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"Amortentia is the most powerful love potion in the world. It is distinctive for its mother-of-pearl sheen, and steam rises from the potion in spirals. Amortentia smells different to each person, according to what attracts them."
— Description[src]

Amortentia was the most powerful love potion in existence. It caused a powerful infatuation or obsession from the drinker. It had a distinctive mother-of-pearl sheen, and steam rose from it in characteristic spirals.[1] Amortentia was considered an incredibly dangerous potion, as one should never underestimate obsessive infatuation.[1]


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 —"
— Physical description of Amortentia[src]

Albus Dumbledore informed Harry Potter that the locked room at the Department of Mysteries is where love is studied and at the center of the locked room is a fountain of Amortentia.[3]

Merope Riddle tricked Tom Riddle Sr into marrying her with a love potion, Dumbledore speculated that she used Amortentia.[4] Through this this act of coercion the most dangerous dark wizard of all time (Lord Voldemort) was born.

Professor Snape showing fifth year students Amortentia in a large cauldron

In February 1989 at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, around the time of Valentine's Day, Professor Severus Snape showed this potion to fifth-year students in Potions class, as part of the school's celebration of the holiday.[5]

In September 1996, Professor Horace Slughorn introduced this potion to sixth-year students in Potions class, along with other advanced potions, such as Veritaserum and Polyjuice Potion, in order to show his students what kind of potions they would be able to brew after finishing their N.E.W.T.s in their seventh year. Hermione Granger identified all of Slughorn's potions correctly, including Amortentia, which very much earned his approval.[1]


"Powerful infatuations can be induced by the skilful potioneer, but never yet has anyone managed to create the truly unbreakable, eternal, unconditional attachment that alone can be called Love."
— The essence of a love potion[src]

Amortentia was the most powerful love potion in existence. It was considered to be a powerful and highly dangerous potion. As stated, it was dangerous to underestimate a powerful infatuation.

Despite its power, Amortentia did not create actual love. It was impossible to manufacture or imitate love. The person under the effect of the potion would only hold an obsession for the person who administered it.[1]


"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."
— The aroma and effects of the potion[src]

It had a different aroma for everyone who smelt it, reminding each person of the things that they found most attractive, even if the person did not acknowledge or was unaware of their fondness for the object of their affection themselves; e.g. Hermione Granger smelt fresh cut grass, new parchment,[1] and Ron Weasley's hair.[6]

Harry Potter smelt treacle tart, the woody scent of broomstick handle, and "something flowery that he thought he might have smelled at the Burrow" (which he later realised was the smell of Ginny Weasley).[7]

Known aromas

Person Smells
Hermione Granger Freshly mown grass, new parchment,[1] and Ron Weasley's hair[6]
Harry Potter Treacle tart, broomstick handles, and Ginny Weasley[1]


  • Amor is a Roman god of love, and the word "Amour" in French means "Love".
  • "Tentia" is also Latin for "held".

Behind the scenes

Amortentia, described as the Most Powerful Love Potion in the World

  • According to J.K. Rowling, a large fountain filled with Amortentia could be found in the Love Room of the Department of Mysteries.
  • In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Hermione does not say what the third thing she smells is, although Rowling revealed in an interview that the third smell was Ron's hair.[6] However, in the film version, Hermione states that the third thing she smells is spearmint toothpaste, due to the fact that in an earlier scene at The Burrow where Ron points out to Hermione there is toothpaste on her face and her parents being dentists.


Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 9 (The Half-Blood Prince)
  2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Four, Scene Five
  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 37 (The Lost Prophecy)
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 10 (The House of Gaunt)
  5. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Side Quest "Valentine's Day"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com, July 30, 2007
  7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 9 (The Half-Blood Prince) - "“Hang on,” said a voice close by Harry’s left ear and he caught a sudden waft of that flowery smell he had picked up in Slughorn’s dungeon. He looked around and saw that Ginny had joined them."
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