Ahead of the colder weather, we often find ourselves overhauling any and every ritual associated with the warmer spring and summer months. On the fashion side, that means developing a new rotation of shoes and replacing tanks with sweaters. Where beauty is concerned, it can mean swapping your lightweight, gel-based products for a heavier skincare routine. We find ourselves so far down these rabbit holes that it can be easy to overlook the need to swap our summery fragrances for the best perfumes of the season. However, the task becomes pretty easy once you’re in on the secret behind compliments all winter long: amber perfumes.
Okay, so what’s an amber perfume, and why do you need it? Do you know how, every year, certain things leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling that reminds you that the holiday season is near (maybe it’s a song or a movie)? Amber perfume is that feeling in a bottle, which explains why people will immediately flock to you when you’re wearing it. Who doesn’t want to be instantly lifted into the holiday spirit, especially this year?
In truth, amber is often not an actual perfume ingredient but instead is a full-bodied, savory scent created with the combination of some key ingredients. Think comforting touches of vanilla and patchouli. In a nutshell, it’s your “cuddle up by a fire, end-of-year happy place” fragrance. While you won't be short of amber perfumes to fall in love with if you adore woodsy, aromatic scents, we rounded up the 10 you should consider first, just in case.
A little goes a long way with this warm, earthy scent from Prada. If you're looking for a fragrance that'll last you all day with just a spritz (I mean, who isn't?) and carries a unique scent, you'll want to wear this all winter long. Bonus: This amber scent even won a FiFi Award for Fragrance of the Year.
Mugler’s amber fragrance, Alien, was introduced as a follow-up to the brand’s best-selling Angel perfume. Its intricate blend of white amber, Indian jasmine, and woodsy notes will leave you and passersby hooked in an instant.
Many amber perfumes are considered to be unisex, and Dior’s Ambre Nuit is one of them. With amber as its main accord, you’ll be gently met with hints of citrus, floral, and spice. Described in reviews as warm and inviting, this is one to pull out year-round.
Key fragrance notes: violet, oud, white musk, amber
Those partial to powdery scents will fall in love with Jo Malone’s Violet & Amber Absolu. As the fragrance melts into your skin, you'll be met with touches of violet, oud, and amber. This perfume may lean a tad more floral than warm, but the end result remains a woody fragrance that will reward you with compliments for days.
While Burberry’s Her is decidedly more fruity than most in the family of amber perfumes, it's a treasure not to be overlooked. Perfumer and creator Francis Kurkdjian described the scent as “his interpretation of a floral-fruity theme with gourmand undertones.”
Ambre Impérial has all the qualities of a true amber perfume, complete with the sweetness of vanilla and the warmth of spice. It's smoother than most, and those who love strong oriental notes will be sure to love this scent.
ICYMI: Baccarat Rouge 540 has already amassed a huge cult following since its release in 2015. It's easy to see why, as Francis Kurkdjian (known for creating fragrances for Giorgio Armani, Dior, Kenzo, and more) is the mastermind behind the line. Captivating from beginning to end (this scent will last on the body for a long time), this unisex fragrance starts with a sweet, burnt amber aroma and finishes with a pinch of salt and wood.
Many reviewers report, to their delight, that Montale’s Amber Musk is a softer and smoother scent than some other options from the brand. Its approachable nature makes the scent perfect for newcomers to the fragrance territory, but an experienced connoisseur would love it just the same.
Hermès’s L’Ambre des Merveilles borrows properties from the brand’s Eau des Merveilles but still feels like a full-on winter fragrance. Cozy and warm, you’ll find a hint of musk mixed with a sweet amber. You’ll almost want to spray the scent on a sweater and carry it with you through the holidays.
Maison Margiela is known for unisex perfumes, and although Replica Jazz Club is sold as a men’s cologne, that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a go. “Replica” in the fragrance's name refers to Margiela’s intention of re-creating the emotional scents of a certain place and time. This particular amber scent transports you to an old-fashioned cocktail bar. The seductive scent leads with tobacco and rum notes that may make this ideal for the bold perfume wearer but finishes off with amber and sweet vanilla that make it a bit more approachable.