We’ve recently come into possession of two very interesting colognes and gave them a spin for a few weeks to keep your knowledge and nose interested and informed. With the Holidays coming up, there’s no better way to treat yourself or someone who’s company you generally enjoy to some fine, unique scents. The first is a solid cologne, dubbed a “Trail Resin Cologne”, from Juniper Ridge in their Big Sur scent. The second is Portland General Store’s Farmer’s Natural Cologne. I’ve been a fan of both companies for a while so this is a fun review for me. I was aware of Juniper Ridge for quite a while before I met founder Hall Newbegin at Unique USA’s Camp in Big Bear, CA. earlier this year. Now I’m a full blown nerd for his stuff and was very excited to get some in the mail. We burn Juniper’s campfire incense around the house every now and again and I frequently use the Cascade Trail Soap in the shower when I want to smell like a God from the woods. I’ve been wearing Portland General Store’s Tobacco cologne for 2+ years now, though have recently run out so was excited to get some of their Farmer’s scent for testing. They claim that this was developed specifically for farmers to wear when working with cows as they find this scent particularly pleasing/relaxing. I don’t have a cow to put this through the paces with but I tested it for relaxation with our resident dog as well as my significant other. PGS has gone through frequent branding adjustments over the years so it’s tough sometimes to tell their products apart without specifically seeing the indicator on the bottom of the bottle; that being said their quality has not waned one bit and I’m very glad to present them here as well. Click here to read the full review.

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We’ll start with Portland General Store which, between the two, is my favorite for a few reasons. It’s lightweight, versatile, feels clean on the skin, and isn’t overpowering but lasts quite some time. I pull fruity notes mixed with heavy handed Sandalwood from it along with a slightly boozy scent, likely due to the cane sugar alcohol inside. It’s got a vibe similar to a gin and tonic on a hot day mixed with the woodsy notes from a hike through the Northern California mountains. I’m on the fence as to whether this will replace their Tobacco scent as my regular every day cologne; I think this goes really well for warmer months, though in Los Angeles it’s never really cold. I miss the smokiness that their darker colognes offer but this one is clean and inviting and feels good to splash on generously. The girlfriend favors this one as well; the dog seemed largely indifferent.

From Portland General Store:

No scents equal calm cows. Or at least certain scents. Inspired by cowboys, ranchers, and the modern farmer, FARMER’S cologne contains 100% essential oils that are aromatherapeutic and pleasing to cows and livestock.
Scent Profile: Native woods, earth, leaves, and wildflowers are blended in a base of wild crafted Australian Sandalwood and organic cane sugar alcohol. The scent is smooth and masculine, reminiscent of the all American cowboy, leaning on his worn leather saddle, with the sun and dust clouds casting a warm light across his weathered skin. He’s an icon so powerful that every man wants to be him and every woman wants to have him.
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The Juniper Ridge Big Sur Trail Resin is really a totally different beast compared to the PGS scent. First and foremost, this is a solid cologne which we have featured the likes of before on this site, and comes in a compact tin. I like solid colognes; they’re easy and clean. I lost my first bottle of PGS cologne in a drunken shaving accident before a wedding which wound up with half a bottle of the stuff tragically smashing across a hotel sink. Solid colognes negate the risk of breaking or leaking and seal nicely with their cap. That said, they can also liquify super quickly if left in the sun and the texture and application is never quite the same after that. You also need to make sure you have clean hands/fingers before dipping into this tin otherwise whatever residual crap you had on your digits at the time will live in that tin for some time to come. I really liked the Big Sur scent; it’s woodsy and beautiful just like all of Juniper Ridge’s products. Bay Laurel and sage dominate the notes on this one which is fantastic; the California coastline is known for fragrant wild sage brush harkening me back to my own time spent in the Big Sur area. There’s something so special about Juniper Ridge’s products once you learn how they’re made that you can almost smell the care and time and effort that goes into each individual product whenever you take a whiff.

From Juniper Ridge:

Big Sur in a 1/2 ounce tin. Solid perfume in a round tin, crafted with real plants in a beeswax base. Fragrance for men and women extracted from plants, confers, bark, moss, mushrooms and other things found hiking in the backcounty.  Crafted in small batches using steam-distillation, enfleurage, tincture, and infusion. Rub it on your wrists or behind your ears and be transported to your favorite backcountry trail.

Scent Profile: Salt air, foggy chaparral, burnt honey, camphor, Bay Laurel, Oak, driving down the coastal highway with the windows rolled down, sage-covered mountains tumbling into the ocean.
It’s always a pleasure working with brands we already know and love. I highly recommend either Portland General Store or Juniper Ridge for your Holiday purchasing this year and for whatever other apothecary needs may come down the line.