An addictively dark and warm fragrance, Tonka 25 captures the humid funk of a forest’s undergrowth, teeming with the buzz of insects, seeds, and resin. True to form for any Le Labo fragrance, tonka is a part of the composition but not the whole story. The crushed almond heft of tonka bean absolute is detectable in the background, where it infuses the perfume with aromatic woodsmoke, but for us, the real star of the show is the cedar, followed by musk and orange flower.
The Atlas cedar in Tonka 25 is spicy, humid, and almost dank, creating an impression of woodrot that’s enhanced by a swirl of vegetal musks. For a moment, we’re reminded of the animalic topnote of Oud 27, but this is less alien, far more human: warm, enveloping, and very sexy. The furred darkness of the woods and musk at the heart of Tonka 25 holds sway for much of the scent’s life, but we’d be remiss in not mentioning the extraordinary orange flower absolute. Orange blossom’s gift to Tonka 25 is a green, waxy brightness that feels like a honey candle glowing through a knot of hemp. Finally, enter styrax resin, blessing the drydown with a leathery, smoky richness. If you’re looking for something that will comfort and titillate in equal measure, then put Le Labo Tonka 25 on top of your test list. Dark woods expanded by creamy animalic musks, crushed tonka, and smoky resin, backlit by silky orange flower….a glowering Heathcliff in a bottle.