Have a Cigar: Les Nez, Let Me Play the Lion; Etat Libre d'Orange, Fat Electritian

The gender-bending smell of tobacco is rocking my world these days. These are two of my current favorites:

Les Nez first won me over with their "Unicorn Spell," an eerie violet scent fit for for a picnic on the moon. They've returned to outer space for their fantastic tobacco scent, "Let me Play the Lion." This is a cigar that has never touched fire or lip. It resides, like the Little Prince's rose, under a bell jar, on Star No. NX-6637-Z. The leaves are dessicated, almost skeletons, and they disintegrate if you stare too long. In fact, shielding this alien tobacco from any interior drafts is a protective envelope of latex - hospital, not boudoir. Smoking kills? Emphysema has never smelled like such a fascinating surprise. Hours later, a velvety, deep green hum, barely there.

Fat Electrician starts by getting a bad joke wrong; the bottle is decorated with a buttcrack that clearly belongs to a plumber. Will luxury-types never get their tradesmen straight? Points for brevity, though; "let me play the lion" is a mouthful. But I digress; a rose, etc. This fragrance is your grandparents house during the off season, before the holidays bring in the food smells.This is the cigar your grandfather perpetually gnaws while he's hanging around the house in his underwear, safe in a cloud of that most comforting phenomenon: the old, bad habit. It's ornery and funny and wonderful. No thought of lung cancer here; this cigar is being smoked with relish, right before you. First you get the smoldering end; the opening blast screams ashtray. As the old man opens his mouth to yell at the kid on his lawn, and you can see the chewed end, a dark, soggy citrus note. The whole thing rests on a Barcalounger made of cloves. Whole cloves. Very pointy. I think I would have called this scent "Sassy Grandpa." Even in the longterm drydown, it never loses its bite (I guess Grandpa still has his own teeth), but it never stops being a big old teddybear, either.