In Fiore Fumée d’Ambre

With its regal stature and repute, Fumée d’Ambre ($65) arrives in time for the change of autumn's leaves as you begin to stow away the summery citruses.  Heightened expectations here? As always, count on In Fiore to meet them with this warm, richly balanced solid perfume. It’s a perfect olfactory rendition showcasing the fleeting pleasures of ‘smoke.’

Rich accords of sublimely scented Labdanum and Vanilla open to a darkly resinous effect feeling sultry and exciting. The quality (with Beeswax and Jojoba Seed oils) is high. But, spicy the scent is not. The neat trick of Vetiver has a bold and vibrant presence, but refuses to stand in the way of Patchouli’s deepened resonance. Fumée d’Ambre is a hard one to categorize as most ambery scents tend to evolve into waves of voluptuous sweetness. In Fiore is smartly cautious to stay away from commercializing the scent with this and those nasally offensive hyper-sweet Vanilla notes the masses have come to covet.

My first reaction was that “this smells like a smoggy hot LA summer.” But, after a few more slathers of the creamy perfume, you’ll come quickly to appreciate the stirring and explicit composition, which trails mysteries of Vetiver into skin no matter how bundled up you are. The slight sheen of smoke is static, unyielding to the modernity of predictably composed scents that I know many of you have come to grow tired of. With In Fiore’s signature touches of earthiness and minerality amplified by a graceful structure, the pivot of the fragrance is a plush, polished one right down to its playful conspiracy to remain non-gourmand.

And, it’s not for just anyone. Just those of you who are quirky yet strong and despise anything contrived. Oh, and me, too.