Serge Lutens : Ambre Sultan – guest review by Mario

The amber stone, not the accord.

The amber stone, not the accord. (click to enlarge)

Created by : Christopher Sheldrake

Date : 1993

Genre : Herbal amber

Concentration : eau de toilette

I was very happy that Normand asked me to review Ambre Sultan. It was my first experience with any Serge Lutens fragrance and I was very curious to experience this prestigious house.

After the spray, I was very disappointed with the smell of the fragrance, as it reminded me of a very old-fashioned snobby ambery concoction that a duchess might wear to the opera. Luckily, this first impression lasted only a few minutes before I got into the soul of this incredible fragrance.

Ambre Sultan is an amber in the rough, images of dust and soil went through my head. Although the amber accord and amber gems are two different things, AS is as far from the highly-polished gem of the same name as it can be! What I got from Ambre Sultan was much more the wood resin as it comes out of the tree… before it is polished by nature or by man into the gems used in jewellery today.

Ambre Sultan is very smoky and not unlike vetiver in that way. It is also herbal (it lists oregano as one of the main notes). It reminds one of dried oregano leaves. I was also surprised how natural this smoky-ambery fragrance smells… as to the smokiness and the herbs. If you like Sycomore, you will certainly be interested in this.

The amber is present throughout the day but I could not tell if I preferred the smoke or the amber as both gave me more pleasure than I expected. It was a long-lasting journey. At the end, the smoke dissipated to let a beautiful vanilla-amber impression that I stayed on my skin until I went to bed.

Leave a comment


  1. Tara

     /  September 18, 2013

    I need to try this again, I tried it very early in my niche perfume journey and didn’t care for it, it was too scratchy and dry. My amber tastes run more towards PdE Ambre Russe.

  2. The first time I smelt this I thought “Now this is a perfume”. Excellent juice.

  3. Ambre Sultan was my first full bottle from SL and I still like and wear it in winter. Two more favorite amber perfumes are Dior Mitzah and mentioned above PdE Ambre Russe.

    • Maybe there should be an amber revival! We’ve gone through an oud phase and before that, a transparent fruity/floral phase. Maybe it’s time to resurrect the amber genre!

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. Nice review I need to get out the sample of Ambre Sultan from my perfume stash that’s collecting dust in my closet.

  1. Laughs, Lemmings, Loves – Episode 35 | Undina's Looking Glass

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: