Friday, August 27, 2010

Perfumer's Palette - Tabacco

image from
The fragrance of tabacco brings back memories , good or bad , to almost all of us . Old leather jackets , redolent with it's rich , fruity , hay-like nuances , smoky libraries , pungent with years of brandy and cigars...most of us had relatives who smoked . My Dad smoked for many years , a cigarette in every ash tray . But he quit years ago and good for him ! He's 80 years old now and quite healthy , my memories are not so tied with the scent of tobacco .
But love it I do , though I can't stand to be around burning tobacco . The scent of tobacco absolute is a whole different thing ! Odori Tabacco is a rich , sweet , intoxicating thing that taught me to love the scent of tobacco absolute .

Used for thousands of years by Native Americans spiritually and in ritual smoked in the peace pipe , Nicotiana originated in South America . It contains the chemical nicotine , a toxic alkaloid( the most addicitve substance known to science ) anabasine and glucosides .
Though no longer widely used medically because of it's highly addictive narcotic effect ,, tobacco is a comforting relaxant , , sedative , antispasmodic and expectorant .
Nicotiana tabacum is distilled and solvent extracted in order to obtain tobacco absolute . One can find it sourced from Morocco , Bulgaria , Virginia . It's distinctive fruity , hay-like aroma is used as a base note and is delicious with patchouli and labdanum ! It is very dark in color , adds dry nuances to perfumes , and helps to balance the rich sweetness of many florals .

What memories does tobacco elicit for you ? Do you like to wear tobacco fragrances , which ones ?
Odori Tabacco
Santa Maria Novella Tabacco Toscana
Caron Tabac Blond
Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac


Isa said...

I fell completely in love with Santa Maria Novella Tabacco Toscana and By Kilian Back to Black, although I don't get "tobacco" in them. Unfortunately, my father still smokes and I hate the smell of his cigarettes.

Anonymous said...

Most people in my family smoke cigarettes, and I'm a former smoker myself. But that's not what I think of when I think of Tobacco as a fragrance note...
My great-grandfather lived to 100 years old, and lived healthy in his own home. He smoked cigars (I wish I could remember the brand!), and when I think of him, I think of the sweet, rich, honeyed tones of an unlit cigar.

I haven't explored the tobacco note much in perfumery; right now my collection is pretty much limited to L'AP Havana Vanille--which is subtle, but gorgeous.

Thanks for the article!

Lisa Abdul-Quddus said...

I could smell tobacco absolute as I was reading this. :^) I don't like the smell of burning tobacco either but the absolute is oh so lovely. It can definitely add a deep rich element to perfume.

Tamara*J said...

I love Sonoma Scent Studios Tabac Aurea, and Fifi Chachnil for my tobacco fixes Carol. Yummy!

waftbyCarol said...

Hi Isa ,
How could I forget Back to Black...m bottle has been hiding in the back , it's time to bring it out !!
dee - Tobacco can be strong in fragrance , but there are so many to try
Lisa - I'm wanting to get some absolute now...
Tamara - I wanted to love tabac Aurea , but it didn't work for me !
Fifi is nice , but I only sniffed it once breifly . Love the bottles !

Musette said...

Cuesta Rey #2...when I was 16 I had a summer internship to a Creative Director in a major ad agency. What a glamorous world (70s). His whole office smelled like a humidor.......Cuesta Reyes, unlit, are very sweet and smoky.

The only tobacco that comes to mind at this moment is Liz Zorn's Tobacco and Tulle - but I'm sure I have others....

xo A

waftbyCarol said...

Groovy , A !! A Mad Men world , must've been fun .
I've sniffed a Cohiba or two...
yum-O !!

And you are sending me a sniff of the T & T aren't excited !

Julie Ellen said...

I love the smell of smoke, from burning leaves or cigars, but don't like cigarette smoke. I have recently been testing Jasmin et Cigarette and I am still not sure if I like it. I catch a whif and it seems good, but later in the last stage of drydown all I want to do is wash! Will have to try other smoke based scents before I can comment further.

ggs said...

Love Caron Tabac Blond parfum, but have just a few other fragrances that feature a tobacco note. It's definitely one to explore further. Hate the smell of cigarette smoke

A fun smoky fragrance is CBIHP's Burning Leaves; smells exactly like it's name, and good layered with a spicy or vanilla fragrance.

Some farmers in south-central Pennsylvania where I live are still raising tobacco as a cash crop. My husband worked as a teen hanging bundles of tobacco leaves to dry in his uncle's barn, just like in your photo ;)

olenska said...

I love Annick Goutal's Encens Flamboyant for its supermenthol cigarette qualities, like that first really good drag from a Nat Sherman Hint of Mint extra-long smoke. :) Another great palette post Carol!

Perfumaniac said...

I'm a fan of three tobacco-laced scents.

First, the easier one: Habanita. From its history (it was used to perfume cigarettes) to its scent (a beautifully blended almost-gourmand tobacco), it's a comfort fragrance that makes me feel tucked in bed.

Second, the lush one. Chergui from Serge Lutens has a tobacco leaf note that gives some edge to this honeyed, vanillic Oriental that's supposed to smell like a "hot Moroccan desert wind."

And then there's the galbanum-leather Bandit that may not technically be a tobacco scent, but smells a little like a wet ashtray. It shouldn't work, but it does!