Perfume Directory

Black Amber (2011)
by Agonist


Black Amber information

Year of Launch2011
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 23 votes)

People and companies

PackagingÅsa Jungnelius

About Black Amber

Black Amber is a shared / unisex perfume by Agonist. The scent was launched in 2011 and the bottle was designed by Åsa Jungnelius

Reviews of Black Amber

Agonist Black Amber looks great on paper--that is, the note breakdown is very interesting. To put it mildly, though, the fragrance is a bit all over the place, the lengthy list of main notes being some indication of the chaos in the juice.

That said, though, chaos isn't always a bad thing, and I like a lot of what's going on in Black Amber, my first try from the Agonist line.

Included in the note breakdown and perceivable in the blend are incense, amber, labdanum, sandalwood, cedar, vanilla, and patchouli. It's mainly a resinous, woody, spicy, incense-laden blend that starts out with some bite but ends up being a little sweeter and more resinous in the dry down.

And there are a number of notes listed that I'm unfamiliar with, like davana, red seaweed, and thornbush flower, specifically in the top, but since the fragrance starts out a bit sharper and ends up a bit smoother, as happens more often than not.

Overall this is a nice fragrance, perhaps a little pricey for what it is, at $195 for 50ml (Luckyscent, Neiman Marcus, etc.) but still an intriguing entry that could be a cold weather winner for men or women alike, though it leans masculine to me.

7 out of 10

13th February, 2018
One of the best discoveries of my humble nose, perhaps because of my inexperience, not being familiar with those perfumes of amber that renounce to follow the amber pleasure as the main chord and, on the contrary, subject it to an atmosphere or attempt other than its immediate warmth. Here, however, amber is easily recognizable, but I can admit it by that sheath of pale, dark vegetation that shelters it.
In effect, this is an attempt to explore the black face of amber: the result is a light air of enchanted forest on the skin. Too pleasant, again, not only for the amber, but for the pepper, a slight honey flavor, and other memories of cooking or domestic natural aromas. But all this is mixed with success, perhaps renouncing the possibility of the extraordinary in the black exaltation of incense (which persists like the smoke of a forest burned by the moon), but beautiful, mysterious and lonely. An enemy fragrance of the day, or at least another light that is not the wintery and lugubrious that drowns any flower of joy.
Esoteric; I dew of its essence in my lonely walks of the cold spring nights. It looks like a perfume made for mysticism and serenity at night, Gothic and, nonetheless, smiling.
Too pleasant, but pleasantly sad.
30th January, 2018
Sometimes, it feels like the Agonist brand is struggling to find its place in the market. First, with the $1300 art bottles, then the cheaper regular bottles, then they drastically reformulated all their perfumes as completely different natural perfumes but kept the old names, so you never really know what you're going to get.

Judging by smell alone, my sample of Black Amber is the natural perfume version. It's nice, but definitely has a bit of that essential oil perfume smell, a sort of fishy cedar chip odor hovering in the background. Aside from that, it smells peppery on top and then like a complicated mulchy smell in the heart, almost like someone tried to recreate the smell of a pine forest using resins instead of pine. In the realm of natural perfumes, I've certainly smelled worse, but this just isn't "clicking" for me, which is a shame considering that ambers are one of the few perfume families that can smell absolutely wonderful made from natural oils, but they just haven't done that here.
30th January, 2018
To me the key characteristic of this fragrance is birch tar deep in the background... But birch is not listed so i'm guessing it's just a combination of other dark woods and smokyness that gives me that birch vibe.
Other than that it's a pretty straight forward spicy incense, with a nice "mental color" of graphite grey.

Seemingly nicely blended but left me kind of cold and uninspired.
23rd April, 2015
This is an interesting take on an amber based scent. The whole scent isn’t overtly sweet and cloying like most ambers, but instead it has an subtle ozonic/marine quality to it. It opens up a tad on the cherry cough syrup side, but thankfully that aspect goes away rather quickly. The sweetness settles down into a wonderful dry, ashy vanilla that’s as if you’re smelling a piece of vanilla amber resin as the wind blew across a smoldering fire next to the ocean. It’s a dry and subtly sweet vanilla amber with a peppery/earthy backbone that stays at about arms length for sillage and also has good longevity.
03rd July, 2014
The "flow of consciousness" of notes I feel at the opening: amber, incense, lavender, linalol, clove, pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, benzoin, pepper, vanilla, aromatic woods (cedar?)... most of them I don't know if are actually there but that is how the opening smells to me. Basically a sweet and spicy amber, with a pleasant, bold opening. It then slowly becomes a bit more green-balsamic as minutes pass, some herbal feel with a mentholated touch – kind of CdG realm. That's a nice transation. You feel the pungent feel of ambroxan on the base, the cedar and the styrax, and also a tiny bit of dry and a bit plastic patchouli – does not smell great, but it is still fine for the purpose. And that linalool insecticide vibe, subtle but persistent from the very beginning. Frankly this overall smells a bit dull to me – the amber/incense/green notes accord is nice, but also a bit confused and... I don't know, not catchy. Pale, perhaps. Anyway, overall this scent is closer to some green incenses CdG's like Sugi or Zagorsk, more than to amber-based scents. Short persistence (too short for me). Nice, but not worth the price tag for me.

18th April, 2014 (last edited: 19th April, 2014)

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