Tom Ford's Amber Absolute is my ideal Amber. It is an intense but smooth, spicy, smoky, warm and sexy amber. Labdanum, gives a radiant warmth and resinous vanilla gives a boozy sweetness. It also has a good amount of incense and balsamic notes to add depth and brilliance. It costs nearly $300 for 50mls in Australian retail. Kiehl's Amber oil, the similar kind of amber, costs $25 for 7 ml roll on.
Of the two, the Tom Ford one has a beautiful finesse to it. All the rough edges are well trimmed, the notes are well tuned to make a masterpiece. Kiehl's is similar but it is kind of crude. The difference between the two is subtle. Though one may miss the beautiful progression of top to base notes in Kiehl's, it is identical in the dry down to Tom Ford.
What Kiehl's makes up for with the quality of amber for the price, it compensates for it with its staying power and projection. Kiehl's is diluted and its staying power doesn't even come close to Tom Ford. If I wear Tom Ford in the morning and go to bed at night (without a shower) I can still smell the perfume on my sheets and pillows the next morning! Such is the awesomeness of Tom Ford's staying power. Projection wise also, Tom Ford takes the trophy.
Have we found a dupe? Kiehl's Amber was made in 1942 and Tom Ford's Amber Absolute was made in 2007. So, can't decide which is a dupe of which. But price wise, Kiehl's is a steal. A damn good substitute for Tom Ford, really. Till the day I can buy a full bottle of Amber Absolute, Kiehl's is mine to enjoy.