What does the word amber mean?
Amber is a yellow to brown fossilized resin of plant origin, used in jewelry-making and prized for its natural luster and warm fragrance.
The name "amber" refers to both the fossil resin and the color associated with it. Its etymology has two roots. In Arabic, the word "anbar" meant "ambergris" and referred to a substance secreted by cachalots and used in perfumery. In Latin, the word "ambar", derived from the ancient Greek "ἤλεκτρον" (elektron), referred to both ambergris and fossil resin.
In the beginning...
Amber has a history that goes back thousands of years. Used since Antiquity, it has captivated mankind with its beauty and enigmatic nature. The first traces of amber exploitation date back to prehistoric times, when it was used to make ornaments and amulets. However, its appeal was not limited to decorative purposes. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed amber possessed medicinal and magical properties. Over time, amber became a precious and sought-after material, traded over long distances through the trade routes of antiquity. Today, amber continues to fascinate, whether as a prized gem in jewelry or as a precious olfactory note in perfumery. Its rich history and mysterious charm make it a natural treasure prized across time and culture.
Amber comes mainly from Baltic trees, where the fossilized resin was formed millions of years ago.
Today, it is also produced from a variety of sources, including plants and animals. Perfumers often use synthetic notes to create amber perfume, to reduce costs and ensure that the scent is coherent.
How is amber formed?
Amber cannot be cultivated, as it is the product of millions of years of processing tree resin. Trees in the Pinaceae family, such as pines and firs, produce resin to protect themselves from insects and injury. This resin can fall to the ground and fossilize over time, becoming amber. Most of the amber used in perfumery comes from the Baltic region, where the fossilized resin was formed some 40 million years ago.
In addition to the Baltic regions, amber is also produced in other parts of the world. The most important amber-producing regions are the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Canada, Romania and Myanmar. However, amber quality and quantity vary considerably from region to region.
Collecting amber is no easy task. Amber hunters have to search for pieces of fossilized amber hidden in river sediments or on beaches. Extraction is a delicate process that must be carried out with care to avoid breaking or damaging the precious pieces.
What do you know about amber in perfumery?
Amber has a warm, sensual olfactory profile, with woody, resinous and honeyed notes. Perfumers often use amber notes as a base note in fragrances to add depth and warmth. It is regularly combined with notes of vanilla, benzoin, incense, cistus, patchouli, sandalwood and musk to create scents that evoke luxury and sophistication. Amber is also used as a fixative in perfumes to help other notes last longer on the skin.
Natural amber is rare, so much so that its characteristic fragrance is often reproduced using synthetic molecules. The manufacture of synthetic amber molecules involves several steps. First, chemists study the chemical composition of natural amber and identify the key molecules responsible for its olfactory character. Next, they develop chemical synthesis methods to produce these molecules in the laboratory. This may involve the use of specific chemical reactions and purification techniques to obtain pure, stable molecules.
Although these synthetic molecules are not exactly identical to natural amber, they enable perfumers to play with the olfactory aspects of this raw material, offering greater creative freedom in fragrance formulation.
Amber adds depth and warmth to fragrances. It is often used as a base note in perfumes to create warm, sensual scents. Perfumers combine it with other ingredients such as vanilla, sandalwood and musk to create unique, sophisticated fragrances that evoke luxury and elegance.
In perfumery, amber is often associated with warm, spicy notes such as vanilla, cinnamon and ginger. It is also frequently combined with woody notes such as cedar and sandalwood, as well as musk to add depth and sensuality.
Amber is known for its soothing and calming properties, making it a popular stone in lithotherapy to combat stress and anxiety. As a reminder, lithotherapy is the use of crystals to improve well-being and energy balance. It is also used to relieve dental pain.
Popular amber perfumes
Over the years, amber has been used in a number of well-known perfumes. Some of the best amber perfumes for women and men are :
• Ambre by Réminiscence: this fragrance celebrates amber in all its splendor. It's a refined oriental fragrance, where amber is combined with woody and spicy notes. There are also touches of vanilla and benzoin, giving the fragrance added depth and softness. Ambre de Réminiscence evokes a bewitching, mysterious ambience, captivating the senses with its warmth and radiance.
• L'Eau d'Ambre by l'Artisan Parfumeur: its timeless composition combines amber with notes of vanilla, patchouli and musk. This unisex fragrance offers a subtle, elegant interpretation of amber. Eau d'Ambre is a warm, sensual fragrance that evokes nostalgia and a comforting ambience. It is appreciated for its sophistication and enveloping character.
• Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian is a rich and complex fragrance that exudes elegance and sensuality. It has a long-lasting presence and leaves a mesmerizing trail wherever it is worn. The combination of floral, woody, and amber notes creates a luxurious and alluring scent that is highly coveted by fragrance enthusiasts
• Ambre Narguilé by Hermès, launched in 2004, is a warm, enveloping, gourmand amber. It combines amber with benzoin and vanilla.
• 1 Million by Paco Rabanne is a signature amber scent by Paco Rabanne for men embodying excess, opulence and seduction. With a bottle shaped like a gold ingot, this perfume became an instant success, staying at the top of the sales charts for 5 years. Its composition oscillates between freshness, virility and sensuality, with notes of grapefruit, peppermint, cinnamon, rose, leather, amber, patchouli and white woods.
• L'Eau du Soir by Sisley is a luxurious, refined eau de parfum, harmoniously balancing fresh, floral and notes of amber. Its 18-carat gold bottle, adorned with a feminine sculpture, is emblematic. This timeless fragrance embodies elegance and leaves a captivating trail. It was the first fragrance created by Sisley, dedicated to the founder's wife.
• Ambre Sultan eau de parfum by Serge Lutens is a captivating olfactory voyage to Morocco, blending spices, incense and divine souk amber. This beautiful fragrance offers an intense, bewitching experience, with spicy, woody and gourmand notes that make it inimitable.
Other amber fragrances you will love are: Michael Kors Sexy Amber, Super Amber eau de parfum by Ellis Brooklyn, Dark Amber & Ginger Lily by Jo Malone London, White Amber eau de parfum by Creed, CK One Shock For Him eau de toilette by Calvin Klein, Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian and L’Ambre des Merveilles by Hermès.
Amber X Bon Parfumeur
Bon Parfumeur offers amber-based fragrances made in France, such as:
If the amber scent is your favorite, these perfumes are perfect for you. For more information on our fragrances, please visit our website or come and see us in store!