was worried it might be too fruity sweet from the description (Tola Anbar with Amber and fruits was a scrubber). What is Or like on you, if you have a chance to respond FeralJ. Thanks

          • On me it is amber, apples (specifically apple brandy,) honey, spice, a touch of leather, and utterly delicious. It is not very sweet on me, but bear in mind that my skin is pretty muting to perfume, so if you are sweet-sensitive you should definitely sample first.

          • Thanks for such a quick response. I think I will foray into a sample at some point… Along with hard leather! Loved the description…. Have a God rest of the day wherever you are (5500feet? So curious…)

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  17. What a great review! My favorite part of Ambre Loup is the smell of ambery tobacco with labdanum!

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  19. Hi! I ordered a sample and tried it twice.
    This scent is magical. I have no experience in amber in particular, so I cannot compare. And I am not a specialist regarding perfumes, just get obsessed by fiding the right one each time a bottle is finished.
    What I find here is this tobacco / smoke feeling, blurred behind kind of of vanilla fog. The clove I smell makes this scent almost fresh, clean. The scent is strong in a manly way, but at the same time soft and very very comforting, it is warm but also fresh, it is smoky and boozy, but also very clean… Such a coherent paradox! It has this magic I love, when the ingredients are impossible to detect, when everything blends this way, to become a kind of new elementary ingredient of its own.

    My only regret is that it seems to not project a lot on me. Oh It totally lasts on the skin all day long, but it seems to have a low projection/sillage. I don’t ask for a lot, but a perfume is here to be noticed right? I really wonder if this is due to the smear way of application. could this get a little better with a spray to your experience? I am this close to buy a bottle because frankly, I am in love with this fragrance!

    By the way tomorrow I will try Kiste: I also orderd a sample, among other things!
    Thank you for this beautiful blog! Made me sensitive to the fact that all natural perfumes did exist, and that the amount of chemicals there is in some perfumes is just crazy!

    • First, welcome to the blog, Marwan. Second, I’m delighted that you love Ambre Loup so much. Thank you for letting me know.

      With regard to your question regarding projection, as a general rule, spraying invariably tends to increase the scent cloud as compared to dabbing. It’s not a hard-and-fast rule set in stone, but it typically works that way because aerosolization tends to expand the molecules and give them a lift. They’re not lying right on the skin.

      Having said that, though, there are a few personal factors to consider. I don’t know your standard baseline for what constitutes a big scent cloud or large sillage, and each person’s definition of that will play into perceptions of what is big and what is small. Does that make sense? I also don’t know your skin and whether you have sillage-eating skin which, believe it or not, is something a few people actually have. Finally, I don’t know how much you tend to apply when you spray in order to get a big cloud.

      In my case, I love having a favourite scent swirl all around me and, when I apply fragrance for myself (as opposed to testing for the blog), I tend to apply at least 6 sprays (neck, chest, wrists, etc.). When I do that for Ambre Loup, I get a pretty big and strong cloud around me during the first 2-3 hours. But it is not a fragrance that I would classify as having “beast mode,” simply because it’s not brimming to the top with the super-charged aromachemicals that tend to really project from just a single drop. So, it’s a strong scent with good sillage, but one spray alone or even 2 sprays is not going to traverse a large room and beyond. How much one applies can and will increase the size of the cloud, but I don’t think it’s a fragrance that will blast your presence from Russia to New York like, say, an Ajmal or some chemical department store fragrance filled with Norlimbanol and Ambroxan. lol. Does that make sense?

      I have to add one thing: a number of my male readers who love big, powerful scents and sillage have blindly bought a bottle of Ambre Loup based on the review and then emailed to me later to say how much they love it. They haven’t seemed to have issues with quietness or lack of projection. Perhaps the reason is spraying vs dabbing, perhaps its the nature of the scent, perhaps its their skin chemistry, or perhaps its the amounts they’re applying – I don’t know. But I can tell you that guys who love big fragrances have been very happy with Ambre Loup.

      As a side note, don’t forget that spraying a fragrance on your clothes (if dark-coloured) and hair/beard can help to expand a scent’s presence.

