Monday, February 7th, 2011

Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum ($190.00 for 1.7 oz.) is described as a ” honey-colored scent infused with the purest form of amber, joined by a tenacious refrain of African incense, labdanum, rich woods and a touch of vanilla bean.”

Initially, it is a burst of smoky incense and amber with an underlying sweetness punctuated by vanilla. A little spicy, but more like a dark, smoky room with incense burning in the background, and it’s very strong and nearly overwhelming in the beginning. Amber is noticeable at every point in the evolution of this scent as the day wears on, but it is most apparent after an hour or so, when the fragrance gets drier.

The vanilla isn’t cloying nor the star at any point while wearing this scent, but it is always there, balancing some of the headier notes of labdanum. The heart of the fragrance is amber, with a resinous incense rounding it out for the first hours, then getting it woodier and a little sweeter. The woods really don’t come into play until several hours have passed, but then they are there, subtle but distinct, along with a touch of sweetness from the vainlla bean.

Like Oud Wood, this is a potent, long-wearing scent–I can still detect it into the next day. Though a pricey affair, I find a spray on my wrist, then gently dabbed onto the other wrist and beneath my ears, is more than enough.

final thoughts: Scents are certainly personal, and at this price tag, trying-before-buying is something you should seek out if possible. It’s a heady, amber scent with lots of smoky incense and a hint of vanilla sweetness.

where to buy: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches!

Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

36 thoughts on “Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum Review, Photos

  1. Megan

    I’m sure it’s a lovely perfume, but I just can’t justify dropping almost $200 on what is essentially alcohol and scented oils. Yeesh!

  2. Marcela

    I still can’t get over the price. With tax and all it will be almost $200.00, would never spend that much on a bottle of perfume. I’m sure it’s lovely and all, but the price is way beyond a great majority of us.

  3. Lizzie

    Christine, I’m not trying to be a jerk, but how on earth does $190 for 1.7 ounces of perfume translate to 7/10 points for good value?

    • I compared Tom Ford against other fragrance brands like La Prairie, David Yurman, Kilian, etc. Most scents (including eau de parfums) only last a few hours on me, usually requiring more than one or two sprays, but Tom Ford’s last 24-36 hours on me and one spray works a treat. I felt that since the wear and overall concentration were beyond noteworthy, it added to the value grade, because it really takes very little per use. But generally speaking, Tom Ford’s prices are at the upper end of luxury brands (like his lipsticks at $40+) and must be compared–value-wise–to comparable brands.

      Personally, I’d rather not rate products like perfume and skincare, both of which can vary based on an individual’s chemistry/skin and to an extent, especially with fragrance, personal preferences. Unfortunately, if I did not rate, I would be accused of bias. Actually, I have now decided that I’m going to do what I feel is best – and not rate perfume.

      • anonymous

        I’d say to just drop value off ratings period Christine & save yourself a lot of headaches. I could never afford a bottle of the stuff but I’m familiar enough with Tom Ford to believe you completely on the value rating. Value is just a very subjective term, you can always just list the $/oz and the avg for it’s category (dept store lipstick, drugstore gloss, mineral shadow, dept store moisturizer, etc)

        • Ahh, but then it messes up my whole freakin’ system (because then the weight of the other attributes changes)! I’m still thinking on it, but for now, I’m dropping the rating system for fragrances (not that I do many!). I originally wanted to revise the system with the new year, but I couldn’t figure out a good way to deal with how the weight of the other three would come into play. I’m also not thrilled with “ease of use,” because most products are easy enough to use so most products get the same score here (so then is it really doing anything?). I think if I had it my way, I’d only give out a grade based on quality and leave the rest to-be mentioned in the review as necessary (poor packaging, way overpriced, etc.).

          • anonymous

            I like the quality concept. Or move it to relative value so it’s against similar items in the same category (high end/low end and product type) & list what the avg is for the category.

          • Quinctia

            Yeah, the value thing is one of those things that is completely subjective. In my opinion, if there’s something cheaper that can do the same thing, then the more expensive product isn’t a good value. (E.g., Urban Decay 24/7 pencils aren’t a great value in the basic colors when you factor in the fact that dupes are available at half the price now.) I’m sure other people out there have a different idea of the concept, too!

            Which basically makes none of the luxury brands a good value–but–that’s not really the POINT of them, you know? You’re not really looking for a good value in the product if those are the ones you’re focusing on, you’re looking for name, and possibly certain perks to the packaging, and so forth.

            And a small thing about this fragrance–if it’s so strong you can smell it the next day after you put it on, it’s probably strong enough that it’s going to set off anyone around you with a scent sensitivity to one of the ingredients. :/

            • Value, here on Temptalia, has and always is based on price/oz. I have a running list of brands, their products, prices, and product’s quantity, and I look at where a brand’s price per ounce falls relative to the average price per ounce for that category of brands (drugstore, high end, luxury, etc.) and product type (so I only compare the price per ounce for high-end lipsticks). If it’s about the same or a little higher 8, if it’s below, 7, if it’s really below/above then we start working to 10/6. I’ve always worked hard to make it as objective as possible.

              Re: fragrance lasting – I would not say it is too strong, only that it lasts. Instead of fading quickly like eau de toilettes do, it just lasts longer, but it’s not as if it has to start from 1000x stronger point to do so. Kind of like lipstick or lipgloss, it is not as if you have to slather 10x the amount on to get it to last longer, sometimes the formula is just better/different so it lasts longer!

