Launched in 2011 by Nordic niche perfume house Agonist, Black Amber opened my heart to the houses’ Nordic sensibility - sea, forest, vast, dark, deep, clear, rich and hauntingly beautiful. Yep, it’s all in the bottle.
Black Amber opens dry and woody from labdanum and resinous from incense. Red seaweed gives it the scent of the sea and adds a green, herbal freshness. I love this salty/herbal note up against the labdanum and incense – it gives Black Amber a unique sea/forest character that I crave smelling again and again. Without any citrus note, the opening is dark and deep but not heavy as davana adds a light, sweet fruitiness. As it blooms, it gets even darker and earthier from vetiver, sweeter from tobacco flower and woody from cedarwood. There’s cypriol nagarmotha here too, boosting the woody/ earthiness aspect and adding a spiciness and a clean smokiness to the heart. At the base, patchouli keeps it dark and earthy while black amber sweetens it. There is a camphorous note, just here, from the patchouli that is heightened by styrax – those beautiful low tones - that sets me back on my heels every time I smell it, while vanilla and sandalwood smooth it all out.
The drydown is a deep, dark, rich and clear without being pungent, heavy or muddled. Black Amber is evocative of a forest at night, dark and deep. There is a whiff of clean salty sea air, a faint floral fragrance and a slightly sweet, spicy earthy richness that makes me want to stay in this place - a place I’ve never been and could never have imagined.
Notes: incense, thornbush flower, red seaweed, davana, labdanum, vetiver, tobacco flower, Incense, cedarwood, cypriol nagarmotha, patchouli, black amber, vanilla, styrax, sandalwood.
Parfumeur: Fabrice Pellegrin