Ambiance, from french 'ambient' meaning "surrounding, circling", means the environment or atmosphere. In French "ambiance" is also the arrangement of parts in art to support the main effect of the whole. Ambiance is also a common word used in art and architecture. It is quite often the purpose of certain art and architectural design to create a certain ambiance, in genres of art like conceptualism and expressionism it is its purpose to provoke certain thoughts and feelings through its use of form, colour, and style.
Ambiance is a fancy way of saying how something looks and feels, it's a simple word with a simple meaning but ambiance also has a certain ambiance to it. It seems that, to me, ambiance is often used to describe moods or experiences of comfort, maybe, and tranquility. If it had a colour it would be of a soft translucent turquoise green and if it was a time it would be in the early mornings. To me the word has developed a meaning of its own through the ways that I have perceived it. It's calm and light in feel but also possibly dark and deep in the way it looks. Like three in the morning on a dimly street light lit road or even during the beginning of a sunrise at six in the morning in studio when your soul is still sound asleep but your body is still awake and you're just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Ambiance is seemingly not often used to describe moods of anger, chaos, or great happyness, it is more feelings of calmity, foggyness, and soft sadness.
"ambience, n.". OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. 22 November 2012 <http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/6132?redirectedFrom=ambiance>.