I like it well enough to wear, but it's not an HG for me. I've worn it a couple times and both times the overwhelming impression was honey. Yesterday I actually pulled down a big jar of honey that I have in the kitchen and sniffed that to see how accurate my impression was, and sure enough, it's honey, with some fresh tobacco like an unsmoked cigarette, which I actually have always like. It's a nice, warm scent, very pleasant.
I love the opening of Ambre Narguile!! Remnds me of an apple tart from McDonald's (sorry). As it dries down it starts to remind me a little of China Town and Andy Warhol Lexington Ave. I wouldn't say they're dupes, just that they seem to share some of the same notes to my nose. Not bad, not great! Take it or leave it. The price on this is a little high for what this is!
In a sea of dreck and the downright mediocre, Ambre Narguile stands out as one of the few modern masterpieces of perfumery. How can a scent be elegant, striking and perhaps a little intimidating, yet as cosy and as comfortable as an old pair of slippers at the same time? Ambre Narguile manages it. Although reports of its strength, longevity and complex array of what to some are quite challenging notes might make one think this a 'difficult' scent to pull off and that you might possibly reek - fear not! Ellena's genius makes AN as sheer as a pair of the best silk stockings. You won't find any of the 'beat you over the head' heft of tobacco, cinnamon, labdanum, musk, vanilla, tonka etc here that you can find in lesser quality scents, AN is so well blended that this scent is as comfortable as a second skin. Does it smell like apple pie? Maybe a little when first sprayed but as the scent progresses there is so much of interest to enjoy that it is difficult to stop sniffing your wrist, just try to avoid doing it in public, which can take some willpower! It is a sheer rhapsody of apples stewed in rum, raisins and honey, with a thread of the finest tobacco weaving through from start to finish, which is always some hours away due to its quality. All the way through, AN is as smooth as the finest cognac. Can you tell I adore this scent?!? Bravo Hermes and bravo Monsieur Ellena for this magnificent elixir!
I finally understand why this fragrance receives so many great reviews. I first heard about this scent when a YouTube "guru" mentioned it as her favorite scent. Since I have no access to a Hermes store anywhere near where I live, I called Hermes customer service and they kindly sent me two Ambre Narguile samples. Once on my skin I get a sharp fruity scent with tobacco. It first applies like a gourmand but dries down to a lovely warm fruity tobacco. I wouldn't say that this scent transforms or that different notes appear at different times. Basically it goes on strong and then fades into transparency but the notes stay the same for the duration. If you like the scent of a just smoked, fruit laden, fine cigar then you'll adore this scent. It's one of the most unique perfume scents I've ever come across. This one is definitely going to be added onto my wish list. Thankfully, I have enough samples to last me for a while. Highly recommend!
A little backstory here: my relationship with perfumes started very early and has changed a lot during the decades. When I started to get “serious” about them, gourmands were already a trend, so I ended up trying most of them, buying a lot and getting bored a few years later. The truth, as awful as it may be, is: I don’t like gourmand scents that much now… I don’t even like to eat sugar, smelling like it sounds non-sense to me.
So, after downsizing and rebuilding my collection (there as still some gourmands I love, but I really don’t reach for them very often), comes Hermes Ambre Narguile. As a self-confessed Jean-Claude Ellena fan, I just had to try it. And, even not loving gourmands that much at the moment, I have to say this one is a beauty (and one of the few ones I can pull off from time to time).
After sampling, I ended up ordering two small bottles as part of the Hermessences gift set, and I think 30ml will be more than enough for me. Maybe one day, if I manage to dry both of them, I change my mind and go for a big bottle, who knows?
If you managed to read my ramblings up to here, now comes the review!!!
Ambre Narguile is, as I said before, a gourmand. But the kind of gourmand that only Jean-Claude Ellena could do: sheer and transparent. Well, maybe not as transparent as the other Hermessences, but still part of the “family”.
Ambre Narguile features notes of: benzoin, labdanum, musk, vanilla, caramel, honey, sugared tonka bean, grilled sesame seeds, cinnamon, rum, coumarine and white orchids. It starts out boozy and sweet, almost reminding me of a freshly baked Apfelstrudel. It doesn’t make my mouth water (as I said, I don’t like sweets that much) but this opening would surely please the hardcore gourmand lovers.
After 30 minutes or so, it gets more interesting (at least for me). The Apfelstrudel finally cooled down, I can still get whiffs of it, but it doesn’t bother my hypoglycemic nose any longer. What I get is a nice blend of non-smoked pipe tobacco and dried fruits. My father used to smoke pipes and he had one which was cherry scented… it almost reminds me of it (here I am, rambling again, please stop me).
As I just said, the drydown is the most interesting part of this fragrance to me, with the pipe tobacco, dried fruits and a very nice amber undertone. Even if you are not a big fan of amber, it still deserves a try.
I see Ambre Narguile as a fall / winter sophisticated unisex scent. It may be too cloying for summer, but that’s just my opinion. The lasting power is very good and the projection, in cool weather, is moderate.
I feel like volume is just too high on this.
Starts our very much as others have described it - boozy apple pie. A very gourmand sweet smell with notes of apple, vanilla, raisin and bourbon. Delicious and very young smelling. Quick fades into a strong smokey tobaccoy, incense. Which reads not young. It's a strange disconnect to be honest. I would not recommend buying this on the initial impression as I think after 30 minutes this smells like a completely different perfume then the first 30 seconds.
After an hour this is almost purely smoky luscious incense. I like it. But the sillage and staying power is at maybe a 10, and has a tendency to really overpower people. Even a super light application - this still is A LOT. I can't imagine wearing this in summer... it might cause fainting!
I wish there was a lighter version of this with less sillage..
I was so scared to try this, as amber can go wonky on me. I finally got a sample of it and was floored by how incredibly delicious it was. Yes, it's a gourmand that manages to evoke the *feeling* of amber, rather than the scent. When I smell this, I can feel a hard piece of sun- warmed, polished amber in my hand. After a very brief interruption by cinnamon which leaves within 5 minutes, I instantly get the honey and caramel notes and they stay with me the entire time with this fragrance. The sesame and rum balance the scent nicely, keeping it from becoming overly sweet and I do catch the barest whiff of floral, must be the orchid.....but I truly mean just a breath. This scent lasts forever and is sophisticated, comforting, sweet, sexy and soft at the same time. Love it.
I ordered a sample from ebay because of some reviews on youtube, and I'm glad I ordered the small sample ($10) because I don't love it. I kept reading that it smelled like raisins, pastries, cinnamon, cognac, and other food like scents but to me, it has a very strong after shave smell to it. It also reminds of me of some asian oils/balms my mom uses. I definitely can smell the whole the eastern smokes thing. To me, it is definitely unisex. I think it is unique, rich and a lot of people seem to be deeply in love with it, so I recommend trying it, but I personally would not but am glad I tried such an interesting scent. I will update if the scent changes on my body on a different day.
I love, love, love this perfume. But the price is out of the question for this stay-at-home-mom's single income family budget. But how wonderful of Hermes to send a sample upon request.
Yes, I'd be wearing a super fancy expensive perfume while just being at home with the kids, possibly in sweats or jeans. But it makes me feel like a million bucks. It is so delicious and classy! It smells like a fresh baked apple pie and a cedar closet. Like taking your cozy sweater out of the cedar chest after storing it all summer and then wearing it while enjoying all the scents of autumn. Particularly apple pie.