8 Best Amber Perfumes And Oils for Everyone in 2023

Men's Fashion

If you’re a frag head, then you’ll know that there’s one note that comes up time and time again: amber.

In perfumery, amber is not only a note but also a fragrance accord. The best amber perfume’s role is to add depth and warmth to some of the sexiest scents on the market. Overall, amber’s scent is striking, magnetic, and totally unisex. From woody, tobacco, musk, and leather fragrances and more, amber creates some of the most compliment-getting colognes.

Amber scents come in a few different forms. One variation is ambergris. This expensive ingredient features in high-end perfumes like social media fav Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540.

Amber’s role in a fragrance is typically as a base compound, says Francis Kurkdjian. “In perfumery,” the superstar French perfumer explains, “the base is an assemblage of raw materials that form a whole.”

For those not in the know, ambergris is a by-product of sperm whales, reveals the author of the History of Ambergris, Christopher Kemp. Today, it’s often known as floating gold, thanks to its rarity. But for those who don’t love the sound of splashing out on sperm whale intestine wax (yeah, really), there are also synthetic ambers. These include Ambrox, Ambreine, Ambroxan, and Grisalva.

I have no issue with occasionally splashing the cash on a designer amber perfume, but sometimes I want that just-left-the-barber waft of fresh cologne. I tip my hat to mainstream brands like Coty, whose Stetson Original delivers a warm, powdery barbershop fragrance for a dirt cheap price.

If you’re ready to explore the world of spicy, warm, and sensual fragrances, look no further. I’ve rounded up the 8 best amber perfumes for everyone to enjoy.

Key Takeaways

There are countless amber perfumes to tempt us from parting with our hard-earned cash, so choosing the jewel in the amber crown can be a challenge. Are you looking for a timeless classic or searching for a budget buy? I found the best amber perfumes to check both boxes and more.

I don’t often hand out top marks, but Guerlain Habit Rouge is a regal masterpiece. Few amber perfumes are still going strong six decades after their launch. Whether it’s down to HR’s Oriental spiciness or sensuous woody leather notes, this EDT is well worth wearing! They say the oldies are the besties, so my boujee-on-a-budget pick is Guess 1981 Los Angeles. This EDT proves you needn’t shell out a fortune to smell great.

Our Top Picks

a bottle of allure homme edition blanche by chanel
scentorialist / Instagram

GUERLAIN Habit Rouge

Why it’s great: Habit Rouge scoops the best overall spot because I’m all about embracing nostalgic fragrances. Its notes come together in perfect harmony to create one of the best amber perfumes for lovers of sweet, powdery scents.

How to use it: The EDT is surprisingly easy to wear, especially for a cologne with a longevity of 6-8 hours. As the weather gets warmer, back off on the number of spritzes to extend its shelf life to early summer.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: It’s a classic rather than a contemporary cologne. While it may be too dated a cologne for young guys, it was an upscale, elegant pick for grownup gents.

Top Notes: Lemon, Brazilian rosewood, orange, bergamot, lime, tangerine, basil | Middle Notes: Rose, carnation, sandalwood, cinnamon, patchouli, jasmine, cedar | Base Notes: Vanilla, leather, amber, benzoin, oakmoss, labdanum| Size: 3.4oz | Type: Eau de Toilette | Season: Fall, winter, spring 

Guess 1981 Los Angeles

Why it’s Great: I couldn’t decide whether to place 1981 Los Angeles as ‘best’ in the everyday or budget category because it checks both boxes. It’s an easy-to-wear cologne and an absolute steal. Coming in at less than $30, money talks!

How to use it: To get those Californian feelings, apply to the pulse points. These points include behind the ears, the inner wrist, and the neck. The initial hit is fresh and minty, a Versace Eros-type vibe. The opening finally gives way to vetiver and creamy amber.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Is 1981 a head-turner? No, but it’s a 24/7, 365-day, crowd-pleasing cologne that’s great for work and post-gym top-ups. What more can you want from a cologne that’s under 50 bucks?

Top Notes: Plum, black pepper, bergamot | Middle Notes: Mint, ginger, geranium | Base Notes: Tobacco, amber, sandalwood, vetiver| Size: 3.4oz | Type: Eau de Toilette | Season: All-year round

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino

Why it’s great: This sweet and citrusy amber EDP is great on warm summer days. It’s THE amber perfume for summer vacays, whether you’re sunning yourself on the Amalfi coast or somewhere less exotic. Me and my wife love a unisex scent we can share. When the temperature rises, a harmonious subtle scent cloud trumps a clash of colognes.