          • Steph

            I like the idea of a quality only grade with other concerns mentioned in the review itself. People will always have their own opinions on value, almost every product gets a 4/5 for ease of use, and packaging may not matter to some (maybe they only apply at home, depot powder products, press pigments, make their own lip palettes, etc). I’m sure most readers come primarily to see your thoughts on the quality of the product itself anyway!

  4. Vanessa S

    Um does that say $190.00? I think i almost fainted…. i though Flower Bomb was expensive. Ill stick to that lol I am sure this is a beautiful perfume but i can do so much with 200.00….

  5. Katie

    Oh my god. I thought Chanel was the most expensive. Thought wrong.

  6. ak

    I love amber so this all sounds so good but I’m gonna go for the cheaper but still not even the cheapest, Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan.

  7. baby in a corner

    Why when an expensive product is being reviewed do most people go crazy over the price? Luxury products are always going to be worth more than than the sum of their individual parts. Make up is largely unnecessary and perfume is certainly always unnecessary anyway. There are always going to be products at every price point within each category of goods.

    • ak

      I didn’t go crazy. But even in the UK there’s £80 to £100 tacked onto thge TF Private Label collection compared to Serge Lutens which I also like. I bought White Patchouli and that’s as much TF as I can do at the moment, but you can do what you want.

    • Kate

      I don’t think anyone was “going crazy,” just stating that it’s way out of their price range – which is likely true of many Temptalia readers. As others have said, I’m sure it’s a gorgeous perfume – but I’m equally sure I can find something I love that’s not quite as spendy.

  8. Have you tried Tobacco Vanille? I love, love, LOVE this scent. My everyday scent is still Dior’s Hypnotic Poison but by golly do I adore the Tom Ford fragrances. Sometimes I mix the two together. I love that they’re unisex so none of the scents are particularly too sweet like most perfumes for women and I love the lasting power on these. People don’t realize that the perfume is made from essential, oils which means that one tiny droplet lasts for a really, really long time (and then some).

    In terms of value, I need two of the large Hyponotic Poisons (that’s 3.4 oz) to last me the year which is actually about $190 before taxes and I’ve had Tom Ford’s fragrance for about a year and a half now and I’ve barely made a dent in it. Granted, I don’t use Tom Ford as often as I do Dior but it works out that for more money, I can use less product and get it to last longer. Longevity is important for me when I’m buying perfume.

    Plus, these scents are unique and intoxicating. Have you smelled Tuscan Leather? Wow. Talk about being different without having to resort to Lady Gaga’s ridiculous blood and semen smell she’s going to be releasing soon.

    • I’ve only tried Oud Wood and Amber Absolute so far, but I love them both (Oud Wood a bit more). I don’t know how or why, but Tom Ford’s eau de parfums are far, far more concentrated than other eau de parfums I have around the house. I really like how potent they remain throughout the day myself.

  9. MariaC

    I love everything Tom Ford, and his perfumes smell great on DH. He is particularly fond of Tobacco Vanille. I almost always feel that TM’s perfumes smell similar to perfume shops in India, the scent is so intense.
    PS: Christine, I would love you to review the Tom Ford Private Collection in Warm Sable, and let us know of any possible dupes. Thanks.

  10. AnGeLwInGz

    Hats off to you Christine for being able to wear Tom Ford fragrances. They are way too bold and strong for me. I bought White Patchouli (I assume the most subtle of them) and I had to return it because it was so strong and impossible to wash off. As far as amber-scented perfumes go I love Dior’s Midnight Poison.

    • I’ve always tended to like fragrances like the ones in Tom Ford’s range (from what I’ve smelled thus far).

      Yeah, they do last and last! I know that I can take a shower, and it’ll still be going on as if nothing happened! I haven’t tried Dior’s Midnight Poison (my first perfume was Dior Addict, which I still like!), but maybe I’ll put that on the list!

    • anonymous

      I thought black orchid was a little less bold and more sultry than white patchouli but try asking for a tester in sephora to try or spritzing at a nordies etc

  11. anonymous

    I’d have to try it and it’s out of my budget but if I COULD afford the prices, I would own a lot of Tom Ford. I absolutely love his stuff and it lasts forever so you hardly use any. If I ran into a man in his men’s Grey Vetiver, I’d want to keep him permanently lol.

    • I’m sad I missed out on some rollerball kit they had of all 12. It would have been a real nice way to try out multiple scents, and I can’t imagine going through even those smaller sizes all that quickly either.

      If I spray, the whole apartment will smell like it for a bit (which works if you love the scent, lol!), but yes, very potent!

  12. I have a small decant of some of his Moss Breches and I totally love it. A small amount is all I’ve needed for TWO YEARS! I think it’s the kind of purchase where maybe a group of friends could go in on a purchase together and divvy up the bottle’s contents :)

  13. Svetlana

    I would really like to try this one. My favorite parfume atm is Dior Poison. :)

  14. Veronika

    Unfortunately for me Amber Absolute is the only TF perfume I just can’t stand…it makes me sick :( though I really love the other Private Blend perfumes.

  15. I just wanted to say I think your review is lovely, especially since you don’t review fragrances that often. Also your pictures are gorgeous. Thank you!

  16. Ali Aljunaibi

    Hello..,
    I want to ask. How I buy this perfume?!?

  17. Pahge

    Absolutely love this fragrance. Its thick, rich, incesencey, resinous amber sweetness. This magnificent creation lasts for hours, this thing lasts 18 hours plus on my skin. Its worth the $$$ to me only because i love the scent and it last for a long time on my skin.