I by Costume National

Hi All, I by Costume National is not one of my new perfumes. It was given to me by the Australian Libertine Parfumerie crew as a Press Bottle a couple of years ago. Right now I’m thinking it’s particularly good for you Northern Hemisphere crew because it’s the type of cozy that will be perfect for your winter. TBH our summer has been so wet and cold this year I’m still wearing it. I know it’s the least important thing about a perfume but every time I wear this someone says I smell amazing or asks what it is. 

I by Costume National

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Saffron Thyme Bergamot
Heart: Labdanum Lavender Geranium
Base: Leather Ambroxan Cedar

Most amber rich fragrances are pretty interchangeable, especially if you aren’t a full on, head in a box of perfume constituents type.  Ambroxan is so ubiquitous these days too. So when I first heard Costume National had released another amber it didn’t tweak my interest at all. I even may have rolled my eyes in the seasonal masterclass with my mate Ainslie. Then the host spritzed some mouillettes and the world tipped slightly sideways. WOW!

A very different herbal opening, not particularly textured or tapestried but very different. i catches me off guard every time. Even though I’m expecting it. Also, the fragrance is quite animalic but not in a feral way. A clean, cared for pet kinda way. There’s a smoky, mass market corn chips accord and all these side hustles float over and through a rich vein of amber.

I doesn’t stay still but is in constant fragrant motion for the first hour out so till it calms. Then it’s ambrosian/labdanum/smoky woods till dry down fade. It”s not a BIG perfume but has excellent sillage and projection, right till the very end. Perfectly unisex and smells so good to me and many of the people around me.

Are you an amber lover? Favourites?
Portia xx



12 thoughts on “I by Costume National

  1. I’d say I love amber, especially my Prada Amber Pour Homme which is not your typical amber but rather a clean, soapy and barbershop-styled one. But I also enjoy fragrances like MFK Grand Soir, Monegal Ambra di Luna or Ormaie L’Ivree Bleue which are more rich and potent.


  2. Yes I love Amber! I make my own by adding a vanilla pod to Eden Botanicals labdanum essential oil.
    Right now I am really enjoying Au Couer du Desert and Lair du Desert Marocain…I consider these amber, at least on my skin. And Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods also registers as an Amber on my skin….for me I love it in the hot summer.


    • Hey Brigitte,
      Yes, agreed on all your ambers. They may have a bunch of bells & whistles but what remains after the fireworks is amber++.
      LOVE that you up the vanilla in your amber with the real thing. Basically tincturing in situ!
      Very cool.
      Portia xx


  3. I don’t think I’ve ever tried any Costume National perfumes on my skin, even though I came across the brand in a store a couple of times. I smelled them on paper, but since nothing grabbed my attention, and I don’t like their bottle, I usually skipped them to try something else.

    I think that I like amber perfumes. I say “think” because even though I have many of them, I noticed that unless I make a conscious effort (like when I did my month of amber perfumes – NovAmber), I don’t reach out to them that often. But to name a few, I love By Kilian Amber Oud, TF Amber Absolute, Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche, Ormonde Jayne Tolu, Dior Mitzah, SL Ambre Sultan and PdE Ambre Russe.


    • Hey Undina,
      So interesting that you don’t like the bottle. It’s one of the reasons I was originally drawn to the brand. It’s really comfortable in my hand and I love its soft feminine curves. Reminds me a little of Zaha Hadid’s pebble bottle for Donna Karan.
      We snap on a lot of our amber loves too! Of your list only By Kilian Amber Oud and TF Amber Absolute aren’t in my collection.
      Portia xx


  4. My brother bought a bottle of the original Costume National after I gave him a sample, but it was so long ago I had completely forgotten about the brand! And all this talk of amber made me also remember Prada L’Eau Ambree, which is sadly discontinued now I think.


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