Reviews of Amber Absolute by Tom Ford

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    rogalal's avatar

    United States United States

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    When I first tried the Tom Ford Private Blends, I was new to "fine fragrance" and didn't really like most of them. I hated Amber Absolute most of all - I thought it smelled weird and moldy. As the years have passed, most of the Private Collection have won me over as I've gained a little more experience. But I'm still not sure about Amber Absolute.

    It's kind of like someone re-created a 50's/60's butterscotchy amber (there are shades of Coromandel in this) using that modern Pink Sugar marshmallowy vanilla instead of a nicer vanilla. It's got hints of sandalwood and frankincense, as well as some lavender on top for brightness (I think this is where the moldy smell comes from), as well as a peachy fruity quality.

    Really, there are so many amazing amber perfumes out there that, in order to stand out, yet another one has to bring something new to the table. And the only thing Amber Absolute is serving is marshmallow. I can see how that could modernize a classic recipe, but I don't think it's for me. I no longer think it's awful, but I don't think it's great, either.

    30th April, 2014

    Kain's avatar

    Iran Iran

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    Ahhhhhh, Amber Absolute. you sick bas****! :D
    Finally I found a sample of you!
    It's another great amber based fragrance that I was expecting a little more out of it but still it's strong enough to kill tons of other fragrances out there!
    The opening is a strong sweet amber mixed with lots of woods and spices.
    The sweetness is strong in vanilla way and mixing with strong woods and spices, create a yummy sweet fragrance which is brutal and masculine at the same time.
    The opening remind me of Amber Sultan. yes, but the sweetness is more and stronger.
    As time goes by, there isn't too much changes.
    The vanilla sweetness become stronger and you can still smell strong woods and spiced side by side the sweetness.
    The dry down is different from Amber Sultan too my nose.
    In Amber Sultan you will get a smooth honey sweetness which is not so potent plus very smooth woods and spices, but in this fragrance the sweetness is vanilla like and its very strong and also woods and spices are much stronger!
    The dry down and base of this fragrance remind me of Andy Tauer's masterpiece! I mean LADDM!
    They don't smell exactly the same, but they do have things in common!
    So if you can't find this fragrance or it's too expensive, you can replace it by LADDM easily which is as quality as this, maybe even better and just like this with stunning projection and longevity.
    It's quite sad that this fragrance is discontinued, but fortunately there are great replacements for it.

    01st February, 2014

    Buysblind's avatar

    United States United States

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    Robust Amber

    Really good stuff. And very strong.

    To those who haven't smelled too many amber-based scents I would describe Amber Absolute as toasted marshmallows with a dry, slightly smoky, and dusty edge. The incense, which provides the dry, dusty quality, works wonderfully to balance the vanillic amber heart. While quite robust and powerful, this is also a cozy, sensual fragrance that leans more toward the masculine side of the spectrum than feminine (though I certainly wouldn't mind it on a woman). It is a little bit spicy as well, but in a warm, inviting kind of way. Rich and thick, I find Amber Absolute works best when applied lightly with just one or two sprays.

    For those who are familiar with some of the better-known amber-based scents, I would describe Amber Absolute as Ambre Sultan with the spicy herbal aspect toned down and the vanillic amber turned up, along with some of the dry dustiness of L'Air Du Desert Marocain. Somebody even described it as "Gucci Pour Homme on steroids," which I think is really the perfect descripiton of this.

    An especially great fragrance to wear on a winter night, Amber Absolute has excellent projection and longevity. And while it's unique and interesting, it seems easy enough to pull off.

    Unfortunately, this one has been discontinued.

    Pros: Excellent Quality, Superb Longevity and Projection, Unique
    Cons: Discontinued, Hard to wear in warm weather, Maybe too strong for some"

    17 July, 2013

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    LOvely with lots of character

    this is like a well rehearsed opera. every note is in tune with each other.the 3 players are the amber/vanilla/incense mix. very intoxicating but also cloying after a few hours. I only have a 3ml decant and adore this over Ambre Russe..

    Pros: longevity and incense
    Cons: cloying at times

    19 June, 2013

    noideawhatimsaying's avatar



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    Dirt, urine, and disgusting.

    I absolutey don't get this one. It's either my skin or nose, this did NOT work. Filthy.

    Pros:
    Cons: This is an amber?

    08 June, 2013

    Jack Hunter's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    A very woody sweet amber with incense and vanilla is what I'm mainly getting from this one. It's a bit on the syrupy side but the interplay of these notes is nicely balanced. Though I still like HdP Ambre 114 as my Ambre of choice.

    26 October, 2012

    TOONS1200's avatar

    United States United States

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    blown away by this scent. for one, it projects and lasts for hours (15+) and for two it's just the best amber scent on the market. very woody and masculine (not to mention daring) in the opening. the dry down gains sweetness. the best way i could describe the dry down is if you had amber scented/flavored cake frosting. sweet and delicious.

