Wispy wind ushers in swathes of dense, acrid burning wood. A warm, jovial campfire crackling and sparking. Thick, voluptuous wafts of smoke enshroud and wrap in a soft embrace. Damp earth and dewy oaks mingle with something almost solar and creamy. A caramelized warmth, ever so slightly sugared. The mixing alcohol never quite burns off, but doesn't fully detract from the scent.
Goes on smokey with a slight meatiness. There's something, amber spicy (think kitchen - cumin, fenugreek,) kind of a thick molasses sensation that soon joins up and leads throughout... must be nagarmotha's contribution... coming off to me as a well-blended immortelle (i.e. no pancake syrup here!). The rest of the ride is just that. Linear. Ghostly reappearances. All done in a good way. Wears like a lite attar.
If Tommy Chong were my buddy, this type scent wouldn't be a bad gift for my buddy.
I'm always on a quest for a campfire smoke scent. I also like leather, so I was excited to try this one. Unfortunately this doesn't live up to the note pyramid. There is a norlimbinol note that combines with the leather note to make a nasty fecal undertone. It almost smells like sawdust, but animalic sawdust. I agree with other raters, this would be acceptable as a room scent in a den, or rustic room, but to wear it around is not a good idea.
The opening of Fireside Intense is a perfect example of the American contemporary niche, which I quite admire for the creative work on new materials and new ways to communicate through scents. It opens with a rough, bold, powerful, almost aggressive accord, quite dark "black", I' d say - and really thick, partially much synthetic (aldehydes) and partially more natural. I smell a lot of spices which remind me of Black Cashmere by Donna Karan (a similarity which will be even more clear further on), drowned in a black, oily, terpenic lake of dense notes among which black birch wood, tar, amber, resins, sour leather and something - which may be just an aftertaste of all this - that oddly smells like smoked bacon for quite a while. All covered with a fog of aldehydic metallic shades, slightly salty and mineral. Overall a black smoky-spicy scent stuffed with bold power, much evocative of dark woods outside town, with the breeze of dry branches and balmy leaves melting with the cloying smokes and poisonous oils coming the suburbs. Fascinating, but to me quite too much challenging to wear: besides behind quite bold and powerful, it's also much linear (which is the main weakness of many other indie US brands), so it easily becomes a bit boring after a while. Nonetheless it's creative, well-built (at least materials-wise) and worth a try for sure.
Spectacular master-combination of smoky woods, resins and leather which effectively (as well as deadidol and Alfarom have pointed out) are masterfully blended in order to "survive" beyond the initially deep-dark bonfire/camfire supremely (powerfully) smoky aroma while morphing towards a more subtle and "pacified" seasoned leather-musks-delicious (spicy) animalic resins accord. Fireside Intense is my second "encounter" with Sonoma Scent Studio after my Tabac Aurea's first examination in the past and I agree with deadidol about the way he specifies that while Tabac Aurea exalts more the sweet dryness of tobacco finally rounded and sweetened by soothing vanilla (despite the final dryness is absolutely "preserved") Fireside Intense takes its weird "salty sweetness" by a combination of ambery agarwood and bursting seasoned woods flanked by cozy castoreum and spicy leather. The first stage immediately exalts a typically "burnt woods-burning woodsy resins over the ablaze woods" effect. There is a faint humidity on the bursting woods and a typical sort of woody/resinous rubbery saltiness mixed with a seasoned woods mildness keeps rising up in the air. You can catch this salty/mild contrast of the fumes over a smoky/woodsy/leathery sphere. In this phase the smokiness is boisterous, realistic and slightly rubbery (anyway this feel is not a disgusting burning tyres effect but more properly a mild fir resins "decomposition" under the attack of the heat). In my humble experience while the burning cedarwood produces an almost salty woody-gassy vibe the guaiac wood gives off mild steams which I detect in this case as counteracting the salty woody/leathery resinous initial smokiness on the side of absolving woodsy resins of the forest. As much as the Fireside Intense's aroma evolves the smokiness decreases in intensity (but not in general influence and un-changed linearity) while a subtle "basement" of seasoned leather, oudh, amber, oakmoss and castoreum arouses its spicy mildness so finally appearing well modulated, yes warm (buy not yet smoldering/intense) and encompassing. All appears superbly blended and yes, impeccably and obsessively modulated despite I agree with the assertion of those who underline this is an aroma for the people who don't like to smell perfumey. I still detect dense resins and finally sandalwood joined with leather with that typical Montale Dark Aoud's stark savour which is in this case anyway far better appointed, less stark (I mean less dry spices/synthetic aoud centered) and more subtle. I see the association with Bois d'Ascese just in the initial part of the development, the one in which the latter smells more about burnt woods (blazing cedarwood and smoky fumes) while in a second phase I detect in the Naomi Goodsir's one the whisky and prevalently the honeyed incense taking the stage as flanked by oakmoss and resinous burnt elements (while in Fireside Intense the mildness is prevalently animalic, leathery/resinous and mossy). The final FI's outcome is a sort of warm/sticky but restrained woodsy leather and animalic amber combo which appears surprisingly wearable, well calibrated and close to skin. A must try.
P.S= the deep, deep dry down oozes a resinous smokey/leathery warmth with an ostensibly "red-berrish like" undertone.