Is Maître Parfumeur et Gantier depressed? Lazy? Complacent? Thinking about “retirement?” If not, why hasn’t the (badly designed) brand's website been updated in years; Cuir Fétiche (2011) isn't on the site, nor is Bois de Turquie, released in 2008! And what about the ugly bottles people have been making fun of for ages? Keep the bottles if you must, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, but at least nix the cheap plastic “jewels” (that often fall off) from the caps. Still…I always try new Maître Parfumeur et Gantier fragrances.
Maître Parfumeur et Gantier’s latest perfume, Ambre Doré, opens with the aromas of vibrant oud, saffron-scented leather and “green” (geranium?) styrax. Ambre Doré’s “character” is tougher than most amber perfumes, which is fine by me (I like my ambers rough and ‘scratchy’…if they’re too smooth and sleek I’m bored). As Ambre Doré’s opening burns off there’s a musky barnyard moment or two (we’re talking a dry-manure-in-the-distance aroma) followed by the scent of bananas steeped in turpentine. In Ambre Doré’s base, residual oud mixes with the more classic amber components: sandalwood, myrrh and vanillic elements (nothing too sweet); the oud dominates the amber, just, but oud and amber are in excellent imbalance, providing a welcome tweak that prevents an amber-as-usual fragrance.
My relationship with amber perfumes is complicated. I’m not a fan of powdery, sweet, patchouli-and-vanilla-stuffed ambers. Heavy, “upholstered” amber perfumes leave me feeling either over-groomed and fussy or rumpled and sloppy...depending on the mix of ingredients. I like ambers that make me feel “alert” and “crisp.” I only keep one bottle of amber perfume around and I'm in the market for a brand-new amber fragrance for autumn; Ambre Doré is a contender for that open slot.
Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Ambre Doré Eau de Toilette is available in 100 ml (around $130). For buying information, see the listing for Maître Parfumeur et Gantier under Perfume Houses (although as of this writing, it is not yet in widespread distribution; in the US it can be found at MiN New York and Parfum1; in London at Les Senteurs).
Listed notes: geranium, clary sage, coriander, saffron, styrax, sandalwood, myrrh, vetiver, oud, amber.
Note: top image is Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt [cropped] via Wikimedia Commons.