‘How divine it is, the sweet scent of amber
the two lovers under its spell,
the sweet scent of amber …’
Mughal Poem (17th Century A.D.
AMBER DEG ATTAR
Amber resin compound traditionally distilled in copper vessels
Provenance: Rajasthan State, North India
Amber attar has a rich, sweet and lustrous scent. It has been used in India for centuries in many spiritual ceremonies and is composed of a mixture of different essential oils including seasonal variations of styrax, sandalwood, labdanum, and sometimes saffron. The formula varies according to family recipes and the availability of the extracts. Traditionally, amber is used to scent the skin or to burn in an aroma lamp. The scent of amber is also said to inspire good fortune and success and is closely related to Laxmi, Hindu goddess associated with wealth and abundance, as well as Surya, the Vedic solar deity.
Numerous words have been used to describe the beautiful scent of amber: invocative, sultry, passionate – it is ancient and soulful, but has an air of luxury and opulence. In India, amber has very close associations with the powerful forces of the sun and fire and also with royalty. It was used in the royal palaces of Rajasthan for centuries. One Rajput (Hindu warrior caste) tradition was for the bride and groom’s bed to be anointed with amber attar on their wedding night to act as an aphrodisiac!
In India, the essence of amber has always been steeped in folklore. Colourful stories, not unlike the Arabian Nights, are abound with the magical powers of amber. It has also been used for its powerful cleansing properties. Amber resin is burned along with other resins such as frankincense, myrrh and sambrani to dispel evil spirits and drive out negative energies from one’s dwelling. In India, wearing amber attar is said to ward off the “evil eye” which is an ancient superstitious belief that a glance or look from someone may cause harm, injury or bad luck to whom the look is directed for reasons of envy, jealousy or dislike. Amber, in this case is said to have certain magical properties to dispel such harm and protects the wearer. In ancient times, sailors burned amber on ships to drive away sea serpents and perils of the deep seas.
Amber oil is very balancing and energizing to the chakras, especially the heart. The oil is calming, energy balancing and protects the wearer from negative influences. Amber promotes the energies of the fourth (heart) and the second (sacral region) of the chakra houses.
The heart chakra is the middle chakra in a system of seven. It is related to love and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity. A healthy heart chakra allows us to feel love deeply, feel compassion, and have a deep sense of peace and centeredness.
The second chakra, located in the abdomen, lo wer back and sexual organs is the energy centre for pleasure, sexuality, abundance and fluidity of emotions. It connects us to others through feelings, desire, sensation and movement. Ideally this chakra brings us harmony and grace, depth of feeling, sexual fulfillment, and the ability to accept change.