Ambre Rayonner Demi-Absolute (Soivohle)

We picked up one excellent word — a word worth travelling to New Orleans to get; a nice limber, expressive, handy word — "lagniappe." It is the equivalent of the thirteenth roll in a "baker's dozen"... something thrown in, gratis, for good measure.
--Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi, 1886
Even as far from the mighty Mississippi as central Ohio, the custom of lagniappe is kept alive by Liz Zorn, who tucks lovely samples of brand-new or soon-to-debut fragrances into every shipped purchase. My last few orders have yielded such delightful extras as the sparkling Rose for Beacon Free and the profound Anubis. Now comes Ambre Rayonner (Radiant Amber), described by Liz on her blog as being lighter, brighter, and more floral than the "wintry" incense-heavy Amberene.

Several wearings in, and I'm already inclined to credit Ambre Rayonner with being one of the most unique ambers I've ever met. Thanks to infusions of lemon zest and ambrette alongside the usual resins and woods, it is less sweet and more lighthearted than Amberene, with an ozonic quality reminscent of Dior Dune. Linden blossom tickles the nose with an uplifting champagne-fizz effect; if this makes you think of aldehydes, so will a certain smoky/waxy character embedded in Ambre Rayonner's heart, evoking freshly-polished church pews sitting in floods of windowpane sunlight. Zorn tweaks this divine vision along with a touch of frankincense, included (she says) to prevent the fragrance from become "too dark or murky". As if!

Is Ambre Rayonner full-bottle-worthy? If I keep returning to the sample vial as often as I've been doing, there's definite peril of it becoming so. If I time it right, perhaps my lagniappe will be a sample of the "darker version... (a) sequel or part two" of Ambre Rayonner that Zorn has promised. Speed the day!

Scent Elements: Lemon, bergamot, mango, linden, plum, rose, Parma violet, angelica, guaiac, hiba, cinnamon, cardamom, pimiento, rosewood, balsam Tolu, balsam Peru, ambrette, benzoin, labdanum, tonka, frankincense, vanilla, musk