Scented Advent, December 2

Today’s sample for Advent is Amberama, by 4160 Tuesdays. I’m really enjoying it! It comes in parfum strength, which I have sparingly sprayed on my wrists. Perfumer Sarah McCartney lists these notes on her website:

Top Notes: bergamot, black pepper

Heart Notes: raspberry, iris, sandalwood

Base Notes: amber, labdanum, woods, musks

I don’t get a lot of bergamot in the opening, just enough to convey a certain brightness, which suits Amberama. This is not a dark, moody, woody amber. It’s quite light for a fragrance that so clearly smells of amber, labdanum, and various woods including sandalwood. I think the raspberry accord keeps it bright and lively, while the iris softens its edges. Amber fragrances usually smell warm to me, like a cuddly cashmere throw over one’s shoulders. Amberama is still warm and cozy, but it is so light that to me it evokes one of those beautiful, lace-stitched mohair shawls that I’d love to learn how to knit.

Pale pink lace mohair shawl
Lace Mohair Wedding Shawl, pattern by Dana Young, image from Ravelry.

Knitting is one of those skills I yearn to master but doubt I ever will. I’ve tried, but I’m too much of a perfectionist and when my stitches don’t look right, I undo them and start over. Needless to say, I haven’t ever finished a knitting project! Maybe when I retire … (One of the many things I love about fragrance as a hobby is that I don’t have to master the skills myself — just learn to pay close attention to a fragrance and keep educating my nose, including by reading a lot.)

Sarah has also written a brief explanation of Amberama’s name: “We partly named it in honour of a certain 1980s girl group, as it’s got the characteristic 4160 Tuesdays raspberry heart, full of fruity fun (but absolutely no banana). Its unusual notes are black pepper on top and iris in the centre.”

Who else remembers Bananarama? Like the pop group, Amberama doesn’t take itself too seriously. This is a light-hearted, youthful amber that dances on the skin, warm and sensual yet playful. Apparently it originated in a combination of two trials that were part of a project to create a woody amber scent for a client, then the combined fragrance proved popular. Although they are listed among the base notes, I smell the sandalwood, amber, and labdanum accords right from the start, albeit more faintly than later in the scent’s development. I really, really like the iris in the middle. And who knew that bergamot and black pepper would combine so nicely as an opening accord? It’s almost as if someone sprinkled pepper into their Earl Grey tea!

So what I get from Amberama is a warm, slightly spicy, bright opening, followed by a softer middle stage whose iris is kept from being melancholy by the cheerful raspberry accord and that continues to be warmed first by sandalwood and then by the growing presence of amber and labdanum. This isn’t a blue or purple iris, to my nose; it is pink, or peach, or apricot.

Peachy pink bearded iris
Iris “Pink Attraction”; image from gardenia.net

Really, this is a very charming, appealing scent that one could enjoy year-round. It’s already a great value at 127.50 GBP for 100 ml of parfum; go to 4160 Tuesdays’ Facebook page where you will read about their current upgrade offer through December 10 (e.g., buy 30 ml of any fragrance, get a 50 ml bottle; buy a 50 ml bottle, get 100 ml). I don’t have any affiliation with 4160 Tuesdays, nor do I get any compensation if you click through; I just want to support small independent perfumers and also alert readers here to a good deal.

Tomorrow I’ll take another random Guerlain sample out of my goodie bag and write about that! Please come back, and join in the comments!

Three pop singers from group Bananarama
Bananarama pop group; image from redferns.

7 thoughts on “Scented Advent, December 2

  1. I think I’d enjoy Amberama, amber being my favorite genre. As for knitting – I have never progressed past a basic scarf, and that was several years ago so I would have to relearn how to knit again if I picked it up. I should, though, would keep me off my phone in the evenings! My advent calendar is minis, today I pulled CH Good Girl. Still going strong at the end of the day, and not necessarily in a good way. I cannot find my calendar box; so I’m just going to dump them all in a bag and grab one each day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I own more 4160 Tuesdays fragrances than any other house. Sarah is a force of nature is the very best way! Way back, I bought samples of some of her rare vintage fragrances & she popped in a few mls of her first creation, Urara’s Tokyo Cafe, now renamed Tokyo Spring Blossom. From my first sniff I was hooked! I really enjoy her use of fruit in fragrance, we share a love of the peach/melon in Diorella. If you like Amberama you must try Aunt Pera’s Adventurous Past before it disappears forever. Probably my favourite fragrant find of 2022

    Liked by 1 person

      • I adore Sarah’s spin on Mitsouko, Lady Rose Lion (Monkey Unicorn). I seem to remember Turin gave it 4 or 5* & was very complementary.
        4160 are doing 15ml trios for £75. Either themed or choose your own, even the posh ones, as Sarah says. I’ve chosen Wafts from the Loft, Eat Flowers & another Aunt Pera’s.
        I wish more houses did proper 10 or 15ml full presentations rather than flimsy travel sizes.

        Liked by 1 person

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