Sunday, October 17, 2010

Amber


The newest perfume on the building block is a gingered amber. It is complete, having been formulated two or three years ago. For whatever reason I have put off rebatching. Perhaps the reason may have something to do with the amber base used in the formulation. It's mine. I created it. A full 4 oz bottle of "amber accord" was created after months of trial and error, then stashed away to mature. Stashed so well, in fact, I only just found it again last night. It's that procrastination thing raising its head again . . .

Ambers are tricky little things. Nearly all the ambers sold on the market claiming to be 100% natural aren't. So we, the NBP's, are left formulating our own, twisting and folding the notes to suit our tastes or a particular formula. The basics of amber are simple ~ there must be labdanum, a bit of benzoin, and some vanilla. The rest is up to the individual perfumer to create something stunning. Rose is also quite common in ambers, as is clary sage absolute. Tonka, sandalwood, balsams and resins -- all contribute to amber's specific scent profile. Some daring NBP's add ambergris for a truer amber profile.

The amber I created 3 years ago is very simple, containing only six raw materials. When using this accord, I flesh it out a bit more, adding more materials to create a new amber accord, depending upon how the perfume the amber goes into is to be perceived.

It's easy and it's not. What would you put into your amber base?

Labdanum
Benzoin
Vanilla

~and~

Ambrette?
Patchouli?
Ambergris?
Clary Sage Absolute?
Rose Otto?
Orris?
Tonka?
Santal?
Spikenard?
Myrrh?
Frankincense?
Choyas?

Well, this list could go on for miles.

2 comments:

  1. I've been working on an amber accord lately. I have one with choya loban & a commiphora resin and another with tonka. I'm also trying out liquidamber.

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  2. How do they differ? Besides the obvious leathery aspects of choya loban. Liquidamber, in my opinion, makes a spicier version of amber -- something well worth exploring. Creating bases is fun, isn't it?

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