This is the third of Acqua di Parma's Colonia range of 'ingredient' fragrances - Oud, Leather and, now, Ambra.
Inspired by Marco Polo’s journey along the Silk Road, it is an exotic and rich blend of the ingredients found along the way. At the court of the Chinese emperor Kublai Khan, surrounded by millennia-old inventions and secrets, Marco Polo came to know unfamiliar essences, such as rare ambergris, which Chinese practitioners used in their pharmacopoeia. A substance that the Venetian explorer called ambrum and took back on his long journey home. Venetian master perfume-makers, charmed by the warm and intense scent of this natural essence, added it in tiny amounts – due to its high value to precious fragrances intended for Venetian aristocrats.
Here it has been blended with the typical fresh citrus notes of the classic Colonia fragrance. The woody accents of nagarmotha – a type of grass - and cedar wood are blended with the delicate, yet vibrant notes of rosewood. The heart closes on the earthy and musky notes of patchouli enhanced by sandalwood and warmed up by soft vanilla accents.
TheChicGeek says, “Ambergris is one of those strange ingredients that makes you wonder who first discovered that decaying whale vomit that has been floating in the sea for years, absorbing salt, then washed ashore, would make the perfect animalic ingredient to a fragrance?!
Anyway, if you see any big lumps washed ashore, this summer, it could be your own version of winning the lottery as this stuff goes for ridiculous amounts - here It's smell is musky and animalic, not fishy.
As for the fragrance, this is one for the rich oud fan club. It is quite overpowering and heavy, so would be for those who like a rich and deep fragrance. It doesn’t has the potency of oud, so good those who want some a bit different and the colonia base always adds a freshness. I wouldn't put too much on unless you want to be as overpowering as a whale!"
Above - Acqua di Parma Colonia Ambra - 100ml - £150