I guess I have to believe the cold is here as I spent this morning scraping ice off my car windshield. I try and convince myself it isn’t going to come only to be reminded of its inevitability by a morning layer of ice on my car. When the weather is getting me down it is also inevitable that I reach for my comfort scents. They are the perfume version of warm socks, a comfy sweater, and a roaring fire. One style of perfume which is one of my go-to places when I want this kind of solace are gourmand perfumes. The sweet quality with large quantities of vanilla have a way of soothing my iced over nerves. I recently received a sample of a new gourmand, Nicolai Ambre Cashmere Intense, which helped get me through this cold weekend.
If there is something for which founder and perfumer of Nicolai, Patricia de Nicolai, is becoming known for it is her amber perfumes. It is starting to become a recognizable part of many of her best creations. She has also taken to making “intense” versions with three of the last four including that as part of the name. For Ambre Cashmere Intense Mme de Nicolai wanted a perfume with a “long trail” and so the heart of this is a mixture of her amber accord, orris butter, and vanilla. Together they form the perfumed equivalent of a downy soft pillow suitable for hugging closely.
Patricia de Nicolai
Before we get to that heart we start with a bright citrus flare of lemon and mandarin which are contrasted with a pinch of black pepper. The spicy citrus is further spiced by some clove which provides the bridge to the orris butter. This is the powdery feel of orris with much of the rootiness attenuated. Amber provides a handoff from the sharper spiciness of the clove and black pepper to something more refined. The vanilla provides a completed tonal shift to the gourmand which is where Ambre Cashmere Intense spends most of its development. Benzoin and sandalwood provide the effect of lengthening the central accord providing the “long trail” as they elongate the sweetness while turning it woody and resinous in the very late moments.
Ambre Cashmere Intense has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
I think these kind of comfort fragrances are sometimes dismissed for being this olfactory version of a glass of warm milk. That sells the best of them short. Amber Cashmere Intense is a very good example because it forms a perfectly balanced softness in which the wearer can seek the comfort they are looking for.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Twisted Lily.
Header Photo via Fragrantica.