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Ambush original Dana for women

Ambush original Dana for women
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Total people voted: 81
female 25- 25+
male 25- 25+

I have it: 63 I had it: 70 I want it: 46 My signature: 1

main accords
floral
aromatic
fresh spicy
citrus
white floral
powdery
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Ambush original by Dana is a Oriental Woody fragrance for women. Ambush original was launched in 1955. Top notes are lavender, heliotrope and bergamot; middle notes are orchid, jasmine and oakmoss;

Perfume rating: 3.90 out of 5 with 81 votes.

Perfume Pyramid

Top Notes
Lavender Heliotrope Bergamot

Middle Notes
Orchid Jasmine Oakmoss

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Longevity

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poor 1
 
weak 0
 
moderate 6
 
long lasting 3
 
very long lasting 1
 

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soft 2
 
moderate 6
 
heavy 5
 
enormous 4
 

This perfume reminds me of  
Canoe for Men
3 no yes

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Ambush original Fragrance Reviews

jtd
jtd

Ambush is a bit of a gender-fuck. It was a perfume for women, based on a perfume first designed for women but then marketed to men, Dana Canoe. Both were composed by perfumer Jean Carles.

Canoe was a fougère initially marketed to women. It turned out that Canoe fit the masculine barbershop style that was taking shape in the USA between the World Wars, so it was repurposed for men, who bought it in droves from 1932 to the present. There’s no record that it was reformulated at the time, just repackaged.

Canoe fits the classic American take on the fougère. It was launched at the end of the Depression and though it was initially produced in France, WW II brought production to the USA, where it became a huge success. It was herbal and floral like the classic fougère but less angular, more harmonious. It emphasized the musky-sweet side of the fougère formula with an oily-powdery quality and would come to define the barbershop sensibility. It became the definitive American fougère.

After the Depression and WW II, American gender lines were drawn in bold and the fougère landed squarely on the masculine side. It became masculinity coded in scent. Carles pulled off an interesting trick in designing Ambush as a women’s perfume. He took a men’s ‘grooming’ scent, touched it up with notes from women’s cosmetics, and called it feminine. Madison Avenue knew how to sell gender with an underlying threat of ridicule, so hygienic/grooming products were marketed with strong gender markers. Carles’s repurposing of the fougère for feminine use should have shown the gender line to be akin to the Emperor’s Clothes. But who in 1955 America would have been tactless enough to point this out?

Ambush’s compositional trick was a heliotrope accord. Heliotropin was a well know material and its vanillic-almond range of tones could be shifted one way and another depending on the context. It gave a matte quality to floral perfumes and a marzipan note to vanilla-orientals. It was also a common component of cosmetics at the time. In Ambush it gives a plasticene quality that fits both the sweet, musky base of the perfume and the aesthetics of the era. It lends Ambush a stiff, molded character appropriate to mid- century fashion and design style, leaving Ambush the furthest thing from a ‘skin scent’. No Jean Carles formula was ever simple and heliotrope is one note among many in Ambush, but it’s a pivotal component. It creates a distance between Ambush and Canoe at the same time that it harmonizes with the fougère accord. It marked the fougère as feminine.

The marketing for Ambush was centered on the suggestive name of the fragrance. It equated gender and sexuality, a largely unquestioned pairing in the mid-’50s. It phrased femininity as predatory heterosexuality. Men were objects to be stalked and taken down. The ads over the years riffed on images of coy women hiding behind palm fronds, peacock feathers, spider webs, etc. with copy such as, “A Romance in Every Bottle. Ambush…The Tender Trap.” and “Take Him Completely by Surprise.” Stereotype? Camp? Yes. There’s even a bit of homoeroticism. An ‘ambush’ implies deception. The unseen man of the ads is caught unawares, taken from behind as it were. Was the predator a woman in wearing Ambush or a man in Canoe? Which would he prefer?

Dana perfumes changed ownership more times than you can shake a stick at, leaving the lasting impression that Dana was a drug store brand pulled out for father’s/mother’s day-Christmas gift packs. The last bit of gender irony is that the company that currently owns Dana (but no longer produces Ambush) is Patriarch Partners, a company named and owned by a woman.

Jul
04
2016
Gigi The Fashionista
Gigi The Fashionista

Ambush is a fragrance my mother wore in the 60's a few times. She didn't care for it and thought it was too soft and "girly" at age 20. A girlfriend of mine in the UK wears this fragrance, the original vintage that is. She let me borrow it. After wearing it a whole day I decided to buy it for myself. I searched for a vintage on ebay. Heliotrope is the dominant floral note in this perfume and heliotrope is my favorite flower. This has the perfect harmony of heliotrope and lavender. It's very perfumy, old fashioned but absolutely beautiful. It's not too strong and as someone pointed out it has a resemblance to Old Spice for Men. This wears like Old Spice for Women. It has a soft floral delicacy and coziness. It smells so good and I use it to scent my pillows with and the air in my bedroom. It's also a suitable office friendly scent to wear to work in public. The oak moss becomes very prominent toward the dry down and yet it's not too woodsy. It's such a nice well balanced well behaved and lovely perfume. I haven't tried the reformulation and don't want to. This one is perfect.