How to use it: At first, Neroli Portofino is energetic and uplifting, but a little later, it settles into something sweeter and more laidback. Imagine a grownup orange creamsicle. This summertime skin scent is sunshine and sophistication in a bottle.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Reviewers say performance averages around 3 hours, but it’s worth it! As a serial over-sprayer, I get closer to 4-5 hours with wafts throughout the entire day while it settles into my skin.

Top Notes: Bergamot, mandarin orange, lemon, bitter orange, lavender, rosemary, myrtle | Middle Notes: African orange flower, neroli, jasmine, pittosporum | Base Notes: Amber, angelica, musk mallow (ambrette)| Size: 1.7oz | Type: Eau de Parfum | Season: Spring, summer 

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540

Why it’s Great: Thanks to its top-shelf ingredients, Baccarat Rouge 540 is a long-lasting amber perfume. It’s memorable and makes a powerful scent statement for special occasions. Plus, you’ll earn some brownie points with the opposite sex who also rate this cult cologne.

How to use it: For the best performance, you only need 3-5 sprays, two behind the ears and one on the back of the neck. If you want to exude classy confidence, this is the amber perfume for you; it’s rich and has impressive substance.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The downside of this amber perfume is its $200+ price tag, but this is offset by the fact it’s a gender-fluid frag. So, if your partner is a fan, you can share the juice and the investment.

Top Notes: Saffron, jasmine| Middle Notes: Amberwood, ambergris | Base Notes: Fir resin cedar| Size: 2.3oz | Type: Eau de Parfum | Season: Fall, winter, spring, summer 

Stetson Original by Coty

Why it’s Great: Any cologne good enough for actor Matthew McConaughey, the face of Stetson for Coty, is good enough for me! It’s excellent bang for buck, super long-lasting masculine scent, and is a warm, powdery cologne that works well for every day.

How to use it:  The cologne is cooling and makes the skin feel smooth after shaving, reducing irritation. Stetson is perfect for the days you’re wearing jeans and a sweatshirt rather than a suit and tie. Cowboy boots optional. It’s long-lasting, so use Stetson sparingly rather than dousing yourself all over.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Stetson is an invigorating outdoorsy fragrance with more masculine energy. It may not suit guys who prefer a daily scent that flies under the radar.

Top Notes: Lavender, clary sage, lemon, bergamot, lime | Middle Notes: Carnation, geranium, vetiver, cedar, orris root, jasmine, patchouli | Base Notes: Honey, musk, amber, vanilla, tonka bean | Size: 2.25oz | Type: Cologne | Season: Fall, winter

Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blanche EDT

Why is it great? Designer brands produce some of the best men’s colognes, and Chanel’s amber perfume rolls out the red carpet. Allure Homme Edition Blanche is the ultimate game-changing citrus scent.

How to use it: A few sprays of energizing Allure, and I feel good to go. Longevity is fair at around 5 hours, so double up on the trigger to stretch this out for another 1-2 hours.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Chanel Allure has mass appeal, which is excellent if you’re after a crowd-pleasing cologne. But if you want a niche fragrance, this isn’t it. On the upside, though, you will get a ton of compliments.

Notes: Sicilian lemon, Madagascar vanilla, Calabrian bergamot, pink pepper, sandalwood, tonka bean, Tahitian vetiver, musk, cedar, amber Size: 5.1oz | Type: Eau de Toilette | Season: Spring, summer, fall

Al Haramain Amber Oud Carbon

Why it’s great: I love woody aromatic fragrances, and a solitary sniff of this EDP is like a magical carpet ride, albeit over the Arabian Sea. With marine notes at its core, it’s a great frag find for lovers of aquatic colognes.

How to use it: This EDP opens with herbal notes and has a natural aroma. It’s a pleasant morning hit to start the day with. If you’re on a night out, you may want to re-apply after 4 hours.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: This niche fragrance often gets compared to the more mainstream Cool Water by Davidoff. The two share some notes, but that’s where the similarity ends. Al Haramain’s EDP has the edge thanks to an Oriental twist courtesy of its amber base.

Top Notes: Lavender, bergamot, rosemary | Middle Notes: Sea notes, geranium, sage | Base notes: Amber, vetiver, moss, cedar | Size: 6.7oz | Type: Eau de Parfum | Season: Spring, summer, early fall 

Dolce & Gabbana The One Intense

What is great: The One’s creamy, powdery scent is sexy, sensual, and perfect for getting up close and personal. It’s an intimate scent designed for full-on seduction.

