Forest Walk, the most recent fragrance from Sonoma Scent Studio isn't technically a natural perfume but it might as well be. The impression of wood, earth, tree bark and moss is very real and 3D. Forest Walk has color, shape and a tactile feel of a fantastic forest (obviously a West Coast one). It's so convincing you can almost hear the sound of the wind in the branches high above you. But just almost. It's still a perfume and its true face is only revealed on skin.
I'm a city girl and not that big on nature. Too many green things growing wildly and being unable to see the sky (and have cell reception) make me feel anxious and claustrophobic. But even I have to admit that there's something calming and therapeutic in Forest Walk. Not in an essential oil/aromatherapy way; perfumer Laurie Erickson, the heart and soul behind Sonoma Scent Studio, is highly skilled in her art to create and abstract interpretation of the subject. It has light and shadow, brown and green and wonderful serenity that comes from precious woods and incense.
Forest Walk has the density of many natural perfumes, but it's not opaque. Light and air move through it thanks to tiny delicate flowers growing on the edge of the path. As we walk deeper into the forest the resinous of bark and incense take over, adding warmth and a touch of sweetness. The fragrance remains close to the skin (at least when dabbed) but is consistent and lasts for about six hours. It's a pleasure to wear and get just a little lost among the trees.
Notes: Black hemlock absolute, fir absolute, Western red cedar, oakwood absolute, galbanum resin, jasmine sambac absolute, violet, olibanum, labdanum absolute, natural oakmoss absolute, aged Indian patchouli, New Caledonia sandalwood, orris, benzoin, earthy notes.
Forest Walk from Sonoma Scent Studio ($21, 5ml. Smaller samples and bigger bottles also available) can be purchased from sonomascentstudio.com. The sample for this review was sent to me by the perfumer.
Art: Irish Forest Walk by A. Fleming