Apple Tabac (Pineward)

Good perfumery transports
me to a different time and place via my nose. It is January 1st, 2023, and I'm in the dullest part of the year. January is a month with few associations other than disappointment that the holidays are over and the chagrined acknowledgement that work must resume. But what if I could turn back the clock to a point where all the holidays are ahead again? Is there a time-travel device that would let me do that?

Turns out there is, and it comes in the form of a fragrance. It's by Nicholas Nilsson, an indie perfumer who heads a brand of woodsy, pine-focused perfumes, only this one isn't about pine. It's called Apple Tabac, and it's about the salubrious smells of apple orchards in October. One spray sends me back to early autumn, before Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. I'm standing in an orchard on a cool day. A breeze sends ripples of fifty-eight degree air through row after row of apple trees, and carries the sublime aroma of fresh red and green fruits, a bouquet of leaves, dried hay bales, and fermented cores nestled in the soil underfoot. It's a dry and semisweet smell, smoother than silicon and as ethereal as choir music drifting past a cathedral gallery to the heavens.  

This is the simplest of Pineward's fragrances, which is what I like most about it. Its easy timbre of tree apples and fresh air is so pure and affecting that any other note would be disruptive. Prior batches had a maple note which has since been removed, and Apple Tabac is all the better for it. Maple would conflict and add unnecessary sweetness, and I hope Nilsson keeps it out of future bottles. There's only the mildest hint of tobacco, which is also a good thing. But would I spend $200 for this? Nicole Miller for Men achieves a similar effect for $10 per bottle, albeit at lower quality. The fact that I'm even considering the price says something. Apple Tabac is a gorgeous perfume, and if you enjoy the smell of orchards in autumn, it might be your last stop.