Amara was launched in 2012 by Brooklyn-based indie fragrance house MCMC Fragrances as part of their Humanity Fragrance Second Edition Collection.
Grasse Institute-trained Anne McClain, co-founder of MCMC was inspired to create Amara scent after a volunteer trip to the Working For Children Rainbow Orphanage in rural Cambodia.
As McClain says on the MCMC website:
'The idea was to create a fragrance inspired by the feeling of compassion, and see if that sentiment could be carried to the wearer.'
Amara opens with a zing of citrus followed by a warm, earthy note of organically grown Kampot pepper and sweet, spicy cinnamon. I get a whiff of coconut oil that smells like summer to me. Then aromatic, lemony, spider lily ushers in a note of sweet, lush jasmine. The flowers smell fresh and bright, disciplined with a gentle note of smoky incense. The base is Kambodi Oud, less pungent and medicinal smelling than Indian and Indonesian oud; it's more accessible with a pleasant woody smell. I close my eyes, and I can smell those roots overtaking ancient temples.
Amara dries down to a beautiful, gentle unisex skin scent – more like walking through a temple than the smell of the temple itself - that lasts for hours on me.
Anne McClain studied aromatherapy and natural perfumery before moving to Grasse, and there is something almost calming and uplifting about Amara.
Could this gentle beauty be the smell of compassion? It just might be.
Notes: Cambodian regional black pepper, cinnamon, spider lily, jasmine sambac, and Kambodi oud.