Two winter ambers from the U.S

Winter season is a perfect time to reach for more rich, opulent and heady perfume. When it’s cold outside I especially like to reach for cuddly ambers, spicy blends (especially when they have rose too), so here you have two interesting ambers from two of our favorite American perfumers.

Sonoma Scent Studio – Amber Incense


This particular creation opens on my skin with an incense accord that quickly surrounds me. It’s pretty simple note but after a few minutes you realize how much complexity there is to it. The spiritual scent is not only about incense, it’s also about resins, the aroma of burning logs in the fireplace as well as a prominent spiciness of black pepper that appears 5 minutes later.

Then there is amber, I find it quite mineral and a bit salty. It has a marine undertone in my opinion, something that makes me think of a salty ocean breeze. As minutes go by it starts to get closer to the animalic aspect of its aroma. But no, it never becomes too much. Later on woody notes become more substantive. It’s hard to tell if it’s cedar, sandalwood, birch or other species of wood.

Few hours later it’s still pretty smoky to me. I can say that in my case Amber Incense maintains its ambery & smoky character for a long time. Then it unveils some fruity notes, I especially can detect a tart plum (it’s a smoked plum of course) and I don’t smell apricot that is mentioned on a card attached to my sample. Unfortunately I don’t smell soft florals either. Generally incense, amber, pepper and woods are most prominent elements of new perfume by Laurie Erickson.

It’s no problem at all, this perfume was meant to be like that in my opinion. “Soothe your spirit with this warm & meditative blend” describes it ideally. Amber Incense is an all-natural blend.

Aftelier – Amber Tapestry


Inspired by experience as a weaver in her youth, Mandy Aftel decided to create a perfume of amber that would be like threads of different colors and textures that can be woven together into a unique canvas. Amber Tapestry starts with a strings of sambac & grandiflorum jasmine – white floral note that is slightly indolic and has a vintage vibe quickly knots with the smell of amber.

Amber is a multi-dimensional accord of this perfume. It combines aspects of something vanillic, mineral, animalic and fuzzy. I find it rather cuddly and glamorous in its unique way. It definitely has a wonderful richness and warmth to it, it gives a feeling of being wrapped by a furry blanket. Mandarin gives it more Christmasy vibe thanks to its aromatic juiciness, while heliotropin introduces a floral and creamy feeling that nicely contrasts with earlier part. The perfume is nice & complex.

Drydown is animalic but in an inoffensive way. There is castoreum that nicely blends with amber (combination makes me think of Ramon Monegal Ambra di Luna) and then it transforms into tonka beans. They’re smelling of roasted nuts that are enriched with aromatic, creamy and mild spicy properties. Labdanum and benzoin are a core of the heavier, balsamic part of Amber Tapestry. There is also a hay like aroma from coumarin plus a burned, caramelized note of maltol. Mandy also used some real ambergris. Additional notes include pear and cinnamon.

Amber Tapestry has a nice smell, good for cold winter days. I think it might actually smell even more interesting during a walk outside in the snow rather than when you wear it staying at home.

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8 thoughts on “Two winter ambers from the U.S

  1. Akuokuo says:

    I love Mandy Aftel. I am hoping to take her perfume class soon!!

  2. aftelier says:

    Warm thanks for your wonderful review Łukasz! You got it exactly right about my wanting to provide some comfort & warmth for these hard cold days. 🙏💜❄☀
    xo Mandy

  3. hajusuuri says:

    I need to order a sample of Amber Tapestry – great review! I am almost positive I have a travel,spray of Amber Incense but need to find its hiding place!

  4. I absolutely love the SSS one! Drained my sample quite quickly. Unfortunately the samples of Aftelier I have tried in the past are awful with my skin chemistry (perhaps the ambergris?) so I won’t be attempting Amber Tapestry but it was lovely to read how well it works with you.

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