Initially, the volume on amber and vanilla are turned up to add gourmand richness to the cinnamon note, while the spices and soapy-powdery florals (jasmine, ylang-ylang and orris) hover in the background. (I have two sets of perfume notes; the latter, with its orange blossom and incense, seems more comprehensive.)
Top notes: Aldehydic notes, bergamot, peach, spicy notes; Heart notes:Cinnamon, ylang-ylang, clove, orris, jasmine; Base notes: Amber, patchouli, vanilla, vetiver (Haarman & Reimer)
Top notes: Spices, peach, cloves, bergamot, tangerine, orange blossom; Heart notes: Carnation, cinnamon, jasmine, ylang, rose; Base notes: Tolu balsam, sandalwood, amber, patchouli, benzoin, vanilla, vetiver, incense (from Fragrantica)
What's interesting about Cinnabar is that what you'd normally consider base notes (amber and vanilla) recede as the scent develops; it's as if the normal sequence of notes moves backwards. The indolic (ripe on the verge of going bad) florals (jasmine and ylang-ylang) combined with powdery orris and incense notes take over, drying down to a funky-fruity note of peach, the lingering note of bruised florals remaining steady throughout. An occasional waft of amber/vanilla returns in the dry down, but it becomes a mulling spice kind of floral, for the most part, as the scent disappears.
I didn't think Cinnabar was as symphonic and complex as it actually is the first time I smelled it. Perhaps this is because it's so expertly blended that the cinnamon shone through my first drive-by sniffing, and that's all I could focus on. It may not be as striking as Opium, which it's been unfavorably compared to, but I wouldn't hesitate to reach for this rich scent if I were in a decadent mood. Gorgeous...