Soul of the forest, Nobile 1942 Ambra Nobile

Nobile 1942 is one of the niche perfume houses of Italy. Established in 1942 it has been bringing new olfactory experiences to our noses and even nowadays the brand is still alive and doing really good. Nobile 1942 makes perfumery in old fashioned way. All the essences are obtained with natural methods like filtering or distillation. Bottling, labeling and packaging are also done by hand. No automation! That’s the real art. Every perfume has an originality certifying seal.

Ambra Nobile is the one that I focused my attention on. At the brand’s website it is says that Ambra Nobile evokes “nights for happy lovers are bright and brief” inebriated by the aphrodisiac perfume of amber, combined with the warm, citrusy, resin notes of labdanum, the liquorice notes of Helichrysum, whose leaves shine in the sun like gold (“golden leaf”), the “manly” tobacco hints of the Tonka bean, and a slight, delicate sandalwood finish as the calm after the olfactory storm.

On my skin Nobile 1942 Ambra Nobile starts with a very woody manner. The raw smell of woody splinters opens this composition almost hurting my hands and my nose with the sharp edges. Shortly all the woody blades become blunt and rounded because tonka bean appears and smoothes the composition. This note is a carrier of warm and spicy smell, with lots of creamy softness that so often accompanies tonka. Ambra Nobile is now smooth and it’s also balmy, giving a dense but enveloping feeling to the one who wears the perfume. The actual amber appears 15-20 minutes after application.

You know that it appears the moment you notice an increasing warmth beaming from the spots where the perfume was applied on your skin. Ambra Nobile‘s amber is soft, mellow like a top class Merino wool. You can hug it, squeeze it and you can never get enough of it. And when a sandalwood appears your world can literally change about 180 degrees. Kafka, dear, this is the real sandalwood!

Smooth, polished and a bit sensual, with a woody feeling to it – that’s the sandalwood that I really love and appreciate and it’s here, right in front of my nose, in form of Ambra Nobile. The woodiness in provides is additionally highlighted with a use of cedar from Virginia, which has a little bit sweaty and resinous finish. Plus there’s also a woody vetiver, my favorite one. What’s not to like!?

45 minutes into fragrance development all the woody notes lose their edge and they start to act more like aromatic perfume ingredients, now rising the volume of the perfume with couple of more inches. Some time later a surprising sweetness appears from underneath of this Nobile 1942 perfume. Couple of wafts allow to detect orange blossom as well as bergamot. The sweet feeling they give is not foody and it’s not gourmant. It’s just sweet sweet. At 1,5 hour mark I smelled immortelle. Happily the note didn’t bother me. It smelled kind of like hay, at some level it reminded me of warm sand, there was also a cherry syrup element to it.

In the drydown there was also labdanum and patchouli which together gave spicy and warm feeling to the scent. I’ve had a sample of Ambra Nobile in a samples drawer for almost a year and I didn’t know that it’s such a lovely, shiny gemstone of Italian perfumery. This perfume absolutely deserves more attention and praise. If I ever decide on having more that 1 amber in my collection, I would probably go for the one by Nobile 1942. You should give this scent a try! Seriously!

Nobile 1942 Ambra Nobile was crafted by Marie Duchene. This fragrance is concentrated at the level of eau de parfum and is available in simple 100ml bottles. There’s also an extrait version, or estratto in Italian available in a beautiful bottle you can see on the left. Year of the perfume release – 2010. The fragrance lasted on me for like 10 hours and it had a great sillage, flying at least 3-4 inches above the skin.

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14 thoughts on “Soul of the forest, Nobile 1942 Ambra Nobile

  1. Kafkaesque says:

    I have a sample of this that was kindly given to me by Mr. Hound, but I’ve somehow never gotten around to it. I had the vague impression that it might be powdery from a few things I’ve read. What worries me about your description though is that bit about the “woody splinters” that are so sharp they almost hurt your nose. Call me paranoid, but is that ISO E Super???! It’s such a frequent companion to woody notes like vetiver and cedar that I’m quite alarmed now by your description. You know how I think the note is akin to the Bubonic Plague!

    As for the rest of it, it sounds very pretty. The Cherry Cola business must be the labdanum, and you know how much I love that type of amber! The sandalwood sounds lovely, if it is the actual, real thing. And the longevity/sillage also sound great. I will definitely dig out my sample and test it. Thank you, Lucas, for a lovely review. It’s so much fun to see you do Orientals!! 😀

    • lucasai says:

      Sweetie, my sample of Ambra Nobile was also provided by Mr. Hound many months ago, he’s such a sweetheart!
      No dear, I don’t think that was Iso E Super, it was rather the opening woodsy notes + alcohol that needed a couple of minutes to evaporate completely.
      I guess cherry would be labdanum like you said. I hope you enjoy Ambra Nobile when you try the sample.

  2. Jordan River says:

    Excellent artisanal standards. There is something about the vibration of manual labour that I am sure must impart some addition vibration to the smell; like a transfer of good energy.

  3. For some reason Ambra Nobile is a like a red-headed stepchild in my collection. I like it, but it always seems to get bypassed by other scents when it’s time to get dressed. I do find that it works best in cooler temperatures. I think its a quiet beauty.

    • lucasai says:

      I see! I’ve got a few in my collection that often go to the 2nd plan and I reach for something else.
      I’m sure Ambra Nobile is better in the cool weather.

  4. Undina says:

    I need to try the sample I got from the generous Mr. Hound again. But either it somehow got mislabeled or something was wrong with my nose when I tested it: it was mostly citrus-y and I was wondering about the amber that just never showed up. I’m super-curious to try it now after reading your review.

  5. laniersmith says:

    Oh this sounds just wonderful! I have never heard of it so off I go to check out the website! Thank you!! An new potential love for my collection.

  6. hajusuuri says:

    Sweetie, you made me want to try this. Sandalwood Snobs Unite!

  7. Tora says:

    I got my sample and wore it today. Oh it is so very Lovely!! I am so glad I read this post so I now have a new amber love. It is a bit different than my 114, Precieux, Fiore, Aurea, and Sultan. There is a brighter opening, and it never goes the typical vanilla route. I am not even going to wait for a decant. Full bottle worthy, it is.

    • lucasai says:

      Oh, exciting! So happy you find it lovely and full bottle worthy. Italians really know how to make perfumes and I agree, Ambra Nobile is much different than Ambre 114 or others you mentioned.

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