Arbolé takes its name and spirit from Federico Lorca’s poem, which opens with the line “tree, tree, dry and green”. Think of a lazy summer afternoon somewhere in the hinterland of Ibiza: salty dry wind blowing through the trees and a trace of incense lingering in the air. This is a romantic fragrance with a vintage touch.

Arbolé Arbolé fragrance notes

    • patchouli, cedarwood, sandalwood, Vanilla, tonka bean

Where to buy

Latest Reviews of Arbolé Arbolé

This smells very strongly of powder on me, with an underlying earthiness. I don't smell patchouli or olives or anything green. I've seen a couple reviews mention play-doh, and it's basically like that but not as salty as play-doh...more like dusty clay that someone spilled a tiny bit of vanilla on. I can see why some people might find that cozy smelling, but it's not my thing. I much prefer Arcadia by Hiram Green.

20th May 2023
I don't even like patchouli, but here, I find it utterly beautiful. What a surprise to discover this particular scent and its oddly intriguing mixture of olives and sweetish greenery. There is something about the combination of the slightly salty with the powdered woods that makes this fragrance both calming and sensual. There's a tiny bit of menthol and anise (combined with the patchouli) that also makes the entire thing sing on a slightly lower and sexier register than you would expect.

Everything about Arbole is unusual and unexpected: its warmth and dry greenness, plus the addition of tonka/vanilla turn it into the perfect scent for sunny afternoons in the countryside. Somehow, this Hiram Green creation is both bucolic and bedroom-y.

My definite favorite from this house.
10th March 2020

At the face of it, an accord generic, most often presented as Almond Extract of Maraschino-ed Heliotrope, snonk of Tonka, Vanillin Sugar, Lactonic Sandal and a wall of Ambroxin between the event and my nostrils.
With Arbole Arbole, I dig deeper and recognize the careful attention paid to seasoning. Salt and sugar are placed gently as to allow the Perfume of Almond, to rise with the Vanilla, to hover above, as Savoury.
This finesse of structure, I have seen before...Ah Yes!
Hiram Green's Voyage.
Drydown is most elegantly Masculine, "Old Spice Tonka-ed"
This will be in my Wardrobe.
10th June 2018
This is to my perception the Best Hiram Green perfume.
It opens with heliotrope and lavender and a touch of vanilla. Gorgeous.
It wobbles and wafts about for a while continually reblending itself in a fabulous mix of herbal fuzzy sweetness but no sugar!
Later a bit of tamed patchouli seamlessly adjusts itself to the other guests in this performance.
I love it!
It's different and reminds me of Vintage Dioressence.....from the late 70's.
It lasts a good long time on me.
25th December 2017
A justifiable complaint against much of natural perfumery is that the compositions can be muddied and vague. Blending botanicals, even when using isolates, can be tricky. Compositions with a limited number of components keep the materials' personalities front and and center but don't compel them reveal anything new. When too many materials are used the composition loses precision and an important range of dynamics. Some botanical pairings have an inherent synergy and create appealing accords, most of which have been well explored in aromatherapy. They rise to a certain level of prettiness but don't often have the dynamic olfactory range or abstraction of perfumery.

In the hands of most perfumers botanical work is the folk music of perfumery. It's better with fewer performers. No how many additional acoustic guitars and voices (or essential oils) you add to the chorus, the ideal tops out at a small number and actually loses something when more is added. Mandy Aftel, whose perfumes are my source material for learning about natural perfumery (hell, why not start at the top?) is the exception that proves the rule. Her perfumes manage to juggle focus and complexity smartly.

Another exception is Hiram Green. If botanical perfumery is folk music, Green is Dylan-gone-electric. There is none of the indeterminacy of so much botanical work. Blend is not blur and Arbolé Arbolé shows the value of using multiple materials from the same category---IF you can keep them from crossing paths.

