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.


lady jicky said...

it seems to me that Amber is "in"! So many perfumes with it at the moment.
I never was a "amber" person but , with age or is it menopause , I am loving amber and my fav is Annie Pliska.

Abigail said...

Hi Lady Jicky!

I have Anne Pliska but sadly it turns into orange sherbert on me. :-(

re: your comment about not having been an 'amber' person -- with age all our tastes evolve, right? Like a fine wine.... (or so I tell myself)

I'm not so sure amber is truly "in" or if Brian and I are just thinking about it a lot lately. Spring is around the corner so I'll be onto very different fragrances soon. (More likely I'll do as I do every year - I embrace the springy/summery fragrances until about July - then I start missing the heavier/more complex orientals and chypres of winter and can't wait for Fall to arrive!)

Tania said...

I like Golden Amber a lot. I think it's the not-too-sweetness of it, and the slight saltiness. You're right, it's special.

I also like Montale Blue Amber. I think it's sweeter, but it's very comforting. And SL Ambre Sultan is nice, too.

I think the first amber scent I loved was KL. I'd call that an orangey amber. I have a little of the parfum left, and I still like it, even though it's relatively unsophisticated.

Abigail said...


What's KL? I'm blanking. :->

Tania said...

It's Karl Lagerfeld. KL was released in 1982, and my bottle dates from then. Notes include:

orange spices, cinnamon
amber, vanilla, clove

It's basically warm and spicy, without being quite such a spice bomb as Opium.

ScentScelf said...

KL! My first love...back in the day...waaay before I ever fell down the perfume hole...oh, the pain of realizing now that I didn't necessarily have to throw it away by default just because it was a few years old...and the bottle was SO full (remember, I wasn't a perfume person when I got it; I just liked THAT one for the occasional occasion).

I'm glad you mentioned the notes, Tania. The clove helps explain the interesting sharp (but not unpleasant) aspect I remember in the oriental-ish mix.

Christie said...

I got a sample and absolutey love it...especially for fall. I will be getting a full bottle. Very pleasing scent, very soft.