Prada L’Eau Ambrée is one of those quietly elegant perfumes that manages to please everyone while being unique, and also flying under the Latest Perfume Everyone Is Wearing radar. It’s categorised as an Oriental Floral, but I’d call it a warm skin scent. Yeah yeah, there are floral notes. And the spicy notes that are generally considered oriental notes. But they are truly a “L’Eau”, or, if you will, a water. This is no YSL Opium (which I love btw) nor is it an big floral. There are gentle fruit notes on the top that serve to soften and sweeten all the notes to come – the only floral note listed is rose, and well, I suppose I can pick out a drop of that, but I also get a hint of jasmine or maybe gardenia. But only a hint. Prada L’Eau Ambrée is more like a silky velvety musk with some sexy smoky notes. Not campfire smoke, more like a soft incense. That could be the patchouli, but again, no hippy patchouli oil here. There is definitely some vanilla which rounds everything out and just makes it yummy. It seems to melt into your skin and become part of you. It is very easy to wear – soft and sexy at the same time. I find just when I think it’s faded from my skin and I can’t smell it anymore, a whisper of perfume wafts from my skin. The mysterious coming and going of Prada L’Eau Ambrée is one of the addictive qualities of this perfume. If you are intrigued by the perfume thus far, I can almost guarantee you will love it.
And of course, there is the amber. It’s not the dry or powdery amber that I usually associate with an amber perfume. Not that I don’t like that scent – I love it, and I am a big fan of L’Artisan Parfumeur Ambre, although sometimes it is a little more amber than I want. Note- in perfume when you read amber, it is not the amber resin you see in jewellery, although that has been used as an incense type of product many years ago. The amber in perfume is thought to be a loose reference to the Arabic word “ambar”, meaning ambergris. Now amber is used mostly to describe warm, musky scents that may have rich or honeyed aspects, as well as those in the oriental fragrance category. It is an earthy scent and be a synthetic or created using natural resins, most often that resin is labdanum and/or benzoin. I’m not sure what Prada cooked up in their perfume labs to make amber smell so mouth watering, but it is quite amazing.
This is one that is definitely a must to try on skin, as it smells like amber soap on a paper blotter. Pro Tip: sampling perfume based solely on how it smells on a paper blotter is like buying food based only on how it smells. The most important part of the sensory experience is when it touches you, either by taste or the way it “cooks” on your skin. My most favourite description of this perfume, and the one that had me obsessed with trying and wanting it, comes from the wild and wonderful perfume writer & historian, Octavian Coifan. He is a European writer (check out his blog here) and even though things can be lost in translation when he writes, some things are simply poetic. Octavian said of Prada L’Eau Ambrée “It doesn’t smell [of] perfume, it smells like a human presence”. And I will leave it at that.
Prada L’Eau Ambrée is available at department stores and select beauty boutiques. In Canada Murale and Shoppers Drug Mart carry it as well. A 50ml bottle is around $95. If you are savvy, you may be able to find it online for less.