It took a few wearings, but I finally "get" AG AMBRE FÉTICHE (Amber Fetish).
This is a dirty amber, with incense, leather & a bit of vanilla. As the strongest fragrance in the Les Orientales line, AF has about the same presence on my skin as AP Strip, which is to say ... ALOT. Definitely unisex, maybe even leaning toward masculine, but it's rare for me find a wearable mass market masculine, so this is a win for me.
When you're in need of a skank fest, look her up. continued >>
I love orientals and Ambre Fetiche is a powerful Oriental with ambre notes and incense. there is dryness and very little sweetness in this perfume. The lasting power is very good better then most. It is a winter perfume and-or evening.
Bottom line: LOVE
Ambre Fetiche isn’t groundbreaking, but it is an assertive, unexpected offering from Annick Goutal. More lasting power, sillage, and manliness than most of Annick Goutal’s pretty little girl scents. I tested Ambre Fetiche on my SO, who usually prefers sweet, woodsy orientals. He said it was an “almost-but-not-quite” fragrance, a bit too powdery. However, as time went on, the powder fell away and the scent became almost sharp. Not too sweet, maybe even a bit masculine, it adds pepper, woods, and incense to the diffusive amber. Close to the skin, the incense and woods are very dry and sharp, which contrasts nicely with the gorgeous sweet amber and keeps the scent from being an overpowering winter scent. In fact, I wore this scent on a hot, humid 100+ day and wasn’t overwhelmed at all – it just wafted around me gently, a summery amber. Not as light as Prada L’eau Ambree, but nowhere near the sticky, animalic Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens. Four stars for hitting the spot in between.
Notes: amber, incense, labdanum, styrax; benzoin, iris, vanilla, geranium, patchouli and leather.
This fragrance opens with a complex amber composite that smells of smoky vanilla and hazelnut. As the accord settles, the smoky and nutty aspects dominate everything, only to lose their dominance again later on. As the fragrance progresses, the nutty note disintegrates in its vegetal components. The fragrance now smells predominately of vanilla with a faint trace of patchouli as a base. This is a fairly simple scent with a similar construction like its sister scent Myrrhe Ardente. Lasts for roughly 6 hours on my skin.
Ambre Fetiche is simply beautiful! It's a mouthwateringly delicious, ethereal amber that's gourmand without being too sweet. Some ambers, like Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens, have a heavy, animalic quality to them, but not this one. It's not the least bit sweaty or spicy, so if you're put off by ambers that are too "dirty," this will not be a problem.
The only downside to Ambre Fetiche is the peculiar smell it has when wet. This is not an issue, as the smell goes away as soon as the alcohol evaporates from your skin. Just don't get it on your clothes, or the peculiar smell will linger for over an hour.
A pleasant amber, if you like yours sweet, as I do. However, I eventually found it too heavy and rich to suit me. It's listed as unisex, but I can't imagine a man wearing this.
I have been searching for the perfect Amber scent for years. I've tried many European amber-like scents and carried Henri Bendel's Amber for quite sometime. amber is one of those scents that works very well with my body chemistry. I always get tons of compliments and this Special Gem by the house of Goutal is exceptional. My boyfriend loves this on me. I try to be careful and not over spray. It is very potent. A little tiny dab here and there is more than enough to last a good 8 hours. I've put this on at 6 am and could still smell it at 8 pm at night. It's definitely a cooler weather scent. I love it when my coats and sweaters smell of this gorgeous scent. Amber is not a scent for those who like flowery and Clean, it's a sensual smell, like incense, spicy and smokey. To be it reminds me of an exotic land. Of all of Goutal's scents this is my favorite.
When I first (very liberally) sprayed my chest, throat and wrists with this bought un-sampled fragrance, I thought I might pass out or become throwing-up sick. After about a half hour of feeling slightly dizzy, I washed it off. Ok, so next day, feeling somewhat defeated by an eau de parfum, I sprayed, very lightly, on a cotton pad and then daubed it gently on my wrists and upper stomach. Much better! I am up and down with this new to me fragrance. Love the smoke... the sweet.... and the dry down to a warm yummy vanilla/amber is seductive. Great lasting power. Just be careful with overdoing or you may knock over your beloved or friends.
I'm so sorry that I didn't cave in and buy the large bottle of this one; I can't have enough of it! The lasting power is good (6 to 8 hours) though it loses its sillage and becomes a skin scent after the first hour. However, my clothes and skin continue to smell after hours of wearing this. This is very heavy on the incense -which happens to be a favorite note of mine right now- so people who don't like incense should probably skip it. I love how the amber mellows the ethereal presence of the incense and makes the perfume more earthy and dirty:) Not very sweet, this is a more unisex interpretation of amber easily wearable but both sexes especially in a colder weather. I love it but I suggest trying before buying because after a while it develops an earthy undertone that might be unlikable to some people.
UPDATE 19/11/2009: Had to take down a lippie, since my husband told me yesterday that he's appaled by this one! I also find myself not wearing so often as other perfumes I own.
I bought this unsniffed (as I do all my scents given my location) based on recommendations and descriptions on the frag board and various fragrance blogs. I was hungering for something dark, salty, sexy but still sophisticated - the olfactory equivalent of deep ochre silks and aubergine velvets and mink trim and sombre cellos. When the reviews and blogs indicated that Ambre Fetiche was sometimes too improper or too sexy or too dry, I figured it had to be good. My chemistry is such that any sweet or thin aspect in a scent is magnified ten-fold; hence my preference for dry, unsweet scents.
My AF arrived in the mail today, and I first spritzed it on paper. My initial sense of it was of a hazlenut torte - very european, heavy on the butter, light on the sugar. Not sweet, but rich, touched by cardamom and mace and allspice.
I spritzed a test zone on my arm and let it dry without rubbing, pressing or wafting, so as to be able to sense the topnotes as fully as possible. That hazelnut torte aspect was still in full force, and a sense of rich black coffee and dark chocolate shavings came into play. The spices remained as above, deepening slightly. And then the amber, just as I recalled it to smell in an oil form I purchased long ago - thick, syrupy, sweet, actually gourmand.
An hour into it, it stays there - balanced between the syrupy amber, the wintery spice and the hazelnut coffee. We'll see how it wears, and I'll update after a full body application. For now, it is nice, not at all dark, salty, sexy, but comfortable, a toned down and less zingy Frapin 1270, set at a lower pitch. Lovely, not quite what I was hungering for, but not a mistake in the least.