Amortentia is the most powerful love potion in the magical world. It causes powerful infatuation in whoever drinks it, and it kicks in immediately. It is considered dangerous because infatuation can lead someone to do dangerous things. The effects do not last long, but it’s very difficult to make and it gets stronger the longer it ages.
Amortentia Quick Facts
|Effect||Love potion resulting in powerful obsession in the person who drinks it|
|Characteristics||Spiral steam, mother-of-pearl shine, smells different to each person based on what they love most|
|Difficulty Level to Make||Advanced|
|Last Updated||Apr 26, 2022|
Amortentia is considered the most dangerous love potion in the magical world because it is incredibly strong. It takes over the mind and makes the person who consumed it completely infatuated with whoever administered it.
The effect is an instant infatuation with whoever gave the love potion. It doesn’t create legitimate love because that’s impossible to manufacture, but it makes an individual obsessed with whoever administers the potion. To be clear, the person administering Amortentia does not have to have made the potion themselves.
Amortentia Aromas and Characteristics
Amortentia is famous for taking on different aromas for each person who smells it. It elicits the scent of whatever the individual likes most. When Harry Potter smelled it, it reminded him of treacle tart, the wooden smell of a broomstick handle, and something flowery that he recognized from his time at the Burrow but couldn’t quite place. Later in the book, he identifies that sent as Ginny’s perfume. For Hermione Granger, it smelled like freshly mown grass, new parchment, and one other thing that she didn’t confirm. In an interview in 2007, JK Rowling confirmed that the third smell Hermione was suddenly embarrassed about was actually that of Ron’s hair.
Amortentia Appearances at Hogwarts
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, when Professor Gilderoy Lockhart decides to host an extravagant Valentine’s Day party, he encourages the students to ask each of their teachers how to do love related charms or spells, and He suggests that students ask Severus Snape to help them whip up a love potion. Based on his reaction, it was clear that Severus Snape would cause great harm to the first student who asked him for a love potion.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it’s revealed that the Department of Mysteries has a fountain of amortentia locked behind a door, reserved for the study of love.
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Amortentia makes its first appearance. When Horace Slughorn was brought on as the potions master, he had three cauldrons containing different potions. He asked the students to identify them. It was Hermione Granger who was able to successfully identify all three, including the love potion. She was explaining to the class how Amortentia smells different to each person, for example, how she smelled freshly cut grass and new parchment, and then she cut herself off in embarrassment, realizing that she was explaining the things she loves most.
As Christmas approached, it was widely known that Harry Potter was going to attend Professor Slughorn’s famous Christmas party. Harry Potter didn’t yet have a date. Hermione pointed out that he had better pick someone soon and be careful of any food or drink offered to him because she had overheard girls talking about ways to trick him into taking them as his date, including the use of amortentia. Romilda Vane offered him a box of chocolates which he promptly tossed under his bed and forgot about.
However, a few weeks later, Ron Weasley was opening all of his gifts and accidentally grabbed the box that had been kicked onto the floor, thinking it was just another of his Christmas presents that had fallen. Eating the love potion-filled chocolates, Ron was immediately overcome with an infatuation to find and impress Romilda Vane. So strong was this desire that he walked right by his girlfriend at the time, completely ignoring her, begging Harry Potter to introduce him. Realizing what had happened and that Ron was so infatuated he was willing to get into a fistfight with Harry Potter over saying anything negative about Romilda, Harry Potter lied to his best friend and agreed to make the introductions. He brought Ron to see Professor Slughorn early in the morning on a Saturday, begging for help from the potions master. Professor Slughorn correctly assessed that the love potion-filled chocolates were not taken in a timely fashion because the effects got worse with time, and Ron Weasley was experiencing very strong effects. Professor Slughorn mixed up an antidote with his back turned and, to help Ron recover, offered him a drink as a pick-me-up. Unfortunately, the bottle from which the drink was poured had been poisoned by Draco Malfoy in an attempt to poison Professor Dumbledore. Harry Potter saved his friend’s life by shoving a bezoar stone down his throat.
Professor Dumbledore later stated that Merope Riddle likely used a love potion to trick Tom Riddle Sr. into marrying her. She had to administer it regularly so that he would remain infatuated with her, and once the guilt overcame her, she stopped administering the potion, causing Tom Riddle Sr. to leave her and their new baby, who would later become Lord Voldemort.
Amortentia Trivial and Fun Facts
The name “Amortentia” is a combination of the word “Amor,” a Roman god of love, and the Latin word “tentia” or “held.” As such, it means “held-love.”
In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when Hermione is describing the three things Amortentia smells like to her, the third one is spearmint toothpaste. As she says the third, her voice gets quieter and peters out. This is a reference to an earlier scene in the same movie where Ron points out that Hermione has toothpaste on her face and a link to the fact that her parents are both dentists, so that would be representative of familial love.
Amortentia Appearances in Books
Amortentia shows up in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
Amortentia Appearances in Films
Amortentia appears only in the film rendition of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
Quotes about Amortentia
Hermione describing the characteristics of the potion:
Horace Slughorn: “You recognised it, I suppose, by its distinctive mother-of-pearl sheen?”
Hermione Granger: “And the steam rising in characteristic spirals, and it’s supposed to smell differently to each of according to what attracts us, and I can smell freshly mown grass and new parchment and —”
Harry Potter seeing and smelling Amortentia for the first time:
“They chose the one nearest a gold-coloured cauldron that was emitting one of the most seductive scents Harry had ever inhaled: Somehow it reminded him simultaneously of treacle tart, the woody smell of a broomstick handle, and something flowery he thought he might have smelled at the Burrow. He found that he was breathing very slowly and deeply and that the potion’s fumes seemed to be filling him up like drink.”
Answer: Professor Slughorn creates an antidote but he doesn’t explain what it is.
Answer: He smelled treacle tart, the wooden handle of his broomstick, and Ginny Weasley.
Answer: It is very likely that Hermione smelled freshly mown grass because it was heavily associated with the Burrow’s yard, and Ron Weasley.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 2000.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York: Listening Library, 2003.
Rowling, J. K. (2010). Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. London: Bloomsbury. Chicago (Author-Date, 15th ed.) Rowling, J. K. 2010.