Monday, November 28, 2011

Tabak or Not Tabac. Tabaq.


Most customer's initial reaction to hearing "tobacco" in a fragrance description is "ew". Images of cigarette buts and smokey bars come to mind. Tobacco, however, lends a rich and masculine appeal to a home fragrance to make it incredibly comforting and relaxing. Think oversized leather chair in a dark den surrounded by wood paneling. I could stay all day.

Our first introduction to tobacco was in the legendary Archipelago Botanicals Havana candle which blends bergamot, tobacco leaf and ylang ylang. Men and women are both drawn to this exotic fragrance that whisks you away to an exotic island with rum drinks, bold shirts and cigars. I, too, was skeptical of tobacco in home fragrance but after experiencing this scent I became a believer.


Belle Fleur created a unique twist on tobacco by blending it with cocoa in the Cocao Tabaq candle.  To hear Belle Fleur creator, Meredith, describe this fragrance is a scene out of When Harry Met Sally. Her eyes roll back and half shut as she walks you through how deep cocoa, tobacco leaf and ebony wood come together with a touch of roasted espresso for warmth. You'll want to scream "I'll have what she's having!" and run home and devour the delectable scent.

Then came Voluspa Warm Perique Tabac.  At first sniff, most customers turn away from the almost bitter note from this candle.  Light it, though, and it opens up to reveal the most warm and inviting fragrance.  Worn, wooden floors appear beneath your feet and you're surrounded by leather bound books.  It's the most robust and distinguished of all the tobacco fragrances we've encountered.  It's not for the faint at heart but can become a healthy addiction for true tobacco aficionados.

Aura did a great job at creating a sensual tobacco fragrance with their new Muse candle blending tobacco flower with vanilla orchid and amber. If you're looking for a new "bedroom" candle - this warm and intimate blend is it.  Aura mastered the art of balancing yin and yang with this fragrance- the masculine tobacco is perfectly complimented by just the right amount of supple, more feminine vanilla.

Tobacco has even made it's way into holiday fragrances with Aquiesse Cinnamon Tabac and the new Tocca Marrakesh candle.

"Gifts of golden cinnamon gently dusted over warm vanilla, with hints of sweet aged tobacco, summoning memories of the glow from a stone fireplace."

Aquiesse Cinnamon Tabac is mostly a spicy blend offering warm cinnamon and soft vanilla. The tobacco in this blend gives the overall fragrance nice depth but doesn't overwhelm.  If you're looking for a good fall/winter scent that has a unisex appeal, this one is for you.  I love the uber thick smokey glass with Aquiesse candles.  Added bonus - these come with a lid that can be used as a snuffer, base when the candle is in use, and as a cover when the candle is not in use for a clean, dust-free look.

One of my favorite new holiday fragrances this year is by Tocca.  Their new Marrakesh candle offers sweet tobacco blended with creamy vanilla.  The tobacco in this blend is so sweet it comes across almost like incredibly rich caramel.  If Voluspa Warm Perique Tabac leans towards this bitter side of tobacco, this is on the extreme other side of the spectrum with it's velvety appeal.  This slightly oversized candle is super fragrant with 3-wicks and a brass base for a dramatic ambiance.

If you've never tried a candle with tobacco - fear not - for it can add depth and character like no other fragrance note.  Pick a crisp dark night.  Dim the lights.  Light a luxuriously scented tobacco candle and stretch out on a plush rug in front of a roaring fire.  You'll want to stay all night.

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