Natural Amber in Perfumery

Did you know that Amber is an extremely rare natural substance produced by wales.

It is found by the luckiest on beaches and are used in perfumery and spiritual events for millenniums.


Just to make you feel comfortable…the use of amber does not promote animal cruelty, since the substance is  produced and naturally rejected by wales during some healing digestion process. If amber is collected directly from wales after fishing, it has a strong and really unpleasant scent (no need to describe it better 🙂 )

Grey amber can be found on New-Zealand, East India, Africa,Madagascar,  Brazil and Norway’s beaches after floating for a while on the sea.

An example of large quantity of grey amber found  was “the Bark Splendid of Dunedin”, found in New Zealand in 1883, its weight was 983 pounds and it was priced at $25,000!

Why is Amber so Expensive

The substance is extremely pricy due to its rarity and wonderful properties in perfumery.

Approximately 100 kg are used each year in perfumery, but more are used in medicine, homeopathic and in aphrodisiac pills.

Grey amber has a very strong and persistant scent and despite its price, amber is precious in perfumes compositions since it brings an harmony, stability (fixing agent) and elates other fragrances. These benefits are extremely difficult to  obtain with other natural or synthetic substances.

To produce grey amber extract, it needs to be mixed with 96% of alcohol, and to let it mature for 12 to 18 months. Afterwards it will only represent 3% of product. Therefore producing Amber extract represent large quantities of amber “sleeping” for 18 months (time is money).

What Mature Amber Smells Like

Amber has a mix of animal warscentsweet, slightly musky, with a note of ocean scent. It will vary according to the time spent floating and blending with the natural elements: sea, salt, air. 

What is the Amber’s History

The most famous legend is the Three Wise Men travelling with the most spiritual scents: Myrrh, Frankincense and Amber.


But in fact, amber has been used for longer by different cultures.

It was already an Imperial good since 1000 Africa. At the same period, Chinese were using grey amber and called it “Dragon’s Droll”, it was supposed to come from dragons sleeping in the ocean.

Grey amber was also well known by Egyptians who were using it as incense. At the 10th century Ibn Hawkal, an Arabian aventurer, traveler  and trader  was evaluating amber as valuable as gold or black slaves. He was mentioning its aphrodisiac properties.

No wonder why amber is still, nowadays  used in perfumery for seduction!

The most Famous Fragrances Containing Amber

L’Ambre des Merveilles from Hermes


It’s one of my favorites. It is definitely an oriental-vanilla fragrance ….sweet, amber. musky perfume reflecting an extremely feminine spirit.

Ambre Sultan from Serge Lutens

Ambre Sauvage from Annick Goutal

Allen from Thierry Mugler.

And many many others: Christian Dior, Tom Ford, Estee Lauder, Francois Coty, Chanel ….are using grey amber in their perfumes formulation.

I hope I inspired you for some very feminine gifts…or to indulge yourself in a cloud of beheading amber scent…for Christmas….or for any occasion….