Incense is a kind of supplies that adjustments its character relying on what else is current within the components. It may be brilliant and peppery or darkish and smoky. It may even evoke the verdancy of spring buds. Incense is without doubt one of the most unbelievable substances utilized in perfumery. Earlier than I describe a number of fragrances as an instance how incense is used as a recent observe, first a number of phrases on what we imply by incense. Usually, perfumery incense is frankincense or olibanum. It’s sourced from the Boswellia species, mostly present in nations like Sudan or Ethiopia. In its uncooked type incense comes as opaque lumps of resin which are referred to as frankincense tears, and the tears must be additional processed into essence.
The scent of uncooked frankincense is peppery and vivid, and one of many best methods to take pleasure in it’s to place one tear right into a glass of water and go away it to infuse. The style of such incense water is refreshing and brilliant, with a spicy edge. The closest equal in perfume is Serge Lutens’s appropriately named L’Eau Froide, which explores the brilliant nuances of frankincense.
Aedes de Venustas Copal Azur is equally effervescent proper firstly, the place cardamom and salty notes are allayed with incense to create a blinding impact. It’s nearly icy chilly and crisp, however because the perfume develops, a hotter layer of incense seems. Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour created this sensation by pairing incense with amber and myrrh, and the play of contrasts is beguiling.
For me, a dialogue of incense fragrances has to incorporate a perfume from Comme des Garçons’s incense sequence, and this time I’ll choose Zagorsk. This city in Russia dates to the fifteenth century when it developed across the Trinity Lavra established by St. Sergius of Radonezh. Zagorsk is the Soviet-era title of the city now referred to as Sergiyev Posad, however the Trinity Lavra nonetheless stays one of many largest and most essential monasteries in Russia and it’s related to using sweet-smelling incense. This types the inspiration for the perfume. Cool pine resin and iris full the etude. Incense retains its brightness, changing into hotter because the composition develops.
One other perfume that breaks incense stereotypes is Hermès Jardin sur le Nil. It’s not an incense-dominated perfume like my different selections, however a contact of frankincense woven by an accord of inexperienced mango and blond woods provides an exquisite twist, amplifying the crisp sensation. A fragile contact of heat is likewise current, coloring the shadows of the composition deeper, and the distinction stays apparent because the perfume dries down.
Lastly, I made a decision to search out an incense perfume that was a basic and provided a darkish however luminous interpretation of frankincense. My alternative fell upon Narcisse Noir, a 1911 creation by the venerable French home of Caron. Incense is used liberally to set into reduction the softness of petals and blossoms in addition to to spotlight the sensuality of the composition. It’s a fin de siècle perfume fantasy, lavishly evoking brocade and candlelight. Incense shimmers and dances all through, revealing its recent and languorously heat aspects. As with all Carons, the extrait de parfum is marvelous, however the fashionable model of the Eau de Toilette remains to be stunning. You solely must be affected person to attend for the interaction of incense to seem.
What are your favourite incense perfumes?
P.S. In my video, I speak about incense as a perfume observe and produce up the sustainability points round this materials.