What is meant with amber?

Amber fragrances are warm, rich, sunny, and ofter sensual fragrances.  
When amber is listed in perfumes, this can mean different scent profiles: 

amber accord, sunny & warm fragrances
ambergris (also known as ambra or grey amber)
• or synthetic alternatives like Ambroxan

Amber accord

With the right combinations, perfumers can create beautiful rich accords in perfumes, which give the creation warmth and depth, making it sensual an slightly creamy. A widely used combination, which we also call amber accord, is the rich blend of vanilla, benzoin, labdanum, and musk. Variations of this are also used, always resulting in this rich sunny feeling.


Ambergris (from the French ambre gris = gray amber) can arise in the intestines of a small part of the male sperm whales. It is a reaction to the sharp squid beaks that enter the intestines through the stomach. A kind of cholesterol-like substance is formed around this indigestible part to protect the soft tissue and this continues to grow.
By excretion (via the anus), the chunks end up in the sea, and they petrify under the influence of salt and the sun. Amber gris washes up on the beach as gray debris weighing up to several tens of kilos.

Because it is a rare find with high-quality properties, a high price is paid for this debris (beachcombers, pay attention!). Ambergris is also called 'floating gold' because of its high value.
For the perfume industry, the debris is pulverized to make an extract or tincture which can be used in perfumes.

Tanja Deurloo scent expert with fresh ambergrisIn 2013, an exceptional case occurred, a dead sperm whale washed up on Texel, an Island above Holland. This sperm whale had 83 kg (!) of ambergris in its intestines (an even bigger exception)  Annindriya's fragrance experts had the privilege of working with Ecomare to determine the quality and value of the ambergris and to guide sales. A once in a lifetime experience! 

Synthetic alternatives; Ambroxan

It is becoming increasingly rare for a perfumer to use natural ambergris. Due to the high prices of ambergris and the alarming decrease in the number of sperm whales, some very useful synthetic alternatives to ambergris have been developed. Ambroxan, Ambrox, Ambreine, and Grisalva are some trade names of these aroma chemicals.

How does it smell?
When talking about amber in a perfume context, you now know that it mainly refers to the total fragrance experience and often refers to amber accord: sunny, warm, full, sensual.
The real high-quality ambergris has a beautiful complex fragrance. With ambergris you hardly smell anything at the top, but all the more in the base: warm, salty, sensual, sweet, animalic, musky. Ambergris has a huge 'sillage' (staying power), by which we mean adhesion to the skin, so you can smell this ingredient for a long time.

Not to be confused with the stone amber
In perfume, amber does not mean amber, as in fossilized resin from ancient forests. The ston eamber is yellow, gold, orange, brown, or honey-colored and can be up to 50 million years old! Just like a stone carries little scent, that amber hardly smells.

Take a look around in this collection of amber scents, where amber plays an important role in all of the above descriptions.