Excuse me, I’ve been away but I’m back now. I went camping in West Wales and smelled lots of interesting smells, none of which were from a bottle, some of which I am in no hurry to revisit (wet shoes, calorgas), and some which were delightful (wildflowers, grass, burning logs, ozone).
Now that I’m back in the land of civilisation, the current Wales temperature is turning my thoughts to Autumn already. No, I’m not wishing my life away, but overcast and dull seems to be the default weather this August. This has had me turning to warmer scents and away from my beloved hesperide section.
Do you ever spray a sample and sniff it, and find yourself quite unable to stop? Thus was my reaction to E Coudray Ambre et Vanille.
Now, you may recall my recent article about vanilla, and about how I felt that it had been cheapened, but the right stuff is still GOOD. Well, this treasure fits right into that category. I am helpless to move my nose and may need smelling salts.
Ambre et Vanille opens with the kind of vanilla that smells unprocessed. It’s like licking a vanilla pod before it falls into the hands of the lets-make-cheap-copies scoundrels. This is like cold, rich butter. There’s no sugar, just a silky wood feel to it that smells both elegant and cool. It’s opening notes are framed by bitter citrus: oranges and limes. These are hard to distinguish, but they take off the rich edges, which in my opinion, stops this smelling too crème brulee in the first few minutes.In the middle there are stately and sober flowers, namely iris and heliotrope, both doing their job quietly. The vanilla, however, really lets go on the dance floor and sweeps everything under its warm, smoky broom with a touch of robust patchouli. The amber is there, but is never as dominant as this glorious vanilla with its edges tinged in cinamon and tonka. It is saved by a lack of syrup, yet keeps its warmth. This is a gourmand for the anti gourmand i.e yours truly.
Remarkably, this was first created in 1935. I doubt very much that we are smelling the original formula post IFRA regulations, but this is a beautifully blended vanilla scent that bears no resemblance to the synthetics that are so over-used on today’s saturated beauty counters.
E Coudray has been creating fragrance since 1822, despite several changes of hands. Their classic scents and ornate glass bottles deserve to be on every dressing table, namely mine.
You can buy E Coudray Ambre et Vanille from Escentual, Amazon.UK or House of Fraser. I find prices are reasonable at around £60 for a big 100ml bottle. Sample is my own, as is my opinion. I can’t actually remember where the sample came from, so if I have forgotten to say thank you, please forgive me.