I must confess that the name Sonoma Scent Studio preceded my discovery and love of niche perfumes. A few years ago my friend from Pittsburgh visited me in Toronto and I told him I had never smelled anyone wearing a perfume that’s actually “incensy”. (He’s caucasian and he loves everything Chinese and he lights incense joss sticks everyday and his home smells like a temple.) He highly recommended Sonoma because it’s “awesome”.
And now I can tell you he is right. My impression of this line after smelling most of their samples is that they remind me of a high-end nature store. You know, beautiful interior, decorated with big wind chimes, hangable stained glass panels, cosy all natural organic sweaters and a bird chirping soundtrack being played from all-surround sound Bose speakers.
There are so many that I like from the sample pack, and some of my favs include Spiced Citrus Vetiver (quite unexpected, because I am not a big fan of cologne and vetiver, but this blend is just done amazingly appealing), Yin and Yang (florals, amber, musks), Fig Tree, and of course, Amber Incense and Incense Pure, and ALL their rose perfumes.
Sonoma Scent Studio’s Amber lncense (2015)
Remember in The Lord of the Rings, the hobbits carry little biscuits called Lembas Bread that have magical powers of satiation; “one small bite is enough to fill the stomach of a grown man”? Well, the amber incense perfume equivalent is Sonoma‘s Amber Incense, an all natural, powerful, concentrated perfume that can rival any extraits and it lasts for many many hours.
On first wearing, you might think you are just wearing amber and incense, because the spice, rose, oakmoss, resins are so packed tightly together, it takes some time for your nose to slowly unravel this Pac Man Power Pellet, and while you are doing that, you are invincible.
Sonoma Scent Studio’s Fig Tree (2011)
Note that it’s not “Figs”, but “Fig Tree”, and here you really get a beautiful, austere fig tree scent with ripe figs ready to be harvested. The smells of leafy greenness, woodiness, and unique fig fruitiness in this scent are naturally proportionate to a real fig tree and in that order. The touch of creamy coconuty vanilla makes this scent extra comforting to wear.
I’d say Fig Tree is an upgraded version of Diptyque’s Philosykos, the more famous mass-marketed fig scent, but Fig Tree smells stunningly more longer-lasting, natural, classy, generous and less cartoony, than Philosykos.