Amber Perfume – Guide to Best Amber Perfumes

Amber perfume is difficult for me.  There is so much I love about this note – its warmth, the husky voice it speaks with. It’s like Jane Russell in the years after Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and before she did Playtex 18-hour bra commercials.  Amber perfume also conjures up amber ghosts.  Let me explain.

In 2006 I wrote a post on amber perfume called  Show Me the Rat Money!” about my dad, the river of sin and its current that will always try to pull you under.  

Rat Money smell is what sin and whiskey and forbidden sex smells like. It´s the shady side of life, the smoky biker bar full of bad men that look irresistible, the part that nobody really wants to talk about too much because it is fun, and we all go there from time to time and hope we don´t get caught up in the Rat Money current and forget to find our way home. 

I don´t remember what the Rat Money really smelled like, but it´s my phrase for every smell that I identify with that something that makes you wriggle up your nose and look the other way while casting furtive backward glances trying to figure out what it is and if it´s as much fun as it looks like and hoping nobody will catch you sniffing ’round it…

 It is mixed in with the sweetness, the passion, the sorrow, the loss and regret. It meanders through all of our lives like cigarette smoke, clinging sometimes to what we wear, but never to who we are. My daddy understood that. He would play in the Rat Money World, but he never became part of it. He brought his Rat Money home to his wife and children.”

rat roulette amber perfume

Oh, go read the post, you’ll find out what Rat Roulette is, which I kept thinking was relegated to some bullshit ’70s carny game, but apparently it still gets played for a quarter a spin in the Midwest.   A Quarter?!  My dad would laugh if he heard that – not even worth putting his hand in his pocket.  

Amber opens time’s door, letting it find and haunt me, dragging my memories and loss with it.

I love amber.

I hate amber.  

You should also know – the fiercest amber perfumes last approximately 24-48 hours in a high wind with blinding rain.  It’s been a rough week all around between the amber and the technical crap challenges of moving the blog.

Insert all the normal rules here – Amber perfumes I chose were my definition of amber-centric. I don’t have all the amber-centric perfumes covered here, just the ones I can get my acquisitive little mitts on. 

 

Amber Perfume for people who want Casper Milquetoast amber 

Or basically a no-amber option. For an amber perfume Ambre di Venezia is a pretty little floral. A little sweet baby amber that refuses to see the world as it is, wrapped in a cocoon of coconut and vanilla.  Hey, that’s not a bad thing, just don’t let it try and convince you it’s an amber perfume by the name.  

Amber with Training Wheels

Now, this category has this proviso – just because these ambers have training wheels does NOT mean they aren’t great ambers or are dumbed-down ambers.  They are approachable amber perfumes that won’t be overwhelming.

Atelier Cologne Ambre Nue is amber perfection and winds up in my favorite ambers for people that don’t think they like amber category. It’s got such a delicate way of dealing with the amber without making it Casper Milquetoast amber. This should also be one of the first stops when you are looking at exploring amber perfume (MPG Ambre Precieux is also in the top three, but it’s down in the Pretty and Beloved category).

 i Profumi di Firenze Ambre del Nepal is the last of the amber perfume with training wheels troika. Plush while remaining infused with air, it’s amber that trills instead of plods. No easy feat with the spice and incense notes in this. You assume it will be a heavy oriental.  The beauty of this one as well is if you’re ever in Florence?  Stop in at the drugstore where they make it, off the  Piazza della Signoria, right next to that cute little overpriced restaurant I can never remember the name of, and you can pick up a bottle for like 20 euros, or a small size for about 9 euros.  Whoever does their distribution marks it up a bazillion percent to around $100 for the same thing.  So I call it a bargain – probably the best amber perfume bargain in existence – but you have to get someone to buy it in Firenze.  

Running into mainstream amber, Jo Malone Amber and Lavender is a take on amber that’s probably a little more about the lavender than the amber, and this could be a great thing if you aren’t entirely sure you want to commit to that much amber.  Not a favorite of mine, but I think it could find some fans that aren’t me.

 

Pretty and Beloved Amber Perfume

By Kilian Amber Oud – the husky earthy amber set over smooth as silk oud, amber’s siren song waving you into the port of sin, and you pull your silk curtain shut after a quick peek, left to your thoughts of your pampered and pedestrian life up to now and what it could be…        and decide.  

 magic mikes amber perfume

Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan – elegant amber full of honey and life’s sweet promise.  This has become the amber bellwether. You always expect it to be in the category below – fierce, war-like, strutting out in its amber britches and doing a couple of Magic Mike Moves. But no, it’s just honeyed amber warmth hugs and snugglies.  

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Ambre Precieux is probably one of the most referenced ambers when you ask for a list of favorite amber perfumes.  Woody smoked amber with a smooth vanilla patina, it deserves its position on the list of favorites.  It is beautifully balanced and is probably the first amber perfume I would tell someone new to amber or amber-averse to try.  It’s a great reference fragrance, and your amber perfume search could start and end with just this one scent.   Hermes L’Ambre des Merveilles is just so damn pretty!  Even the Merveilles-averse peeps find L’Ambre to be the one version that they don’t hate (Hi, Musette!)  Retaining that wonderful salty ambergris feel of the Merveilles line, it rolls in the amber and vanilla to make it richer, deeper. This is a so-not-rough amber.  Amber dressed up in a Dior ballgown.  

Il Profumo Ambre d’Or is a very pretty amber with amber, amber, more amber and then a little more. It’s pretty close to an amber soliflore – wait, you can’t be a soliflore if you’re amber. Well, it’s just mostly all amber. If you don’t want to spoil your amber with those messy other notes, just get this one.  If someone had handed me Jo Malone Amber & Patchouli and Jo Malone Amber & Lavender and told me the same company had made them, I would have laughed and told them to pull the other one.  I know the Amber & Patchouli is from the intense series, but it’s all oily darkness and smells a lot like a Donna Karan Labdanum. Oh, hey, that’s what I think it is!   Maybe not.  It fairly leaps out at you, and I think it’s much more oud’like than amber, but it goes in the Monster Amber category because it is a big, intense perfume that will eat the air space around you.

Mona di Orio Les Nombres d’Or Ambre is just beautiful. This is elevated above what amber normally is for me. This is amber’s redemption. It starts rough, spiky, spitting like a cat in a gunny sack, then settles into a warm amber content to live peacefully with the other notes.  Those who like their amber rough and strong, this most likely is not going to hit the top of your list.  If you like your amber to purr until you fall asleep all mentally wrapped ’round it, just go buy this and stop thinking about it.  Ormonde Jayne Tolu is a little more about the tolu, but enough about the amber that it gets a spot here.  The amber rolls through everything in this amber perfume, and it’s just this sensuous, undulating honeyed richness.  I always wish this were me and I could wear it because I love everything about it, but it’s just one step over the amber line.  

Word of warning – I wouldn’t wear Ormonde Jayne Tolu once the temperatures get above 65.  Well, there are a lot of ambers in this post that I wouldn’t wear, um, at all… outside of the privacy of my home where the only ones complaining are my family and the pets.  Well, and wouldn’t wear once it got above 32.  Amber perfume radiates.  If you love amber and wear it often at the office or for a hot date, just be aware that you may be unaware  (i.e. TFClueless) that you are gassing out your cubemates and the corner office or that guy/girl you’d like to bang later — get to know.  Amber Temperance, people!

 

Pretty and Beloved Amber Perfume on a wee’ish budget!

Okay, the Christmas bonus didn’t come in this year or the raise or the, um, job!  What’s a great amber that I can actually afford, you ask?  Dior Ambre Nuit – this never seemed to get much traction in the Dior exclusives. It’s a gorgeous amber, elegantly refined, not too sweet, moving either to the feminine or masculine, day or evening.  It’s amber’s version of the Little Brown Blouse, it goes with everything.  Now you may be laughing here and say, yeah, it’s about a buck a ml, but I don’t have $230 or $250 or whatever to get that great big bottle. Bottle splits and decants!   

BTW, my second attempt at doing a message board is what I think sent my last host over the edge.  So here’s what I’d suggest for those of you that kind of know each other on the posse and would like to do splits or swaps, just do it on the Posse Facebook page. It’s there, it’s still small, it’s just you guys, so abuse/use it as you like.  

dior dune - emily the strange

Hey, this should be our logo!!

