Olfactory family: Oriental (Amber)

Orientals in perfumery:

Orientals are part of the 6 original families (Floral, Hesperidia, Woody, Oriental, Fern, Chypre) according to the SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs).

This trend is not new. Nowadays, almost all perfume brands (selective or niche) have their own Oriental fragrance.

Amber is originally an animal raw material: ambergris, which comes from a sperm whale. Unlike its animal friends such as Civet, Castoreum and Musk Chevrotin, the sperm whale did not need to be killed, but the yield was almost non-existent. It is one of the rarest and most expensive materials in perfumery.

To create an oriental, you first need very warm, sensual notes. Notes such as Benzoin, Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Labdanum, Myrrh, Frankincense and Opoponax are very popular for this type of perfume.

These days, Oriental fragrances for women all have an ultra gourmand, sweet facet. A family that would almost dethrone the florals.

Most of the oriental - amber notes are middle / base notes, those that give warmth, balm to perfume. Here are some raw materials. Natural notes are followed by an *:

  • Resins / fumes: 

Frankincense Essence*: dry.resinous.dusty

Benzoin Resinoid*: vanilla.animal.cinnamic

Myrrh Essence*: licorice.mushroom.balm

Opoponax Resinoid*: mushroom.woody.incense

Absolute Labdanum*: balsam.honey.incense

  • Vanilla: 

Vanilla Absolute*: vanilla.honey.spicy

Vanillin: cocoa.almond.hay

Ethyl Vanillin: carnation.vanilla.caramel

Peru Resinoid Balm*: vanilla.honey.cinnamic

Vanitrope: vanilla.cocoa.carnation

Iso Butavan: vanilla.buttery.cocoa

  • Almonds: 

Tonka Bean Absolute*: almond.hay.honey

Absolute Hay*: almond.honey.tobacco

Coumarin: almond.floral.hay

Heliotropine: floral.almond.cherry

Benzaldehyde: floral.aniseed.cherry

  • Warm / sweet: 

Absolute Beeswax*: chocolate.honey.floral

Styrax Essence*: cinnamic.leather.floral

Absolute Mate*: tobacco.dried fruit.tea

Broom Absolute*: hay.honey.jasmine

Benzyl cinnamate: almond.leather.floral

Diacetyl: butter.hazelnut.solvent

  • Wooded / dry: 

Ambroxan: woody.dry.musky

Amberketal: woody.iridescent.fruity

Some emblematic perfumes:

"Jicky" - Guerlain 1889 - Aimé Guerlain / Oriental

"Habanita" - Molinard 1921 / Oriental

"Shalimar" - Guerlain 1925 - Jacques Guerlain / Spicy Oriental

"Opium" - YSL 1977 - Jean-Louis Sieuzac / Spicy Oriental

"Angel" - Mugler 1992 - Oliver Cresp / Oriental Vanilla

"L'Eau d'Ambre" - The artisan perfumer 1993 - Karine Dubreuil / Oriental

"A men" - Mugler 1996 - Jacques Huclier / Oriental Woody

"Amber Sultan" - Serge Lutens 2000 - Christopher Sheldrake / Oriental

"Amber Hookah" - Hermès 2004 - Jean-Claude Ellena / Spicy Oriental

"Wazamba" - Perfume of Empire 2009 / Oriental

"Life is Beautiful" - Lancôme 2012 - Anne Flipo, Dominique Ropion & Olivier Polge / Cyprus

"The little black dress" - Guerlain 2012 - Thierry Wasser / Oriental Vanilla

"Delicious Bean" - Dior 2015 - François Demachy / Oriental Vanilla

This list is not exhaustive because there are a lot of beautiful launches: some emblematic, some more commercial.

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