Tincturing a 150 million years old aromatic raw material




My amber suitcase, all of it is Baltic amber

We shall tincture about 5 grams of fossil Amber of Baltic origin. The age of baltic amber is estimated at 150 million years.
Can a perfume last over such a lapse of time?
In some way it definitely does, whoever worked amber to polish it and shape it as I did for some time, knows the typical smell, similar to rubbery lemony frankincense.
A very delicate smell that transforms working this matter in a pleasurable olfactory experience.
Moreover, amber is called “bernstein” in German, “burning stone”, because it has been used as incense in Europe particularly during epidemics and for vibrational therapies.
The smell is there. Can it pass into the alcohol in order to be used as a perfume?


5.4 grams of Amber

The first step is to pulverize the amber, in this way we shall facilitate the tincturing. We can use the same technique that I use to pulverize Hyraceum stone, another fossil material (the oldest is only 10000 years old) that can be tinctured and makes a very strong perfume.





We got 4,2 grams of amber powder

We add about 40 grams of alcohol, this will be a 10% tincture

2 month later…

The tincture was already smelly after a few days, but the smell was extremely fleeting.


After 2 months the decanted tincture has taken a yellow colour, showing definitely that something has dissolved in it, in fact when you dip a glass bit into the tincture and let the alcohol evaporates, a white layer remains on it but it has a short-lived smell.


However the smaller pieces are still brittle and they did not soften while staying so long into alcohol, this may indicate that a more finely powdered amber would have given a stronger colour and a stronger smell.


In 2 month the smell has not changed in nature, only in intensity and somewhat in persistence. It is camphorous, lemony and incensey, but it does not really smell like Frankincense, not being such a resinous odour. My Amber tincture has the true and exact smell of Baltic Amber.

I do not know if my liking it is due my memories of working this material years ago, who became fragrant every time I worked it with sandpaper and drill bits in order to make necklaces, pendants and bracelets.

The smell very short-lived, only five to ten minutes on the skin. I doubt that more time in infusion will give it more persistence.

For a perfumer, the tincture does not look interesting from an olfactory point of view, the smell is neither strong nor persistent enough, but in a conceptual sense, the stage in which natural perfumes are ideas still to be realized with true archetypes, this may be a very interesting ingredient, even though it would not be smelled, because natural perfumes are made of vibrations and there is more than just smell in a natural fragrance.


1 reply
  1. Jamie says:


    Is this the same baltic amber tincture we smelled in class? This was one of my favorite scents, like an ancient forest.

    Now that it has had time do you think it is stronger and more persistent?

    Thank you for including the exact weights. I will try it at home. Maybe if I am patient in a few years I will have a similar result?



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