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I suspect molecular design of perfumery raw materials is like perfume trends. One brand does a successful oud perfume so every other brand needs one. One of the big raw material producers creates a new molecule and competitors need to come out with their own version. I’ve been using Givaudan’s Ambermax when I need a highly diffusive amber molecule that takes 5 wash cycles to get out of clothing. I got a sample of IFF’s Amber Xtreme in my last order from Perfumer Supply House and I think this is my new favourite. Slightly drier than Ambermax, wonderfully pointy, dry and just as hard to wash off… performs beautifully even at 1% dilution. I added a small amount to a buttery jasmine accord and the result was very nice a contrast.
The high power woody amber family – norlimbanol, okoumal, ambermax, ambrocenide, amber xtreme, trisamber etc. – can feel a bit daunting at first for untrained amateurs like me. They all tend to be hard to dose, and it takes quite a bit of experimenting to learn what to reach for in different circumstances. Right now I like to think of them on a spectrum that goes from okoumal on the one hand (round and subtle, tremendous effect on a composition’s body, but doesn’t always draw attention to its own smell) to ambrocenide/ambermax on the other (sharp and piercing, immediately draws attention to their own smell, from the top notes to the drydown.) To my mind amber xtreme sits somewhere in the middle: it’s full smelling, not shrill, unlike ambrocenide, but has a much more noticeable smell of its own than okoumal. I’ve found it useful in a range of applications going from adding depth to birch tar accords to using it in extreme overdose as the centerpiece of an accord. Definitely worth experimenting with.
Extremely powerful dry woody amber material. I personally find it difficult to use. A bit fuller and deeper than many other materials of its type. I’m not sure I find it all that tenacious – at least not at trace amounts. Very diffusive.
I didn’t notice any grape/methyl anthranilate note.
Juan Manel –
It is an extremely powerful and diffusive material, very common in real male perfume compositions … it smells in many background notes of various commercial fragrances, taming and softening notes of patchouli and vetiver type, in low doses is sufficient and I think that it is good material but for amber and it is somewhat spicy in its own way