Ambre de Cabochard divides opinion. Not quite in the way Thierry Mugler’s Angel starts fights and grudge matches, but it has its fans and its critics in equal measure. Before we go any further, I’m nailing my colours to the mast. I love it.
Created in 2006, it has the highly respected Jean-Pierre Bethouart behind it, who has previously worked with Caron, Burberry and Boucheron, to name but a few. Jean-Claude Delville is co-creator, and he has worked with greats such as Vera Wang, Givenchy, and also created the celebrated Clinique Happy. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez regard it as “thin” and “waxy”, and many reviewers regard it as “cheap smelling” or “synthetic” or “too sweet”. To me, it’s gingery, spicy and grown up. Top notes include Cardoman, Ginger, Cinnamon, Orange, Blueberry and Blackcurrant. Middle notes include Tuberose (which I cannot detect at all), Lily of the Valley (ditto) and Cyclamen (ditto). Base notes are Vanilla, Amber, Patchouli and Musk.
Whilst I can’t detect florals in there, there is a hint of fruit in a Christmassy way, but the strongest notes are Amber, Musk and Patchouli. The Vanilla rounds it off and sweetens it, but not too much, just enough to soften the edges.
I first bought this after a long period of enforced frugality. I had ten quid in my Paypal account and wanted something I hadn’t tried before. I remember when this arrived in the post (I bought it blind, ruthlessly attracted by the price), it was so exciting to get a brand new bottle of perfume, with the cellophane on and, in a nice box. The bottle itself is gorgeous, with a little bow around its neck. I wasn’t disappointed and I’m now on my second bottle. Currently available on Cheap Smells, Amazon and eBay for less than ten pounds, this has become a beauty bargain favourite.
It doesn’t compare to well made niche perfumes such as Ambre Narguile, but it’s damn good for its price tag.