Dior Dune is that freakish little early ’90s wonder that defies classification.  Luca Turin in Perfumes: The Guide described it –  

Bleakest Beauty in all of perfumery,” and “unsmiling from top to bottom… drained of life, flesh-toned in the creepy way of artificial limbs, not real ones. Marvelous.”  

And to that I say – exactly! There’s not an ounce of cheer in Dune or liveliness, and it isn’t pretending to be anything but the solemn-faced Emily the Strange.   Dry, realistic, strange, unapologetic.  

I’m throwing in a perfume that I don’t seem to have on hand because I remember it and really don’t need to smell it again, Boucheron Trouble.  Vanilla amber that is warm and soft and super-cheap at every discounter around and eBay.  Another great, inexpensive comforting amber is Barbara Bui. You can snag an ounce of this on eBay for about $27. Lots of love for it from March, Marina, Robin and many more.

Prada’s other amber perfume that falls on the affordable side of the line if you shop discounters or ebay, Prada L’eau Ambree.  Lighter, not difficult to wear. Amber on training wheels.  Not my favorite amber, but it’s a good mainstream introduction.    Also in this category are some that fit in others – Atelier Ambre Nue, i Profumi di Firenze Ambra del Nepal.  

Jean Patou Sublime seems to still be out there at a great price, so grab the perfume Luca Turin describes the drydown as “the sweetest, creamiest vanillic amber imaginable.”   And it is all of that, but I suspect you may have to hunt around for an older version to make sure you get the right juice, but I can’t help you on which bottle is what or if it’s been reformulated.

This one almost went in the training wheels category, but it’s got a unique angle and a great price point.  Tesori d’Oriente Ambra Indiana is an amber gently infused with TFA® (Tampax Fresh Accord). You know, it’s not horrible, not to my taste at all, but if you just don’t like amber being a little rough much of the time, this is an inexpensive amber that fits the “not really amber” amber bill. 

Anne Pliska is orange-aid and amber, and it’s cheap and cheerful, and people will stop you on the street to find out what you’re wearing.  There’s nothing but love for Anne Pliska here.

The Mongol Hordes are Coming! Amber Perfume

 Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe. This amber rolls in fueled by vodka and lust after a handful of Exstasy and Coke hit the pleasure palace center of the brain, and you settle in for the long night partying in Kiev.  As the morning light reveals the detritus of the night’s Pan-like revelry, you find yourself deep in conversation with a beautiful/handsome poet who talks about life and love as an art form, and the amber turns to beautiful glowing warmth, glad for human comfort and conversation.  If only you could find your clothes, car and dignity, this would have been a great night.

 I used to call Hermessence Ambre Narguile  “The Nazgul” because once you put it on, you couldn’t shake it for days.  It used the Eye of Sauron to track you.  Just when you thought you had showered it off, you’d hear that spine-fusing screech from a distance. It’s beautiful, honeyed perfection, with the lasting power of my old 1967 Chevy that finally had to be traded in because it was never, ever, ever going to stop running so I could have a new car. Dior Mitzah is pretty much an amber perfume.  I’m just including it briefly here because other people get a lot more amber out of it. It’s primarily patchouli on me.  Your experience will be whatever it is on that spectrum. I just can’t comment on the amber in it because I just don’t get it.  I assume I’m weird, though.

Tom Ford Amber Absolute – this is one where I’m phoning it in and using my youngest son’s review just so I don’t have to smell it again – “It feels like amber punched me in the nose, then shoved an amber beehive on my head!”  Or something like that.   All the fierceness of amber wrapped up in a slightly sick sweetness that pretty much horrifies me every time I smell it.  Not a fan, YMMV.  

Montale Aoud Ambre bangs you over the head with the aoud and slips you an amber roofie.  Listen, I found this review on Basenotes that I had to copy a snippet of because, you know what?  I think he’s got it!

 “this smells like hot sex…on the floor of a truck stop bathroom. When I smell this, I have visions of tangled legs and shiny sweat and crumpled paper towels strewn about the white tile floor.”  

There was a reference to urinal cakes as well, which I couldn’t quite place that note before, and you know what?  Yeah, urinal cakes!  We haven’t had a reference to “urinal cake accord” on the Posse in years.  To manage to do a mash-up of urinal cake smell and sex on a truckstop bathroom floor, I am humbled by the audaciously perverted vision in that review, and I think he should write for us.

Do I like Montale Aoud Ambre?  I have no idea.   Yeah, I think so! Once you get past the urinal cake accord, it’s really pretty great and probably one of my favorite Montale oud scents.

Pierre Montale really doesn’t exist? I feel so, um, duped!  Whenever I’ve gone in their shop, they refer to him as if he is in the back whipping up another four fragrances for next week. 

A perfume I have ignored for years, Aroma M Geisha Noire is dark, dark, dark amber. Dry, sensual, this is everything I thought Tom Ford Amber Absolute should have been and wasn’t.    If Montale Aoud Ambre is sex on a truckstop bathroom floor, Geisha Noire is clandestine, long overdue sex in the back of a Bentley on a cold winter evening, wrapped in fur.  Tauer L’Air du Desert Marocain is sex in a tent in the Sahara.  No, no, that didn’t happen!  I mean, I’m sure it has, but not on my watch. It would have been fun if it had.  Marocain is the smell of the fire, the desert, the Moroccan spiced food, wine – a spicy incensed amber with a very warm afterglow.  What?  It’s the Basenotes guy’s review that got this started, blame him/her.

Profumum has two fairly fierce ambers – Fiore d’Ambre and Ambra Aurea.  You would have to go a long ways to find two ambers from one line that are quite good, and Profumum has done that.  Fiore is warmer.  Aurea is a little sweeter on the open, more honeyed.  If it weren’t for my annoyance with Profumum’s huge price tag with perfumes in such plain bottles, I’d be a huge fan.  I am a huge fan of these two and several of their perfumes, but I get stuck on thinking their price point is just not right.  150-200 is the right spot for them, so they tend to keep sticking out like a bent nail that I have to keep hammering on.  Sorry, Profumum, your business, your choices. I’m just saying, spiff up the bottles to look a little more luxe or think about a different price point.  Your price and your bottle are arguing with each other.  

Sonoma Scent Studio Ambre Noir is another wicked strong amber, huffing out with incense and smoke.  It will make those who want their amber growling happy on the open and for a decent amount of time before it does eventually smooth out.  Really pretty, and probably the best price point in this category. Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche is a stealth amber monster. I don’t know why I should ever be surprised when Goutal puts out these kinds of scents, and they have a few – Sables, Eau de Fier, Songes (yes, just because it’s a creamy white floral doesn’t mean it isn’t BIG PERFUME), they do wicked powerful perfumes as well as anyone – better even.  Fetiche is leather, incense and amber, and it will stick with you through thick and thin, showers and salt scrubs, for days and weeks.  Lord, it is a bad houseguest on me that just won’t go home.  Most amber seems to cleave to me like a stalker.

Seriously Cray-Cray Amber Perfume 

By “seriously crazy” I mean whacky combinations of amber with other stuff that just works or misses, but keeps me entertained.   Parfumerie Generale L’Ombre Fauve is a wild, feral amber/patchouli bomb.  There are those of you reading this whose hearts will beat faster when you read that and others who will mark that off your list forever.  Best to choose before you sample it – this thing can’t tell time. You know, like time to wear off. 

While Parfumerie Generale L’Oiseau de Nuit may not technically be amber, it just has this unique blend of leather, resin and davana sweetness that makes it feel amber to me, and it is gorgeous and a little fierce, and it may be a good way to go for the Parfumerie Generale fan that isn’t in the mood for a feral amber/patchouli bomb.

Cartier Must de Cartier is probably one of the crazier amber perfumes.  Luca Turin said:  “Must is the perfume that brought into the world, in expensive liquid form, the full ugliness of the chocolates nobody wants. The basic accord of vanilla, flowers and galbanum is so indigestible that you could use it as an appetite suppressant.” I wouldn’t go that far! But it is weird and I’m never sure if I think that’s in a good way or the chocolate I don’t want spit back out on my plate that I’m staring at.  Without a doubt, Must de Cartier is the craziest Rat Money smell in this whole amber pack for me.  I’m not entirely certain the rat wouldn’t scurry back in the hole if it ran across Must de Cartier.

