Christmas time or New Year’s Eve are those special moments of the year for me when I want to look and feel elegant. But that’s not enough as I would like to feel and live in an elegant way as often as possible. During holidays it’s easy to wear a good shirt or even a suit and tie. It becomes more problematic when it comes to a casual working day – and that’s when a fragrance might help a lot. Even if you do a kind of job where elegant clothes could be easily damaged (in my case it’s lab) you can still feel pampered and stylish thanks to your perfume. This thought has led me to a scent that’s been there for a long time now. And it’s Prada, so my New Year tradition is kept for another year.
Prada Amber (sometimes also refered to as Amber Pour Femme) begins with the smell of patchouli accord. It’s the dirtier kind of patchouli that smells kind of like a mixture of damp soil and slightly rotting greenery leaves. This earthy vibe starts to transform after around 5 minutes to become significantly more dry and maybe even woody by a little bit. As far as I’m concerned I find opening surprisingly nice, perhaps it’s because patchouli here is not a dirt extremum. When I smell it at the very start it kind of makes me think of a very old bookshop where people don’t visit anymore. To me the intro phase of Prada Amber is dusty in this specific kind of way. Later it turns powdery.
Powderness of Prada Amber is not so very pronounced initially because shortly after patchouli note the fragrance reveals notes of amber and benzoin. Amber makes this perfume sparkling with a bright and radiant aroma just like a precious gem scatters the light with its shiny facets. On the other hand benzoin brings substantivity to this blend as it introduces heavier molecules that have resinous and balsamic character. Benzoin has a very warm feeling in Prada Amber. It’s a little bit more daring and slightly animalic introducing the overall feeling of sexiness.
As the time goes by the composition becomes warm and spicy but there is no specific accord that would come forward to take the lead right now. I can smell the sweetness of honey and there is a little animalic edge to it as well. And there is some oakmoss that makes Prada Amber feel more dusky. At some point the perfume reveals a beautifully oriental concoction of sandalwood and vanilla. Sandalwood has a smooth feeling with a little bit of roughness while vanilla is of a darker type. Combined together they offer a lovely sweetened woody facet that lasts for quite a while.
After a few hours Amber by Prada smells significantly weaker but it’s still present on the skin, you just notice it from a shorter distance than earlier. As drydown comes forth I could smell a tiny dry & herbal aspect of tarragon and just as small floral element. Being hard to determine at this stage I looked into the notes and found carnation and rose so I will stick to that. To my nose honey seems to smell stronger right now and it blends nicely with still ongoing woody elements of this fragrance. After 6 hours has passed I couldn’t detect any more changes in Prada Amber but according to the pyramid, notes such as ylang-ylang, fruits, jasmine, bergamot and green notes also found their place in this scent. They were either too weak or require a more generous application than just a few smudges from a sample vial. In the first place Amber seems be a distant relative of my beloved Amber Pour Homme… but they do share some similarities.
It’s hard to believe that Prada Amber was first launched 12 years ago, in 2004! It was an effect of a joint work of 3 perfumers: Carlos Benaim, Max Gavarry and Clement Gavarry. The blend has a moderate sillage and average lasting power – I could smell it for around 6 hours when I applied lightly, after that time it was barely there. Considering the fact that Amber was the first fragrance released by Prada I think it was really well made. It smells feminine, sexy and seductive. Amber comes in eau de parfum concentration, 30, 50 or 80 ml. Big one has a bulb spray version alternative.