Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Burning Tobacco, Sans the Smoke

Un jour d'août au champs de tabac, originally uploaded by pfala.

Burning tobacco without the smoke is made possible via Bohem, Gabriel's Aunt scented soywax candle. While it isn't in the least smoky, it has the unique effect of tobacco absolute, smelling simultaneously fresh and deep, warm and woody. It's a rather simple candle yet smells sophisticated because of the unusual choice of notes: tabac blond absolute, patchouli, vetiver and davana, which adds a curiously fruity and herbaceous-freshness to the mix.

Bohem reminds me of a gypsy or a voodoo dance rather than a bohemian smoking den. The raw and unrefined qualities of the materials and the relative simplicity of their orchestration creates an unfamiliar experience that is curiously appealing.

But Bohem is not only a candle. It began as a perfume, and it is the first of Nikki Sherrit's candles to reflect her natural perfume collection. The perfume is more sophisticated, with the fruitiness of the davana even more pronounced. It plays on the contrast between that wine-like fruitiness and the dryness of tobacco, amplified with the other woody notes which later on evolve into a smooth, chocolatey tobacco dry down. Both the candle and the perfume represent the cured tobacco leaf rather than any tobacco product (i.e.: cigars, cigarettes or pipe tobacco); a choice that makes Bohem stand out in this genre. While there are leathery qualities, an inevitable aspect of the tobacco leaf, there is none of the smokiness or imposed sweetness that happens when you light a match to flavoured tobacco.

Notes: Vetiver, Virginia Cedarwood, Patchouli, Tobacco, Allspice, Cassie and Davana.

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