 AbdesSalaam Attar Chocolate Amber is the standout weird combination that completely works, despite the monumental odds that it shouldn’t.  Cocoa and vanilla amber, not a hint of sweetness to be found, despite the name.  That’s why it works.  It’s that delicious gourmet dessert you pop in your mouth that almost doesn’t feel sinful because it is full of flavor, not sugar, though the sugar is only hiding.  This was the biggest surprise in my amber samples – fell in love completely.

 Just to keep riffing on Parfumerie Generale, and because this one should have appeared in the vanilla post, but I think it’s as much an amber perfume as a vanilla, Parfumerie Generale Felanilla (stupid name). Hay, amber, vanilla, iris.  It is one seriously crazy combination that makes sense once you smell it.  Like Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – you know he’s as crazy as some of the craziest in there, despite the appearance of sanity.  A little metallic with the iris, blasts of warmed saffron, and bubbly vanilla/amber.  Works Crazy good.   Montale Blue Amber is the amber that shouldn’t be.  Amber is warm.  Blue Amber is icy cold amber.  How can that be a good thing?  My love/hate relationship with amber revolves around its warmth, its roughness, its musty quality, smelling of warm old closets.  Blue Amber just freaks me out, it’s not natural.  It’s weird, but I can’t quite stop trying to figure it out.

Laura Tonatto Amir is the amber that took me down into the Rat Money memory maze.  It’s an amazing amber, holding in tension the dark pull into excess of amber and the comfort of sitting safely on the shore and watching.  Kind of like a Peeping Tom Amber – never committing to lust, it just likes to watch.  But it’s not just that, it weaves a magic spell as it dries down, some bitter and elegant old world charm.  The elegant yet crazy cat lady in the big, scary house on the corner that used to do burlesque before she married The Heir.  I don’t know. I haven’t smelled Amir in years, and just one whiff, and I’m swirling in the mists of filtered time.  

What happened to Laura Tonatto anyway? She has had some great fragrances – E. Duse, Amir. She just doesn’t seem to have done a good distribution model to get her more out there. It’s a shame, there’s so much to love in that line.

Probably shouldn’t call it crazy, but something that will balance orange blossom and amber in the way it has done must have a little bit of nutso involved. Arquiste Infanta en Flor is still drifting in my head as I look at one angle and another.  It is remotely possible that this perfume may make a dignified crazy entry in every post from now on until I can sort out where she should go.

Dignified Amber Perfume 

 Farmacia SS. Annunciata Ambra Nera is the opposite of crazy. It’s one of those blended faces of amber that brings in all the best.  Eucalyptus, vetiver, amber. This is the amber of old books, secret places, daydreaming, lusty dreams and a tiger in heat or two.  Oops, did I mislabel this category? Sorry!  Don’t you think tigers should smell like amber? I know they don’t, but I just keep thinking that’s the smell that goes with them. Durga, tigers and amber.

Throwing in a great spicy vibe, Histoires de Parfum Ambre 114 is a light amber with some spices and herbs. This line never gets enough attention, and it has some great scents, and this is one of the best.  Beautifully done, this really is a dignified amber, carrying its beauty so lightly.  A fashion model with depth.    I did not get my hands on Ambrarem for this, but it appears to be an amber/saffron/oud blend that is well worth throwing in your amber pot.

L’Artisan is always dignified, even when they head off to the circus with the smell of elephant butts, peanuts and cotton candy.  L’Eau d’Ambre is no exception. It feels niche, with some great twists of patchouli, geranium and vanilla, but restraining the weirdness with a well-disguised straitjacket, letting amber run the show. No one in the crowd will ever guess the kink that runs just below the surface.  L’Artisan is such a beautiful line of perfumes.  When it’s been a while in between smelling them, they just make me smile and sigh as I love them more the longer we have been friends.  

Teo Cabanel Alahine is a rich, warm amber that could pretty much be the beginning and end of your amber search.  This is the amber perfume you pull out of your perfume closet like that favorite old sweater you’ve had for years because it is always right, never too much, never too little.  It’s the Goldilocks Pick.  If that favorite sweater doesn’t quite do it, grab your Kerosene Copper Skies.  It starts off pretty harsh, but just wait.  Erin put this on at MiN NY when we were at Sniffa, and I could tell she wasn’t that enamored, and I told her to just be patient.  About 15 minutes later she came back by going, “Oh, hey, I think I really like this, eh?”  The mix of clove and amber gives this a really addictive, familiar feel that’s like slipping back into the skin you didn’t realize you had slipped out of.

Chanel Coco (parfum) is a huge love for me, just an amazing ambery oriental that never gets old, I don’t care how many people ask me “Hey, what’s that old ’80s perfume you have on?”  Hey, Chanel Coco Noir. I’ve smelled Chanel Coco, Coco is a friend of mine, and you’re no Chanel Coco.  My favorite iteration of Chanel Coco is the pure parfum, it ropes in and binds some of the more flamboyant oriental BIG ’80’ness, holds all of that rich honeyed warmth close to you, gently wrapped in Chanel’s velvety softness.

Armani Ambre Soie – this release never got as much love as I thought it deserved. Dry, peppery tobacco amber. This part of the Prive line seems to have disappeared into Europe, not to visit our shores again, but this is one of two of that line that should be revived and sent back across the pond. It’s just one of the prettiest ambers that preserve all that amber is, but makes it incredibly wearable.

Prada Cuir Ambre was released in 2012.  Difficult to find and buy keeps this from being a hugely successful amber.  Leather laid over amber, there isn’t much here that would make either amber or leather lovers less than orgasmic.  

Some perfumes that didn’t make the post that probably should have and some we are mentioning twice –

M. Micallef Note Ambree, which I understand is a pretty skanky amber. I can’t find it actively being sold anywhere, so I couldn’t smell it again. I know I smelled it when we were in France a couple of years ago, but don’t have a good enough memory to comment beyond that, and I don’t want to send you on a wild goose chase for something you can’t get anymore. Yeah, I know, I’ve done it before, I’m trying to reform!

Ann’s favorites – Armani Prive Ambre Orient & Christian Dior Mitzah — Both of these gorgeous, loud and proud ambers bring patchouli to the table, and although the Armani seems a bit more complex and has a tad more going on in the drydown, they’re very similar and I adore them both. Mona di Orio Les Nombres d’Or Ambre — This luscious scent is more low-key than the two above: slightly floral, slightly smoky and just plain lovely. Bonus points because it reminds me somewhat of a Diptyque candle

Portia’s favorites – L’Eau d’Ambre. L’Artisan, Piment Brulant. L’Artisan, Ambre Russe. Parfum d’Empire, Jeke. Slumberhouse, Ambra del Nepal. I Profumi di Frienze, Ambre Narguile. Hermes, Twilight. SJP, Coco. Chanel, Halle. Halle Berry, Trouble. Boucheron, Tobacco & Tulle. SOIVOHLE, Let It Rock. Vivienne Westwood, Samsara. Guerlain, Mohur. Neela Vermeire Creations (I know it’s a rose but the dry down is pure amber.  

Anita – Mona’s Amber.  Yum.  Thought I hated amber.  Got hoist on my own petard with this one.  Got the Cuir and the Ambre from Surrender to Chance, thinking I would love the Cuir and  –actually I think I got the amber by mistake – I think I meant to order something else because I Hate Amber!  Anyhoo….. the cuir was surprisingly strident on me……the amber……whoa!   Sooo beautiful.  None of that ‘cat in a burlap bag’ for this gal!  It went on beautifully and stayed, completely obliterating the Amber Hate I’d built up, courtesy of the Nazgul.  The other amber  – actually the Gateway Amber – is courtesy of Missy March.  She sent me Memoire Liquide Ambre Ancien and I was all ‘ewww.  she sent me amber?  ewww’  Because, you know, I was an Amber Hater~  yah.  Well, I can’t count the number of times I reached for that lovely little bottle.  I foolishly swapped it away…wish I hadn’t.  Oh, well.  Tant pis and all that.  But it’s just lovely and reminded me of how beautiful amber can be.  

Okay, your turn!  Favorite amber?  Hate amber?  Love amber and can’t believe I’d slightly disrespect your beloved amber?  Have a personal experience with sex punctuated with urinal cake accord you want to share?  Drop a comment here or on Facebook Perfume Posse page to be entered!

