Ambroxan is a synthetic fragrance ingredient that belongs to the ambergris family. Ambergris is a solid, waxy substance that is found floating in the ocean or washed up on beaches. It is believed to be a byproduct of the sperm whale’s digestive system and has been used in perfumery for centuries. However, the use of ambergris has been banned in some countries due to ethical concerns and the scarcity of the natural material, while in other countries it remains legal. The scarcity of ambergris has led to the development of synthetic substitutes, such as Ambroxan. In the perfume pyramid it belongs to the base notes.
Ambroxan was first synthesized in the 1950s by the Swiss fragrance and flavor company Firmenich. It was initially used in small amounts as a fixative in fragrances to prolong the scent’s longevity. However, over the years, Ambroxan has gained popularity as a stand-alone fragrance ingredient due to its unique olfactory profile. The perfume brand Escentric Molecules even bottles Ambroxan as a stand alone molecule.
Ambroxan has a musky, woody, animalistic, and slightly sweet aroma. Its scent is often described as warm, sensual, and comforting. It still has a modern feel to it, which makes it popular in contemporary fragrances. Ambroxan is also known for its excellent fixative properties, which means that it helps other fragrance ingredients last longer on the skin.
In compositions Ambroxan gives the accord more darkness and profoundness. It makes perfumes heavier, rounder and bigger. Thus, Ambroxan has become a staple in modern perfumery and is used in a wide range of fragrances. It is a base note, providing a long-lasting and warm foundation for the other fragrance notes.
One of the most significant advantages of Ambroxan is its versatility. It can be used in a variety of fragrance categories, including oriental, woody, and fresh fragrances. It can also be used in both masculine and feminine fragrances, making it an essential ingredient in many unisex fragrances.