Amber - Fragrance Notes
The classical amber in perfumery is a sweet, rich accord of labdanum and vanilla. In contrast to the marine and animalic ambergris, it is a pure fantasy accord like fougère or chypre, and despite the fact that its name evokes the fabled material, ambergris, it does not attempt to reproduce this animalic marine scent. Perfumery amber is so called, because the golden color of the blend resembles the semi-precious amber jewel. Sweet and voluptuous, perfumery amber is quite versatile, and whenever one encounters a fragrance named Amber or Ambre, it is likely to be a warm, vanilla and labdanum based blend.
Labdanum, a resinous material obtained from the Mediterranean species of rockrose (Cistus ladanifer or Cistus creticus,) smells rich, leathery, smoky and sweet. Its warm incense undertone lends it a dusky, somber quality, while the top notes reminiscent of freshly cut wood offer an interesting bright counterpoint. Although a beautiful and complex material, it is heavy and opaque, with a tendency to easily overwhelm other facets of the fragrance. Yet, rounded out with vanilla and other sweet woody notes, labdanum based accords become radiant and sensual. While it is not the only material around which to create an amber note, it is one of the most classical.