Samples reviewed are provided from my personal collection and lent to me from Surrender to Chance.  Donation of the amber sample sets for giveaway is from Surrender to Chance.
245 Comments
Jim November 27, 2012

On the men's side, I recently bought Halston Amber Man which was released two years ago. I believe it's exclusive to Neiman Marcus and somewhat difficult to find, but it has a cult following. Very well done and the oud in it isn't overpowering - plays nicely with the myrrh and other notes. There's been a number of bottles reasonably priced on ebay lately - normally a 4.2 goes for $90, but I've seen them listed, unboxed, for $37.99.

Pat Weiser November 1, 2012

I'd love to try some of these amber blend fragrances. However I really like my amber straight up, so when the Renaissance Festival comes around, I stock up on my favorite amber perfume oil which clings to my clohtes, my hair and my skin. It doesn't blow anyone out of the water, yet it's deliciously ever present when someone comes close. Yum.

Martina October 31, 2012

One more for Madini Ambergris! It certainly is my favourite amber, despite our relationship being a bit... special. It's sweet, filling desserts mingled with fire-smoky salt, and it's gorgeous - I just can't wear it more often than once a month. Day one is beautiful and yummy and everything I ever imagined perfume could do for a person, day two is choking on baklava. I'd say it qualifies as a cheap thrill, because my 1ml sample has lasted me for about 2 years now. Loved the post!

Chilloften October 29, 2012

I love Amber fragrances! Great article. I love Coco.

Linda October 29, 2012

OH....how I LOVE reading all these posts!!! Thank all of you for the great article and everyone who left a post!! I am too much of a novice to be able to name anything but what I can tell you is that I love amber straight up!! I would absolutely love to find some fragrances that I like with amber being the main note and at least with this article and all these posts maybe I can begin to figure it out!!

Ingeborg October 28, 2012

I love these posts! I think I have only tried the easier ambers, like Atelier Cologne Ambre Nue and just days ago a sample of L'Ambre des Merveilles. So there are so many more to sniff! I am hoping to find something easy to wear but with some sillage. L'Ambre des Merveilles is perhaps too sweet for frequent use. My gran used Must the Cartier, but I never grouped it as an amber, nor did I find it crazy.That perfume is just a bit too much for me, just like some typical 80s perfumes.

Isayah October 28, 2012

Lutens Ambre Sultan is my first perfume. I stll love it a lot. But Mona di Orio is doing a good job seducing me...

Sulin October 27, 2012

I am pretty much a perfume virgin, but I think the dark honeyed incense that amber brings to mind makes me want to try some of the above!

Harlan October 27, 2012

I used to hate ambers many years ago, but something seems to have clicked in the last couple of years. I am especially excited about the dark, smoky ambers where the lighter, sticky sweet or more floral takes tend to leave me cold still. Thanks for the draw!

Dubaiscents October 27, 2012

Thanks for another great guide post, I love them and Amber is one of my all time favorite notes so, this is especially interesting. Wow, I don't know if I could narrow down to my one favorite amber but, my top few would be Ambre Orient by Armani, Copper Skies by Kerosene, Amber Narguile by Hermes and Amber Sultan by SL. And I think Dior's Mitzah is much more amber than Ambre Nuit - I am surprised it is not this way on you, that is the fun of perfume though! And since it is never cold where I live I am sure I am blowing everyone away when I wear these, good thing I work from home :-)

Patty October 27, 2012

Wow, you got some completely different Blue Amber, or maybe it's perception. I didn't hate it, it just seemed weird.

Patty October 27, 2012

Dangit, my commenty thingie is misfiring! I replied to you, but it went to the bottom!

Patty October 27, 2012

Thank you! You know, The shape of the bottle is okay, I just wish they'd spiff it up a bit. No, I wish they'd bring the price down a bit. :) Oh, yeah, Dune is definitely the fragrance to wear when you are being all "I want to be left alone." I really liked the Omnias. They never seemed to get much traction, not sure why.

Patty October 26, 2012

amber AND incense, yum!!! yeah, it's the idea, and everyone seems to define it somewhat the same, and somewhat different. A little like incense, it just swoops in and scoops up a lot of resins into a big bag. Mazzolari is a line I think I've missed entirely!

Leila Ledbetter October 26, 2012

I loved your description of Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe so much that I posted it to Facebook. I got some hilarious comments back including: Person 1 - Sounds like this perfume might give you a bad headache Person 2 - Or a bad reputation.

Ivy October 26, 2012

I adore Ambre Narguile, it's one of the only really foody scents that I can get into. I made the mistake of getting my daughter hooked on it as well....I'd prefer she'd steal something less expensive!

Katrin October 26, 2012

Amber is one of my favorite notes in a perfume. I am drawn to cooler (un-vanilla) types of ambers, mixed with resins (e.g. Amber Oil by Herbal Alchemy). I am also fascinated by the more herbal Ambre Sultan (and it is on my wish list) but I find it a bit too bizarre to wear on an everyday basis. I must say however that my search for the perfect amber still continues (the list above contains many ambers I am not familiar with). I can see and smell it in my dreams. In the meanwhile I can recommend Anne Pliska (elegant while not pretentious, and it is not as heavy and sweet either). PS I was also puzzled by Montale's Blue Amber and did not know what to make of it. There was something disconcerting about this scent. The comment above suggests that it is due to its coolness. Perhaps. For me, it somehow is uninviting and simply lacks depth.

RuthF October 26, 2012

Thanks Patty, I was hoping you would do an Amber post. I love Ambre 114, Ambre Narguile, and the Mona di Orio one. Of coarse now I want to try them all so hopefully I win :) Many of these aren't available here in Sydney to try, so lucky for me Surrender to Chance exists!

Amer October 26, 2012

I just love amber. I mean LOOOOVE AMBER! I need it! My whole body craves for it. The more intense and dirty it gets the better it feels. Balmy incensy Labdanum ones, salty and yes, slightly urinous (not really the vanilla comfort-food but if nothing else is around then yes, I'll do them too). My craving for amber knows no limits. I was reading this article and every paragraph i was like "ok, yes, this is the ONE!", only to move on and repeat my self. I really wish I could stop, it would do my pocket some good (it is experiencing the fear of the void lately). I set up goals though. Right now I am focused on Ambre Russe... or Ambre Narguile... or... oh screw this, it ain't working

Andrea October 26, 2012

I love Dune, and it makes me feel that I must be walking on the wild side when I read your post!:-). I'm not exactly sure what amber smells like, so I'll definitely be adding some of these perfumes to my list. (Also, thank you for always being the blogger that says a bit of what we are all thinking, Felanilla indeed!). Thanks for entering me in the draw, it would be great to finally have an olfactory understanding of what amber is!

Cyndi October 25, 2012

I had Estee Lauder's Private Collection Amber & Ylang Ylang - but not the expensive bottle with the gems on the cap. Thought it was nice, although it has that Play-Doh characteristic to it. Comforting scent, but also a little smoky.

Cristine October 25, 2012

Oh, I do love a good amber. Although, I guess it's very much a matter of taste as to what's good and what isn't. For instance, I LOVE Tom Ford's Amber Absolute. I was seriously crushed when I learned it had been discontinued. Proof right there that one person's catnip is another's cat pee. In addition to AA, I also love Luctor & Emergo POTL. Great to my nose, as are a great many mentioned above. I would enjoy winning these samples, that's for sure!! Show me the Rat Money!!

Aysel October 25, 2012

I was just thinking about trying more amber perfumes last night after smelling Montale's Blue Amber and really liking it; to me, it is very sweet and warm with no hints of coolness whatsoever. I hated amber the first time I smelt it (Ambre Sultan) but eventually liked it enough to buy a 3.4 oz bottle of Obsession. Thanks for the giveaway Patty!

Ylva Spangberg October 25, 2012

Great post and wonderful to read all the comments! I love amber, and the huger, the better. Ambra di Fiori is one of my real favourites, and I'm very tempted to buy Profumums Ambra Aurea, too (and I like the bottles, sensibly square things that fits easily on the shelves). A bottle of Ambre Rusee is heading towards me in the mail. L'oiseau de nuit is more leather to my nose, but very cozy and comforting. LADMM is just out of this world, but I have a hard time thinking about it as an amber - to me it's actually a very cool scent, makes me think about clear skies. Dune I feel more respect than affection for, but sometimes I wear it to signal "I'm in a bad mood, don't come close". It's not a very inviting scent, is it ...? And I'd like to mention Omnia Profumos Amber, a light, cheerful amber - but I've only ever smelled it from a sample, why oh why do they have to make 125 ml bottles? (But perhaps I will buy a full bottle after all ... I'm sniffing it now and falling in love again). And so many other ambers to try - thanks again for the list, and for all the comments.

