We have been extraordinarily lucky with the weather this month: it has been unseasonably warm up until today. Today, it is cold. I am not ready for cold, but it does give me an excuse to reach for one of my favorite winter fragrances: Ambra del Nepal by the Italian apothecary line i Profumi di Firenze. The notes are amber, cardamom and vanilla.
Ambra del Nepal is probably the only amber fragrance I really adore. The amber smells pale rather than dark, but at the same time, it is deep, rich and resinous, with a whisper of dry incense smoke. It is sweet, but the smoke and a generous dash of cardamom temper the sweetness so that it never feels heavy or cloying, even as the vanilla intensifies on the dry down. It is one of very few ambers that doesn't turn sour on my skin after an hour.
Ambra del Nepal is often compared to Luctor et Emergo by People of the Labyrinths, and while they smell nothing alike to me other than the smoky-incense note, they do share a common soothing, contemplative aura. They also share an elusive, somewhat addictive quality (what is that?) that makes me walk around with my arm glued to my nose when I wear them. I am pretty much over the embarrassment of getting caught smelling myself in public, luckily.
I am actually not sure what the concentration is, but regardless, I would love to have a more intense version. The lasting power is fine when sprayed (and it does need to be sprayed, not dabbed), but the good part — the smoke swirling over the dusty cardamom — largely disappears after a couple hours. Ah well, it is good enough that it is worth reapplying.
For shopping information, see the listing for i Profumi di Firenze under Perfume Houses.