The Personal, the Process, The Gathered
Before the advent of synthetic fragrances, there was only nature. Plants, animals, moss, shells, oils, nectar, waxes, and booze. The organic state of complex, mysterious, and magical miracles of earth. And of these organic materials, perfumes of all kinds were crafted.
In the lineage of perfumes that generated wider, more glamorous use and contributed to the future of what we now know as perfume classifications (or families), there is the Oriental perfume family. I mentioned this briefly in the post for my Mellis perfume. Oriental fragrances are built around a strong, voluptuous “amber” base, and then layered upon with lavish spices, florals, and citruses. I put quotes around “amber” because it is imaginary. It is an accord built from more than one ingredient to conjure a deep, creamy, resinous, sweet, sultry, often powdery aroma that we have come to find familiar in items like Nag Champa incense, popular perfumes like Shalimar and Obsession, and “amber resin” often sold in esoteric shops which is a semi-soft resinous square that is highly fragrant and composed of several ingredients like resins, woods, and plant essences ( I don’t know if there are synthetic ingredients in it). It is meant to be used in an aroma-necklace or rubbed onto the skin for perfume. There are oil-based perfumes simply labeled as amber that are also common in indie shops, head shops, and health food stores.
Unfortunately, many of the aforementioned amber products are questionable in terms of ingredients, and they are somewhat flat (in my opinion) compared to the spectrum possible with amber accord plant ingredients. It also is important to mention that with the evolution of plant essence extractions, we now have access to an incredible real amber resin – fossilized amber – and it is one of the nose’s favorite aromatics. You will have found it in Nicotiana Rose, The Forager, and several other former perfumes of mine. It is also in Ambreine. It smells of the finest leather with sweet undertones of balsamic incense. It is deep and divine and adds significant depth and tenacity to perfume.
Ambreine also can refer to Ambergris – which has a rich and fascinating history and present in perfumery, however, it is not used in my Ambreine perfume. You can read more about this material online and in books by Mandy Aftel. For this perfume, the nose has chosen to work exclusively with plant materials.
When the nose, Ananda, created several different perfume mods in Charna’s Oriental perfumery class, she fell madly in love (again) with the amber notes, and in particular the two main traditional accord structures: Mellis and Ambreine – two different styles of building an amber accord, and she set out to create her own signature versions of each, to bring to you. Mellis (aka honey water) quickly became my most-worn perfume, and Ambreine is showing no less admiration.
The vanilla tincture in Ambreine is handcrafted using bourbon and Tahitian vanilla beans, soaked for many weeks and made extra strong. The orris root used here I also tincture by hand, using aged orris roots which have an incredible aroma of powder and sweet earth and has long been used in perfumery. Orris root gives tenacity to perfume, helping it wear for a longer time.
100% Natural Botanical Artisanal Fragrance by GATHER perfume