Quoted in part from link http://www.edenbotanicals.com/about_amber.html
The fragrant amber, is a semi-solid mass of tree resins or gums mixed with essential oils, bees wax and fragrant plant powders. Amber resin is not simply a resin that is tapped from a mysterious tree growing somewhere in the Himalayas! If it were there would be a pure amber essential oil, an amber absolute, or an amber co2 extract. Amber resin is always a blend of different ingredients from many different sources. Every manufacturer of amber, or amber oil uses a different blend of ingredients, hence the consistency and aroma varies considerably. Each amber resin maker uses his or her own, unique and secret formula.
The color of amber resin depends on the ingredients used to make it. Colors range from golden (called honey amber) to reddish, brown and near black. The consistency also varies from very soft to quite hard. Some ambers are waxier, while others contain more crystals. But perhaps it is the aroma that we are most interested in, and this varies greatly as well. There are sweet, floral ambers, and woody, musky ambers. At this point one may question, why is amber resin called amber. We believe it is because amber resins are attempting to imitate the scent of ambergris. Ambergris means gray (gris) amber. Ambergris is a gray, black or whitish colored substance that was originally collected from the surface of the ocean by fishermen or from pieces that have washed ashore. It is thought by many to be one of the most sensuous fragrances known, and has been used in perfumery for a long time. The ambergris comes from the sperm whale, which excretes the substance from its intestinal system. For the whale, it is a substance that helps to sooth the intestines after eating cuttlefish. Because ambergris has also been collected from sperm whales that have been intentionally killed, we do not use it in any of our products. Neither do we use synthetic ambergris. True ambergris is a very rare substance.
there are some basic ingredients that are commonly used. These include a resinous base of Styrax tree resin (commonly called benzoin) from the benzoin tree (Styrax benzion or Styrax tokinensis [which is the more fragrant and finer variety]). To the resin and wax base, the amber maker adds essential oils or fragrance oils or ambergris. The types of oils used will determine the final scent of the product. Fragrant plant powders such as sandalwood powder are also added to some ambers. The types of oils typically added include sandalwood and patchouli. Almost any other oils may be added to get the desired scent. A spicy amber may have cinnamon, cardamom or ginger added. A sweet flowery amber may have geranium, rose or a hint of ylang ylang added. Other oils that may be used in certain ambers include: vetiver (khus), spikenard (jatamansi), frankincense, myrrh, cedarwood, vanilla, ambrette musk, etc.