Preconceived ideas about tobacco perfumes will not help much when trying Tabac Aurea from Sonoma Scent Studio. Perfumer Laurie Erickson's creation does not conform. It's also not related to the big players in the tobacco field: Tabac Blond (Caron), Tobacco Vanille (Tom Ford Private Blend), Havana Vanille (L'Artisan), By Kilian Back to Black, Tabarome Prive (Creed) or Uncle Serge's Chergui and Fumerie Turque. No, Tabac Aurea wants to take you on a different path, despite the familiarity of the notes: Cedar, sandalwood, tobacco, leather, vetiver, patchouli, clove, labdanum absolute, tonka bean, amber, vanilla, musk.
More than anything, I find Tabac Aurea to be an amber fragrance. It's amber on all its facets: the perfume note, the color and the stone itself. This Sonoma Scent Studio perfume is connected in my mind to my vintage Baltic amber jewelry. They have a certain feel and warmth when you touch them, a rich color and an organic shape. Tabac Aurea has all that.
The tobacco note is boozy and steeped in cherry liqueur. It's sweet and develops into a somewhat Lutensian dried figs in mulled wine. It's a little spicy and dries down into a wood-incense-vanilla veil that envelops the skin for the entire day (and then some. Tabac Aurea offers superb longevity). Lovers of spicy oriental perfumes will be delighted with this fragrance. I find it all-gender friendly in the same way as Chergui or Back To Black, but really, this perfume feels more intense and alive than both (and I adore these two).
Tabac Aurea from Sonoma Scent Studio ($40, 17ml, samples and other sizes are available) can be purchased from the perfumer's website, sonomascentstudio.com.
Art: Stand by Pamela Sukhum.