One Thousand Scents

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Cleaning Up: Prada Amber Pour Homme

That's the bottle for Prada Ambre Pour Homme up there. As you can see, it's a close variant of the women's Prada EDP, which I reviewed yesterday. The metal plate (you can read it in the larger picture if you squint) says

AMBER POUR HOMME: Résine de Labdanum de France, Feuilles de Patchouli d'Indonésie, Cardamom de Guatemala, Safran D'Espagne et Daim.

(That's labdanum, patchouli, cardamom, saffron, and suede.) According to the Prada people,

Prada pour Homme was composed over a rich, complex Amber trail (vanilla, tonka bean, ladanum, patchouli) softened by a Fern accord (geranium, vetiver, orange blossom, myrrh, nirvanolide musk) calling to mind the scent of shaving soap. A fresh ‘Cologne’ facet (bergamot, mandarin orange, neroli, cardamom) and a ‘Suede’ one (leather, saffron, sandalwood) bring extra depth.

But the list of notes and accords is neither here nor there. What does it smell like?

Really expensive, rich, creamy, lathery soap, that's what.

Not at first, and not quite forever. It opens with the expected citrus notes which are gone in a trice (well, a few minutes, anyway), revealing that expensive-soap smell. It's durable; there's nothing but the soap, as if you'd just washed your hands in a posh bathroom, for a good hour or more. Gradually the base notes come snaking up to overtake it. The amber is much, much more subtle than in the women's Prada; I'm surprised they call this an amber scent at all, because it isn't dominant or aggressive. The patchouli is likewise extremely subdued. What I get from the drydown is mostly a sweet, soft leather with traces of that costly soap on it.

Prada Ambre Pour Homme is...nice. It's attractive and well-made; if someone gave me a bottle I'd add it to my collection. There's just nothing really amazingly special about it. What I find baffling is that so many women disdain the original Prada scent (which I, being a slave to ambergris, love) while they simultaneously revere this pleasant but rather ordinary scent.


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