Aerin Amber Musk & Evening Rose ~ perfume reviews

Aerin Amber Musk & Evening Rose fragrances

Last week I reviewed Lilac Path, Ikat Jasmine and Gardenia Rattan, all from Aerin, the new-ish lifestyle brand of Aerin Lauder. Erin asked if I'd left the other two fragrances in the collection, Amber Musk and Evening Rose, until later because they were the best of the bunch, but no, I left them only because I wasn't quite as interested, insofar as I'm not a huge amber fan and rose, well, 2013 was very nearly the year of the rose, right? At least, rose vied with oud as the note du jour. Of course, oud probably won, it usually does.

But yes, they are, arguably, the best of the bunch, and they do have more weight and sillage than the other three. They still don't quite meet the standard I'd hoped for from the set — something similar to the upscale Private Collection scents Aerin Lauder  designed for the Estée Lauder brand, Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang and Private Collection Jasmine White Moss. But they're closer in spirit, and while I have no idea which of the five will sell the best, these are probably the two that are most likely to please perfumistas.

Evening Rose

Evening Rose is a berried rose, and there are enough berried roses out there already that the opening notes will be instantly familiar to many of you. It's lent a touch of interest by cognac and incense notes, and the opening is considerably weightier than that of the other three florals in the collection — for a few minutes, I thought this might be a smoldering, sexy, boozy sort of rose. But it calms rapidly, and while it's warmer and richer than Ikat Jasmine, Gardenia Rattan and Lilac Path, and the musky-woody-ambery base is reasonably dark, it's not quite as smoldering and boozy as the top notes might lead you to believe. It's somewhere in-between: not quite sheer, not quite rich, which is actually pretty close to how I'd describe the Private Collection fragrances, although to my nose Evening Rose is a degree more casual / less sophisticated than any of those.

Verdict: Very enjoyable to wear, and easily my favorite of the five. If you've been looking for a versatile, darkish-but-not-too-dark rose that would take you from office into evening, it might be perfect for you. I'm still not convinced it lives up to its $110 price tag, but hey, that's business as usual, right? If you do want a smoldering, sexy sort of rose, you might try Serge Lutens Rose de Nuit or Agent Provocateur.

Amber Musk

Amber Musk was reportedly inspired by winter, just as Gardenia Rattan was inspired by summer. And it is, indeed, something of a cold-weather scent, albeit done in a more transparent style than you might expect — it's only marginally deeper than the Jasmine, Lilac and Gardenia fragrances, and it's not as weighty as the Evening Rose. There's a touch of coconut water, and while it's barely noticeable, it does provide a bit of creamy undertone (other notes include ambrox, rose, benzoin and musk). The dry down is sweet and vanillic, but it doesn't go nearly so far as, say, Prada Candy, and Amber Musk is light enough anyway that it shouldn't overwhelm.

Verdict: a nicely done sheer comfort scent. I don't think hard-core amber fiends will be impressed, but if your interests are more general, it's worth a shot. I am moved to steal Angie's words from her review of Private Collection Amber Ylang: "understated and versatile, more like a cashmere cardigan." As I am not a hard-core amber fiend, I'll have to hope that commenters will chime in with recommendations for alternatives. As for me, Prada Candy was the first thing that came to mind, along with i Profumi di Firenze Ambra del Nepal.

Aerin Amber Musk and Evening Rose are available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum, $110.

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  1. Omega says:

    This line just hasn’t gotten my attention thus far.

    • Robin says:

      It’s still not widely distributed, so easy to miss. Actually not sure how widely they will be distributed…and might depend on how well they do.

  2. scentfromabove says:

    I will be visiting my local Neiman Marcus this weekend to do Christmas shopping. I want to check out Amber Musk. I am a fan of Estee Lauder fragrances and will be so disappointed if this line is a flop. Keeping my fingers crossed. -SCENTFROMABOVE

  3. annemarie says:

    Well, these all sound rather safe, as you would expect of a lifestyle brand. I’m thinking back to Laura Ashley in its heyday, when it sold perfumes. I guess they were pretty safe too, within the standards of the time. I still have my bottle of LA No 1 and the oakmoss fair leaps out and gives me a delicious mossy wallop. It counts as edgy today but that sort of fragrance was standard at the time.

    So I guess we can’t blame Aerin for delivering a bunch of pretty and wearable options. The real question is if they are worth the price tag. Sounds like maybe not. But I remember LA fragrances being fairly reasonable. They must have been if I bought one!

    • Robin says:

      I agree, can’t blame them…but I think part of the reason I had higher hopes was the price. Versatile, everyday scents, well done -> that’s great but should not cost this much.

      • C.H. says:

        Yeah, at this price point it’s just unfathomable. I immediately find myself making a mental list of really great stuff you could have for half this price…

        • Robin says:

          That should be a poll :-)

          • C.H. says:

            Ooh, yes I would like to hear everyone’s suggestions! Now having smelled Evening Rose, I’m extra-disappointed by the price. I enjoyed it as well (it was what I wanted the Rosine Roseberry to smell like!), felt like it would make a fun option at a middling price point. But for the money!

  4. nozknoz says:

    And then there’s all the really great stuff that costs twice as much, like SL Rose de Nuit, Amouage Lyric or FM Portrait of a Lady. Rose de Nuit is one of the few SLs I haven’t tried, because it’s not an export, I guess.

    My Lush Rose Jam finally arrived today. Like a lemming, I ordered it unsniffed because it was obviously going to sell out. Fortunately, this cliff has a deep, pillowy mound of powdery, rose-flavored Turkish delight at the bottom, so I’m just fine. :-)

    • Robin says:

      Oh good! Looks like not everybody has liked it.

      • nozknoz says:

        It’s not what I expected and not a literal rose scent at all, but rather midway between Nahema and PG Rose Brulure, with something like rosy baby powder underneath. It smells great and avoids the common pitfalls of rose scents. I’ll try to sample more from this brand.

        Pacifica Persian Rose is a more literal rose and also very nice, especially at that price. It’s cheapness comes out in the far drydown (the next day), which I don’t care for but which isn’t really a deterrent.

        • Robin says:

          Aha. I still have not smelled it. At this point wondering if I’ll be happier if I never do :-)

  5. C.H. says:

    Definitely agree that the Amber Musk could be just the thing for someone who wanted Prada Candy with, say, 40% of the sweetness knocked off. It also struck me as feeling like it could one of like five or six components of Dzing, so if you just wanted something cozy and sweetish (but not too much) along those lines but without the rubber/sawdust/animalic dimensions, it might appeal. One note of caution, at least on the far drydown (~18 hours later) seems pretty white-musk-y in a way that I bet some perfumistas would find offputting…but otherwise I thought it was nice! (If indeed very pricey.)

    • Robin says:

      And will add that the musk clings to skin like a barnacle…I could still smell it, faintly, two days and two showers later, and the sweater I was wearing had to be given a vinegar rinse to remove it completely. Ack.

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