I love a good shopping surprise. Even better when it’s right in your home town. Yesterday, after doing my yard chores, me and my hubby went toddling off to Old Town Alexandria to do some window shopping and to get some unneeded gelato. If you have never been to Old Town Alexandria, it’s right outside Washington DC and it’s cute, quaint, very historic (think George Washington lived here). If you ever come to DC, you have to visit.
In any case, there is a store, Patrick’s Designs which I enjoy going into to look at all of the beautiful decorative items that I can’t afford. They have furnishings, barware, tabletop, gifts, etc. that are very unique. This is where I purchased my first Dr. Vranjes diffuser (I have been a faithful purchaser since). I have noted that in the past, they have had a couple of niche perfumes in the shop, but they have recently expanded and added some more. Some of the lines include: Juliet has a Gun, Montale, Costume National (I had never heard of this line before), Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, Fragonard, Manuel Canovas, Miller et Bertaux and others. The owner said that they will be adding other lines in the near future (goody!). Of course, it’s my job as a hometown boy to support local business I had to make sure that I bought something. But first lets discuss what I didn’t buy and why:
- Miller et Bertaux’s Om: I don’t know why, but the darker the juice, the more I am attracted to a fragrance. Om is a deep amber-colored incense and vanilla scent. Wonderfully spicy, rich and peppery…beautiful on paper and initially on me, then straight to a metallic sharpness that I wanted to scrub off. Very disheartening.
- Fragonard’s Billet Doux: OK, the scent itself is a light and pretty powdery carnation which is pleasant but maybe not so special. It’s much more feminine than I would normally like… but look at the bottle!!! It’s like a princess jewel. Is it OK to buy perfume just for the bottle? I may have to go back and try this again, the price wasn’t bad… but I really just want the bottle!
OK, good sense prevailed and I ended up purchasing what others rave about for good reason, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier’s Ambre Precieux.
WHAT I SMELL: Golden warm amber and vanilla. Slightly spicy, smoky and buttery creaminess. At times, it seems lightly soapy. I find that this fragrance doesn’t morph as you wear it, but for an Eau de Toilette, Ambre Precieux has incredible depth, sillage and I find incredibly long-lasting. I usually find that most ambers are better suited for the fall and winter. Surprisingly, because of the vanilla sweetness (not too sweet mind you), this works just fine in the heat of summer. Beautiful.
From the Maître Parfumeur et Gantier website:
All the splendour of the Orient is bottled in this perfume in which the much coveted amber unfolds its sensual and unique scent for us.
Accompanied by precious woods, balms and spices, Ambre Précieux is a true Eastern symphony.
Ambre Precieux Notes: Top notes are myrrh and lavender; middle notes are nutmeg and vanilla; base notes are amber, tolu balsam and peru balsam.
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: As I was sitting at my desk at work today I was trying to pinpoint what this scent smelled like to me. As strange as this may sound, it reminds me of the late 70s and 80s and a doctor that I used to go to. So what does that mean??! This doctor was very tailored in his white smock, had impeccable grooming and was very much a gentleman. To me, Ambre Precieux is understated elegance. It’s the kind of fragrance that would linger comfortably on your favorite weekend tweed jacket as well as your tux.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE AMBRE PRECIEUX: warm, refined, sophisticated
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AMBRE PRECIEUX: Bois de Jasmin, I Smell Therefore I Am, Pour Monsieur
BOTTOM LINE: I don’t know if this will ever replace my love for Serge Luten’s Ambre Sultan. But to me Ambre Sultan is a fall/winter fragrance. So in the meantime, Ambre Precieux is going to satisfy my amber fix until the leaves start falling.
- Bone Rating: 5 out of 5 possible bones
- Scent: Oriental
- Nose: Jean-Francois Laporte
- Classification: Unisex – leans masculine
- Expense: Approximately $100 – $120 for 100ml EdT
July 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm
I visited Alexandria in May. I wish I knew about that shop. Well, next time I’ll know 🙂
Your new perfume sounds very interesting, I’ll try to test it eventually (though I strongly dislike Maître Parfumeur et Gantier’s bottles).
July 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm
I wish that I knew that you were in town. I would have loved to lunch and talked perfumes. If you ever get here again let me know! As for the bottles, funny, I was going to write about that but didn’t. The red is very french, but that top jewel cap is almost something out of a gumball machine. It looks OK from a distance, but feels and looks cheap close up. I guess you can’t mistake who the fragrance is from!
July 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm
I hope it wasn’t the last time we visited (we have several friends living not that far from there) so the next time I’ll make sure to coordinate with you 🙂
I saw those bottles in RL… and decided not to test perfumes because I didn’t like those bottles.
