For the next few weeks, I will be reviewing upscale scents that feature an "amber" note. Before I do, however, I would like to briefly discuss the use of this "note" in fragrance. It is a fallacy. Truly. I know. You may be shocked, but extracting the actual scent of the gemstone would be akin to extracting blood from a turnip. Amber in its natural state is simply fossilized deposits of tree resins, much like stones. It is therefore next to impossible to extract any semblance of a scent from these beautiful products of nature. Conversely, amber in scent is a combination of notes that create a golden, honeyed, earthy and warm quality. Together they conspire to create a fragrance that smells like golden amber would smell. The idea is magnificent and I have always found myself drawn to amber fragrances, especially when summer turns to fall and I reach for warmer clothing - clothing that traps and magnifies the warm qualities of an amber fragrance. But alas. These gorgeous fragrances are created with an idea in mind rather than utilizing true amber. (Sorcery of Scent did a terrific job of discussing amber in fragrance this past July!)
I will discuss Fresh Mandarin Amber on Friday.