Blog post by Gwen

Black Amber – deep and dark and foresty

Imaginations were made to take flight. They can transport us anywhere we want anytime we want, sparked by desire, dreams and wishes or launched by sensory experiences – a taste, a touch a smell. Thing is, the imagination doesn’t do well with reality. We can’t imagine the size of the universe, life without the internet or that the sequence of natural numbers is infinite. Imagination, like my love for Black Amber by Agonist, defies logic.

I’d read about Black Amber and seen it in shops and even had a sample of it, but never felt compelled to smell it. I didn’t imagine that it would appeal to me. It was my friend Sophie swooning over Liquid Crystal and the Agonist line one day that made me revisit my sample box and try Black Amber. Smelling it made me smile, made me open my heart to what it had to show me. Now, I can’t imagine being without it.

The Agonist website says 'AGONIST creates pure 100% natural fragrances inspired by the Nordic climate and culture. Raw materials and product give form to a Swedish but even more Nordic clarity, – fresh with a vigourous weight and beautiful low tones.'

Hmm. Nordic climate and culture? Here’s what I think it is: Vikings, Ibsen, Bergman, melancholy, sparse, confining.

Here’s what I imagine it is after smelling Black Amber: sea, forest, vast, dark, deep, clear, rich and hauntingly beautiful. Yep, it’s all in the bottle.
Black Amber opens dry and woody from labdanum and resinous from incense. Red seaweed gives it the scent of the sea and adds a green, herbal freshness. I love this salty/herbal note up against the labdanum and incense – it gives Black Amber a unique sea/forest character that I crave smelling again and again. Without any citrus note, the opening is dark and deep but not heavy as davana adds a light, sweet fruitiness. As it blooms, it gets even darker and earthier from vetiver, sweeter from tobacco flower and woody from cedarwood. There’s cypriol nagarmotha here too, boosting the woody/ earthiness aspect and adding a spiciness and a clean smokiness to the heart. At the base, patchouli keeps it dark and earthy while black amber sweetens it. There is a camphorous note, just here, from the patchouli that is heightened by styrax – those beautiful low tones -  that sets me back on my heels every time I smell it, while vanilla and sandalwood smooth it all out.

The drydown is a deep, dark, rich and clear without being pungent, heavy or muddled. Black Amber is evocative of a forest at night, dark and deep. There is a whiff of clean salty sea air, a faint floral fragrance and a slightly sweet, spicy earthy richness that makes me want to stay in this place - a place I’ve never been and could never have imagined, until now.

Check out Black Amber in our Shop.