I tend not to go very far into a discussion of notes and materials, but it's appropriate in this case for two reasons: 1) Though I assume isolates, fractions and other botanically derived substances are used, when Green mentions patchouli, sandalwood and cedar at his site, I believe he means the actual botanicals. 2) The materials are identifiable to the nose but work together to make novel olfactory shapes.

Green allows his materials to overlap, but not to run onto each other. Though all are considered woody materials patchouli, cedar and sandalwood have very different profiles. In Arbolé Arbolé the woods are mediated by vanillic tones, from the heliotrope/puttied-almond range to the sweet-hay scent of coumarin. Patchouli, technically a grass, has cool, earthy qualities and lends Arbolé Arbolé a definitive green hue. Likewise, sandalwood covers a lot of ground. Its resinous dusty qualities become a matte powder when joined with the almondy vanilla. Cedar has a harder silhouette than patchouli and sandalwood. It gives the perfume backbone and stability. The astringency of cedar latches onto the yogurty facet of sandalwood and gives the perfume a firm tartness, as if it has a twist of some imaginary citrus fruit. Together, the woods form apparently simple shapes that belie complex olfactory patterns. Medicinal. Waxy. Powdered. Acidic. Honeyed. Rubbery. Lipsticky. It has a similarly cozy, dissonant effect as Molinard Habanita, with scents-textures a fraction of an inch from contradicting each other. The woods form a braid, making a pattern together, but keeping separate tracks from start to finish.

Green borrows the title of Spanish poet/playright Federico García Lorca's poem Arbolé Arbolé and the comparison is fitting. Lorca's surrealism was grounded in the symbolic nature of his vocabulary. He gave great significance to simple acts and objects. Green's use of materials carries a weighted feel, as if they too are somehow loaded. I mentioned the complaint against botanical perfumery that it can produce hazy perfumes that lack a center. I should balance that with another legitimate complaint, this time against synthetic perfumery. Over-reliance on aromachemicals initially used as adjuncts to woody materials has lead to the opposite problem. Cheap, easily accessible foghorns like Norlimbanol, Kephalis, Cedramber and Ambroxan have made woody perfumes synonymous with headaches and hangovers. To find a definitively woody perfume without these unsettling characteristics is a pleasure.

A test of natural perfumes is to evaluate them without the word "natural." Taken as a perfume of any kind, Arbolé Arbolé is inventive and extremely engaging. Here Green does to woods what he did with flowers in the first perfume in his line, Moon Bloom. He takes the definitive members of an olfactory genres, in Moon Bloom's case white florals, and coaxes a varied chorus out if them. Moon Bloom focussed more on harmony and smoothness. Arbolé Arbolé leans into contrasts with purpose and seems more assured. Just three to four years after the launch of the line, Arbolé Arbolé is the work of a more mature artist. The way Green manages differences in his chosen materials and doesn't smooth over interesting olfactory collisions tells me that he's deliberately challenging himself. And succeeding.

24th January 2017
First impression heliotrope, maybe almond but definitely heliotrope. Then after a few seconds I get the connection to those sweet fougeres of the 1960's: Canoe, Brut and Jade East. But done in a much fuller, richer way, using different ingredients no doubt. Whether it's by accident or design, there is no doubt of this connection. Where mostly the descendents of Brut evolved down the direction of Le Male, here we have something more like the original concept. This was, I was given to understand, a wonderful fragrance in its first incarnation but later got pared down somewhat.

Arbole Arbole is an evocative perfume with considerable personal resonance for me, reminding me also of an old Dragoco composition called Antigua. Hiram Green has accomplished much despite the restrictions of confining himself to naturals, the new logo and packaging is good too and prices are accessible. Would definitely buy this.

Update Feb 2017
One of the features I appreciate most about basenotes is the ability to update one's evolving impressions. Last week I did a direct comparison of Arbole Arbole versus a bottle of Dana's Canoe preserved from 1975. Although there is some similarity in the general tonality, you could not mistake Green's creation for Canoe. Now, I get an oriental aspect pointing towards Opium (no doubt due to the vanilla and patchouli), and even a touch of geranium.

