I know only what the "interwebs" teaches me. My curiosity about different ambers was sparked by the note list for one of my fave Guerlains: With Love --
Originally Posted by pinkjewel
pink pepper, quince,wild rose, mandarin flower, wild lily, freesia, blond amber and sandalwood. I have not found an explanation for what characteristics would quality a scent at blond amber or, even more peculiarly, white amber.
Perhaps some of BN's amateur/professional perfumers know the answer.Here's web info:
From a Basenotes post: perfume amber, which is often confused with mineral amber. Perfume amber isn't any kind of fossilized sap; it's a solid perfume, typically composed of labdanum, benzoin, and beeswax, with any number of other ingredients as the maker desires (patchouli, frankincense, and vanilla being probably the most common). The scent is heavy, resinous, and sweet, but not particularly like ambergris. It's also possible to extract an amber oil from the solid, or to construct an amber oil by using extracts of the resin ingredients.
From Wikipedia: Scent of amber and amber perfumery
In ancient China it was customary to burn amber during large festivities. If amber is heated under the right conditions, oil of amber is produced, and in past times this was combined carefully with nitric acid to create "artificial musk" – a resin with a peculiar musky odor. Although when burned, amber does give off a characteristic "pinewood" fragrance, modern products, such as perfume, do not normally use actual amber. This is due to the fact that fossilized amber produces very little scent. In perfumery, scents referred to as “amber” are often created and patented to emulate the opulent golden warmth of the fossil. The modern name for amber is thought to come from the Arabic word, ambar, meaning ambergris. Ambergris is the waxy aromatic substance created in the intestines of sperm whales and was used in making perfumes both in ancient times as well as modern. The scent of amber was originally derived from emulating the scent of ambergris and/or labdanum but due to the endangered status of the sperm whale the scent of amber is now largely derived from labdanum. The term “amber” is loosely used to describe a scent that is warm, musky, rich and honey-like, and also somewhat oriental and earthy. It can be synthetically created or derived from natural resins. When derived from natural resins it is most often created out of labdanum. Benzoin is usually part of the recipe. Vanilla and cloves are sometimes used to enhance the aroma.
"Amber" perfumes may be created using combinations of labdanum, benzoin resin, copal (itself a type of tree resin used in incense manufacture), vanilla,Dammara resin and/or synthetic materials.