Mar
24
2016
Bigsly
Bigsly

I found a vintage bottle, looks to be 1960s, and it reminds me of Early American Old Spice, actually (in the drydown). It's not exactly the same, certainly missing the strong spices, but otherwise isn't too far off. I'll likely keep my EAOS bottle so this one is likely to be moved out, but it has a little "bite" to it, along with depth, so don't think it's just a "baby powder scent."

Jun
02
2015
krmarich
krmarich

As a special treat for my sister, I was able to find a vintage bottle from circa 1966. Its rubber coated in hot pink and has fluorocarbon gas. I immediately remembered this as my sister played her Beatles and Dave Clark 5 records on the Hi Fi and danced around the living room with this liberally sprayed.

Its a little like Love's Baby Soft with a very youthful appeal. Several notes are missing from the above tree. It opens with BIG aldehydes, bergamot lemon, lavender and green notes. Then it turns very pink with geranium, rose, carnation, geranium, iris? and orchid. It closes perfectly with vanilla, musk oakmoss, patchouli, vetiver, heliotrope and soft sandalwood.

Indeed, you can tell it has the classic Dana accent. They had control of the market in the day. Tabu is what your mom would wear, Canoe for your dad, my gran wore 20 Carats and your little sister would wear Ambush.

Ambush is flirty and young. Its innocent, yet somehow sexy. You might expect a "go-go" dancer to wear this. Yes, before Nikki Manage, there was a youthful sexiness and it was Ambush! Its so diametrically opposed to the raspberry caramel "fruit-cholis" of today.

Sep
15
2014
ricepritchard
ricepritchard

Original Ambush was truly exquisite. It was re-formulated in the 1990s and sales dropped "through the floor". Instead of bringing back the original formula Dana simply stopped making all Ambush. Please, please Dana bring back the original Ambush! It was probably the best overall women's perfume ever made in the United States. A revival would be absolutely wonderful!

Aug
20
2014
Mayaroo
Mayaroo

My review is that I still have my little bottle,
Which I only put on in the winter and for
another one that I think is close is Hypnose by
Lancome.

Dec
23
2013
MeanSuga
MeanSuga

I do not know what it is about this combination that makes me feel butterflies in my tummy, and makes me totally giddy and happy.
It`s quite like falling in a new love for me, and always has been for... hmmm... I have to say 30+ years? Boy, that really dates me !
I had received miniature bottles of Ambush, Chantilly, and Anais Anais ( all still loves of mine ) as a gift when I was about 14 years old - and back then,I thought Ambush to be a grown up version of Loves Baby Soft and akin to Chantilly.
There seems to be so many twists in this juice... cool minty lavender combined with those florals and oakmoss , to me, is to die for !
Very retro, yet fresh, and nothing else like it that is being produced that I can find.
Yes, Canoe by Dana for Men is similar. But it does not have the punch.
It was always on my Christmas Wish List, and back in the middle `90`s, my mother presented me with a bottle.
To my horror, it was not the same scent, and I thought it had been from a bad batch.
When I went to exchange it for a 'fresh' bottle, I had found it had been reformulated.
I resorted to scouring through catalogs and clearance counters for testers and discounted bottles( the old days before internet online shopping ).
How can Dana call it Ambush without any of the former attributes?
I am awaiting the day that Dana reissues the Real Ambush.

Jul
14
2013
akeener
akeener

For a drugstore-chain scent, this one smelled surprisingly good - not a typical "cheap" perfume smell. Shame they changed the modern formula, since the original was quite nice.

Mar
07
2013
synergypsy
synergypsy

Ambush: Teased hair & Cleopatra eyes,innocence and hopefulness, a "grown-up" fragrance for young baby-boomer girls. A one-of-a-kind fragrance for a one-of-a-kind time.

It was a joyous fragrance in the original compliation. And probably started my love affair with a powdery dry-down with lingering jasmine. Pure romance.

Today I think it'd be a unisex fragrance IF one could find an original. Interestingly, for me, Zizanie for men(also re-popular at that time) WAS very similar. It, too underwent reformulation and is now a disappointment.

I've never found anything like Ambush; and probably it should remain frozen in time. Iconic.

Jan
31
2013
goughbar
goughbar

One of the smells of my adolescence. I also remember the wonderful Montag stationery that was scented with ambush; there was also a very faint sketch of a woman looking through a bush on the paper.

Dec
13
2012
Mooncatt
Mooncatt

I just got a mini-bottle of Canoe, and it does smell a lot like I remember my old Ambush, in the pink bottle, smelling, back in the 'sixties, when I was in High School.

Nov
14
2012
johngreenink
johngreenink

This was a perfume that my mother and her mother wore. I remember sniffing this as a child and thinking it was very magical. There is also something amazing about the packaging (the three-sectioned glass bottle is a classic design,) and the name itself has always fascinated me. I saw an ad from a 50's magazine that shows a gorgeous woman waiting behind a palm branch, the shadows of the thin leaves falling mysteriously over her face, waiting to 'abmush' the man that was coming along the path - really showed the animalistic side to the perfume more than I had thought of before.

