Tom Daxon Bowers, who is the founder of Tom Daxon, apparently grew up having quite a fragrant childhood. His mother was the creative director for Molton Brown, so it’s no surprise that he now runs a fragrance house that also produces shower gels. I haven’t tried his shower gels yet but, just from sampling Sicilian Wood, I can already sense a zesty freshness that would translate well to a shower gel. But I’m here first and foremost for the fragrance. Sicilian Wood is my first scent from this line and it has given me pretty high expectations for the rest of the Tom Daxon offerings.
Sicilian Wood begins with a brilliant burst of citrus. Even though bergamot and tangerine are listed in the notes, the opening is overwhelmingly lemon-centric to me. It’s a very realistic citrus too. It’s juicy, but sharp and bitter as well. The woody notes start to come through after a minute of wear time. This could easily turn into lemon pledge territory but, luckily, Sicilian Wood never goes full cleaning product on me. The realism given off by the citrus notes helps, as does the cardamom note. The cardamom is a zesty kind of spicy, and adds a little bit of fizzy fun to the composition. If Sicilian Wood is meant to evoke a citrus grove, this grove is flourishing and twinkling in the Mediterranean sun.
I love a good lily of the valley fragrance but, I have to admit, the florals here are mostly lost on me. I believe the jasmine and lily of the valley are here mainly to round out the composition and to give some balance to the citrus opening. I sense the citrus tone all throughout wear time, but that sharp lemon definitely levels out and takes on a smoothness. After the first hour, it’s more like a fresh lemon dollop on top of a white floral cushion. The citrus is less realistic, but that’s okay, because we’re headed for the woody notes, which I think make up both the heart and the base here.
I’m all about a rich cedar note, but I know plenty of people have the opposite taste and avoid cedar. I think Sicilian Wood would be okay for those people. Don’t get me wrong, the cedarwood is here, but it’s not an overwhelming “just opened a cedar trunk” kind of note. The blend of the composition continues to be effortlessly smooth. The cedar and sandalwood notes just melt together (and I wouldn’t normally use the word “melt” to describe woody notes) but neither note overpowers the other. And the amber, sweet and warm, is the glue to hold it all together.
On the surface, Sicilian Wood seems like a simple enough fragrance: a citrus/woody scent. What’s not to get? But the fact that it manages to be simultaneously refreshing and invitingly warm is impressive. The little details are what stand out to me. The bitter facet to the lemon, the zingy cardamom, the amber that anchors the whole thing, these are the details that bring Sicilian Wood to life.
Does this fragrance lean more masculine? Absolutely yes. Do I care? No, it smells too good to care. I will wear Sicilian Wood all spring and summer. My one nitpick is that it only lasts around 4 hours on me. I wish the wear time was more around the 6 hour mark but, luckily, it’s no hardship to reapply. And I have my eye on the line’s latest release, Magnolia Heights, which sounds more feminine, and equally beautiful to wear.
Tom Daxon is a British fragrance line that also produces candles and shower gels. In the US, the line is available from Luckyscent, which is where I got my sample.
Both the image and the info on notes are from Luckyscent.