Teri October 25, 2012

Ooooh, I do love the ambers. Amber is the first thing I crave when the weather begins to chill and once the sweaters come out, it's all ambers and incenses for at least a month or so. I love and wear a lot of the ambers you reviewed. Amber is as much an 'idea' as it is a 'scent' and to my mind, anything that makes me feel warm, snuggly, and sexy-as-hell all at the same time is an amber. With so much variety, amber is never boring. Between the article and the comments, you've mentioned all of my favorites except one, Mazzolari's Ambra. One could argue that this is an amber more in name than in substance, but I have loved this one since my first sniff.

Jack Sullivan October 25, 2012

Another PdE, with some amber as a bit player after a kick-start featuring citrus and herbs: Iskander. Just tried it yesterday, it's lovely. And this one is more about the dignified monarch (drop the barbarian horde, get the heavy fur coat and the crown), so it's easier to wear.

ExtremeK October 25, 2012

And I am so with you on L'Ombre Fauvre and Felanilla. I love both of them. And I'm totally doing the Ambre Russe and MKK combination. I don't even need a double-dog dare. You'll be able to smell me when I do, I'm sure. ;-)

ExtremeK October 25, 2012

Patty, what a great post! Thanks for this. :-) I'm so happy that amber season is back -- I absolutely *love* ambers -- and the bigger the better for me. My collection includes full bottles of Ambre Russe (epically awesome), Ambre Sultan, and Amber Absolute -- my Holy Trinity. I also have Tabu (an oldie but goodie) and Sonoma Scent Studio's Winter Woods, which for me is as much about Laurie's amazing work with amber as it is about smoky woods. I don't know if you ever had the chance to try her original Amber but, my goodness, it was fabulous. I'm test driving Ambre 114 and Copper Skies and am really liking both of them. What about Ava Luxe's ambers? Do you have a favorite from that line?

Tai October 25, 2012

Laura Mercier Amber Vanille. I find it to be a nice warm comforting syrupy amber, definitely for the cooler months, and tenacious, as most ambers seem to be. It's a little stronger at the opening than I usually like, but I get a yen for it now and then. Can't find it anywhere online now. Was it discontinued (gasp)? I'm still pretty underdone when it comes to my familiarity with this note (experience is limited to the LM frag, the Hermes Merveilles line, which I heart, and the original Prada perfume, which I remember someone somewhere calling an amber-centric frag) so I'd be curious to hear what others think of it.

Margaret W October 25, 2012

Are there any non-super sweet ambers? The few on the list that I have tried always turned noxious on my skin.

Jeff B October 25, 2012

MPG's Ambre Precieux remains my top amber fragrance. I will have to re-try L'Air du Desert Marocain as I was not impressed my first sampling of it. Also, believe it or not, Avon's Tomorrow for Men is the best bang for the buck amber out there.

Gillian McNulty October 25, 2012

Other ambers are L'Occitane ambre, Brecourt Ambre Noir, Olympic Orchids Olympic Amber, and Les Nombre d'Or- ambre. Please enter me in the drawing! Thanks.

Elizabeth Watson October 25, 2012

I guess the giant hole in my collection must be reserved for amber, because the only one I own in this entire post is L'Air du Desert Marocain. And I love it madly! So maybe if I win this drawing, I'll finally figure out what amber is about. :-) Thanks!

laymusic October 25, 2012

It sounds like a really interesting sample to have. I'm fairly new to perfume, and I don't think I've tried anything yet. If I got it, I'd definitely go back to the review and go easy on the ones that are hard to scrub off.

Mary Ann DeVeto October 25, 2012

I am newly swept up into the world of perfume and am trying to control my compulsion to try EVERYTHING you guys review. This sample set would be quite the experience for me (and my sister who I share my spoils with). I have my fingers crossed!

Diana October 25, 2012

LOVED this. I'm fairly new to the perfume addiction and over the last year or so that I've had my nose to the bottle, amber has fast become one of my favorite notes. My current favorite is Histoires de Parfum Ambre 114 but this gives me so many more possibilities to explore. I feel like a kid in a candy store and am now armed with more names for my next sample order for STC! :-)

Elaine October 25, 2012

My 1st experience with amber - EL's Youth Dew Amber Nude - made me gag. I suppose it might have been because I tried it in really warm, humid weather, but it put me off amber for ages. (Un)fortunately, I have now fallen in love with Ambre Narguile, and am fighting off FB temptation...

Apryle October 25, 2012

This post - so wonderful I've archived it. I adore amber, strange girl amber - bad girl amber. Amber with maybe just a whisper of vanilla a sneeze of patchouli. A stolen cookie from your Gran's smuggled out in the waistband of your Wednesday Strawberry shortcake panties- Anne Pliska. Chance encounters, a broken heel, ' meet me one last time' amber: Red Dragon by Carnival Wax. I've come over all misty thinking of amber. Must revisit DUNE and pull up my Tom Waits playlist. Rat Money ? I miss my Dad.

Jill October 25, 2012

Wow what a cool post and a fabulous draw!!! I'm an amber noob, but for me appreciation of the amber accord seems to be coming with, ahem, age! Tried Must de Cartier when I was much too young and silly for something so strong (and I may yet be too young and silly for that type) but there are so many other variations on the theme now that would no doubt suit my taste better. I figure if I'm not into the current fad of cotton candy covered in gasoline sweetness, maybe amber is calling me!!!

Sapphire October 25, 2012

Looking forward to getting out Ambre Sultan and EL AYY (very snuggly vanilla amber once you get past the rather too-sweet opening. We have had a very prolonged warm spell so far (high 80s) here in Texas. Makes it hard to decide what to wear. But the temps drop tonight!

Barbara Dodge October 25, 2012

Amber Russe description is the exact scenario of a dream I have never forgotten. I've only tried the Lutens, Gutal and Chanel, but crazy cat lady who lives in the big (ware)house on the corner suits me a bit. Looking out at the fog on the river it seem it will soon be time for Amber again.

La Valene October 25, 2012

Got my fingers crossed for this drawing, amber is my favorite note. speaking of which, I took copious notes on your post, thanks for the extensive listing and vivid descriptions.

mrnybluesman October 25, 2012

Amber is a very nice "note" if done correctly. It is long lasting and can be very rich and elegant, or it can make you shrivel up your nose and irritate the perfume Gods in the next galaxy. Some of my favorites ate Histoire de Parfums Ambre 114 and Christian Dior Amber Nuit.

grace October 25, 2012

Amber scents are surely one of my favourite category and the one I own the most decants and bottles from. Most of my favourites have already been mentioned in the article, but in any case here is my top amber list: Anne Pliska Dior Ambre Nuit I Profumi di Firenze Ambra del Nepal L'Artisan Ambre Extreme Mona di Orio Ambre (the most sparkling amber ever!) Montale Blue Amber Ormonde Jayne Tolu Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan Tom Ford Amber Oud Voluspa Baltic Amber Not in my top, but I also enjoy Balmain Ambregris, Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche and many more.

farawayspices October 25, 2012

I do love the idea of a warm cozy amber to cuddle up with, and I have yet to find "the one". I guess you can say I'm on the prowl for an introvert amber formula that is warm and fuzzy and feline. Perhaps I will make my own one day!

Katie L October 25, 2012

I am convinced I must experience Mongol hordes and beehive head ambers. Thanks for this post!

Kallie October 25, 2012

I absolutely adore amber, it's my favorite note. My newest love is Ambra Di Luna by Ramon Monegal. Soft, warm with a touch of vanilla. A love. Other ambers I love are: Must De Cartier, Prada L'eau Ambree, and even Guess Original sometimes, which was a good mainstream release. I like Stella because of the amber. Just sampled Cinema again..and I like some of the scent..but there's something fizzy-green about it I don't like. Fizzy and creamy at the same time..doesn't work too much for me. I have much more appreciation for Coco after smelling Coco "Noir". Such a nice bottle..such a blah of a release. I would truly love to win these ambers as I haven't tried many listed! Thanks for the giveaway!

