L'Occitane Ambre (2012): A Re-release which Smells of Corsica {New Perfume} {Perfume Short}

ambre_occitane_parfum.jpgLast year, we called attention to a new fragrance by L'Occitane en Provence called Immortelle de Corse created by an emerging talent. A limited-edition, it won positive attention but was soon (nearly) gone from the shelves, together with the collection in which it appeared, Voyage en Méditerranée...

Last time we asked, we were told that the collection was maybe discontinued, or maybe just on hiatus.

Well, talking of comebacks, there is one taking place right now, but it's rather complex. L'Occitane just re-released their fragrance called Ambre originally introduced in 2001. The suprise is to find the formula of Immortelle de Corse in it. There might be a couple of tweaks, but mostly, it's there (paper test). Now, the brand still hold stocks of Immortelle de Corse while all this is taking place, which they still peg as a limited-edition. They keep them hidden behind cupboard doors. Once Immortelle is gone for good, it seems Ambre is destined to take over.

That perfume, with its gourmand-transparent ambery accord, was just too good to let go of. In fact, I recently smelled the accord of Immortelle de Corse in a perfume by another brand - and I wished I remembered which one off the top of my head - but all I can recall at this point is that it is in a mainstream, prestige label.

Good perfumery accords never get lost in the ether, they are usually copied by canny colleagues and popularized. This is where perfumery is really a lot about pop culture, only with less vibrant colors. So L'Occitane must have thought in general that they were well too dumb not to do the same and bring it back under a new name since the Voyage collection is gone - or on hiatus.

The perfume industry is full of these sleights of hands.

Dear readers, the proof is always inside the bottle, not in the change of packaging or name.

Notes for Ambre: bergamot, freesia / labdanum, tonka bean / amber, vanilla, cedar wood.

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