A gold, sun-kissed color. An earthy, woodsy aroma. An origin that involves fossilized trees and a centuries-long process. Amber is a fascinating compound that is prevalent in jewelry, fragrances, and decorations across the world. It’s beloved for its light-reflecting properties and gem-like appearance. The essential oil, however, is less well known. Extremely rare and expensive to extract, amber essential oil is luxurious and boasts a range of uses.
What Is Amber Essential Oil?
Amber essential oil is made using the fossilized resin of the amber tree. Amber resin is popularly used in jewelry and decorative household objects. The largest source of amber resin is located on the Baltic peninsula in Kaliningrad. Close to 90 percent of the world’s amber is sourced from this region. It can also be found in smaller deposits near Sicily, Peru, and the Caribbean. Amber derives its name from ancient Arabia where it was called “anbar.” It has been most commonly used as a fragrance or incense.
Most amber resins come from the fossilized remains of trees known by the botanical name Pinus succinifera. These pine trees are now extinct, making this essential oil even harder to come by as the years go by. Amber resin is produced through a lengthy natural process of pressure and heat.
The manufacturing process of Baltic amber and its essence oil is complex. Divers and dredgers extract amber tree resin from the ocean floor in the Baltic Sea. Caribbean amber resin is extracted using a method called bell pitting. This mining method involves creating a shaft through which the amber is removed in buckets. The amber is heated to temperatures above 392 F in order to extract the amber oil.
As a result, pure amber essential oil is quite expensive. At current market rates, pure amber oil can cost several hundred dollars for a single ounce. Pure oils are extracted using a dry distillation method. Only Baltic amber is used for pure amber essential oil. Due to high costs, most amber oils on the market are essence oils or oil blends. These blends range from around 10 to 20 percent essential oils in a carrier base. Most often, amber oil is combined with rose oil or carrier oils such as coconut oil and olive oil. Amber is also blended with other woodsy scents such as sandalwood, frankincense, and myrrh essential oil from India.
The base note of amber essence oil is pine. Amber fragrance is most often described as woodsy and warm. It can be used as a natural perfume that is spicy and smoky. Amber oil effuses a warming scent, making it a popular choice for cold evenings. The amber scent is what makes this essential oil and blends so popular.
Uses of Amber Essence Oil
There are few health care studies purporting the health benefits of amber essential oil. This may be due to the costly nature of the pure essential oil. However, there are still many ways to use this smoky scent at home. Amber fragrance oil is known to calm the mind and boost libido. The oil can also be applied topically to improve the look of skin and hair.
1. Induce Peace and Relaxation
Amber essential oil improves relaxation, just like other essential oils used in aromatherapy. The scent is gentle and long lasting, extending its use as a relaxant for several hours. The earthy undertones help to ground your emotions and relieve stress and anxiety. Amber oil can help further meditation and yoga practice by alleviating negative feelings and increasing positivity.
How to Use: Bedtime Sleep Aid, Bath Oil, and Perfume
Add a few drops of amber oil to your diffuser just before bedtime. Get comfortable and breathe in the woodsy scent as you fall asleep. The fragrance will remain in the room all night, enabling a deep and restful sleep. Combine with lavender or bergamot essential oils to increase relaxation.
Alternatively, dab a few drops of amber perfume oil behind your ears to stay calm during the workday. You can also unwind after a long day with an essential oils bath. Simply draw up a steam bath and add a few drops of amber oil, lavender oil, and rock rose absolute oil — also known as labdanum essential oil.
2. Reduce Inflammation and Pain
Amber oil has been used for centuries to treat pain and inflammation. It can help to reduce spasms and localized pains when applied topically. Blends containing sandalwood essential oil further these inflammation-fighting benefits. That’s because these oils contain terpenes known as santalols. These terpenes work to increase certain acids in the nervous system that induce relaxation and provide a sedative effect. Amber oil also contains succinic acid, which has shown promise when it comes to treating pain associated with arthritis.
How to Use: Massage Oil
To reap the anti-inflammatory effects of amber oil, add it to your favorite massage oil. Heat the oil gently in the microwave for about 15 seconds before applying topically. Massage in gentle, round motions to relieve tension in muscles. You can also use amber essence as a body oil to reduce skin inflammation. Just apply directly to sensitive areas.
3. Improve Appearance of Skin and Hair
Amber oil helps to rejuvenate dry and dull looking skin by promoting new cell growth. The oil boosts elasticity, helping to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Amber oil can help clear up clogged pores and reduce acne breakouts. Amber oil also has beneficial effects for your hair. The oil contains compounds that help to strengthen hair follicles. This leads to less hair loss and stronger, healthier locks.
