To my nose, the initial tobacco note is that of unscented roll-your-own pale tobacco, acquiring a more aromatic, pipe-tobacco quality as the scent progresses. The accord is very nice if a tad too smooth - I find it not as masculine as the tobacco in, say, Aramis's Havana, C&S's Cuba or Davidoff's Zino. Other prominent notes are leather and a heavyish sandalwood/amber combo which the folks at Sonoma seem to have an affinity for. All notes blend well into a full-bodied and well-done scent, but the drydown is perhaps a bit too heavy and too close to the skin. I wouldn't mind more tobacco in the drydown. Oddly, during the first 5 minutes Tabac Aurea comes across as a mix of Annick Goutal's Duel and Sables, with some of the citrus replaced by tobacco.
This stuff is great! It's got that pipe tobacco smell made famous by Tobacco Vanille, but it handles it quite differently. That pipe tobacco smell is actually a clever mix of cedar, honey, and chamomile - Tabac Aurea plays up the woody aspect instead of the sweet aspect that most scents of this type tend to exaggerate. As such, it's like the smell of an old-school pipe tobacco store mixed with burnished woods, a touch of smoky pine tar leather, some boozy rum, and incense. It works really well and is perfect for people who like that tobacco smell but don't like gourmands.
Realistically, this sits comfortably in the same family as Tobacco Vanille, Ambre Narguille, and Back To Black. It's very much worth noting that all of those sell for around $300, while you can get a small bottle of Tabac Aurea for about $40. I know there are people who peruse these reviews looking for little known inexpensive scents that smell like very costly, top-notch perfumes - this is very much one of those. Well worth checking out!
I love tobacco notes but wearability is sometimes an issue. I have smelled a good number and own only Diptyque Volutes EDT. Tabac Surea, however, outshines the others for me. It is a smooth, intense honey/ambered tobacco leaf. I get little to no smokiness and smells like a good quality slightly cherried unlit pipe tobacco ala Nat Sherman's. This is my ultimate comfort scent and I find myself reaching for it often. More of a cool weather scent but since I like it so much I'd probably try it on warmer evenings as well. Will probably end up with a full bottle at some point.
26th April, 2015 (last edited: 29th April, 2015)
Having recently gotten more into tobacco scents, the forum here at basenotes led me this way. My closest comparison here is Tobacco Oud by TF. While I enjoy Tobacco Oud, to me it is more of a novelty fragrance; It's not something I find wearable based on my tastes. I came to Tabac Aurea while looking for something similar to Tobacco Vanille. If you are looking for a Tobacco Vanille or Tobacco Oud substitute, look elsewhere. If you like the two but can't decide, read on.
Tabac Aurea takes the dry, authentic tobacco of Tobacco Oud and creates a much more wearable scent. It's a well-blended fragrance that never feels dominated by any one note, unlike Tobacco Oud. Tobacco is obviously at the forefront, but it is well-blended by some wood a la Tom Ford Extreme (I think cedar, but maybe sandalwood too?), leather, and the slightest bit of incense-y sweetness. Really well-rounded and can probably be appreciated by people that don't like tobacco fragrances.
Sonoma has chosen to give up gourmand deliciousness in favor of mystery and sexiness. Is it better than Tobacco Vanille and Tobacco Oud? Tough to say, but it does seem to bring the two together in a package that highlights some of what works in each of those fragrances.
Straight to the point: a fantastic contemporary tobacco scent, if not the best modern revisiting of this ingredient, fairly deserving its place next to “all-times” classics like Havana. Powerful and martial, a well-engineered blend capturing and enhancing all nuances of tobacco, from humid to sweet and from earthy to smoky. The opening shows a bold resinous-spicy and slightly candied feel like in some Lutens (but also Norma Kamali incense, in a way), with silky notes of honey and labdanum, which then progressively get darker and drier making Tabac Aurea reach a sort of “zen” of pure smell of tobacco. All smells thick and dense, incredibly harmonic and solid, a modern symphony ranging from the darkest smokiness of cigarettes to the “wet” richness of freshly-cut tobacco leaves. Almost like a comprehensive “essay” of all the facets of this fantastic material. All wrapped in a warm, sweet, subtle aura of vanillin and resins providing a thin frame of mellow elegance. Rich, thick and linear (three features quite common in contemporary US niche), bold and refined, and also totally versatile. Great persistence, practically immortal on clothes. A must for all tobacco lovers, or more generally, of any fan of “contemporary dark” scents.