Yum! Definitely the best fir tree scent I've smelt, beside the real thing: dark and deep and resinous and very close to nature, like walking in a coniferous wood, the black earth damp and strewn with pine needles. Some pine scents are fresher and greener, attempting to capture only the smell of new pine needles, but this is the entire woods, bark and sap and moss and lichen and earth and all.
AGRARIA BALSAM by Agraria:
One year, while vacationing in San Francisco, I found myself in Gump’s—and promptly fell in love with Agraria’s Lemon Verbena Cologne Spray, which, fortunately, was also carried by Bergdorf’s in my hometown, New York. For several years, I lived for that crisp, fresh lemony-lime scent, with a touch of jasmine. Fast forward to the New Recession—and I’m shopping at TJ Maxx, where I find, surprisingly, several Agraria candles and one bottle of Agraria cologne, which I promptly snap up. This spray is Balsam—and highly evocative of winter, specifically the holiday season, when hunting for exactly the right Christmas tree: the fresh cut on the trunk, the resin, the wood chips, the pine needles—and then stopping at the house of the Christmas tree farm’s owners, for a cup of hot mulled cider, fragrant with cloves and cinnamon. According to the Agraria website, this fragrance was named Best Home Fragrance of the Year—which might prove unsettling for some. But, for me, I’m happy to be back at that Christmas tree farm, warm and toasty, with those two strapping boys who were always so willing to help load the freshly-cut tree onto the back of the car. Winter’s bouquet in a bottle.
This excellent scent reminds me of some of the resinous, drier Madini scents. It is dry, a bit smoky, and a great fir scent. On my skin, I don’t get very much floral at all – to me it is strongly masculine as a personal fragrance, but, as a room fragrance, not so masculine. Odysseusm has described it so well there’s no point in my repeating. For my part, suffice it to say that Agraria is an excellent and unique fragrance. I can very easily see a use for this as a personal fragrance and I would be looking to get the complementary products. Love it…
Notes: sweet balsam, California redwood, French sage, white flowers
Agraria’s Balsam an interesting, distinctive scent. The cedar-balsam opening is resinous and dry. It is very realistic and natural, reminiscent of green sap, oozing out of a freshly cut tree limb. The scents are at times sweet and at times dry. Regardless, they are full-bodied.
Then, Balsam settles into a mellow balsamic note (like vanilla but drier, not cloying, more interesting). A close partner throughout the enterprise is sage.
In the final analysis, the scent is a two-note chord: somewhat restrained balsam together with rubbery-herbal sage. The conifers are not really to be found. Any floral notes are simply a softening agent rather than a note in and of themselves. Wood notes -- minimal.
I suppose Balsam could be termed ‘feminine’ in that it is not heavy, spicy or leathery. But I find it to be quite masculine, because it has a simple and reserved elegance, and is dry enough with few floral aspects. There are also bar soap and shower gel available, and the products are good value.
Update and revised.
18th June, 2007 (last edited: 07th September, 2014)
Great stuff! Not at all piney, but complex, mysterious and long-lasting. A bit more feminine than masculine.