Amber – we all think we know what it is. The big question is, do we really? Amber oil perfume is a bit of a misunderstood fragrance; namely because many don’t really know what amber oil is, or what it smells like.
Now’s the time to change all that. It’s time to find out all about amber perfume; where it originates from, what it smells like, and which fragrances capitalise on its captivating scent.
A brief history of amber fragrance
So, let’s start with what amber actually is. Thanks to Jurassic Park, most people know that amber is an attractive orange-tinted stone (which comes in very handy for extracting prehistoric DNA).
But before amber solidifies, it’s actually a sticky resin, produced by trees. There are several different types of amber too, and they differ in appearance. The word comes from the Arabic word ‘anbar’ (which roughly translates as ‘grains’), and entered the English language in the 14th century.
However, the Brits were more concerned with what they called ‘ambergris’, or ‘grey amber’. This substance was something very different indeed – a waxy, solid lump found on beaches, which comes from a sperm whale.
From resin to amber oil fragrance?
Just how to perfume-makers create a scent from a solid resin? Well, quite simply, the amber is ground up, then mixed with a carrier ingredient. For solid perfumes, this might be something like beeswax. For modern scents, it’s more likely to be an oil of some sort.
Different forms of amber offer different aromas. For example, amber perfume that features Egyptian-sourced amber is often sweeter and muskier. Amber from Tunisia, on the other hand, offers a far more spicy, heady scent.
The thing that perfume-makers love most of all about amber, is that it works so well with many other ingredients. For example, when mixed with sandalwood and musk, it’s intoxicating and rich. Vetiver and citrus, on the other hand, liven it up considerably, making it punchier and more invigorating. Talk about versatile!
Amber scented perfume – modern versions
Amber – romance fragrance or intense and exciting? Well, how we perceive it today is largely thanks to its development in the 19th century.
At this time, perfume developers identified amber fragrance as its own olfactory genre. That means that, from then on, certain scents were defined as the ‘amber note’. These aromas are usually warm, exotic, and oriental in personality.
It’s important to be aware that sometimes, amber notes aren’t actually amber; but other ingredients. Likewise (just to add to the confusion), some products sound like they should be amber, but aren’t – like ambrette seed and ambergris. Whoever knew that amber perfume could get so baffling, eh?
Amber remains a much-prized ingredient to this day. Indeed, several of the world’s best-loved designer fragrances have amber as a base note, which adds depth, allure and mystery.
Which leads us to the next question – what does amber oil perfume really smell like, and which is the best amber perfume?
Amber perfume – is it right for you?
In all honesty, amber is one of those ingredients that you probably wouldn’t pick up on, if you were to sniff your favourite scent right now. There are some aromas that are immediately recognisable, like citrus, pepper, sandalwood or oud oil. Amber, by contrast, is more used to add exoticism and richness.
It’s usually a base note, which means it tends to ‘support’ the other ingredients, giving them roundness and added dimension. Base notes often kick in a little later than the other notes, which means you’re more likely to become aware of the amber fragrance as the day goes on.
Is amber perfume right for you? In all probability, yes. Most people tend to like fragrances that have a bit of personality, and amber helps to provide it. Without these rich base notes, the perfume would smell quite flat and uninteresting, so it plays an important role in many scents.
There are so many bestselling fragrances out there that feature this luxury ingredient. So many in fact, that’s it’s difficult to know which one to select.
Before you get started, ask yourself the following:
- What other aromas are you drawn to? Some perfumes with amber will also feature fruity notes. Some are more floral in nature. Others are downright sultry, with exotic complementary ingredients like oud oil and sandalwood. If you’re not sure what scents you like best, it’s worthwhile testing a few out, to get a general idea.
- When do you want to wear it? Some scents are ideal for daytime wear. They’re fresh, energetic and dynamic. Others are more authoritative and powerful, which makes them well suited to the workplace. And of course, there are plenty of fragrances that are designed to be worn in the evening. Work out when you’ll be wearing your cologne, as this will dictate which one is right for you.
- What do others say? We always recommend reading reviews. Feedback from others is an invaluable way of getting real insight into what a fragrance smells like; not to mention how popular it is.
What’s the best amber perfume?
When it comes to amber oil perfume, you’re spoilt for choice. Here are just a few of our favourites.
- Costa Azzurra. Our version of Costa Azzurra features amber base notes, but combines them with surprising herby, spicy scents, such as juniper, cardamom and myrtle. It also uses seaweed, which is a really bold (not to mention unusual) choice. The result? A highly distinctive fragrance that is ideal for anyone seeking a signature scent.
- Black Orchid. Our homage to the popular Black Orchid is indulgent, rich and very sensual. The amber combines with patchouli, chocolate and sandalwood to create something super-sultry for evening wear, with notes of lotus and fruit to lift it slightly.
- Sauvage. Sauvage is another iconic scent that uses amber to great effect. It’s got some unusual notes in there too, such as caraway and coriander, which provide a hint of spice. Oak moss and vetiver add an ‘outdoorsy’ note, which is smoothed by the amber and musk.
Ultimately, the best way to decide which is the right fragrance for you is to put them to the test. Copycat Fragrances have a range of sample sizes available (5ml bottles), which provide enough applications to trial each amber-based fragrance in a variety of different scenarios. This gives you the opportunity to make an informed decision before you commit to purchase a full-sized bottle.
Disclaimer: all products mentioned above, along with their labelling, are a guide and should not be confused with the actual fragrance brand. Any name trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective designers or makers. Please note, these perfumes and candles are not to be confused with the originals, and we have no affiliation with any companies mentioned. Our interpretations of the fragrances and candles were created through chemical analysis and personal development, and their description is solely to give the customer an idea of the nature of the scent. It is not designed to mislead or confuse the customer in any way, and does not infringe on the manufacturer's or designer's name or trademark.