Perfumed Alphabet: A is for Amber



A fantasy note, amber is—

That can mean many different things

To different people, despite its

Simple formula, comprising

Labdanum and some vanilla.

Or vanillin; not quite the same.

I once thought it was the color

That gave amber perfumes their name.


It’s not like salty ambergris,

Animalic yet subtle, smooth;

Nor like extract of ambrette seed,

The vegetal world’s “musk” that woos

With its rich, nutty, fuzzy smell.

It’s warm in a resinous way;

Powdery, a bit sharp as well—

As a base note, it tends to stay.






5 thoughts on “Perfumed Alphabet: A is for Amber

  1. I also like the idea. But since you clearly are doing it “for future readers,” do you think it might make sense to give in the end a couple of examples of perfumes with that note especially prominent – either a generally recognizable as such (e.g. SL Ambre Sultan), or widely popular (e.g., Sexy Amber by Michael Kors), or your personal favorites (e.g. ???).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, that’s a good idea! I really haven’t smelled nearly as many perfumes as I’ve heard of, so I’m not sure my attempt at that would take into account the range people are familiar with. There are already so many good resources for searching for perfumes by notes, especially Fragrantica and The Perfume Society websites. I’ve been going by ingredients I have in pure form (eg, essential oils), although I don’t have one for each letter.
      Not sure I have a favorite amber perfume, but Les Jeux sont Faits by Jovoy was quite interesting and grew on me after several wears of a sample. (Ambre Premier, also by Jovoy, was not my cup of tea at all.) Do you have a favorite amber?
      Perhaps I will open it up as a question to readers instead, and ask, “What are YOUR favorite perfumes with [this note]?”


      1. I have a LOT of favorite amber perfumes (if you’re curious, in my Past Reflections search for “NovAmber” – I did a couple of posts, I think, with Amber perfumes I wore during that month.

        To name a few, By Kilian Amber Oud, SL Ambre Sultan and Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche.

        Liked by 1 person

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