A friend of mine recently sent me a wonderful gift: the Alora Ambiance Reed Diffuser in Uno. Alora Ambiance was, as I understand it, the first company to introduce the diffuser concept to the United States, based off a home fragrance tradition that the founding partners — sisters — stumbled across while living in Italy near the gorgeous Lago di Como. This lovely concept has been highly successful in the US, and has since seen a variety of companies introduce similar products.
Uno is described as Alora's sweetest fragrance, a feminine composition of muguet, lemon, sandalwood and musk. The first time I tested it, I dabbed a bit on the back of my hand and inhaled. It was a cold, wet, end-of-winter day here in New York, but I found myself transported to an early morning in northern Italy...the pale sunlight filtering into a warm and earthy kitchen that still slumbers, coffee waiting to be made. A huge pile of glossy yellow lemons sitting in fancifully painted Deruta ceramic bowl. The liquid notes of birdsong in a lush garden outside the kitchen door, a dew-laden breeze and a tendril of white flowers floating into the room with the promise of a new day.
Delighted, I immersed the reeds in the bottle as instructed, and left it in my bedroom. Within a few short minutes it seemed, the scent was wafting out of the room and down the hallway (it calmed down after about a day, but this is certainly a noticeable scent). In diffuser form, the scent is indeed very sweet — more so in the bottle than on the skin. I imagine the muguet contributes to the radiance, although I normally experience muguet as slightly greener and fresher than the rounded sweetness of the floral accord in Uno.
The lemon remains delightfully pure, balancing the dulcet effect and uplifting the musk. The musk (and perhaps sandalwood) which eventually emerged and established itself does not scream out muskiness so much as it hints at unexpected intimacy. I haven't been able to find any other word for it, but I am constantly surprised by this facet as I come across the scent during the day, enjoy its lilting sweetness and sunny citrusy radiance, and then am met by the presence of something subtly fuller and warmer, demure and yet very much there. I don't normally think of home fragrances as being sexy, but surely this one must at least qualify as flirtatious, dallying with fruit and flowers and then turning to smile at you over a warm, bare shoulder tanned by the Italian sun.
Alora Ambiance reed diffusers are available in 16 oz ($80), 8 oz ($58) and 2 oz travel set ($45). For more information, see aloraambiance.
Hi P: there used to be a store not far from me that sold these, and I quite like their Verde scent, which smelled like bamboo, jasmine and melon to me and I think is the one pictured, there – but they were always sold out of that one, drat. Oh well! Money saved! One thing I noticed was that the testers at the store did not seem to have much “throw”. Perhaps they were old.
Hey Erin! I have their little spray tester kit and I just tried Verde–very nice–refreshing and pretty, esp now that the warmer weather is coming (yeah!). I also like Bimbi (lavender,rose) and Isola (gardenia, tuberose and fig) so far, but haven't tried any of them in full form except for Uno.
The throw definitely perks up when you flip the reeds upside down every so often…maybe they had just dried out in the store…
I ordered a bottle of this last night immeditaely after reading your review. Cant wait to get it!!!
I certainly hope you like it and will love to know what you think!
They sound lovely, but $80 is exorbitant for a diffuser.
Yes, they are quite pricey unfortunately. I don't know how long this one will last–they say 2-3 months I think (I have the mid size), but I have a Red Flower diffuser that I bought last August and it still works, although it will shortly be done. So they seem to be a better value than some the pricier candles, for example, but still very expensive!