Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe Eau de Parfum has a biting, vodka on the rocks kind of opening that might catch one off-guard initially, but it’s soon overtaken by hot, warm spices, slight earthiness, and amber. I detected a note of sweet tea through the opening and middle phases, which was initially complemented by rich amber and spiced smoke. The leather emerged when the tea subsided, which was nearer to the drydown, when Ambre Russe was warm, very spicy amber and incense (though I think the incense generated more “spice” than smokiness overall).
Ambre Russe Notes
- top notes: vodka, champagne
- heart notes: tea, cinnamon, coriander, birch, juniper tar, leather
- base notes: amber, incense, musk
What does Ambre Russe Smell Like?
The opening was white vodka poured over ice with a splash of spiced amber–it had that bite of alcohol in the first minute–that was subsumed by boozy sweetness laced with cinnamon and coriander and had a touch of earthiness. The incense quickly followed, swirled around the rich amber and heady mix of spice in a well-blended haze where the notes seamlessly blended into each other.
There was a hint of sweet tea spilled over the spiced, resinous amber infused with incense that became more pronounced after 10 minutes of wear. The tea note amplified over the next half hour, while the amber became less treacly and more smoked and spiced, joined by the intensity of the incense. At the end of the first hour, the ruggedness of leather soaked up the black tea, which seemed to amplify the incense and smothered the amber somewhat. It ended up being one of the spicier, more cinnamon-ladened ambers I’ve tried.
It lasted for five hours until it was a skin-scent and about 10 hours before it was quite difficult to detect on my skin. The sillage and projection were moderate with the sillage dropping faster than the projection after two hours of wear.
This was another scent recommended to me by a friend when I wanted to explore amber as a note. I enjoyed thoroughly, but Profumum’s Ambra Aurea still appealed to me more (every time I wear it, I’m constantly sniffing my wrists to inhale and indulge the fragrance) between the two, but Ambre Russe would work for someone who wants less golden amber and more spiced amber.
For testing, I used half of a 0.7ml sample vial dabbed to the underside and topside of my wrist area on my left arm. I used an unscented moisturizer prior to applying the scent as this is also my swatching arm (aka, incredibly parched at any given moment) as I found scent did not hold well here otherwise.
Ambre Russe is available for $115 for 50ml.
If possible, I highly recommend trying a fragrance before purchasing a full bottle because fragrance can wear differently just because of skin chemistry. Skin chemistry can effect not just the longevity of a fragrance but also what notes are prominent or hidden.
Ambre Russe Samples
We recommend the following retailers for purchasing decanted samples (typically 0.7ml to 2ml in size). This is a fuller list, so individual availability may depend on inventory.