Some natural perfumes entice and seduce you with exquisite flowers, leaves and forest imagery. Tobacco & Tulle by perfumer Liz Zorn of Soivohle is not one of them. The opening of this fragrance is shockingly animalic but also highbrow. Tobacco & Tulle lets you know immediately that this is the real deal: precious ingredients, extremely concentrated; It's demanding and capricious, and can be difficult at first, but worth the effort.
Tuberose at its best goes well with animalic notes (Histoires de Parfums Tubereuse 3 L’Animale, JAR Ferme tes Yeux). Here it's paired with a cruelty-free civet substitute as well as with a very raw tobacco that smells very pungent and ominous at first, and quite masculine. It's when the tuberose emerges with its sweeter facets that the fermented scents yield to the skin and the composition comes truly alive. Calling this natural Sivohle perfume a "skin scent" will be very misleading, but I'll say that it's "skin compatible" and brings out the best aspects of wearing fragrances: it's human and personal, yet wears as a beautiful adornment.
Tobacco & Tulle is not for the faint of heart or those who never tried a real natural perfume, but if you're ready to explore the more creative avenues and back alleys of this art, this is a good place to go.
Notes: tobacco absolute, tuberose absolute, earthy natural musk (hyrax tincture, ambergris)
Tobacco & Tulle by Soivohle ($70, 4.5ml perfume absolute) from soivohle.com. Samples can also be ordered.
Still photo of Audrey Hepburn from How To Steal A Million, 1966, via rareaudreyhepburn.tumblr.com.