Saturday, January 28, 2012

Anyas Garden's Ambress - a winter gem

This winter has, so far, been an unusul one in Sweden. It didn't really start until one or two weeks ago, before that, what we had was more of a prolonged autumn. Not that I mind, I'm not crazy about snow as there usually isn't a shortage. But as the real winter is here now, it is nice, at least for a few weeks, to look out and see that familiar view outside the window covered in a thick blanket of whitest snow.

 It's very interesting to see how this onslaught of winter is affecting my perception of perfume. It's like the snowfall is distorting the perfumes voices. For better and worse. Some scents that that didn't seem  interesting before now all of a sudden make sense. Others, that I liked during autumn, just don't feel appealing anymore. It's like entering a familiar room in a new light, letting me discover new aspects in my perfumes that I wouldn't have seen otherwise. And this is a most welcome and well timed thing as I suspect the upcoming heating bill will eat my money anyway.

One little gem I've rediscovered is Ambress from Anya's Garden, an all natural take on amber. It starts with a heart breakingly beautiful opening of rose, so dark red it's nearly black. A rose that knows it has just a few last precious hours to live and is thus releasing whatever is in there in a desperate attempt to sway the Grim Reaper to hold off the schythe.

As the scent wears it moves towards a more conventional Amber. There is a spicy side waiting to be revealed, I'm getting cinnamon, cloves and vanilla. There is the classic amber bitterness, sometimes it's herby and sometimes I'm getting the bitter edge you get from real honeycombs. There are some very soft balsams at the very bottom. Sometimes I get an unexpected whiff of something chewinggum-like, maybe jasmine?

Somehow this scent strikes me as very humane. As in every person there is both light and darkness, the same goes for Ambress. There is sweetness in contrast to bitterness, life in contrast to death. If I'd cast is as a person it would be a young woman. Very beautiful but with no end of inner demons waiting to be revealed.

Another point about Ambress it that it goes remarkably well with food! I wore it while having blue cheese and crackers and Ambress took on the feel of an aged, semi sweet sherry. Or a good quality port. I've also had dark chocolate while wearing it during the initial dark rose phase and - OMG! Do not miss out on that combo!


  1. Dear Sigrun:

    You say you are a foodie and a perfumista, and it shows through, brilliantly. The base of Amberess contains many foodie elements, and it's only natural that they, in their air dance, find their way into your nose and mouth, rounding out and complimenting your food. Thank you so much for such an insightful review.


  2. Anya, thank YOU for this wonderful scent. It's a true delight to wear :)

  3. Recently I was joking about pairing perfumes with food, but it is an interesting idea. I might try this perfume again either in cold weather or with the proper food and see if it works better for me.

  4. Undina, for me that very much makes sense and I'd love to hear if you try anything out. I think, just as with wine, that some perfumes might bring forward and amplify certain aspects of certain food, for better and worse!
    Today I'm going to have a "nerd-cooking-session" with my wine buddies and I've also promised that I'll show them some cedar and sandalwood perfumes to help them "get" those notes easier, as they are also present in wines. We'll see if the perfumds will match todays food or not!