I am completely in the middle of my warm weather rotation. My favorite lightweight and middleweight perfumes are coming forward to get me through the hottest days of the year. This always sees me bidding a momentary farewell to the more conspicuous ingredients which make up the cold weather section of my collection. One of my favorite notes is amber. It is the foundation of so many of my favorite Orientals it is almost synonymous with the genre. I take it as a given that there are very few amber-based perfumes which I can tolerate on the hottest days. I have found a new perfume which is an amber for the summer, Fath’s Essentials Bel Ambre.
As I wrote about previously, Fath’s Essentials is the new brand which has revived the classic Green Water plus three other new releases. Perfumer Cecile Zarokian is responsible for the entire line. The other two are typical cologne-style constructs. Curacao Bay and Vers Le Sud are Mme Zarokian’s versions of aquatic perfumes just right for the summer. Aquatic facets along with more traditional cologne components comprise both of these. They are good but they weren’t particularly exciting for me. Bel Ambre was.
When Mme Zarokian handed me the strip at Esxence 2016 I was immediately drawn in by this zephyr of amber which I expected to pick up in intensity like a snowball rolling downhill until it finally bulldozed everything. Except this amber is not an ever expanding snowball. Mme Zarokian holds it at a very satisfying moderate intensity. With that in place she surrounds it with some interesting choices.
Bel Ambre opens with that amber almost lilting in its effect. It stiffens up a bit with the introduction of black pepper, caraway, and juniper berry. I like this because it is a different kind of summery fresh with the citrus removed for gin and spice. It also reinforces my belief that caraway can replace bergamot for a similar uplift without being so ubiquitous. The heart is non-powdery iris matched with a white floral accord. Mme Zarokian uses these florals to act as a garland to the still present amber. These well-known florals never rise to become cloying they stay matched to the same volume as the amber. This all comes to an end with a fabulous opaque leather accord and vetiver. It is the right place to cap this off.
Bel Ambre has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
I am very fond of my summer weight wardrobe of crisp linen suits with matching loose woven shirts and pants. It is a way of feeling dressed but still free in the breeze. Bel Ambre carries the same effect. It has many of the things which make up my winter amber fragrances but in a breezy free way; it is a summer weight amber.
Disclosure: This review was based on samples provided by Faths Essentials at Esxence 2016.