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zankoku_zen

Cedarwood, Vanilla Absolute & Tolu Balsam

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In my decant, I get a mix of cedarwood, faint vanilla, and the balsam adding a deep, slightly evergreen note. Woodsy but subtly sweet. Soooorta like Ü, if you swapped out the leatherbound book smell for cedar. If you're looking for something to assuage Cedarwood & Smoked Vanilla FOMO, this doesn't really fill that gap, but it's lovely in its own right...until I put it on. And then: pencil shavings. I had managed to evade cedar going to pencil shavings on me until today. This one was a skin chemistry fail on me, but I'll hang onto my decant for scent locket purposes.

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I got to try this from a friend's bottle.

 

On my skin, it was Tombstone with much more balsam and no root beer. 

 

I seemed to amp the balsamic quality more than my friend did. It wasn't as balsamic as balsamic vinegar, but definitely on the road, and less approachable than Tombstone. On my friend, this was more balanced -- a more user-friendly rustic. :smilenod:

 

 

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Wet, this was all cedar bark, and it was loud, like you'd just fallen off the swing at the playground and were sitting in the freshly re-mulched cedar chips.  But it calmed down pretty quickly on me.  It's still cedar dominant, but the balsam is there too, and possibly the vanilla, though it is having trouble standing up to the cedar.  There's definitely a sweetness, but evergreens always sweeten on my skin.  I wouldn't say it's obviously vanillic.  One of the most beautiful realistic cedars I've tried recently.

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I smell the cedarwood predominantly, but I assume the other notes are what make it smell so smooth and polished. I love the smell of cedar, and the closer the scent is to the inside of a cedar chest, the better. So I really like this. :) It's calming and warm. 

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This is my kind of scent - it is all sweet cedar. It's smooth, warm, and comforting. The tolu balsam is a light, greenish smell tethering the cedar and vanilla. It keeps it from going cloying or too pencil shavings. This is like a smooth, antique cedar chest, warm from the sun that held something sweet and maybe a couple of sprigs of evergreenery.  

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I tested this one one hand and put some Cedarwood and Smoked Vanilla on the other to deathmatch the two.

 

Even though they may sound similar, they're two really different scents. Cedarwood, Vanilla Absolute, and Tolu Balsam is much stronger on the cedar, but it is a soft cedar, and if you like the variety found in Tombstone, you should be pleased with the cedar in this. The vanilla never showed up on me, and the balsam was pretty light in the background. This is more warm and woody, while Cedarwood and Smoked Vanilla is stronger on the vanilla and has a more sophisticated feel to it.

 

I think this is nice, but I know I wouldn't reach for it over Tombstone with its root beer and more prominent vanilla.

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I really love the combo of cedar and vanilla, so I was expecting to love this, but it's a whole lotta pencil shavings on me. It may just need to age for a good long while (fresh wood scents are often not awesome on my skin) so I won't give up on it, but currently it's not a fave. I am getting none of the vanilla sweetness I hoped for, and all of the dry dusty pencils. Wah wah.

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