Christy C October 25, 2012

I haven't tried too many ambers yet, but OJ Tolu and By Kilian Amber Oud are fantastic! Definitely taking notes on this article!

Woodgirl October 25, 2012

I am just an old amber ho. I pretty much like them all. Right now I'm wearing Olympic Amber by Olympic Orchids, and it is a wonderful incensey amber. Prada L'eau Ambree is another favorite. Auric Blends Amber is so dirt cheap that I wear it to bed almost every night. Thanks for the draw.

AnneD October 25, 2012

Sorry I'm late to the party. I just had to add my faves. First I use to bathe in Must de Cartier. Still love it for a stroll down memory lane. Just have to brag that I am hoarding a bottle of Attrape and will wrap it and put it under the tree for me. Also, for the people in the cheap seats, try Bath and Body Works Sensual Amber. I use the lotion and it is something I always have to have in the fall. The only one I like from the BBW store. My alltime favorite amber though is Ambre Sultan. If you asked me if I liked amber, I would probably say "not particularly, I'm a vanilla girl".

Elena October 24, 2012

Prada l'eau ambree is one of my favorite TJMaxx purchases, and so right for autumn. I am rarely in the mood for sweet, but sometimes you just need something cozy. Crossing my fingers for this draw! And thanks for such a great list. I'm going to have to revisit Dune thinking amber, I don't own it, but like it... and I've never thought of amber before!

RusticDove October 24, 2012

What an amazing array of amber fragrances! It's a very favorite note of mine and my current go-to is BK Amber Oud, which was my birthday present this year. I tried Mitzah a couple of years ago and adored it, but I remember it more as a patchouli centered scent - another favorite note.

Pyramus October 24, 2012

CSP Vanille Ambre is charming and typically CSP-simple, just vanilla and amber with a bit of brine. It's great stuff if you like that Comptoir vanilla.

Ines October 24, 2012

I was already starting to wonder of Eau d'Ambre will make it to the list but I see I shouldn't have worried. :) It's a great list and I already have a list of things to try - I love amber so new ambers are always welcome. I still haven't gotten my hands on Ambre Narguile, I am really wondering what that one smells like (Nazgul?! - I'm bound to love anything with LotR association). ;)

Jennifer October 24, 2012

Ooh pick me, pick me! :D I really like amber, and this is the perfect time of year for it (thought where I am, it doesn't get cold enough - at least not for very long - for the really heavy stuff). I don't have a lot of amber-centric scents at the moment, but it's one of the many things I've wanted to explore. I have tried and like L'Air du Desert Marocain, Ambre Sultan, and Ambre des Merveilles. Other than those, though, I haven't tried most of the ambers in this post. I just went on a leather/tobacco sample binge.. I think I feel an amber one coming on.

RVB October 24, 2012

For sweeter Ambers I love Ambre Narguille and SSS Winter Woods but my favorite amber is the dry dusty spicy herbal amber of Andy Tauer's L'Air du Desert Marocain-absolute perfection!

Suzanne M. October 24, 2012

Terrific survey - thanks! I don't know many ambers but L' Air du Desert Marocain is one of my all time favorite perfumes (I will now always think of sex in a desert tent when I wear it!) and also love SSS Ambre Noir. Would be oh so happy to learn about others!

breathesgelatin October 24, 2012

I'm not much of an amber lover. But I'm open to trying. XD

Janice October 24, 2012

I need to try the Mona di Orio amber again. I also like Ormonde Jayne Tolu but nearly knocked myself out the first time I wore it—It was definitely over 65 degrees, and I applied a bit too liberally.

Dana October 24, 2012

Amber lover here, but only in the winter.I enjoy L'occitane's Amber and Prada's L'eau Ambree.Chanel's Coco is another favorite. Thanks for the great article and draw.

Melis October 24, 2012

I adore amber perfumes. Thanks for compiling such a comprehensive list, so many new to me things to sample. I own a FB of Ambre Soie. It's gorgeous. Ambre Sultan is very nice also. I find amber to be very comforting.

Jan Last October 24, 2012

Ambers, so far mine are Kenzo Jungle Elephant and Coco and an old Krazy Krizia, are perfect to spray on just for you, your snifter of Franjelico or Mandarin Napolean and the latest perfume book, or perhaps a perfumed mystery. This is one of those "my" perfume types.

Jackieb October 24, 2012

Wowsers! This is a post I will keep on hand...I love amber but find it confusing, because it is always interpreted so differently. You get the labdanum/vanilla type, to the dry ambergris, and all the floral in between. Love Ambre Fetiche, even panicked and bought a backup bottle just in case...Tragic I know. L'Air du Desert, drier but delicious. Sampled Mona's yesterday and it stuck with me till bedtime. Nice. Now all I have to do is work through your incredible list of lemming fodder. Thanks!

Tama October 23, 2012

I just love these big giant posts you do. Amber is hard for me. I love it, but if it isn't juuust right, Play-Doh. A perfume I thought was made for me, Tann Roka Aki, with patch, amber, cedar and vetiver, is seriously Play-Doh. I'm getting there, though, and have worn many of the training wheel and a few of the heartier ambers well. I think it just takes time and patience.

Illertissen October 23, 2012

What a great post! It's added several fragrances to my must-try list. Of all the ambers I own and love, Ambre Sultan's my favorite. I first smelled it way back when you were selling decants on Ebay; it was in a Serge Lutens sample pack. I was just beginning to explore perfume, and its here-I-AM assertiveness shocked me! But I kept slipping back for another sniff...

Saul October 23, 2012

I love these best of. please do more.

Austenfan October 23, 2012

I love amber. Favourites are: Ambre Sultan, Ambre Russe, Ambre Précieux, Ambre Fétiche and Ambre 114. The Hdp line has another fragrance, that is classified as a leather, ( an immortelle one) dries down to a gorgeous soft amber. It's the De Sade one, 1740. Highly recommended.

jirish October 23, 2012

Well my favorite is Ambre Russe, but it would be nice to have something a wee bit tamer so I can, you know, actually wear it in public. So I've been taking notes here.

Claudia D. October 23, 2012

I am CRAZY for amber, but would have a very difficult time choosing a favorite. Oh, well, I guess I'll just enter the draw and hope, hope, hope! :-)

LindaB October 23, 2012

LOVE amber - thank you for a very informative post! My favorites are Coco and L'Eau Ambree, although they'll only appear in Jan/Feb for me. Freezing temps for wearing amber for sure. Otherwise, they make me completely sick. Thanks and would love to be entered in the draw! So many to try!

mary October 23, 2012

Another wonderful list! I have always loved the smell of the cistus shrub, with its delicate flowers and amber smell, and grow one in the side yard so I can enjoy crushing a leaf every now and then. To me, amber is best when it's playing with the band, not out there in the lead. I think of BAL a Versailles and Shalimar as my main amber loves. The Huitieme Art Amber Cerulean sample I had from Lucky Scent last year drew a lot of compliments, and my spouse took it over. I enjoy the Donna Karan Labdanum, which was meant for layering. And I keep a little Song of India amber perfume cream in alittle carved stone hat, fir the fun of it. But please do include me in the draw, always love a chance to learn!

Caela October 23, 2012

I love amber- Ambre Fetiche was my introduction to the niche rabbit hole. Thank you for this list of so many new-to-me 'fumes to explore!

turquoisewater October 23, 2012

Mmmmm, yeah! Love me some amber! Amber Absolute is my most-favorite-est. Your son's description is hilarious and is exactly why I love it. And make that a smoldering beehive because it does have a dry incense to help temper all that sweet - well, at least for me... I so wanted to love Ambre Russe but for some weird reason I kept getting black tea from it, and it wouldn't step aside for the booziness. I like booze more than tea so I said 'no thank you.' When I first quested for amber I was shown and I bought Satellite Padparadcha, but it smells more of cedar and musk to me now than of amber. I own and adore L'Oiseau de Nuit because I am in love with labdanum. And yeah, Must de Cartier is strange - I always put the parfum on so tentatively, as in, hmmmm, how is this going to behave on me today... There are so many ambers you mention that I still need to try. Thank you for the list!

smy October 23, 2012

I generally am not a huge fan of amber - but you make some of these sound so amazing that I really want to try them! I have L'Artisan's L'Eau de Ambre in lotion - but when I wear it my partner gives me the dreaded "old lady" comment.

