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April 12, 2007

Tom Ford Private Blend Amber Absolute : Perfume Review

Amber_2

I knew that Amber Absolute was going to be my favourite from Tom Ford’s Private Blend when, after sampling all twelve fragrances, it stood out in my mind. Returning to my samples again and again, I came to admire two fragrances above all--Amber Absolute and Oud Wood . While the latter is an interesting polished and transparent take on oud, the former is a voluptuous and resinous composition. One can almost feel the heft and the slightly rough texture of raw silk when smelling this dramatic amber. …

While amber commonly tends to refer to the semi-precious fossilized resin, in perfumery, the word refers to an abstraction of the complex odours of ambergris. Rich, animalic, warm and salty, this substance regurgitated by the sperm whale, has been sought after since antiquity for its unique scent. Given its scarcity and high price, amber accords have been devised using materials like labdanum, which approximate the fragrance of ambergris, particularly since purified labdanum contains ambrein, one of the materials that gives ambergris its scent. The classical amber accord in perfumery tends to be sweet and vanillic. The best examples I can offer include Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan, L’Artisan Parfumeur L’Eau d’Ambre and Annick Goutal Ambre candle .

In contrast to these sweet ambers that seem to be dripping with honey, Tom Ford Amber Absolute is a much more somber composition. Restrained by large dose of incense, the woody-ambery accord has an appealing dryness. The juxtaposition between the gothic aura of incense and the sensual sumptuousness of the animalic notes produces an interesting effect. As the composition develops, the salty warmth becomes pronounced, lending yet another twist to the resinous and rich Amber Absolute.

Tom Ford Private Blend Amber Absolute includes notes of amber, African incense, labdanum, rich woods, and vanilla bean. The Private Blend scents include Amber Absolute, Noir de Noir, Velvet Gardenia, Black Violet, Tobacco Vanille, Oud Wood, Purple Patchouli, Bois Rouge, Moss Breches, Tuscan Leather, Neroli Portofino and Japan Noir . They are currently available at Bergdorf Goodman.

Photo of silk from High Fashion Fabrics.

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