Did you know Estee Lauder had a couple of unisex fragrances these days? No? Me neither. But they do. In 2011 they released Wood Mystique, which has been generally well received by those in the know, and this year, they’re following it up with Amber Mystique, which is currently exclusively available in Harrods in the UK.
Both Wood and Amber Mystique are quite firmly targeted at a middle eastern audience, being deep rich fragrances, and both utilising oud wood in their compositions. I however, am a sucker for amber fragrances at all times, like on a cold day, when I want a hug in a bottle, I instinctively turn to Amber Sultan by Serge Lutens, which smells like a spice market, and I dragged my new husband all over Paris on our mini-moon back in February purely so I could track down a particular supermarket brand of amber-fraganced deodorant that I’m addicted to. Yes, I like amber. A lot.
And I do like this fragrance. It begins with a rose-oud combination, smelling slightly medicinal, and a tiny bit fruity, there’s a hint of blackcurrant leaves in the top, with their slightly herbal-soapy scent, then it’s rose and pink peppercorns adding a hint of flora and spice to the mix, and then in the drydown there’s a woody amber which is a little spiky, smelling more like pencil or cedar-wood shavings than the smooth, lacquered woods I think I was expecting from such an expensive entry from the Estee Lauder line. It’s not a criticism, more an acknowledgement that there actually is something a little unexpected in the heart of what could be a strictly middle-eastern-fragrance-by-numbers, if you were feeling a little cynical about the whole enterprise.
After spending a couple of years smelling a lot of niche fragrances, I don’t think this one from Estee Lauder is particularly original, but I do enjoy it’s deep, dark richness, and if you’re looking for something a little bit different to the recent releases from Estee Lauder (personally, I’ve found the recent rash of “Nude” fragrances to be rather underwhelming. Although, by “rather”, I do in fact mean “totally”), then this might totally be in your ballpark.
The Fine Print – PR Sample.