Francesca Belanger October 23, 2012

I haven't smelled most of those, but I do love Ambre Narguile, and I nearly fainted when I smelled the Mona at MiN last week. The scent strips I was so greedy with are still wafting in various places in my apartment.

Dionne October 23, 2012

I would have considered myself more in the "meh" camp for amber - don't hate it, but it's not a favorite either. There's some on that list above that fell into the Abyss of Nice for me. Howeveeeer, stick amber in with a little somethin'-somethin' else, like spices or incense or leather or smoke, and now you're talking. LADDM, Ambre Fétiche and Dune are loves, and Anné Pliska is on the TBS list.

Maureen October 23, 2012

I don't really know if I like amber or not... I am kind of new to this and was primarily a Chanel girl. I do love Coco in the fall & winter. I used to wear Dune and loved it but cannot remember it now. I remember trying Must de Cartier back, way back in my younger days and I think I thought it was too heavy or too much. I tried the Prada on a sniffer paper, and I still can faintly smell it 2 weeks later! I have mostly liked lighter scents, but get so annoyed because they do not last on my dry skin. I think that's why I love Coco so much...it is cozy gorgeous and it lasts! I would love to experiment to find out if I really do like other ambers. Thanks for the post and the generous draw.

Erin T October 23, 2012

Ha!! That bit about Copper Skies is right on: both the description and my voice, the "hey" and the "eh". So I admit it, I'm a total Canuck. Still enjoying the sample they kindly made me at MiN NY. (As well as my Lyric body cream, you generous soul. I dig, I dig. Did you get yours yet?) Joining others in saying that: a) I love this series of posts, and how comprehensive they are; and b) I had no idea that I liked amber as much as I apparently do. Love and own the Ambre Soie, and am always beyond delighted to see it mentioned: Christine Nagel is just a genius with amber, they're never too heavy with vanilla. Two of my other amber-y favorites from her are Mauboussin PF and Theorema. Also own and cherish the MPG, the Tauer, Dune and Sublime (distinctly original version).

Aparatchick October 23, 2012

Big love for amber here! PdE's Ambre Russe being my favorite, and when I read "wild, feral amber/patchouli bomb" I got all excited, so that'll tell you a bit about where I land on the Rat Money scale. ;-) I love this series of guides, Patty!

bookhouseshell October 23, 2012

Oh, so many frags, so little time!

Kathryn October 23, 2012

I think Hermes new L'Ambre des Merveilles by Jean Claude Ellena is pretty nice. Quiet, simple, maybe in the training wheels category. I got some crazy ambers, too, but for me this one is just right.

mals86 October 23, 2012

Not much of an amber 'fume fan myself - it's just kinda not my thing, so please DNEM, though I think it's wonderful of you to offer the draw! Alahine works for me because it is SO floral and complex and rich without being overwhelming. (Bonus: it smells great on the spouse.) And I like BK Amber Oud very much - it's so lightweight and silky, like a beautiful scarf.

LCT October 23, 2012

I haven't tried many ambers yet so I think it's too soon to declare a favorite. I have a sample of Blue Amber which I now have to go back and try based on your description! Thanks for the honking draw!

monkeytoe October 23, 2012

I have a couple of ambers I didn't see listed above: CB: IHP AmBrosius and Marc Jacobs Winter Amber. The AmBrosius is a wild ride up front that calms down to snuggly perfection. The MJ is a light, perhaps a bit too sweet, amber that I think you can pick up for a song.

Karin October 23, 2012

DNEM! DNEM! I'm in the HATE IT camp! Thank you for posting these so I can know to avoid them. ;-) The strangest thing, though. My HG of HGs is Attrape Coeur, which is said to be an amber!?!?!? HUH??? Perhaps Ambre 83 is the exception in my case? All I know is that every other perfume I've tried with amber in it hits me in the most negative way. It's a sweetness to the note that I just can't do...

Lynne Marie October 23, 2012

Oh my my, I have a big ( "big" as in perfume budget busting) love for amber. Ambre Sultan and Anna Pliska are always in rotation. AP is weird, you DO get asked what you're wearing, more so than any other perfume I wear. I discovered By Kilian Amber Oud a few weeks ago and couldn't keep my arm away from my nose for hours. I'm interested to try some of the fiercer ambers you mention, particularly Ambre Russe and Aoud Ambre. Copper Skies didn't really work on me - it started out well and then quickly drifted off into sorta nothingness. Every time I reread this post I add another perfume to my "must smell" list. You are wonderfully evil!!

Tara October 23, 2012

Amber has always scared me. It always seems like a note that smells great for the first 5 minutes then becomes plasticy or weirdly medicinal and then it clings for days. It's such a long term commitment! I do remember really liking AG Amber Fetiche and I love Tolu. At least, for me, Tolu doesn't last until next week! Please enter me in the drawing I would love to sample a wide range of ambers. Thanks Patti!

hd October 23, 2012

I'm a newbie (case in point: I tried Tolu for the first time in August...in DC) so this list sort of scares me. But I trust you, patty, to lead me through the rat stink, urinal cakes, amber, and all.

EchoCharlie October 23, 2012

I have only tried 2 of these..the Kilian Amber Oud and Ambre Russe..I find Ambre Russe to just be a soothing easy scent..so maybe that means Amber is mild on my skin?!...hmmm...something to ponder.

Louise October 23, 2012

Oooh, Amber! My favorite is discontinued ; ( thought I have back stock-Ambra Grisea by IDPF-a truly sweet, briny, raw and somehow sophisticated amber. And a cheapy runner-up-courtesy of Ms. Ida-Madini Ambar Gris. A super-deep, again briny amber, not for amateurs! Gorgeous alone, or layered.

Cynthia L October 23, 2012

Wow, that's a lot of amber! I love several of these, in particular the Teo Cabenel Alahine. Thanks for the draw!

Catherine October 23, 2012

HAHAHAHAHA!!! I positively adore amber though I realize it can be a loud and difficult accord and reading this post actually made me chuckle out loud. :D I'm very excited to have such a lovely list of ambers to go through, though you did mention some of my favorites. L'Air du Desert Marocain is probably my absolute favorite perfume of all time much less my favorite amber! And I LOVE Amber Absolute!! I think Brigit described it perfectly when she called it "All American" haha. Big fan of Amber Oud, Amber Narguile, Ambre 114, and Amber Noir and I'd like to add Tabac Aurea as well. Also, I've always thought of Organza Indecence to be an amber. Ava Luxe's Amber D'Or is pretty fantastic as well and unfortunately I don't think I've tried her one that's supposed to be a dupe of the Ambre del Nepal. I also obviously need to pull out my sample of Ambre Russe again. I think the booze scared me off the first time around lol.

KirstenMarie October 23, 2012

Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe....ah yes, autumn is here. This is the warm, cozy sweater of pefumes that hands you a drink for good toasty measure. Thanks so much for a fabulous read. This shift worker is going to go spritz some ambery comfort and head to bed...and won't have to spritz again tonight before work! ;o)

R_UN October 23, 2012

I love amber and hate AMBER too. Amber Malaise set in a couple of years ago. Maybe it's time to shake off the dust and try it out again...thanks for the reminder! (and the draw)

Zazie October 23, 2012

I love this series!!! (and thanks for the draw!) I am no amber expert: the note is wonderful, but it has the ability to take over everything else and amber-named or amber-based perfumes do not have much development and often end-up smelling similar to one another. That said, I love AT's L'air du desert marocain, and the iconic SL's ambre sultan. I also like BK's Ambre oud very much, though it makes me feel sad, I don't know why! Ambers are cozy, but they make me feel a bit melancholic - not a bad thing per se, sometime an introspective scent is just what one needs!

Helen October 23, 2012

Creed's Angelique Encens. Discontinued of course, but I have a few decants to last me. I hope.

