Thursday, 22 November 2018

COLONIA NINE by Ancienne Ambiance

Launching a fragrance range is a minefield in today’s market but life wasn’t any easier back in 2004 either. We were in the middle of the “celebrity culture” and everybody wanted to smell like his or her favourite pop star or film icon. Into the middle of this sequin and Lycra party came a company that was the exact opposite. Using the ancient world as its inspiration, and deliberately trying to offer their customers something that wasn’t on the high street, Ancienne Ambiance was launched. Fourteen years later, and with five beautiful fragrances in the collection, it is as successful as ever but Colonia Nine is particularly special.

Ancienne Ambiance was founded by Adriana Carlucci as an extension of her family’s involvement with ancient art and antiquities. Originally starting as a gallery range, the company expanded and became a brand in its own right. They developed a secure following early on thanks to their passion for quality and this eventually led to the opening of their flagship boutique in 2014. Located in the heart of London’s fashionable Chelsea, Ancienne Ambience continues to win awards for its products and for the last three years has been rewarded with the Editor’s Choice in the Beauty Shortlist Awards.

When it came to creating the fragrances for the company, Adriana decided to approach perfumers both in the United Kingdom and also in France so that she could curate a carefully constructed range. Even from the very beginning it was clear that there had to be a link between all of the fragranced products in the catalogue, both candles and perfumes. This meant that the home scents felt like an extension of the fragrances and so a consistent style could be experienced from the company’s range. Ancienne Ambiance has cleverly achieved this without sacrificing a feeling of newness in each of its products.

The fragrances definitely veer more towards the fruity and citrus style but don’t let that fool you into thinking that these are just fruity floral offerings. Within the range you have a classic hesperidic unisex cologne in Colonia Four, a mouthwatering grapefruit and blood orange pairing within Colonia Seven, and an addictively woody fig as the main focus of Colonia Eight. The range isn’t categorised into male or female, Adriana would rather you find your own style, but the blackcurrant and peach duo in Colonia Six does push the scent in a more feminine direction. However, Colonia Nine is a different story.

Imagine a leather armchair in a country house library, along with a glass of whisky resting on a mahogany table, and you’re heading in the right direction with Colonia Nine. It opens with a traditional bergamot but the tonka bean and patchouli are the next to show themselves. This almond-like earthiness is then pierced by traces of tuberose and jasmine but a campherous lavender manages to bring notes of tobacco to mind. The wonderfully dry cedarwood in here is mixed with a smooth sandalwood that, along with delicate touches of whiskied vanilla, completes a beautifully woody oriental.

Colonia Nine is available from the Ancienne Ambiance website at ancienneambiance.com and is priced at £80 for 100ml or as part of the discovery collection for £60. [Samples provided by Ancienne Ambiance]

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