I just bought a vintage bottle of this from a seller on ebay because I'd like to relive the memory, and I'm starting to collect vintage scents, and I know this is still held by many to be a classic.

Sep
28
2011
Lia875
Lia875

People who can't find this perfume-I'm a very nice person. i know where you can get an original! :D Iv'e never tried it before,but the way commenters describe and the bottle looks you need to check it out! go to perfumespot.com You can buy it there. To get free shipping you need to spend 79.00. So if you enjoy certain perfumes make sure you get the best deals. Compare them to ebay -lol.I hope this was usefull-for 12.00 and shipping 5dollars by itself, thts pretty good for a 7.75oz bottle. :D

Aug
24
2011
wickermon
wickermon

Don't be fooled. The new one smells nothing like the original. Such a shame - I wore it for years and can't seem to find anything else I like as much.

Aug
17
2011
christelucas
christelucas

The bottle shown looks like the bottle to the reinvented Ambush, which is nothing like Ambush.

Yes, one of the real Ambush bottles needs to show for this synopsis and review. Why mix with classis? Bring back classic and classy behavior will follow.

Jul
16
2011
madhatter1
madhatter1

In my youth, I liked this so much too!

Jun
09
2011
arlie27
arlie27

I would love to know if anyone can tell me if the original is still around. I wore this as a teenage in the '50's & '60s and loved it. A very nostolgic scent, but only if it is the orig. Anyone know???

Apr
29
2011
boardbat
boardbat

oh i love this scent. spicy, warm, woody. i want this again and have to find it. who didn't love this???

Jan
15
2011
Carla
Carla

My vintage perfume collection could not be complete until I found the original Dana Ambush. It had to be the spray in the pink poly-like rubenesque bottle with the gold tone cap and label. Well at last my search is over for this throw back to the 60's sentimental scent, as it arrived yesterday. The thrill of the first spritz was a blast of good memories. It overflowed with it's floral woody essence just as I remembered. Laced with lavender and just enough jasmine with a pop of orchid, but it's solely the musk that works this baby! When wearing this scent the soothing and casual qualities of the sweet yet some what powdery musk performs in full force that lingers on leaving you in a state of satisfaction. No case of anosmia in this blend of musk choices. Following close behind and wrapping up this composition is a pinch of patchouli which warms up the the ending phase to perfection. This nostalgic baby boomer favorite will forever and ever amen be one of my all time cherished treasures.

Mar
21
2010
guest_bobosyd
guest_bobosyd

Ambush underwent a change. I don't know why because the original Ambush smelled lovely. It's a scent from my childhood that I miss. I don't think Ambush is around anymore. I hope Dana brings back the *real* Ambush someday.

Mar
11
2010
soniamcalear
soniamcalear

THIS HAS BEEN AROUND FOREVER!!! Nice scent but I would never ware it again. It's along the lines of Ciara, that type of woodsy scent and this one is sweet too.

Feb
10
2010
guest_BRING BACK ORIGINAL AMBUSH
guest_BRING BACK ORIGINAL AMBUSH

WHY WAS IT TAKEN OFF THE SHELVES A FRIEND BOUGHT ME AN AMBUSH A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO IT'S NOT THE SAME AS THE ORIGINAL FROM THE SIXTIES, WHY WON'T THEY BRING IT BACK

Feb
10
2010
falovalo
falovalo

Soft and powdery. What a "lady" would wear. Not something typically sexy, but quietly flirty I think.

Apr
19
2009
guest_
guest_

Is the Ambush shown above exactly the same smell as the Ambush I started wearing in 1966 and wore for thirty years,or until you stopped making it. My son used to get it for me every Christmas, and was very dissapointed when it was discontinued. My daughter asked me,"How will I know how you smell now?" PLEASE I want my old Ambush back!!!!!!!!

Feb
24
2009
tessture
tessture

I used to love this as a child. It's soft and pretty, with a slightly dusty dry down similar to scents of this era.

Dec
14
2008
sjanira
sjanira

This one I got when I was maybe 10? I kinda forgot what it smelled like but remember using it so I must of liked it.

Oct
17
2008

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This page contains information, reviews, perfume notes, pictures, new ads, vintage posters and videos about Dana Ambush original fragrance but we do not warrant the accuracy of information. Trademarks and logos belong to respected companies and manufacturers and are used solely to identify products and companies. If you have more information about Dana Ambush original, you can expand it by adding a personal perfume review. Fragrantica has a unique user-driven classification system and you may classify Ambush original by Dana. Click on the appropriate options on the fragrance classification form below the perfume picture. Also, you can find links to 3rd party websites/Internet stores, but Fragrantica has no access or control over those websites. We do not make guarantees nor accept responsibility for what you might find as a result of these links, or for any future consequences including but not limited to money loss. User reviews of Ambush original by Dana represent the views of the credited authors alone and do not reflect Fragrantica's views.

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