Irina October 23, 2012

haven't had the opportunity to try many of the ambers mentioned, but I know and love Ambre Sultan and Prada's L'eau Ambree ( wich was my first tiny step towards the rabbit hole...) would love to win this draw

hongkongmom October 23, 2012

Whah!(Local Cantonese Chinese expression for absolute amazement) What an incredible toil with and incredible result. You have worked really hard and I hope you feel really good about it! Thank you for doing that for us Posse Peeps. So many ambers to still try and here I thought I pretty much knew enough!(guess I should know better). You are killing me softly with your song(s) Ambre Sultan, Ambre Fetiche, Sublime , Prada 3 mainly with a few others you have mentioned. Love love love ambers, except for your first category! Am lemming the Mona What about the beloved Attrape? So I am the opposite of you today..would love the easy way out...just carry on painting and have all those beauties arrive at my door and then and I will have the delight in being gifted the samples and go through getting to know them with your blog and reviews by my side:-)

Linn October 23, 2012

I love amber! Can never get enough! I love Armani Prive Ambre Orient which almost kills me at first blast, but once I get past the first 5 seconds, I'm good. (I never use this while going on public tranportation though, as I'm not sure my fellow riders would survive it.) Another favorite is HdP Ambre 114, which is just so soft and smells like my own skin. (Or what I'd want my skin to smell like if it wasn't accompanied by perfume, perfect base for anything else.) Plus, I've just recently started enjoying Jungle Elephant by Kenzo, or as my husband calls it: the cinnamon explosion.

Bluepinegrove October 23, 2012

I induced a coughing fit in my car-mate on the way to an out of town meeting in which I worried about my sillage all day. Wrong day to try my Ambre Nargille sample. I do love amber, though, even if I do get flashbacks to my essential-oil-wearing days. So many to try!

Alica October 23, 2012

I own Ambra de Nepal as the only amber perfume and would really like to test more. Thanks!

FearsMice October 23, 2012

Oooh, at last a Guide for me! I already love and wear some of the "easy" ambers on the list, like Anne Pliska, Barbara Bui, Sublime, Coco, and Ambre Sultan. Am looking forward to trying out some of the weirder, more difficult ones, too. Thanks for the great post!

Lisa D October 23, 2012

The Nazgul's definitely gonna getcha, and when it does, it's not gonna let you go. I mean, it's TENACIOUS. I can't really spritz it on - I have to spray it on a tissue, and then dab the tissue on my wrist. It's hard to believe this is a JCE creation. Lovely, in really small doses. Other favorites are Lutens Ambre Sultan, which I think achieves a smoothness that few others of his line ever do (though I love them nonetheless), AG Ambre Fetiche (thanks, Dinazad!), and yes! The PG L'Oiseau de Nuit may not be an amber, but it is fierce and beautiful.

Joy October 23, 2012

I just received a decant of Hermessence Ambre Narguile, and love it, thought there's no way I can afford it. I've rarely met an amber I didn't like--it's definitely my favorite note. At the moment, I'm madly in love with L'Air du Desert Marocain. There's something so mysterious about amber...it's very dreamlike. The bedtime scent I most frequently apply.

rosieA October 23, 2012

Amber frags seem to be the only ones that last on my scent-devouring skin. Thank you for such a great compilation. I must now lemming Geisha Noire...

Ninara Poll October 23, 2012

Dune! I never realized that it was an amber... I just remember how amazing it smelled to a young teenager back in the very late 80s/early 90s and wanting a bottle. (I still want a bottle, darn it!) Ditto for Coco. My first knowledgeable experience with amber was a roll-on bottle of Auric Blends Amber circa 2000/2001 -- big, sweet, and overwhelming. I actually thought I hated amber after experiencing that roll-on! (Same for their sandalwood -- I'm wondering if the early naughts were a bad time for Auric Blends, or if they just really aren't that good a brand) Since then I've learned that amber is a lovely scent and features in quite a few scents I love :) NP

reglisse October 23, 2012

I love amber. Yeah, I know. But it almost always works on my skin. My current favorite is the HdP Ambre 114, which is elegant and delicious.

rosiegreen October 23, 2012

Patty, thank you for a great post . I did not think I liked amber but you have two of my favorites on your list, OJ Tolu - absolute gorgeousness and Barbara Bui - perfect snuggling perfume. Now I just need to smell everything on your list.

nozknoz October 23, 2012

I'm surprised/humbled by how many of these I have not tried or not spent enough time with to form an opinion, so thanks for the draw. I recently bought Nobile 1947 Ambra Nobile after Gaia reviewed it on The Non-Blond. It's not too sweet or heavy and has some interesting accent notes. The basic difficulty with amber is that it often lacks evolution, and ends up getting on one's last nerve.

Suzy Q October 23, 2012

Hooray--thanks for testing the ambers. It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it! I was one of the posse readers egging you on because, after four years in this biz, amber is still elusive to me. A lovely Swapmaniac sent me some Ambre Sultan in the last swap and I knew I'd found "my" amber. Odd, though that Alahine and Ambre Nue, two other popular ambers, just smelled like medicine on me. Ambre 114: sheer perfection. Copper Skies: minty amber (yes, I know that's probably the cloves but I love what seems to be mint). Ambre Russe smells just "pleasant" to me--uh oh! I must be missing something. Tonight I'll dab some from the sample vial and reevaluate. Thanks for this marvelous guide. There are so many more ambers to try!

Eldarwen 22 October 23, 2012

The only amber dominant scents I have really tried is Chanel Coco in EDP form and M.Micllef Note Ambree. I wasn't thrilled with Coco because it smelled a little too dated for me. Usually Chanel's classics don't smell like they are from the '20's, they (should) smell timeless. Note Ambree only smelled alright to me but nothing impressive. I had ordered a bottle unsniffed a few years ago before I really got into decants. The bottle of Note Ambree is gorgeous and looks like it is hand painted. But I think Note Ambree was discontinued though. Aren't most orientals amber scents?

Musette October 23, 2012

(my best Jude Law impersonation): "Oh, Patty. How I've missed you!" xoxoxoA

Sherri Miller October 23, 2012

Oh, you've got to try Ambra di Luna by Ramon Monegal. Really gorgeous fragrance; it's very soft and even though the notes are very different it's similar in character to Alessandro. Big snuggle bunny fragrance!

Anita Lane October 23, 2012

Damn, Patti, now I don't know whether to take a cold shower or immerse myself in Ambre Russe and see what happens. I love amber and used to mix a little of the NOW amber oil into my favorite lotion to give everything a little amber undercurrent. I think you have all my favorites on the list except Rochas Absolu, which is an online cheapie amber blend in a cool space age type bottle. Perfect fall scent.

Nina Z October 23, 2012

Wow, you have done it again! Comprehensive AND funny. I, too, have ambivalent feelings about amber. I love Tolu (my most worn amber) and the Tauer. But number of the others are a little sickening, including the L'Artisan. Still, you've got me curious about a number I haven't tried, and I've been meaning to try the MPG for years.....

ElizabethC October 23, 2012

I love Geisha Noire! It goes angora sweater, comfort scent on me. Keep thinking that I have to buy a bottle soon. Not a fan of ambers that have that sharp, clean undertone - that's not what amber is about!

Lorinda October 23, 2012

Amber is not one my favorites, feels too sweet and heavy for most events I go to. However, am pretty keen to try the Amber Oud by Killain and some the Montales. And cuddle in a warm sweater, by the fire and a hot drink.

Ann October 23, 2012

Wow, Patty! Great list -- and who knew there were that many ambers around? I was nodding my head, muttering, "Yes, yes!" to so many of them that had slipped my mind. And I don't care what Mr. Turin says, I always have loved and still do love me some of that Must de Cartier, in all its variations (from parfum to EDP, EDT, Must II, etc.). Think I'll go raid my vintage stash now. Thanks!

Mindy October 22, 2012

I seriously need to put all my scents on a spread sheet. I know I've got an amber or two around here somewhere but I can't recall the names or where I've put them. Perhaps I wasn't too crazy about them and that's why I don't remember? Maybe senility? Anyway, I'd love to be included in the draw. Thanks.

Poodle October 22, 2012

I really can't say I've explored that many amber perfumes. I do enjoy L'air du Desert Marocain. I don't dislike amber I guess I just like some other notes more and have spent more sniff time on those. I know I have perfumes with amber in them but I don't have any that have amber as the starring role.

TaffyJ October 22, 2012

I used to think amber was not in my wheelhouse, but then I really love many of the perfumes on this list, even some of the ones listed as cray-cray. Definitely want to try Arquiste Infanta en Flor (ah, to be a Portuguese princess for a day.)