By Jeanne Rose ~ November 2017
Synopsis: Amber oil fossilized resin to use in perfumery, fragrant rich and a detailed odor with growth description and chemistry.
photo by Jeanne Rose
Common Name/Latin Binomial: Amber Oil Fossilized
This is probably Pinus succinifera, L, Family – Pinaceae.
Other Common Name/Naming Information: The name Oleum succini is a name that simply means ‘oil amber’ and is a name given by the Pharmacopeia and not a true Latin binomial. It can be considered a ‘common name’ that you would recognize in old books.
Countries of Origins: Native to Europe, Himalayas, China and Siberia naturalized worldwide.
Eden Botanicals Harvest Location: Fossilized Amber Oil is dry distilled and refined from Amber originating in the Himalaya Mountains near China. Mined not cultivated.
Endangered or Not: Not at this time
General description of Plant habitat and growth: The origin of amber is somewhat uncertain; it is believed to be a fossil resin, produced by the hardening of the resinous exudates of largely extinct trees of the Coniferae family. (King’s American Dispensatory, 1898, by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.) EB Amber oil is produced from from fossilized tree resin from 35-million-year old Himalayan fossilized tree resin.
Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields: This is a fossilized tree resin from trees millions of years old produced by dry distillation where the amber resin is processed over high heat until an oily substance is obtained.
|Color:||dark brown to red|
|Intensity of Odor:
1-10 with 1= lowest
Bergamot & Amber =2; Rose Geranium = 4; Tea Tree= 6
Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment: Smoky, resinous, leathery, woody-dry with a hint of green and low intensity but with great tenacity.
General Properties: Emotion uses.
Properties and Uses: This is a very specialized product that as a resin has been used medicinally but as the dry distillation the oily scent product is mainly used by inhalation for calming and uplifting.
Amber rosary beads tied with linen thread
I have used the Amber oil as a general fixative in perfumery and as a low intensity base note in perfume. It lends a sweet quality to men’s cologne and works very well with smoky notes like Labdanum in Chypre perfumes.
Application/ Skincare: I do not see the need to use this lovely product in any skin care formula although it could add something to a skin care odor if you use only 5% in the scent blend and the scent blend is no more than 1.5% of the total. This becomes a most tiny portion of the total.
Diffuse/Diffusion: Do not diffuse
Here is a lovely Perfume with Amber that I call
Emotional/Energetic Uses – The addition of this oil in a fragrant perfume blend will add an emotional component that is soothing but also uplifting. This is an ancient scent and could be used in meditation. Use only a tiny drop of the diluted Amber on a piece of cotton or cotton swab. Inhale lightly and meditate or do your yoga. Think of your ancient self.
Key Use: Perfumery
Chemical Components: Complex oil consisting of 41% essential oil components and 59% artifacts from the distillation process and the extreme age of the original fossilized resin.
Solubility – Soluble in alcohol and recommended to use at 5% or 5 parts Amber oil to 95 parts of 95% neutral grain or grape spirits.
Solubility in water: insoluble
Soluble in fixed oils.
Specific Gravity: 1.011 +/-0.002
Refractive Index: 1.5066 +/- 0.001
Comparison of Main Components: (Chart/ Formatted into the Blog) Cadalene, Calamenene-cis, Calamenene-trans, Calacorene, Calamenene-5-hydroxy-cis
Blends Best with: : Angelica, Balsam of Peru, Cedarwood (Cedrus spp.), Champaca, Cinnamon Bark, Cacao, Fir Balsam, Geranium, Jasmine, Labdanum, Liquidambar (Styrax), Nagarmotha, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Tobacco, Tuberose, Vanilla, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang.
BLENDING with formula – Amber is a pleasant addition to any high end perfumery project especially as a bridge note or in the base not accord. See perfume formula above.
HYDROSOL: None known
PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh
Historical Uses: Amber has been appreciated for its color and beauty in medicine and jewelry since Neolithic times (10,000 BC)
Amber bracelets from Jeanne Rose
Interesting Information: This is a unique substance that is mined and dry-distilled.
Abstract/Scientific Data: A Brief Exposition of the Science of Mechanical Electricity: Or Electricity Proper; Subsidiary to the Course of Chemical Instruction in the University of Pennsylvania … by Robert Hare, J.G. Auner. 1840
Contradictions: There are many fragrant products called ‘amber’. Most are made from a combination of EO that include Benzoin or Styrax and any number of other scents. Read your label carefully. If it says ‘fragrant oil’ or ‘fragrance’ you can be sure the product is a synthetic version of what you truly want. Eden Botanical amber is the dry distillation of the mineralized amber.
Key Use: In perfumery
Safety Precautions: Do not ingest, do not inhale the vapor. Frequent contact may cause sensitization.
Patch Test: If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction, then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations. North Atlantic Books. 2000:
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose .2015 edition. San Francisco, California
Oil supplied by www.edenbotanicals.com ~ photo by Jeanne Rose
DISCLAIMER: This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor. The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©
Do not ingest EO