Blood Cedar Demi-Absolute (Soivohle)

What's in a name? Billed as a woody oriental, Blood Cedar had me envisioning the gothic backwoods of my childhood, where creeks tinged a hue halfway between rust and rooibos tea flowed in eternal silence under shadowy canopies of evergreen. From my own extrapolations, I expected Blood Cedar to smell powerfully woody and feral; hence my surprise when confronted with the feather-light aroma of vanilla meringue.

The scent of raw cedarwood is warm and intensely balsamic, but imagine it at a more muted level, carried to you via a linen dinner napkin. Kept tissue-wrapped with its mates in a hand-carved hope chest, it now lines the serving basket in which a batch of freshly-baked macaroons awaits its ride to the table. The spun-sugar-and-egg-white aroma of the macaroons mingles with the light, dry scent of the cedar-stored linen, carrying with it a promise of plenty-for-everyone.

Nominally, Blood Cedar may sound like a prime Grand Guignol experience, but you may be surprised by how shyly and softly it speaks once you get past those first introductions. It unfolds itself with minimal fanfare but maximum generosity, revealing sweet hidden treats designed for the pleasure of all.

Scent Elements: Virginia cedar, citrus, tonka, sandalwood, labdanum, vanilla