Welcome to the new BoTO! What better way to kick off a new year than with a new format and a joint-blogging project? Anne-Marie and I are delighted to share our thoughts on three woody perfumes to celebrate the holiday season: Ava Luxe Madeline, Tauer Lonestar Memories, and Sonoma Scent Studio Fig Tree… a scent we completely disagree on. Enjoy!
Floral perfumes usually induce a mood or a state of mind for me, in an abstract way. But perfumes with strong woody accents often do more than that: they take me to different place.
I like fig fragrances and dozing in the shade of a grove of fig trees is my idea of heaven, but sadly, Sonoma Scent Studio’s Fig Tree does not take me there. Laurie wanted to de-emphasise the coconut-y notes that fig scents often have, and indeed I don’t smell coconut specifically. What I get is a dense, creamy, swirling, curdling morass. The creaminess catches in my throat and feels sickly. I do get a little bit of sharp greenery, and quite a bit of earth, but not a kind of earth I want to be near. The creaminess is so strong to me that it must be preventing me from smelling the other notes. I get no vanilla, for instance, and none of the cedar that Natalie on Another Perfume Blog found so intriguing. The most I can say is that as the fragrance develops, a little bit of pleasant fruit finally gets a look in. Sigh. Sorry everyone. After writing this review I will be heading into the shower.
Andy Tauer’s Lonestar Memories is a fragrance I love to smell but rarely wear. Once you have been testing and wearing fragrances for a while you do begin to understand the difference. Like many other people I get the birch tar effect very strongly in the opening of Lonestar Memories, and while it reminds me of the creosote I used to notice on fences in the hot sun during my childhood, I love to smell it. How weird is that? The Lonestar Memories bloke is a man of few words; curt, even, while he is at work in the saddle. In the evening, as sunset gives way to firelight, he can finally relax. He doesn’t mind a yarn or two in front of the fire, and you might even catch a slow smile every now and again, as he muses over distant memories of other nights like this.
Unlike Anne-Marie, I don’t like fig fragrances. I love the distinctive figgy-smell of Estee Lauder lipsticks, and I love the smell of cooked fig (with prosciutto) on pizza, and the faintly fruity aroma of dried figs as I pop them into my mouth—but until I met Fig Tree, there wasn’t a fig fragrance that I liked enough to own or even wear. I thought I wanted a ripe, fruity, fig… until I met Sonoma Scent Studio’s Fig Tree. It is my perfect fig fragrance: it possesses an addictive quality that I love, beginning with the green, almost sharp, opening that segues into calming cedar with an earthiness that reminds me of playing in piles of leaves during the bright fall days of my New England childhood. For the remainder of wear-time (which is many hours on my skin) it’s all creamy woods, and when I catch a whiff of it on a sweater a day or two later, I swoon all over again. Despite mentions of “creaminess,” Fig Tree isn’t at all gourmand.
A big perfume from the smallest state, Ava Luxe Madeline is bottled Christmas. Not Christmas as I think of it now—with accompanying traffic, greed, consumerism, and guilt, but the sacred days of childhood Christmas: excitement, anticipation, evergreen trees, spiced cider, apple pies, and the delight of a warm living room after a romp in the snow with my cousins. Madeline is comforting and enticing—it’s foody, though distinctly inedible. It’s sweet, and a little weird (spiced eggnog and Fir tree, with a juniper wreath in the background); it’s also one of my all-time favorite sleep scents.
Check out other participating ‘O Tannenbaum’ bloggers!
All I am… a redhead :: Another Perfume Blog :: Beauty, Bacon, Bunnies :: EauMG :: Eyeliner on a cat :: Fragrant Reviews :: Muse in Wooden Shoes :: Olfactoria”s Travels :: Parfumieren :: Redolent of Spices :: Scent of the Day :: Suzanne’s Perfume Journal :: The Candy Perfume Boy :: Undina’s Looking Glass