The very word "amber" has an ancient, mysterious resonance and naturally attracts the attention towards essences that bear its name and the realm of amber perfumes has a distinct fascination for those interested in natural perfumery. "Amber" in perfumery has been used to refer to the fragrance of both ambergris and of amber from the fossilized resin, Pinus succinifera. Amber essences that we are are normally finding in the perfume world imitate ambergris, which Steffen Arctander has described as "rather subtle, reminiscent of seaweed, wood, moss with a peculiar sweet, yet very dry undertone of unequaled tenacity."
In the perfumer's imagination the fragrance of ambergris and the color and radiance of amber resin merge together to give rise to an "olfactory vision" of what "amber" should be like. There are many natural extracts and essential oils that can be used to create this olfactory vision-- Benzoin extracts, Styrax extracts, Sclareol (from Clary Sage), Poplar Bud Absolute/Essential Oil, Labdanum extracts, Seaweed Absolute, Honey Absolute, Oakmoss extracts, Ambrette Seed along with several others --and herein lies a wonderful realm of creative endeavor for all of us who love natural perfumery.
Having created an "amber" base which captures one's vision of what the essence might be-one can then proceed into the realm of "theme" amber perfumes which can have any number of themes; i.e. spicy, incense, floral , musk etc. It is very important to remember that aging is a key part of the perfume making process and one may not know the full impact of what one has done for 6 months or more and I feel this is particularly true when creating amber, fougere, chypre, or precious wood/roots bases.