Ambrette oil is pale yellow, with an enchanting aroma described variously as sweet, rich, warm, musky, fatty and nutty, with floral overtones. After a short period of aging, more complex notes can emerge, such as wine, brandy, fruit, and tobacco.
Like all musks, Ambrette is a perfumery base note. It is a powerful, tenacious scent.
Ambrette oil is expensive and rare because so much work goes into creating it. Unlike some oil crops where the plant leaves are used, Ambrette oil is made only from seeds, which weigh very little and must be carefully gathered. The seeds represent a tiny fraction of the biomass of the entire plant, and only a very small yield of essential oil is achieved-- 0.2% to 0.6% of the total weight of the seeds.
Ambrette oil is used in high end, luxury perfumes and cosmetic products. It is also used as a flavoring in vermouth and bitters, chewing tobacco, sweets, and baked products.