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9 Amber Woody Fragrances: Winter’s Special Scents

The amber family (sometimes referred to as Oriental) may be perfume’s most versatile grouping. Scents that are amber woody, meaning the woody subgroup of the amber family, explore the more robust and pungent side of things with notes like myrrh, oud, guaiac wood, sandalwood, and frankincense.

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9 Amber Woody Fragrances: Winter's Special Scents

Amber woody fragrances are great for colder weather and special occasions. They can make you feel like you are exploring an old church or curling up in front of a fireplace. 

Read on to see our top nine fragrances for all occasions.

Our Top 9 Amber Woody Fragrances

9 Amber Woody Fragrances: Winter's Special Scents

Best Everyday Amber Woody Perfume

Woody, warm, and citrusy, Bal D’afrique by Byredo feels like eating lunch outside in late summer. While many, if not most, amber woody perfumes can be a bit heavy at the office or in warm weather, this unisex 2009 scent from Jérôme Epinette feels as bright as an amber fragrance can be.

Fernweh Editions Fern & Petals Candle

Top notes of amalfi lemon, bergamot, and orange blossom transition to a heart of violet and jasmine. Amber, musk, and cedar in the dry down add a warm feel.

PROS: You can wear it anywhere

CONS: Too subtle for some

  • Sillage: Good
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: The office
  • Price: $$$

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9 Amber Woody Fragrances: Winter's Special Scents

Best Amber Woody Scent for Spooky Season

La Couche du Diable means “the devil’s bed” in French, and it is a more than fitting name for this unisex 2019 Christopher Sheldrake fragrance from Serge Lutens. Whether you are looking to make an impression or just want to feel a little witchy, give this one a try.

Notes in the fragrance include labdanum, cinnamon, saffron, and rose. Wood notes are extremely prominent, and there is a bit of an incense scent, too.

PROS: Bold, dark, and elaborate

CONS: Some find it stuffy

  • Sillage: Excellent
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: Special occasions, cold weather
  • Price: $$$

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9 Amber Woody Fragrances: Winter's Special Scents

Best Amber Wood Fragrance with Oud

Blessing Silence by House of Oud is an absolute must for oud fans. While most House of Oud scents are actually quite subtle with the oud, this 2016 unisex fragrance displays it proudly. Wear this one for a special night with a special someone or if you are looking for perfumes with amber and sandalwood.

A top note of labdanum transitions into a heart of subtle patchouli. Oud, sandalwood, and gentle rose round out the dry down. Rose and oud may seem like an overused combo, but this one is something special.

PROS: Oud-forward and sexy

CONS: Overwhelming for some

  • Sillage: Excellent
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: Date night
  • Price: $$$

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9 Amber Woody Fragrances: Winter's Special Scents

Best Amber Woody Fragrance From a Major House (for Men)

Clean, flashy, and a bit decadent, Eros for Men by Versace is everything you would expect from the storied fashion house. This 2020 scent makes an impression but is still crowd-pleasing enough to be work-appropriate.

Top notes of mint, candy apple, and lemon fade into a heart of ambroxan, geranium, and clary sage. A dry down of sandalwood and patchouli keeps the fragrance warm.

PROS: Refined and unique

CONS: Too sweet for some

  • Sillage: Very good
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: The office
  • Price: $$

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9 Amber Woody Fragrances: Winter's Special Scents

Best Amber Woody Fragrance From a Major House (For Women)

Cashmere Mist by Donna Karan turns 30 next year, but do not let that stop you from trying it. This 1994 scent from Nicholas Calderone is sensual and classically feminine yet light enough for work. Like a Donna Karan sheath dress, this one never went out of style.

A top note of bergamot moves into a heart of suede, jasmine, and lily of the valley. The dry down really shines with notes of cashmere wood, sandalwood, and musk.

PROS: Good everyday perfume for colder weather

CONS: Too powdery for some

  • Sillage: Very good
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: The office
  • Price: $$

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Fernweh Editions Candles


9 Amber Woody Fragrances: Winter's Special Scents

Best Woody Amber Vanilla Perfume

Spicy, sweet, and woody, Ambre Imperial by Van Cleef and Arpels brings to mind sipping milky Earl Grey tea in front of a warm fire. This 2015 unisex fragrance by Quentin Bisch is an instant classic you will want to revisit every winter.

Top notes of pink pepper and bergamot add a bit of spice. A sweet heart of amber, vanilla, and tonka bean moves into a dry down of pure woody notes. This one wears very close to the skin.

PROS: Luxurious and comforting

CONS: Does not work with every skin chemistry

  • Sillage: Very good
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: Date night
  • Price: $$$

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9 Amber Woody Fragrances: Winter's Special Scents

Best Value Woody Amber Perfume

We used to think of Bath and Body Works as home to only super-sweet and youthful gourmand fragrances. But 2018’s In the Stars is a rich and expensive-smelling amber wood fragrance from an unexpected place.

A top note of tangerine gives way to a heart of sandalwood and starflower. White oud, musk, and amber in the dry down make this a big, warm scent. It is a bit too much for the office, but perfect for winter parties or a night out.

PROS: Affordable yet luxurious

CONS: Too much for some

  • Sillage: Good
  • Longevity: Good
  • Appropriate for: Special occasions
  • Price: $

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9 Amber Woody Fragrances: Winter's Special Scents

Best Luxury Amber Woody Fragrance

Alexandria II by Xerjoff has a price tag that may make your eyes water, but if you are willing to shell out the cash, you will get a truly stunning scent. This 2012 unisex fragrance by Chris Maurice is sweet, luxurious, and has incredible longevity. No wonder it is considered a contender for best amber perfume (Fragrantica).

Top notes of rosewood, cinnamon, and apple give way to a heart of rose, cedar, and lily of the valley. The dry down features oud, sandalwood, vanilla, and musk

PROS: Unique and majestic

CONS: Can be overly sweet and overwhelming for some

  • Sillage: Excellent
  • Longevity: Excellent
  • Appropriate for: Special occasions
  • Price: $$$S

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9 Amber Woody Fragrances: Winter's Special Scents

Best Quirky Amber Woody Perfume

Into the Void by Juliette Has a Gun is inspired by space exploration and black holes. While we doubt this is what an actual black hole smells like, this 2016 fragrance pulses with distinctive and intense dark energy.

A top note of licorice (we told you it was quirky) transitions into a heart of orchid and tonka bean. Guaiac wood, patchouli, and JHAG’s trademark ambroxan make up the dry down. This is not an amber fragrance for the faint of heart.

PROS: Unique and intense

CONS: Not for everyone

  • Sillage: Very good
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: Special occasions
  • Price: $$$

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Wrap Up

There is plenty of variation to be found in the amber woody perfume subgroup, from gently sensuous fragrances to bold and dark concoctions. The fragrance is versatile, pairs well with both deep and light notes, and often represents the heart of a much more complex perfume.

9 Amber Woody Fragrances: Winter's Special Scents

No matter your personality, you can find something to love. Browse our selection and find your new favorite.

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9 Amber Woody Fragrances: Winter's Special Scents
Writer

Selena Marc is a fragrance enthusiast, freelance writer, and dog mom living in Houston, Texas. When she's not writing about her favorite new perfumes, you can find her enjoying yoga or a morning hike.