I think I'm alright at writing makeup reviews, but there's something about fragrance that makes me wish I could just draw an MS Paint portrait of a stick figure either sniffing their wrist like it's loaded with meth OR running away from a steaming pile of cartoon dung.
Between body chemistry, personal nose preferences, and what you want to present to the world -- fragrance is so personal. I've kind of been on a quest to find my next love (a $$$ quest, amirite?), something more complicated and sophisticated than the simple "hippie" oils I've been favoring lately, but with kind of the same vibe, and Tam Dao is just...it. I will attempt to write a review because: I have skin chemistry that tends to amp up notes and make them sweeter -- for example, citrus-y scents tend to smell great on me, as they become less sharp, a little rounder. Anything gourmand becomes totally disgusting on my skin. SO if you have a similar situation, maybe this will help.
From Luckyscent: "In discussing Holy Grail fragrances with sandalwood lovers, Tam Dao is a name that comes up again and again. While not solely sandalwood, this blend of woods and ambergris features a gorgeous, dry sandalwood note that has earned it a devoted following. The opening is primarily cypress, very green and sharp, with a vaguely industrial feel. Then the blend of exotic incense-like sandalwood and softer, sweeter rosewood begins to develop slowly. The sandalwood becomes luxurious and creamy, with additional richness from the ambergris. Luminous and tranquil, with a meditative quality – Tam Dao smells a like a precious carved object. Even at its creamiest, it still has that authentic, dry bite of freshly-hewn wood and that transparent quality that is the hallmark of so many Diptyque scents. A must try for sandalwood lovers."
On me, the opening is a bit sharp but dries down to an addictive woody creaminess, with yes, a touch of fig. It's not an angular, straightforward figginess though, like BPAL's Eden, which is a scent I enjoy but just can't wear for an extended period of time. The green quality fits the bill in regards to my desire for something more natural, and the drydown is just...*obsessively sniffs wrist*...skin that has seen the sun all day, that's been touched by water, not the ocean, green things, skin that's been Out There. And the There is someplace exceedingly beautiful. I have a decant, so sillage is affected by that particular kind of application, but it seems to have some throw, though the magic definitely occurs closer to the skin. It's gorgeous. Sexy, without being too much.
EXTRA BONUS: it plays amazingly well with the scent of coconut oil, which I slather myself with on the reg.
Sidenote, if anyone has a bottle they're looking to get rid of, message me! :)