Balmain Ambre Gris EdP review

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 28 - 2013

Ambre Gris is the latest addition to my fragrance wardrobe, which by the way, is steadily growing larger than my actual wardrobe. Exposing my horribly shallow heart to you, I will readily admit that I was first enticed to this fragrance because of the bottle.

It’s a thing of beautiful contrasts with its smoky-grey, monolithic-looking flacon, simply labelled yet topped off with an outrageously camp discoball-esque cap. It’s lovely. It feels heavy, like you could bludgeon someone with it should that urge take you. It’s impressive, it makes a statement… and that’s just how I like my perfumes.

Pierre-Balmain-Ambre-Gris

Launched in 2008, the notes include: pink pepper, cinnamon, tuberose, immortelle, myrrh, gaïac wood, benzoin, white musks, and ambergris.  On paper it looks like a spicy oriental with a heavy helping of wood and a dusting of sweetness.  In reality… well, that’s mostly accurate.

Opening with a sharp exhalation of pepper, the fragrance delivers a punch of spice with the kind of brusqueness you’d expect from a mean, elderly Aunt.  This isn’t your usual youthful pink pepper, fruity concoction but something with a little more heritage to accentuate its spiky manner.

Before long, the fragrance warms up on the skin and the cinnamon turns sweeter while the tuberose gets down to business knocking away the sharp edges left, right, and centre.  I’m not the world’s biggest fan of tuberose, it’s a note that often leaves me feeling as though I need to come up for air and there is a certain synthetic sickliness to this fragrance that I’m blaming on the tuberose, but thankfully… not enough to require a snorkel.

Up until this point, I like Balmain’s Ambre Gris… but I can’t say that I love it.

Pierre-Balmain-Ambre-Gris-2

All this begins to change roughly twenty minutes after application.  The smoother tones ushered in by the tuberose make way for something warmer and more comforting still.  The scent wears ever more closely to the skin as the vanillic benzoin curls around my wrist and the ambergris imparts a soft, animalic property that tempts me back to my pulse points over and over.  At this point, it feels more like a unisex fragrance but with an inherent sweetness that glazes over the woody notes and gives the scent a gourmand grounding.

It’s less smoky than I’d like, cleaner than I’d want, and sweeter than I’d usually crave but it feels like a bridge between my old perfume-loving tastes and the new.  In that respect, it really does feel like a comfort.  Take Dior’s Hypnotic Poison (my old uber-fav) and throw some curveballs at it.  It’s not as sexy as Hypnotic Poison, nor is it as overachieving… but it is a nice interpretation of a classier, more grown up woody-oriental that keeps its edge and lasts long, long into the night.

Balmain Ambre Gris is priced from £42 for 40ml and is available to buy in-store at John Lewis and online at Escentual.com


7 Responses to “Balmain Ambre Gris EdP review”

  1. Oh, Charlotte. Your photos (and paragraphs) are the prettiest. ♥

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. […] – contemplates the pros and cons of finding a perfume that bridges the gap between your teenage tastes and your current […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. […] – contemplates the pros and cons of finding a perfume that bridges the gap between your teenage tastes and your current […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. […] – contemplates the pros and cons of finding a perfume that bridges the gap between your teenage tastes and your current […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. […] – contemplates the pros and cons of finding a perfume that bridges the gap between your teenage tastes and your current […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. […] Balmain Ambre Gris–a classier, mroe grown-up woody-oriental [Lipglossiping] […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. […] – contemplates the pros and cons of finding a perfume that bridges the gap between your teenage tastes and your current […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Leave a Reply

RANDOM

January Essentials - Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil

Love it or hate it, Rose-scented products tend to polarise opinion… I’m in the love-it camp, I find it a comforting smell in a Granny …

Deal Alert: Beautique choose their winner and a DISCOUNT code!

A BIG thank you to everyone who took the time to enter my recent Beautique/Urban Retreat competition! They were so pleased with the response (and …

PCOS and Hair Removal update (2 years on...)

Nggggggghhhhhhh. That’s the sound of me procrastinating over the writing of this post.  I am one of those annoying oversharers by nature, but there are …

Advent Giveaway – Day 22

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited BG945 Leave a comment to enter. Giveaway closes at 23:59GMT on 22nd December.  Comments made after this time will not be …

Bobbi Brown Autumn/Winter 2012 Desert Spring Collection

Laugh?  I nearly cried when I got a press release instructing me on how I could transition my Summer look into something more suitable for …

China Glaze - On Safari Collection: Call of the Wild NOTD

I don’t really know what it is that I like so much about these rich browns that look like absolutely nothing in the bottle, and …

Guerlain - Summer 2010

Summer is usually all about the brights… and so perhaps, for once… naturals are the brave choice. Introducing Guerlain’s Summer 2010 Collection: Ombre Éclat 4 …

You can't polish a turd...

…but you can roll it in glitter.  Beautiful, beautiful, glittery glitter. I know I’m too old for this, I mean seriously.  When your 5-year old …

Red Lipped Readers – Part Ten!

1. Francis is giving the model a run for her money in Rimmel London’s by Kate Moss line – Shade 01 2. The lovely Leah …

Jo Malone limited edition Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intense and a new Covent Garden boutique!

I’ve been a fan of Jo Malone’s Cologne Intense range since it debuted in the Summer of 2010 and although back then, the thought of …

POPULAR

CLOSED: Competition Time: Givenchy Very Irresistible L'eau en Rose Perfume!

Want to really spoil Mum this Mother’s Day?  Or perhaps you just want to spoil yourself?  It’s ok… I won’t judge… there are plenty of …

CLOSED - Win it! The Body Shop Expert Brush Collection

I don’t know about you, but I woke up this morning with a distinct “Hello Monday morning, I’ve been expecting you…” kinda feeling.  Maybe it’s …

Win a gorgeous "glow" trio with prizes from Urban Decay, New CID, & Arbonne!

COMPETITION NOW CLOSED! WINNER IS: “IZABELLA” (COMMENT #96045) – WINNER HAS BEEN EMAILED!   It’s still January, the MET office have just issued yet another …

Hello? Is this thing on?

Phew, that was a little unexpected. For those of you who haven’t had the misfortune of reading my hand-wringing tweets and woe-ridden facebook updates, let …

Big savings on French Pharmacy brands, win my Escentual.com top picks!

I’m of the firm opinion that for the money, French pharmacy brands offer some of the best solutions for diffcult skin-types. Escentual.com have long been …

Win it! 3 EcoTools Bamboo Bronzer Brushes to win!

I’ve written about these before, you know I love them, I want you to love them too! So why not have a go at winning …

FOTD Busting out of the comfort zone!

You may recall my bitter moans last week about how when presented with a rare opportunity to spend an indecent amount of time playing with …

Dear Obesity...

We have been together for over 20 years, our lives so entwined that I’ve never been sure how to live without you.  I would like …

Urban Decay The Black Palette - Photos & Swatches

The soon-to-be-released Black Palette from US eyeshadow maestro’s Urban Decay is an altogether darker affair than the recent Naked set… The Black Palette includes 6, …

Avoid the brush off with Oral-B Pro-Expert

There’s a new toothpaste in town. It’s lean, mean and err not very minty as it happens.  Featuring the revolutionary bacteria-busting ingredient Stabilised Stannous Flouride, …

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Admin

  • Ads