If Ambre de Cabochard borrows its name partly from its great leather chypre predecessor Cabochard launched in 1959, olfactorily speaking it is probably its opposite in many respects. Where Cabochard evoked a sparkling dry white wine with still drier peppery accents, Ambre de Cabochard evokes an old-fashioned candy store redolent with realistic effluvia of candied fruits, sweets, and faint whiffs of molasses. Where the classic fragrance unambiguously evoked maturity, adulthood, and sophisticated womanhood, the new one plays out to our childish inclinations and mainstream quest for comfort......
Ambre de Cabochard was ambitiously billed as the first oriental ever created by Parfums Grès. To that it might be added that it plays the chord of the gourmand fragrance, often thought to be a safe one nowadays. The jus was composed by perfumers Jean-Claude Delville and Jean-Pierre Béthouart of Firmenich.
The scent is pleasant and well done in its own genre, sometimes even subtle, but as we said, conformist at the same time. Putting on Ambre de Cabochard is like opening a new-cool retro tin candy box full of amber-scented bonbons (a more unusual proposition than the fragrance itself) mixed with some tart sours flavored with berries and lemon. There are also a few milky caramels. The most grown-up aromas in the new perfume are a pleasant smoky edge to the amber allied with a certain faint pale yellow citrine-like transparent sensation reminiscent of the first Cabochard. But mostly the candied notes dominate. There is also a familiar hint of Shalimar in the dry-down. The longer dry-down deliciously wafts of powdery musk and sandalwood. Since it is an eau de toilette, the scent can be considered to be a light oriental, alluding to depth of sensation more than giving the full satisfying feel of a rich oriental.
In the end, one is left with the impression that Ambre de Cabochard is trying to appeal to young women who officially delight for some reason in candied fragrances. If it seems to follow somewhat the path of a Miss Dior Chérie, it lacks its distinctive personality. It is also akin in spirit to the new Nina by Nina Ricci with its toffee and fruit appeal. We now fear there might be a new section in perfume labs entitled “Regressive Fragrances” where all the classics will be adapted to this new goût du jour.
Top notes are berries, fruits, and spices. Heart is composed of amber. Base notes are Tonka, vanilla, and musk.
Image of perfume bottle is from The Moodie Report