I respect brands which know what they do well and stick to it. If there is a drawback it comes as the desire to release annual versions can stretch the concept thin. The fragrance line of Narciso Rodriguez is a good example of this. Starting in 2003 they decided this would be a line of perfumes which feature musk. The first couple of releases remain some of the best musk perfumes I own. Then the pressure of continual release began to extend the concept in ways both slight and large. The problem for me is neither choice worked. Where the brand always seemed to find its best work was in smaller combination of ingredients which had their own muskiness. Narciso Neroli Eau Ambree is one of these.
This is ostensibly a flanker to 2020’s Narciso Ambree. This was one of the releases which fell flat. It just turned into a generic diffuse woody amber. The same perfumer, Aurelien Guichard is behind this new fragrance. The difference is this is a much more delineated construct taking advantage of the inherent muskiness of orange blossom.
Neroli is where it begins. This is a softer version of this with the green piece made less so through the presence of frangipani. It forms a summery floral pair. The heart is orange blossom and musk. People tend to forget that orange blossom is a white flower with its own set of indoles at its core. M. Guichard finds just the right musk to harmonize with it. This is where Eau Neoli Ambree shines. It is a tiny bit powdery as the citrus-tinted floral with the indolic soul dances with a subtly animalic musk. It finishes on the same amber and cedar base the original did. The difference this time is everything that came before was better.
Eau Neroli Ambree has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
If you are a fan of the other muskier efforts from Narciso Rodriguez this is one to try. It is surprisingly good in the heat of summer. I expect my sample will be finished by Labor Day.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by Narciso Rodriguez.