    15 August, 2012

    rbaker's avatar



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    Amber is the name of the game here, intensive and with smoke and a touch of cedarwood added. Amber pure with little added notes; unlike, for instance, Creed's Ambre Canelle, the amber is not softened up and blended as much; and in spite of a hint of vanilla in the drydown this remains an amber scent with limited sweetness. Sillage and projection are good for the first three or four hours, but the longevity is brilliant: up to ten hours on my skin. One of the few convincing amber fragrances.

    03 August, 2012

    silentrich's avatar

    United States United States

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    Had high hopes for Amber Absolute and in many ways it didn't disappoint, but in other areas it did. It has a commanding presence as soon as the juice touches oxygen. This stuff is extremely potent and loud in the opening. Also the quality is evident as it smells of a rich woody amber. The problem is that it lives up to it's name and what your left with is a super sweet syrupy cloying amber. The woods are still there, but it's just way too sweet. Some might enjoy this, but it's just not something I'd ever wear.

    02 August, 2012

    OverLord's avatar



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    It smells very sophisticated at first, maybe a bit too soaking and overlasting.
    On top of that it reminds me of the air-freshener used at Ritz hotel in Paris.
    Try to step inn and you’ll see

    05 May, 2012 (Last Edited: 09 May, 2012)

    Sunsetspawn's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is wood and amber. No, it's not "woody," it's wood. It smells like wood shop. It's so earthy and raw that it starts to smell like play dough if you use your imagination a little. There may be of hint a patchouli in there, too. This is seriously high quality stuff, and it only takes one wiff to know it. Anyway, as much as I commend Tom Ford for releasing this kind of amazing monstrosity, I just don't dig on amber, no matter how well done.

    02 March, 2012

    Geldachron's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Woods and bee's wax is what I get with a sweet amber. I don't know if I like this one yet but it sure is unique!

    04 January, 2012

    spirit966's avatar

    Hong Kong Hong Kong

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    Its very thick and amberish indeed. But not really sweet or cloying. Its more syrupy than vanillic if that makes any sense.

    Somehow it feels a bit like petrol in terms of how clean/dirty it is (Fahrenheit) and a mix of Musc Ravageur's animalic notes.


    Very unique indeed but I'm not sure I put this ahead of TV and seems like it is very suitable for layering.

    08 November, 2011

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    This wonderful evocative ambery-boise oriental  scent is featured by the heavenly and generally renowned chord of olibanum and labdanum that characterizes a bed of vanillic amber with a touch of smoke. The fragrance is not complex and owns a certain strength because of its minimalistic blend. The sweetness is wonderfully calibrated and is mainly based on a well equipped crew of mild woods as Gaiac, cedarwood and probably sandalwood. The starring role is played by the note of labdanum together with an high quality incensed amber. The latter is mastering in its typical kind of sweet, almost beastly, smell but this one retains the facets of the labdanum note that is a sort of piney, smokey, spicy, aromatic kind of aroma which together with amber and incense turns out with a strong woodsy-animal depth and a more austere aromatic soaring perfume. Inhaling this wonderful fragrance i'm teleported in a serene fall afternoon spent on a mountain in loneliness. Amber Absolute is warm and almost edible but is a woodsy, musky, ambiental, almost meditative amber in my opinion and is neither particularly glamour (Costume National 21) nor sumptuous (Ambra Nera, too much linear to perform like that indeed), arabesque (Ambre Sultan) or properly decadent/baroque (Ambre Russe, Golden Amber), it's simply a great amber far from the glamour and the provocative olfactory "naughtiness".

    22 October, 2011 (Last Edited: 26 December, 2013)

    stefftaylor's avatar

    United States United States

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    I've owned several amber fragrances, but this is hands-down the absolute best ever. It's sexy and warm and inviting without the sometimes biting note that comes with amber (like Ambre Sultan). Most people would probably wear this at night or during the cooler months, but this is so lovely that I'll even wear it on a warm summer day. Fabulous.

    11th August, 2011

    hollycat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Im not a big fan of basic amber scents. I like them blended in a more complex fragrance. But I have to say that Tom Ford created a masterpiece with this amber dominated scent. Its a smooth, boozy, and almost edible amber that I believe amber lovers would orgasm over. Today I wore some to work from my sample vial and my co-worked was blown away by it. She asked me what it was and I told her, and also warned her of the price tag. She said she would pay it. She loved it so much.

    Oddly, I dont love it. I just dont connect with it. Though I feel its an incredible creation. I just dont love it for me. But if your an amber lover and you like minimalism in your scents with amazing quality ingredients TRY THIS.

