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Eau des Baux goes on with a spicy pink pepper and cardamom tandem before slowly transitioning to its early heart. After the spicy open the spice recedes but remains now in support, ceding ground to a somewhat woody coniferous cypress with hints of smooth incense peeping through. As the fragrance progresses in the heart the incense deepens and intensifies to take the fore, moderately sweetened by tonka bean from the base which gives the overall accord a relatively sweet pipe tobacco like vibe with the cypress and cardamom dirtying the overall accord somewhat. During the late dry-down the initial spice all but completely dissipates, leaving the tonka bean, incense and remaining supporting cypress to give a relatively sweet sendoff. Projection is good to very good and longevity is average at about 8 hours on skin.
Eau des Baux was quite a surprise when I finally got around to trying it. Tobacco is not listed in the notes and indeed it most likely contains none but it does have a very deep pipe tobacco vibe that permeates the heart of the fragrance and it smells incredible. The cypress utilized throughout the composition is key to making everything work, as it adds a woody slightly coniferous underlying facet that counters the sweetness of the tonka bean laden incense to balance the composition. Eau des Baux is frequently compared to Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford and I can definitely see why folks may make the comparison, but Eau des Baux is the more complete and interesting composition of the two that sells for a heck of a lot less money at its $52 a 100 ml bottle price tag. The bottom line is after sampling this one at my local mall, I left L'Occitane, got to my car and then turned around and bought a bottle as it completely impressed me (relatively low cost aside). Values like this 4 star out of 5 "excellent" rated fragrance are relatively scarce, so I recommend seeking Eau des Baux out for trial and possible purchase.
28th April, 2013