is a solid incense with its roots in the Middle East, its fragrance associated with ancient wisdom, love & abundance and sensuality. Amber is a compound fragrance, meaning it is made up of a mix of ingredients. It is not the same as the semi-precious gem Amber (fossilized tree resin) or Ambergris, a perfume ingredient made from the sperm whale. Amber scent is described as warm, musky, rich and honey-like, oriental and earthy.
Throughout history, the fragrant resins of desert plants were prized as both religious offerings and luxury perfumes. The ancient Egyptians elevated perfumery to an art form, with compound incenses like the famous Kyphi. These solid perfumes were rolled into cakes, dried, and burned over coals. Today, the finest Amber resins come from India.
Recipes for Amber are varied, and many have been passed down through families for generations. Amber is usually described as warm, sweet, and a little spicy. Benzoin and Vanilla form the base notes of most Ambers. (Sometimes Tonka Bean is substituted for the Vanilla.) Labdanum—a sticky resin from a flower called “Rock-Rose” or “Rose of Sharon”—gives Amber its woody, musky character.
Different perfumers will adjust these three components to produce very different ambers.
Tunisian Amber is a spicy, Oriental-style fragrance. Extra notes like Sandalwood, Patchouli, Vetiver, Lemongrass, Musk, Bergamot, and Rose may be added in solid or essential oil form. There really is no limit to the variations on Amber!
Another one is the Egyptian Amber, which is generally sweet and musky.
To make the solid perfume, the aromatic ingredients of Amber are ground up and blended into a soft carrier ingredient. Beeswax is traditional for this purpose. There are also vegan Ambers based on coconut or jojoba oil. The solid Amber resin is quite expensive, but only a small amount is needed to savour its delicious fragrance.
Because Amber is a blend of fragrances, there is really no such thing as “Amber Essence” or “Amber essential oil.” Amber may contain essential oil, but it is not available as a single-ingredient essential oil. (Unless you are talking about true Ambergris, or distilled fossilized Amber, both of which are extremely rare.) Rather, Amber is always a blended oil. Amber perfume oils mimic the complex fragrance of Amber resin by blending the essences of each ingredient—usually, Benzoin, Vanilla, and Labdanum, with accents of Citrus, Woods, florals, or spice.
To enjoy Amber as the ancients did, obtain some of the solid resin and incense charcoal. Once the charcoal is hot, crumble or scape a tiny bit of the resin onto the coals. The waxy base will melt, releasing the divine aroma into the air.
Amber resin may also be used as a long-lasting personal perfume. Warm the resin to body temperature (using your hands) and rub on the pulse points. Being a solid perfume, Amber's volatile oils evaporate more slowly than a conventional perfume.
Of course, Amber aficionados have many other options for enjoying this timeless fragrance. Perfume oils, self-lighting incense, bath products, and scented candles are all convenient ways to get a dose of Amber goodness.
Magical properties of Amber
Because Amber is a diverse fragrance family, its magical uses are also broad and varied. Ambers may be broadly classified into light, medium, and dark varieties. The Amber fragrance is said to correspond to Venus and Earth/Fire. Amber has a very powerful energy that played a part in magical practices throughout history.
Gem Amber is fossilized tree resin (not sap) which has been appreciated for its colour and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, itis made into a variety of decorative objects. This tree resin is not present in Amber perfumes. However, wearing Amber perfume will compliment any piece of Amber resin jewellery.