      Another thing: given how you describe Ambre Loup and the way it makes you feel, it sounds to me as though you’re in the exact same place I was before I bought my bottle. I loved it and it just made me so happy to wear — to the point that both the scent and the memory of the scent eventually became like a sort of addiction. The memory of it nagged at me nonstop until I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I simply had to buy it. *IF* that is what is happening to you and *IF* you find yourself thinking about it all the time, then I think you should go ahead and buy a bottle. Ambre Loup has a strange way of getting under one’s skin, not just for me but for a number of my readers who’ve tried it. It’s just one of those fragrances, I think. lol. Perhaps its the mix of richness with coziness? I can’t really explain it, but Ambre Loup became a total obsession for me in the year that I tried it and it was the one fragrance that I turned to whenever I had a free moment to wear something for myself (as opposed to testing).

      So, basically, I’m telling you to go ahead and succumb if (**IF**) you end up feeling the same way. Resistance is futile. lol. 😉 😛

      BTW, Kiste is a very, very different sort of tobacco scent in terms of its notes and composition, but I’m glad that you’re trying it as it’s a great fragrance. I hope you end up loving that one, too.

      Anyway, I hope all of that helps you a little. 🙂 Have fun with your samples.

      • Thank you for this long answer!
        I think the spray will do the job. My skin is not especially a perfume eater, it really depends on the fragrance I use. Some can last more than 1 day, even after a shower. And I am not an amateur of “beasts” as you say, I do not assume this kind of things! I like it when a woman feels a room with a (nice) perfume, but I would not like to do this myself. All I want is that someone sitting next to me, talking to me, or crossing me in stairs, gets the scent in a fugitive way. All I want is to be associated with this scent for those who know me. So this shoud work!

        I think I am in the same position you were: I am wearing kiste right now, but despite the quality and uniqueness of it, the memory of ambre loup is coming to my nose periodically, unanounced! So I think I am there! I may have found my scent, the ONE! And a good part of it is that it is not so expensive!

        To talk about kiste :
        First, My wife did not like it, which kind of kills it anyway! ;). But I did. What I mostly get on my skin is this peach. It is incredibly realistic, never smelled anything like it before. Before trying it, by reading you, I pictured a kind of “yogurt peach”, something very soft, maybe something girly. But this is a “heavy” dark peach you get: the one that you can smell from a fat soon to be overripe yellow peach, full of sun, were the flesh is red, near the core: it is fruity and woody.
        However, on my skin I do not get smoke, or tobacco. maybe a little of the taste of a cigar, (not the smell) but this is closer to vanilla than to smoke. I do not get any of the bourbon boozyness I read about in these comments.
        It’s been 5 hours now, and it is steel a (woody) peachy peach. but not so woody. Although this scent is delicious, chewy as you say, unique, although this is obviously an incredible genius piece of work, I would not go for it, I think, because:
        A – Now I smelled ambre loup, I am finished
        B – It lacks a little smoke to perfectly match my skin.

        But anyway I will preciously keep it and give it other tries!!

      • Just to give some update:
        Today I accenditally poored some precious drops of my ambre loup on my desk… I did not want to loose it so I cleaned it with my wrists!
        I take back every word : this fragrance never dies and projects a lot, I really had an application problem. And it is still addictive.

        Bad news is that now my sample is almost over… 🙁
        Good news : all the living room smells so good thanks to the few drops I lost on my wood desk !

        By the way, Kiste is really not for me : stayed fruity all along. And a noticable fact is that it never dies. I have a high quality merinos wool jacket which happens to be an odour black hole : you can go to the chinese restaurant, it will never smell frying oil, you can sweat in it, all you will smell is the smell of hot wool. It does not keep smoke either… But 5 days after it touched Kiste, it is still smelling kiste! The smell was still on my wrist the day after, after a shower… And it stuck to my (stainless steel) watch…
        Such a shame it remains so fruity on me!

  20. Today ill get Ambre Loup, also bought because of you review, like with Opus Unum. And i sure, that i will love it, as much as Opus! Hope Ambre Loup wasnt reformulated).

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  24. I love this. I can’t get enough of it. It’s in my all time 3 or 4 at this point in my perfume journey. It has the absolute perfect mix of challenge and interest and beauty. Just the right balance. Thank you so much for introducing me to it Kafka!

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