Laurie Erickson of Sonoma Scent Studios has a lovely collection of *natural perfumes. Cocoa Sandalwood continues to be one of my favorite sandalwood fragrances, and in fact, turned me into a full fledged sandalwood lover. Laurie’s latest from her Naturals line also revolves around wood, but this time it’s a woodland theme, the Pacific Forest. Hiking in the Pacific Northwest is truly an exceptional experience. It’s very calming to inhale the fresh air filled with the aromas of majestic pine, spruce and fir trees. To witness this beauty and breathe in the perfumed air is relaxing and awe inspiring. Laurie has captured this sense of restful wonder that is the Pacific Forest. Although the piney forest scent is most prominent in her Pacific Forest perfume, its amber base of labdanum and vanilla allows for a gentle backdrop, made a bit sweeter by heliotrope and violet. An earthiness is present too, as patchouli, frankincense and sandalwood fuse to create the scent of the forest ground being shuffled by one’s feet. Pacific Forest is an ideal feel-good fragrance for the cold days and nights that lie ahead.
Cocoa Sandalwood is one of the most dynamic fragrances I have experienced in a long time. It moves through its stages with a quiet force that is palpable, alluring, and in the end, becomes an intimately beautiful sandalwood fragrance.
The opening notes do not hint much to a sandalwood experience though. Like I said, this a dynamic perfume and it has an interesting itinerary. Initially, the first wood encountered is cedar, charged with coffee and cocoa, all very pure. When I say pure, I mean there’s no pencil shavings to the cedar, no roughness, just smooth dense wood. And the coffee is not bitter and the cocoa is not sweet. The three notes are solidly together, opening the fragrance on sure footing, without a lot of embellishment.
Hanukkah beings tonight, and I’ve been poring over food blogs for new recipes and general holiday inspiration. I keep coming across delicious fig based dishes and desserts like Braised Chicken with Cilantro, Lemon and Dried Figs and Olive Oil Orange Cake with Poached Figs. Don’t those recipes sound amazing? I really hope I can find the time to make them both this week.
One figgie thing I will definitely make time for, is wearing Sonoma Scent Studios Fig Tree in both its forms, perfume and shea body cream. Fig Tree embodies all that I love about fig fragrances but have never managed to find with such well-balanced proportions. This fig scent is equal parts creamy, sweet, dryly woody, musky, and dewy green. The perfume strikes me as a little drier and muskier than the sweeter and greener body cream, but I would never be able to pick which one I prefer. In fact, when they are layered, an even more complex fig aroma emerges with hints of coconut and an amplified impression of freshly crushed leaves embedded in rich soil.
When it comes to the woody side of Fig Tree, cedar is undeniably the main contributor. If you’re not already an established cedar fan, then Fig Tree might not be for you. But if you kind of like it, this earthy and vanillic perfume might turn you into a full-fledged card carrying cedar fan club member. And of course, if you already have that card in your wallet, Fig Tree is a must-try.
Gaia over at The Non Blonde recommends giving Fig Tree a try, even if you aren’t crazy for the mainstays of figgie perfumes like Diptyqie’s Philosykos or L’Artisan’s Premier Figuier. I wholeheartedly agree with her assessment of Fig Tree being more dimensional than either of those and yes, as Gaia says, Fig Tree is definitely magical.
Fig Tree Perfume comes in several sizes and price points. The 17ml spray bottle is $34. The Shea Body Cream is $16 for 4oz. Available at SonomaScentStudio.com.
Sonoma Scent Studios uses a high percentage of natural essences in their perfumes, but uses synthetic aromachemicals as well. Please see the FAQs page for more information regarding their perfume ingredients.
The Shea Body Cream is all natural, save for 1% of a paraben-free preservative system composed of three items: sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (derived from the natural amino acid glycine), phenoxyethanol (a mild antibacterial), and caprylyl glycol (from palm kernal oil with skin-softening and antibacterial properties). It does not contain parabens, petrolatum, propylene glycol, mineral oil, isopropyl myristate, silicones such as cyclomethicone and dimethicone, triethanolamine (TEA), diethanolamine (DEA), diazolidinyl urea, or DMDM hydantoin.
Fig Tree watercolor by Julia Rymer Brucker at etsy.
Disclosure: Samples of Fig Tree were provided to me by Sonoma Scent Studios. Opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.