Probably the best of Green's creations since Moon Bloom.
19th December 2016
Totally different than I was expecting. I need to give it another wear. Perhaps I'll have a better outcome on the second wearing, but my first impression was that Arbole Arbole smelled like Play Doh. A weird smell from my childhood that I don't want to smell like. As I say, I'll give it a second wearing soon.
10th December 2016
Hiram Green's new fragrance, Arbolé Arbolé, is his best work yet and the one that I would race out to buy in a heartbeat. Featuring woods and patchouli this time, Arbolé Arbolé, is the perfect autumnal riposte to Green's entry for Spring, the bright and sunlit Dilettante.

There is a wonderfully soft, smutty quality to the patchouli used here – it's quite clearly patchouli, but there are no headshop undertones, and it is not camphoraceous, green, or oily. Instead, it has a pleasantly stale, waxy chocolate softness that recalls vintage make-up, heavy silks taken out of storage in cedar trunks, and huge beeswax candles dripping over everything.

There is no beeswax in Arbolé Arbolé, though. Hiram Green does not use any products of animal origin in his all-natural perfumes, be it beeswax or ambergris. However, there is no denying that there is a homeopathic “waxy” thread running through most of Hiram Green's perfumes, a sort of cosmetic, floral wax tonality that smudges the corners of the other notes and gives the perfumes a slightly retro, vintage glamour. His perfumes wear as if lit from within by candlelight.

If you're used to modern woody fragrances, with their piercing synthetics blowing them up into bombastic stadium-fillers, then Arbolé Arbolé will ask you to adjust your television set. Natural perfumery is where the nose goes to take refuge from the eternal parade of modern woody ambers. Arbolé Arbolé takes cedar, patchouli, and sandalwood and melts them down into a silky wood smoothie.

All of the individual characteristics of the raw materials – the cedar, patchouli, sandalwood – have been rubbed off and sanded down until only a smooth, integrated woodiness remains. There is none of the normal bitter muskiness of cedar, none of the raw, earthy, or leafy facets of patchouli, and the sandalwood registers only as a unifying texture of creamy butter.

There is a faintly smutty, sexy quality to this perfume that appeals enormously. There is no musk used here, for obvious reasons, but there is nonetheless a vegetal muskiness that smudges the outlines of the different woods used, almost like ambrette but with none of the green apple peel rosiness that goes along with it. Arbolé Arbolé also shares the same soft, warm “musky cocoa powder” sexiness with Mazzolari Lei and Parfumerie Generale L'Ombre Fauve, both of which also blur the lines between patchouli, musk, and ambery-vanilla aromas so smoothly that the nose doesn't immediately recognize one or the other.

However, those are both perfumes that mix naturals and synthetics, so they may not be the best point of comparison. In the sphere of natural perfumery, I think that Arbolé Arbolé has a similar feel to some of Neil Morris' work in America, especially the slightly grungy, waxy (and surprisingly vintage-smelling) patchouli used to great effect in Prowl. Arbolé Arbolé is smoother and more refined; lighter in texture. Fans of Loree Rodkin's Gothic I might also want to check out Arbolé Arbolé because it shares something of that waxy vanilla-patch vibe.

Arbolé Arbolé takes its name from a famous Lorca poem where young suitors try to persuade a young girl picking olives to go off with them (but she refuses). In my mind, while wearing the perfume, I can see the golden brown colors Lorca describes when talking about the darkening afternoon light:

When the afternoon had turned
dark brown, with scattered light,
a young man passed by, wearing
roses and myrtle of the moon.

Arbolé Arbolé has incredible sillage and tenacity on my skin for a natural, and yet it never feels muddy or thick. It is a linear but thoroughly warm and sensual experience for me, with only slight transitions in the body of the fragrance from waxy wood smoothie to faintly powdery vanilla. It is sweet in a natural, woody way, and the powdery touch at the end is not excessive. Personally, I absolutely love it.
16th November 2016