Perfume Shrine: Graham & Pott Imperial Amber: fragrance review

 Imperial Amber is the sort of fragrance one would expect from a truly established, traditional parfumerie, that catered to a refined aesthetic and discerning customers. The name itself is revealing. And Graham & Pott, though recently evolved in perfumery itself, being a cloth manufacturing company established in 1890, stroke gold with it. The scent of Imperial Amber juxtaposes contrasting layers of bright and sparkling citruses (bergamot and
grapefruit, to be specific), vibrant flowers combined with a rich oud accord, and a
spicy and sweet cinnamon note laid on a warm and deep base of amber,
patchouli, and cedarwood.

Amber is probably the world’s oldest mystical, orientalized blend.  Its transliteration into fragrance can take sweet and resinous, almost powdery soft scent tonalities, or instead it can veer into salty and animalic-smelling. On that score, it might interest you to read our definitive article on the differences between amber and ambergris linked here. 

The sweetish combination of labdanum resinoid and vanilla can soften the harsher notes of oudh (also known as aloeswood or agarwood, a prized material coming from the fungus of the aquillaria tree). The classic example of woods softened by amber chords is in Chanel’s perfume Bois des Iles. And though I never expected oudh to become soft and pliant, the note itself being musty and rather demonically complex in its raw form, it seems like Graham & Pott managed to accomplish just that delicious effect of softened woods, deepening the chord, giving it spicy piquancy, and sweetening it just so, rendering a wonderful oriental composition that makes you close your eyes and swoon in pleasure. It melts on the skin, imparting a delicious aura that is haunting.

The Graham & Pott brand is one of those historical houses which evolved into fragrance making, attending to the art of perfumery in a changing world that demands pleasure and exquisite detail from the moments that define our being. A haut-de-gamme parfumerie.

 The wonderful deep orange of the packaging also recalls the momentous moment of inspiration, from the scented paper that would fold the precious cloths; orange-y like the finest homemade marmalade. The cartons and insides are deliciously beckoning, with their rich, saturated hues of this sunny color, inviting to fondle, to caress the heavy glass bottles with their streamlined contours. 2019 saw the introduction of Noble Vicuna and White Sable, imagined from the furs of animals now protected, while in 2020, the firm launched Royal Llama and White Vicuna Parfum. The year 2021 sees the launch of Imperial Amber, Mon Jasmin, and Ruby Staple, inspired by rubies.

Graham & Pott Imperial Amber is available as a 50ml Parfum (with amazing persistence on the skin, easily an entire day and night) at the price of 305 Pounds and as a 100ml Parfum at the price of 395 Pounds through the Graham & Pott official website.


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