There’s a lovely review of Tabac Aurea posted today on I Smell Therefore I Am and the blog is giving away some Tabac samples if you are interested in adding your name to the hat. I’ve had feedback from more people on Tabac now as more samples get out, and it brings up the topic of scent variations from one person to the next.
Most of the feedback on Tabac so far has been wonderful, with people enjoying it very much. It appeals to people who want a tabac that’s not overly smoky or masculine but is still woodsy. People say it is an unsmoked pipe tobacco scent, which is how I intended it to be (I’ve not liked the cigarette vibe I get from a few tabac scents I’ve tried).
One variation in how people perceive Tabac Aurea is the sweetness level. To me, it is a woodsy gourmand with a gentle sweetness (not nearly as sweet as something like the scent Collection, but sweeter to me than the dry and woodsy Bell’ Antonio). The sweetness in Tabac Aurea comes from several ingredients: the tabac itself, some tonka, a sweet musk, and some amber/vanilla.
Many testers have found the scent to have a mild sweetness about the same as I do, but a few people have found it quite dry and I’m guessing some of them might be anosmic to the sweet musk in it. I couldn’t resist using this musk because it goes so beautifully with the tabac. The musk has a warm golden feeling to it and it has some soft subtle fruity notes that complement the tabac very well. This musk adds a lot to the yummy golden almost honeyed drydown of Tabac Aurea. Those who don’t smell the musk will miss out on some of that, though the tabac itself is yummy and the various amber ingredients add to that golden feeling too.
Another perception that varies is the amount of leather people get from Tabac Aurea. It has both tobacco and leather notes, and to me the leather opens stronger and softens as it goes, but to me the scent has more tabac overall than leather. Most of my testers found that to be true as well, but some people do get more leather than others, presumably because they are more sensitive to leather notes and pick them up at lower levels. So the leather to tabac ratio in Tabac Aurea will depend on whether you are relatively more sensitive to leather or tobacco. Sensitivity is different from liking vs not liking; people can sometimes very much like a note they are sensitive to as long as it is kept soft enough so as not to overwhelm the other notes for them.
Here’s another way to look at this. If you were to take the main ingredients of the tabac accord and put them in one vial and put the main constituents of the leather accord in another vial and let people sniff the accords in isolation, they’d probably mostly describe them in similar ways. Then if you asked the same people to mix a blend of the two accords that seemed to smell like it was balanced 50/50 leather/tabac, I bet the percents they’d use of each accord would vary a lot.
I hope I’ve not totally bored you with this topic, but it’s worth remembering that people will vary in their perception of scents depending not only on their preferences but also on what ingredients they are sensitive to and what ingredients they are anosmic to. Keeping that in mind will help you understand when you smell something and find it different than someone else does. Neither one of you is nuts, lol. 🙂