Amber Absolute by Tom Ford 2007


Post by Ainslie Walker


I acquired today’s fragrance last week in the midst of my “whale excitement”, it has now become my “go to” fragrance of the month. Every time I wear it, there are positive comments. I find I get that with anything animalic, smoky or “mysterious”. It’s a fragrance many wouldn’t dare to buy off the shelf, as it may not seem instantly pretty, but once worn or smelt on someone else, the depths and layers come alive.

Amber Absolute by Tom Ford 2007

Amber Absolute Tom Ford FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Amber, incense, vanilla, olibanum, labdanum, woody notes

As we would expect from Tom Ford, the box and the bottle is distinctive, mysterious and understated. It looks black, but held up to the light it’s actually a dark, dark amber colour. The label is gold-plated. I love holding the bottle in my hand. It’s cold, solid and sends a small shiver of excitement into me every time I pick it up.

Amber Absolute is delicious and sultry, warm and engulfing. In fact I would happily bathe in it! I love it as a winter scent. It makes me feel cosy, yet glamorous. There’s strength to it, akin to a sip of spiced rum. It’s a more old school kind of a smell, one of old wooden ships and incense…explorers on the high seas. It’s definitely unisex.

Amber Absolute Tom Ford schooner PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Amber Absolute makes a statement, whilst also crowd pleasing, with it’s coumarin and vanilla bean notes, though avoids becoming overpoweringly or generically sweet. I love that the notes remain savory, so to speak, and I think it’s amped up incense and old woody church/ship smell is behind this. It nods quite a lot to TF’s Sahara Noir…Olibanum/woods/balsamic…It’s this part that I think divides the love or hate for this fragrance. I don’t think many would remain on the fence about it. There’s dry salt air from go to whoa. It’s robust and full, a little goes a long way. During the dry down (8 hours or more, later) it gets a more leathery and animalic then tapers to sweet, powdery and a little smoky-vanilla. There’s treemoss and oakmoss, but not enough for it to stand out too much, just enough to let the other ingredients ride on their back.

Amber Absolute Tom Ford  Humpback Whales National Marine Sanctuary FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

It’s good, really good. It’s not really doing anything too new, but doing it really well. That ‘niche’ colliding with ‘mainstream’ thing that TF does so well. That “smells expensive” thing he also always seems to nail. Marketed as the strongest, most concentrated amber, I rule out real ambergris is in the ingredients list, but it is an ‘amber’, that plays with the elements of raw ambergris.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Olfactoria’s Travels

A little ode to Ambergris:
“It’s hard not to fall in love with ambergris. Here is a solid lump of whale feces, weathered down—oxidized by salt water, degraded by sunlight, and eroded by waves — from the tarry mass to something that smells, depending on the piece and whom you’re talking to, like musk, violets, fresh-hewn wood, tobacco, dirt, Brazil nut, fern-copse, damp woods, new-mown hay, seaweed in the sun, the wood of old churches, or pretty much any other sweet-but-earthy scent”

Floating Gold Christopher Kemp BookDepositoryChristopher Kemp’s Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris $22 delivered from BookDepository

Sadly Amber Absolute has been pulled off the shelf and discontinued…the TF house says, fragrances, like fashion, (and whales) have their seasons…

Ainslie xx

10 thoughts on “Amber Absolute by Tom Ford 2007

  1. Hey there Ainslie,
    I feel like I’ve lived Amber Absolute with you. I think it your perfect winter buddy.
    LOVED reading Floating Gold a while back, maybe I’ll get it back out again after I finish my current potboiler by John Grisham.
    Portia xx


  2. Interesting read (and of course I immediately ordered a copy of the book… all i need now is a chunk of well matured ambergris for an allround experience). Is it just me, or does the bottle on the book look suspiciously like a Parfums de Nicolai bottle?


  3. Years ago for some reason, I got a bee in my bonnet about Amber as a scent and my husband, tenacity of a Jack Russell, went online and found the sample and decant site… which precipitated headlong descent into the rabbit hole. Loved that Amber Absolute too.


  4. Love Amber Absolute. Wish I had more than just a decant. I love the way you’ve so accurately described it.

    I have a copy of Floating Gold sitting on my book shelf. Maybe it’s time to crack open the cover.


    • Yes get reading!! 🙂 – looks like about 5 of us are atm. We can discuss down the track.
      If you want more than a decant – you better hunt one out quickly as it is now off the official shelf!



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