How to Use: Facial Steaming and Hair Oil
Add 6 drops of amber oil to your hot facial steam bath. Start by filling a large bowl with 4 cups of hot, steaming water. Add in the amber oil, cover the bowl and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Lean over the bowl and drape a towel around your head. Keep your face around 8 inches above the water and breathe deeply for 5 minutes. Follow with an astringent like witch hazel and pat dry when finished.
To reap the healthy benefits of amber for your hair, use this oil after a shower. Simply apply 4 to 5 drops of the oil to damp hair. Work the oil from root to tip and massage into your scalp.
Amber scent helps to increase cognition in the nervous system and triggers feelings of happiness. The alluring scent has been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac to increase libido. The sweet, sultry yet silky scent helps to relax the senses and triggers neurotransmitters that inspire romance.
How to Use: In a Diffuser
Add a few drops of amber oil to your diffuser in the bedroom to induce feelings of love. Make sure to inhale the scent deeply for the best results.
5. Aromatherapy for Respiratory and Immune Health
Amber oil can help to treat breathing disorders such as asthma and bronchitis. The scent of amber helps to open up restricted airways and can aid the immune system in tackling tough colds. The oil works to induce relaxation in the esophagus and chest, eliminating congestion that makes it hard to breathe. The soothing vapors of amber oil help to relieve tension and induce relaxation when you have the common cold or flu.
How to Use: Chest Rub and Aromatherapy
To relieve chest congestion, rub a few drops of amber oil directly onto your chest. For tough congestion, use a steam bath or aromatherapy to loosen mucus and reduce inflammation in your airways. Use just a few drops each time and breathe as deeply as possible.
Amber oil is most commonly used as a perfume. Many of these health benefits can be attributed directly to the amber base note in oil blends. It’s a popular fragrance among celebrities including Kristen Bell. Most amber perfumes contain a few key ingredients besides the amber oil. Amber perfumes typically contain notes of vanilla, labdanum, and benzoin.
Amber works well in perfume not only because of its earthy scent, but also because it is a fixative fragrance. This means that it is a long-lasting base note. Its scent lingers for long period of time so your perfume with last for hours instead of just minutes.
How to Use: Make Your Own Perfume
You can make your own amber perfume using a few essential oils and extracts. For a feminine scent, combine 1 ounce of jojoba oil with 2 drops each of vanilla extract, opopanax extract, and patchouli essential oil. Add 15 drops of rose essential oil and 10 drops of bergamot essential oil. Allow the scents to mature for 2 to 3 weeks for a more stable fragrance.
For a more masculine scent, use more woodsy-based scents. We recommend combining 1 ounce of jojoba oil with 6 drops each of labdanum extract and vetiver essential oil. Add 10 drops each of cedarwood and frankincense essential oils.
Side Effects and Cautions of Amber Essential Oil Use
Since amber oil is typically an essential oil blend, it’s important to know the ingredients in each bottle to avoid side effects. This is particularly important for people with allergies or sensitive skin. The FDA rates the use of amber in fragrance oil as generally safe. Discuss with a healthcare professional before using amber oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Only use amber oil topically or as part of aromatherapy — never take orally.
Like most natural products, amber essential oil can cause irritation in certain individuals. The scent can be overwhelming for people sensitive to strong fragrances. Amber notes can cause olfactory sensitivity in individuals allergic to pine trees and musk-based scents. Since most amber oils are already blended with carrier oil, skin irritation is less common. If you use pure amber oil, always make sure to combine with carrier oil before applying topically.
Many low quality brands offer amber essential oil at outrageously low prices. Beware that many of these brands do not actually offer the crude essential oil. Most of these low priced oils are blends and can contain chemicals, synthetics, and other ingredients that may cause individual side effects.
If you are looking for pure amber oil, always buy from a reputable company and expect to pay a premium. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is not pure or high quality amber oil. Always check the country of origin as pure amber oil is only extracted from fossil resins of Baltic amber.
Always look for essential oils that are therapeutic grade and feature certified organic ingredients. Reputable essential oil companies will feature third party testing of their oils to ensure purity.
Add Amber to Your Arsenal
Amber oil is a fascinating oil blend that boasts a variety of uses. It is most commonly used in fragrances, but can also be used topically and in aromatherapy. Amber oil can help improve the look of skin and hair when used topically. It can improve mood, aid in better sleep, and even induce romantic feelings when used in aromatherapy. Used as an essential oil or in a blend, this earthy scent is a great addition to essential oil collections.