July 30, 2012 at 9:13 pm
Well I just spent I don’t know how long browsing Patrick’s website and I am hooked! What a find, Thank you for the hookup! I for one like the Maître Parfumeur et Gantier’s. I think it is very elegant and unusual. And of course that little jewel Fragonard’s Billet Doux bottle is wonderful. So if you don’t like the scent use it as a paper weight! Great post!
July 31, 2012 at 9:32 pm
This was my first foray into a Maitre line, would like to try some more. The line is incredibly extensive though. What are your favorites?
July 31, 2012 at 9:55 pm
Oh I haven’t smelled any of the Maitre line yet. I was just commenting on the bottle. BUT I sure want to try it. I have to look around San Francisco and see what I can find. I hope I don’t have to end up going to the dreaded Jacqueline’s Perfumes! The little French man who owns the place is a terror and rather rude. He is kind of the Miranda Priestly of the San Francisco perfume scene.
July 31, 2012 at 10:47 pm
That is a gorgeous bottle (the Fragonard). I support the purchasing of perfumes for their bottles. 🙂
August 1, 2012 at 6:18 am
Funny, I have been obsessing about this since Sunday. I am thinking that there may be another trip to Patrick’s this weekend. Soon you will see me on the Hoarders series!! Thanks for stopping by Natalie. Steve
August 1, 2012 at 9:07 am
Ha! I hope not (re: the Hoarders). That show freaks me out. 🙂 But I think as long as you confine yourself to one thing (like perfume) it would be pretty hard to go completely nutso.
August 1, 2012 at 8:40 am
See, you’re lucky too with your shopping! – there is no where in England to buy Montale! Very annoying.
Anyway – great choice you amber king! Enjoy 🙂
August 1, 2012 at 7:29 pm
Montale’s leave me cold for some reason. Maybe it’s their bottles, I always feel like I should be dusting the furniture when I spray. Should you ever want to buy some, I can do so for you my boy.
August 2, 2012 at 2:33 am
They leave me cold due to the fact most of them are crap. Haha, I like the bottles though – I like the little hangy bit… It’s like a metal skin tag :’) hahah.
I haven’t tried any that are worth a full bottle yet though… But to be able to have them nearby to sniff is lucky.
August 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm
*Raises a sheepish hand* I purchased a full bottle of Angelique Noire a while ago for the sole fact that I thought the bottle was beautiful. Then I discovered there were other fragrances in the same line that were designed the exact same way, one of which I liked a lot more. Luckily for me, Angelique Noire is pretty good.
And you know, now that I’ve seen that bottle, I totally want to buy it just on looks alone.
August 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm
Being an obsessive compulsive, I have been ruminating on this for days now. I think I have to go in and test the perfume on my skin. If it’s even just OK, I may have to get it. The bottle is much prettier in person too… it’s very old fashioned and shiny. Sometimes I scare myself!
August 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm
Darn it… More perfumes to add to my testing list… 😦 You make this one sound sooo yummy.
August 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm
It is yummy. It definitely leans masculine, but an amber that can be worn in the summer I find is a rarity. And for an EdT, amazing sillage and longevity. I have heard folks rave about this for years. I can see why!
August 7, 2012 at 3:43 am
I gotta try that Ambre Precieux. From the line the only two I know is Eau Pour Le Jeune Homme and Iris Bleu Gris
August 7, 2012 at 5:41 am
You must try. I wore it yesterday and each time I put it on, I like it more.. it’s like wearing a creamy cashmere sweater!
August 7, 2012 at 5:56 am
sounds like it works great on autumn/winter weather.
August 7, 2012 at 6:08 am
Actually, I find that most ambers are better suited for fall/winter. Actually, it was hot as heck yesterday and it was perfect!
August 7, 2012 at 6:20 am
Good for you. I also have my lovely winter amber, Potion by Dsquared2
December 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm
This is another amber scent that I have tried and I wasn’t really impressed with it. The scent faded quickly, had no sillage and poor longevity. Then again, I was sampling from a vial and that probably was the problem or maybe my skin just eats it up. I will try this again in a spray decant, as those work much better and give you a truer feel as to how the fragrance atomizes and reacts to you. Have you tried Ambre Aurea by Profumdum? I’m not sure of the spelling, but it is amazing. I consider it top of the line. You have to sample. It’s dark, resinous, smooth and not sweet as you would expect. It is expensive, but well worth it. Great review! I know I’m not doing your wallet any good by telling you about it though. LoL
December 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm
The spray makes a difference as this is a powerhouse of a scent. A little goes a long way. I have to admit that this is a safe amber for those who don’t want anything too radical. It’s beautiful but very old school. I like to wear this for business meetings. As for Amber Aurea…it is very nice. Actually, I gave it nice review and gave it a 5 bone rating. But it is pricey indeed. Thanks for stopping by Ferris!
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