Amberene by Liz Zorn

My newest perfume love is a little unexpected as a fragrance centered around an amber accord is not what I usually gravitate towards on a warm summer day. But I’ve been digging through my sample stash lately, and when the name “Amberene” piqued my interest, I threw caution to the wind and gave it a try.

Amberene is part of Liz Zorn’s Demi-absolute collection which are high concentration eau de parfums (18-22%) and include all natural fragrances as well as “Mixed Media” which are mostly natural, but do utilize synthetics. Amberene is one of her all natural offerings, of which there are many on her site.

If you’ve never worn a Liz Zorn creation, you really should. Her perfumes are almost always complex and intriguing so even if you don’t fall head over heels in love with something, you will most certainly appreciate the experience. Amberene is one of her creations in which, for me, love and intrigue come together.

I know there’s nothing particularly newsworthy about a spicy amber, or one touched by pathchouli and floral notes, but it’s the chosen essences that feel inventive. To start, Amberene is given a refreshing sparkle from grapefruit and clove which is the perfect entrée to this lighthearted amber. The hit of piquant citrus speaks to the warmth of summer while the clove keeps it spicy and appropriate for cooler temperatures.

The heart of Amberene is exceptionally beautiful as the classic pairing of heliotrope and violet surfaces and quietly engulfs the citrus topnote leaving only a whisper of clove. Tonka is also present and mingles joyfully with violet and heliotrope, like a modern Guerlinade confection. The powdery violet, almondy heliotrope and vanillic tonka are inherently soft and sweet, which provides the ideal setting for cardamom and cinnamon to lend a spicy-earthy quality while maintaining a feeling of comfort and familiarity.

The drydown is where you’ll find the true ambery essence of Amberene. Benzoin steps up in this late stage bringing the culinary spices along but leaving the florals behind. I sense a touch of labdanum and maybe a hint of woods, but really, this amber base is all about the benzoin. And this is a very good thing. Benzoin alone encompasses what I love in a perfume. It’s sweet, earthy, a little musty, and wafts a most intoxicating vanilla aroma.

Liz Zorn states that Amberene can “easily be worn for daytime and as a year round soft amber.” I am in full agreement. For these late summer days, the bright opening combined with its soft ambery-violet glow melds right into the skin along with the warmth of the sun. And I anticipate that Amberene’s sweet florals and cozy spices will be the perfect antidote to the winter blues.

Amberene is available at 11 ml for $35 and 35 ml for $95.

Disclosure: A sample was sent to me for consideration by Liz Zorn. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Image: Fire Fanices by Arthur Hacker at 


7 thoughts on “Amberene by Liz Zorn

  1. T, this will be my next bottle purchase from Liz! Lilac & heliotrope was what I picked up at her boutique. I really appreciate her work indeed. Thanks for this lovely review.

    1. I have my eye on the Lilac & Heliotrope as the next fragrance from LZ that I would like to try. It sounds beautiful!

  2. Lilacs & Heliotrope is the next one I need to try, too! Amberene is something I have an old sample of, and also a newer one, and the differences are slight (the old has a bit of a stronger patchouli note) but I love both. That’s one of the really appealing things about natural essences- it’s never *exactly* the same, batch to batch. It’s intriguing to no end!

  3. I am Liz’s Number One Fangirl (the list of Liz bottles in my closet is LONG – Love Speaks Primeval can bring me to tears) but I never considered an amber from her, not overloving amber in the first place….I’ll have to let Catherine know, though – she is my ‘Mikey’ in All Things Amber.

    IMO Liz is a Genius perfumer. Every one of her scents is nuanced and interesting – and sniffable.


    1. You must give this a try M! And now I need to get out my sample of Love Speaks Primeval…it’s been a while.


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