    19 March, 2011

    TwoWordReviews's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sultry. Seductive.

    If I were on death row and they asked for my last meal request, I might ask if they could just bring in someone wearing Amber Absolute instead. It's that good. So rich, so sultry, so sensual, so tantalizing, so long-lasting ... (I'll be right back)

    The amber by itself is enough to cause angels to fall from heaven in droves, but add the incense and the devil just comes right up and grabs them from the gates. Devilish, dangerous, divine.

    27 February, 2011 (Last Edited: 14 April, 2011)

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    l agree with Asha; this is "an amber lover's amber", a rich & satisfying amber in it's most classic form, & very much like Profumum's Ambra Aurea because of this.
    lt opens as a thick, dense, resinous, "piney" amber with dark wood & smoke, very autumnal & rather masculine. After around 15 minutes, it sweetens into a rich, caramel-like benzoin, & persists in this manner with a wisp of incense running through it, all the way to the drydown many hours later.
    The sillage is powerful, even though so far l've only dabbed this from my 4ml mini. l actually can't imagine what it's like sprayed on! Must try it sometime...

    10th February, 2011

    The_Cologneist's avatar

    United States United States

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    A great example of amber in almost its natural form. The opening is short lasting, a quick burst of sweet amber and spicy frankincense. The sweetness quickly fades off, and it turns into what mostly smells like beeswax to my nose. My enthusiasm is stunned here, I'm disappointed. This lasts for a good 2 hours before it takes on the amber again, only this time it's rich and smoky. It fades into a creamy vanilla/amber with a little spice before the final base which appears to be just amber. Certain parts of this fragrance I love, but other parts I despise.

    Longevity is excellent, as one would expect.. 12+ hours easily. Projection is above average for the first 4-6 hours. The very first 10 minutes has HUGE projection, more so than Tobacco Vanille. I've never really been much of an amber fan, Amber Absolute definitely shows the more natural take on amber, personally, I prefer the simple, sweet synthetic stuff that's in the bases of many of our modern fragrances. I'll have to pass on this one.

    19 January, 2011

    suburbanites's avatar

    United States United States

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    Amber Absolute is a fragrance that is evocative: You will adore and cherish it, or you'll find it a very suffocating amber from the mixture of all of its elements. I find it a very rich Amber with an almost incense -- think High Mass incense -- element that wafts just beneath the surface. It's simply delicious if done in small doses, which would be my only caveat. In small amounts -- simply pulse points, or in combination with an Arabian Wood or Oud -- it's very striking. If overdone, it can be very off-putting. This is a very deep and rich amber scent, one that evokes memories of a chilly fall day and warm fires and the smell of a rich herbal tea nearby to warm you. This is that fall/winter-esque scent that is a delicacy. But do not bathe in it unless you want to evoke the smell of a Sunday high-mass and sweet burning incense.

    06 September, 2010

    BayKAT's avatar

    United States United States

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    I am not a fan of this one at all. It truly smells like dirt. I couldn't wait to get home a change my shirt, it was that offputting.

    It's very dry,very clanging. Where is the vanilla? I'm not sure what happened here, this scent has been getting some good reviews. but on me this really bombed.

    14 August, 2010

    JaimeB's avatar

    United States United States

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    Labdanum and amber characterize this scent. The vanilla is kind of an obligatory player in orientals. Which woods are in this? My guess would be guaiac wood, perhaps with a sandalwood note, and a bit of something cashmeran or ebony-scented. This makes for good layering with Tobacco Vanille or Tuscan Leather.

    30th March, 2010

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tom Ford Amber Absolute

    Notes: Frankincense, Amber, Woody Notes, Vanilla, Labdanum (from osmoz.com)

    I love amber. I love amber. Did I mention I love amber? Amber Absolute is an amber lover's amber. Its primary ingredient is the woody, smoky, peppery, leathery, balsamic note labdanum. It is sweetened by vanilla which also lends its wood, hay and tobacco nature to the composition. It is made resinous with frankincense and benzoin, the frankincense adding a gorgeous smoky incense note that never smells metallic or funky. Amber Absolute is not overly complicated, but it is extremely rich, with a good balance of dry, tannic and sweet. It is amber in its most classic form. The quality of ingredients here is excellent, along the lines of Profumum Ambra Aurea, and equally satisfying. I love amber.

    07 November, 2009 (Last Edited: 08 November, 2009)

    Sugandaraja's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    A direct, to-the-point amber powerhouse. The top notes come on quite strong, lightly spicy, but not herbal to my nose, lending a gourmand quality to an amber already with a distinct caramel edge.

    Despite being almost entirely focused on amber through its development, it isn't a one-note fragrance, and has a slow but recognizable development as it loses its edge and becomes gentle and vanillic.