How to use it: This EDP feels intoxicating and intense. Spray one to two times on clean skin. Don’t rub the EDP into the skin, as this can damage the fragrance’s notes.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Longevity is average at around 4 hours with moderate projection, so you’ll need to take a break from your romancing to re-apply. The opening is not the star of the show, but be patient, and you’ll be rewarded with the clean, powdery dry down.

Top Notes: Cardamom, neroli, cypress| Middle Notes: Cashmeran, benzoin, neroli, clary sage | Base notes: Leather, neroli, patchouli, labdanum| Size: 1.6 oz | Type: Eau de Parfum | Season: Fall, winter 

holding a bottle of al harmain amber oud carbon edition
nixonmdias / Instagram

Buying Considerations for Amber Perfumes

Price

The price you pay for an amber perfume depends on a few things – from ingredients and their concentration levels to the packaging and marketing. For instance, perfumes like Maison Francis Kurkjian’s Baccarat Rouge 540 contain ambergris, an ingredient which can sometimes sell for up to $10K per pound.

In comparison, some fragrances have synthetic ingredients. These are less expensive but often have a consistent scent and last well. Some of the top amber perfumes on this list are less than 50 bucks. Like Stetson Original and Guess 1981 Los Angeles.

Fragrance Types

I’ve included three different fragrance types in this review: Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, and Cologne. When checking out fragrances online, you’ll also find solid colognes.

The One Intense, Amber Oud Carbon,  Baccarat Rouge 540, and Neroli Portofino are all Eau de Parfums. This means they have a 10-20 percent amber oil perfume fragrance concentration to boost their longevity.

Meanwhile, Habit Rouge, Allure, and 1981 Los Angeles are Eau de Toilettes. These contain 5-15 percent fragrance oil, making them more budget-friendly. Stetson cologne is an excellent option for daily wear with 2-5 percent amber oil perfume fragrance. For men, all three types are great choices. When deciding what to buy, remember an EDT or cologne will be lighter than an EDP.

Longevity

The top amber perfumes are produced by some of the leading designer brands, but they’re not all created equal. Some have outstanding longevity at up to 10 hours, like Guerlain Habit Rouge, even lingering on laundered clothes for a day or two. While others like Guess 1981 Los Angeles need reapplying after a few hours of wear. But this is what makes them daytime-friendly.

Brands like Maison Francis Kurkjian are well-known for their high-performance perfumes. One Redditor, ExhaustedMD, gushes about Baccarat Rouge 540, saying, “It’s popular for a good reason. Performance is nuclear on my skin, annoyingly so — 24 hours longevity and a long-lasting, lingering scent trail…” I value longevity when I’m choosing a signature scent for a special occasion, but sometimes, I like to switch up my fragrance when transitioning from day to night. In that case, something that doesn’t cling to my skin is a better option. 

a bottle of baccarat rouge 540 by maison francis kurkdjian
gentsaroma / Instagram

Why You Should Trust Us

As a fashion and grooming writer, I read, watch, and absorb as much as possible about the products I’m asked to review. But with so many scents to choose from, finding the best amber perfume has proven to be a tricky task. So, for this FashionBeans review, I’ve asked my family, buddies, and colleagues for the lowdown on their favorite amber fragrances. After lots of scrolling, spritzing, and sniffing, I’m going to share – with a bit of help from my friends – my top 8 amber perfume picks! 

Final Verdict

As a fragrance reviewer, I try every new amber perfume that hits the high street. But I’ll always have a place on my scent shelf for timeless classics like Habit Rouge. For me, Habit Rouge is the best amber perfume for a few reasons. First of all, Guerlain’s commitment to the planet. Guerlain ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients. But mostly, because it smells magnifique!

FAQ

    • Amber in perfume is often made up of combinations of notes to create an amber accord or smell. Popular cologne notes in the amber family include cinnamon, frankincense, musk, oud, tonka bean, and vanilla. The best amber perfumes can be spicy, earthy and woody but are almost always warm and inviting. Amber is a base note in some of the best-smelling colognes for men.

      • The top amber perfumes break all the gender rules. Amber fragrances have a deep and musky scent that’s often marketed more towards men but trust me, they fall into a category that women love. Amber perfume is warm, erotic, exotic, and sensual, making it a come-and-get-me gender-fluid fragrance. If you’re into sharing your scent, Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian is an EDP worth ‘going Dutch’ for!

        • Hell, yes, amber is an attractive scent! Amber notes are warm and comforting, and that’s why you’ll find amber in some of the best fall and winter colognes. That’s not to say that when combined with other fragrances in a citrus cologne, it doesn’t work well as both a spring and summer fragrance.

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