Tuesday, March 24, 2009
becker eshaya golden amber
Last week I suggested that b.e. golden amber is the D&G Light Blue of ambery scents. By this, I meant that b.e. golden amber is simple, easily worn and ultra pleasing. I was thinking about golden amber because my colleague, Susan, who is my current perfume-project, has been wearing the sample I gave her. It smelled absolutely wonderful on her. If I hadn’t known what it was, I would have been knocking on her office door, or trailing after her like Pepe Le Pew.
Fragrant amber has been on my mind. It was ironic that Brian posted about amber fragrances today (the post below this one). It seems true amber essential oil doesn’t exist; the amber scent in perfumery is typically a synthetic aroma chemical or an umbrella term used to describe several fragrances used together resulting in an “ambery” scent (e.x., labdanum, benzoin, tonka, ambergris, oppoponax). Fragrant amber is not the fossilized bronze-orange colored stone nor is it ambergris. Ambergris, by the way, comes from the lining of a sperm whale’s stomach which is said to smell horrendous at first but beautiful once dried.
I found the following, very basic, definition for fragrant amber from Wikipedia: “a large fragrance class featuring the sweet animalic scents of ambergris or labdanum, often combined with vanilla, flowers and woods. Can be enhanced by camphorous oils and incense resins.”
It seems, most likely, that there are natural elements to fragrant amber; one being labdanum, which is, indeed, a real essential oil. Labdanum (also called Cistus) is an essential oil from the rock rose shrub. Also ambergris (or the synthetic version of it) usually provides a salty quality.
The scent of amber varies fairly drastically; it can be sweet, pungent, musty, salty, spicy, woody, resinous, warm, animalic, balsamic and so on. To say that amber is a fragrant chameleon is an understatement, however, for me, one similarity amongst all ambery scents is that they are comforting. Amber is a staple in my perfume wardrobe and I have a big collection of scents falling under this scent category. My absolute favorite is Teo Cabanel Alahine, which is a stunningly sophisticated ambery scent with a dry, aldehydic Chanel-esque quality. Other ambers are more rugged and complex, paired with tobacco, woody and earthy elements, such as Parfum d’Empire’s Ambre Russe, Sonoma Scent Studio’s Ambre Noir and Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the uber-sweet ambers, such as Estee Lauder Amber Ylang Ylang or just about anything ambery from Bath & Body Works.
The beauty of becker eshaya golden amber is that it’s a middle of the road amber. It’s not very sweet nor is it especially earthy or challenging. I noticed when Susan was wearing golden amber that it’s pleasing yet stands out as something unique. When I smell golden amber on myself (close up) it starts off with mild citrus top notes then settles into a beautifully salty-sandy-floral amber with just the suggestion of a spicy woody side that allows the overall fragrance to stay dry.
To sum it up, I think becker eshaya golden amber is a gem. It is easy to love and easy to wear. It’s definitely not a sweet syrupy amber nor a deeply resinous, vanillic or woody amber. Golden amber is delicate and light yet manages to be a tenacious little critter. The addition of citrus and fruit notes are well done and while perhaps not something I would have imagined to blend well (pre-sniff), it totally works
golden amber notes: mandarin, bergamot, lychee, jasmine, golden amber, sandalwood, cashmere wood, patchouli and musk.