    Your feelings on this will depend almost entirely on how you feel about the amber genre. It's not complex, but it's high quality.

    31st October, 2009

    jenson's avatar

    India India

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    Amber Absolute: well, for those who say Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan doesnt have amber..should smell this one for reference. It's opening accords reminds one of mid-base notes of Ambre sultan minus the extreme spicy notes of AS. within 10 minutes it morphs into another scent we adore so much, which is Parfums d'Empire's Ambre Russe; ofcourse minus the leather and herbal accords....so, what that leaves us with is a smoldering accord of glowing amber so powerful, it has the capacity to create an aura and sense of warmth by merely smelling it. no wonder it's called amber "absolute". this is a straight ahead, no-nonsense, smoldering amber based scent. a definite must have for someone who admires Ambre Sultan and Ambre Russe. is it worth ahaving all these three scents in one wardrobe...? depends. i do have amber sultan..so, i dont need this one. but, for thsoe who have Ambre Russe, this one is different enough to be in the same WD. just for our info, this has more in common with Ambre Sultan than with Ambre Russe.

    13 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 18 August, 2009)

    Mario Justiniani's avatar

    Cuba Cuba

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    Maple syrup? No, wait. That's Miracle Homme. What we have here is an odd duck of an amber with a funky herbal/wood harsh note that makes one wonder if it was intended to make it 'dirty' in the sense that MKK is a'dirty' musk. Or perhaps it's just meant to erase any accusations of being cloying? I don't know but this is sugar sweet and --Naw, not dark. Not amber noire, just amber . . . funky. On the brighter side, no one can accuse this one of having low sillage or poor longevity.
    I'll pass.

    28 April, 2009

    BodeLeeHarm's avatar

    United States United States

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    I was in Las Vegas and sampled this fragrance on a spray card at Neiman-M. At first I didn't find it that exciting but when I got back to my hotel I kept getting the card out and smelling it again. Later, I went back to N-M and sprayed some on my arm for a test-drive while I browsed around the Fashion Show Mall. The longer I had it on, the more I liked itand I eventually bought a bottle before I left town. I always wear a sample/test spray of a cologne for a whole day before I decide to buy it - some of them start out OK and then take an ugly turn a few hours later. Plus, things that smell good on other people can absolutely reek on me.

    To me, Amber Absolute is the perfect blend of vanilla and incense - and by incense I mean proper Japanese insence, not that cheap hippie-crap with a bamboo stick in it that you get at the truck stop or the swap meet. The incense components aren't too strong and the vanilla components aren't overpowering - they balance each other and blend together so well that you have to really breath deep and focus to be able to pick each one out.

    So far everyone I've asked has said they really like it on me - the most common response when I ask them to have a sniff of my forearm is 'OMG what is that!? I love it!' You know when they actually grab your arm and keep it under their nose that they aren't just being polite. The scent doesn't change much after you put it on and it lasts for several hours before gradually fading away to just a hint of vanilla. Although the Private Blends are ridculously overpriced, the lady at N-M did give me 4 samples of other Private Blend scents when I bought this one. They were generous 1/4-ounce samples in little glass bottles with lids - not those stingy plastic vials with two drops of cologne in them that you usually get.

    UPDATE: this review is for the 50 mil spray version. The non-spray in the larger bottle smells completely different to me - I think they are two different formulas.

    02 April, 2009 (Last Edited: 23 January, 2010)

    moltening's avatar

    Thailand Thailand

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    Extremely thick, syrupy, powerful, and rich. Herbal like Ambre Sultan, but much sweeter with a hint of smokiness from the incense.

    What's special about this one is the sillage. It's a sillage monster alright. The good thing is that the sillage is indeed pleasant: resinous and sweet and to my surprise, without being too cloying.

    06 January, 2009

    Melisand's avatar

    United States United States

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    With notes of amber, African incense, labdanum, rich woods, and vanilla bean, Amber Absolute is an incense-laden amber, with a dark and smoky character. It presents a nice study in contrasts, both dry and warm, peppery and...well, not quite sweet. Thick, yes, and maybe even a bit syrupy. But there is nothing sugary here. Wearing it on one arm with MPG Ambre Precieux on the other for comparison, Amber Absolute hardly even budges the sweetness meter.

    Except for a smoothing out of the initial strong smoky and syrupy notes, the fragrance remains mostly linear. This is also a heavy sillage scent, so go easy on the trigger.

    05 January, 2009

    jrd4t's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is one of the best and richest ambers I've tried. It's got the perfect amount of sharpness, and dries down to a magnificent, warm amber scent. It lasts and lasts and is pretty powerful so a little goes a long way. If you take the medicinal herbs from Ambre Sultan and add some extra warmth to the base, you'll have something close to Amber Absolute.

    24 October, 2008

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