|Picture: Amber Oud|
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolaï (c)
Amber Oud starts with a light animalic, almost barnyard like accord followed by lavender and herbal notes. Something in the mix, probably the interaction between some of the ingredients, smells almost as dry pineapple with hints of an also dry vanilla note. In this part Amber Oud strangely enough reminds me of an unsweet version of Sonia Rykiel Belle en Rykiel. The lavender cinnamon that is present in Amber Oud also reminds med of another Nicolaï, the bolder Maharadjah. As Amber Oud continues to develope in the heart, light spices and the amber emerges. The amber is of the herbal, not boozy or vanillic, variety, the same style of amber as in Maître Perfumeur et Gantier Ambre Precieux but softer. Parfums de Nicolaï Amber Oud should therefore not be compared to its namesake ByKilian Ambre Oud as the latter is of the amber-vanillic type. In Nicolaï Amber Oud there are also woody notes supporting the spices and one of them is oud which blends seamless with the other and add some dept to the woody part. This is just like the contribution of the oud in Mona di Orio Oud where the oud is so well integrated that I don't think of it as a oudfragrance, but as as a well balanced fragrance with woody notes. In the basenotes the animalic vibe from the start of Amber Oud returns but in this stage it is smoother, surrounded by balsamic and slight powdery notes, and later on a deeper, darker, slight boozy note which also is present in Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Ambre Doré (another fragrane on the amber-oud theme but less herbal despite it's heritage from Ambre Precieux) appears and is present until the last traces of Amber Oud, almost 24 h after application.
Despite Amber Ouds extensive notelist, the fragrance is overall minimalistic in apperance, it is comforting as in the same time casual chic. The fragrance developes step by step in a wellbehaved manner and it is classic in apperance and very wearable. Even if not smelling alike, I instinctively come to think of Guerlain Heritage but also Habit Rouge when it comes to the well mannered style of Amber Oud. As a wearer, one have to appreciate a developement "in the small" as Amber Oud is all about nuances, there is nothing bold or glaringly with it. Amber Oud is polite and proper in many situations and will not interfere for example in the workplace. Even if unisex I think this one is the most masculine of the two Nicolaï oud-launches.
Amber Oud is a good representative of the "second oud generation" fragrances where oud is one of the interacting and supporting notes and not the dominating note and theme of the fragrance as the "first
oud generation" like the Montales, Juliette Has a Gun Midnight Oud etc. Amber Oud is a fragrance with oud which I don't think of as an oud, to me it's an aromatic-spicy-balsamic fragrance.
Notes: Lavender, thyme, sage, artemisia, cinnamon, saffron, oud, cedar, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, tonka bean, styrax, musk, castoreum, amber.