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Sonoma Scent Studio

Smoke, Woods, & Resins: Top 15 for Fall/Winter

in Lists/Reviews by


2016 has been a bad year for celebrity deaths and an even worse one for celebrity presidential elections, so I’ve found myself craving and wearing mostly woody, resinous perfumes that perform like one long howling basenote, working my tired neck muscles like a Russian massage therapist. This year, no roses, no leathers, and no ambers – just a long line of calming, resinous woods that make me feel like I’ve slipped into the Nirvana of a silent forest, isolated from all the problems of the world around me. KEEP ON READING

Tabac Aurea: The Tobacco, the Whole Tobacco, and Nothing But the Tobacco

in Reviews by


I love autumn. It’s my favorite time of the year. I am a coats, hats, and scarf kind of girl at heart, and like nothing better than kicking my way through big piles of leaves, like a kid. Tabac Aurea is just the kind of scent you want to be wearing as you kick your way through those first leaves of the season.

What I love about Tabac Aurea is that the perfumer – Laurie Erickson of Sonoma Scent Studio – has had the confidence to showcase all the wonderful complexities of the material itself without clogging it up with other notes. And tobacco is one lily that doesn’t need to be gilded. The textures of the tobacco leaf range from leathery to wet mulch, and the notes can comprise dried fruits, leather, wood, clove, cinnamon, apples, plums, paper, and gingerbread. Tabac Aurea showcases all of these different textures and notes, and the total effect is as if the perfumer held a dried tobacco leaf up against the sunlight, slowly turned it around in her hands, and captured each of its changing colors and smells in one small bottle. KEEP ON READING

A Letter to Kilian Hennessy about Criminal of Love

in Reviews by

Dear Kilian Hennessy,

You are rich and you are beautiful. Your signature look of the white shirt unbuttoned to your navel somehow works for you. You have, I am guessing, unfettered access to all the free cognac you could ever drink. You are also charming, I hear.

But I am angry with you. I’ve just tried the best perfume you’ve made to date – Criminal of Love – and yet, I cannot buy it because you made it exclusive to the Russian market. What the hell, Kilian, what the hell?

But where are my manners? First of all, I should thank you for reaching inside my head and plucking out all the things I had on my private wish list for a rose perfume. I know you know what it smells like, so for those who don’t, I will try to describe it. Right at the opening, there is a slightly fruity rose spiked with cardamom and saffron. The more I wear this, though, I am unsure whether the fruitiness at the top is coming from the Turkish rose you used or if it’s one aspect of the tobacco leaves I am picking up. It is spicy and warm, but a little bit austere. It’s definitely a masculine-leaning rose. Then comes a warm, slightly rubbery incense and tons of damp, moldy patchouli. It kind of smells like the inside of an old church – gloomy, moldy, dusty, slightly smoky from burned incense, and yet at the same time, uplifting. KEEP ON READING

Sensei by Piotr Czarnecki: Riding the Hype Wave

in Reviews by
Stolen from Fragrantica
Source: Fragrantica

Every now and then you come across such a storm of interest around a fragrance that you just have to plonk down your money, buy blind, and hope to God that what you get is every bit as wonderful as people say it is. Often, these fragrances are only available to you through a complicated system of secret handshakes and Chinese whispers. Such is the case with Sensei by Piotr Czarnecki, which until a week ago was only available through a perfumer’s contact on Facebook or through a splitter with the right contacts. As an example of the sort of madness we are talking about here, my sample came from a bottle that had been flown from Poland all the way to California, and then all the way back to Montenegro, which is, may I remind you all, IS ONLY A FEW HUNDRED METERS AWAY FROM BLOODY POLAND. KEEP ON READING

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