This was once my signature scent, and even if i rotate between different fragrances these days i still return to this every now and then. And it's still one of my absolute favourites ten years after buying my first bottle.
To me it kicks off with an almost overpowering black pepper, quickly joined by other spices. Cardamom, cinnamon, ginger. Dry as gunpowder and floating around a core of different woods. Deep and dry, some fresh and resinous, others dry as charcoal.
I love the lack of citrus and "crowdpleasing" freshness.
To bad the longevity is poor. Not horrible, but disappointing nonetheless.
Genre: Woody Oriental
Comme des Garçons’ Jaisalmer opens on a balsamic-astringent accord that smells a lot like liniment. A dark, smoky frankincense note emerges quickly underneath, but its stony demeanor is tempered by sweet spices. The warm spice and camphoraceous liniment volley back and forth over Jaisalmer’s heart and so manage to keep the nose engaged through their constant, balanced activity.
With all this talk of liniment, I can’t help but mention Heeley’s recent Spirit of the Tiger, which plays the liniment-and-incense game in a more literal manner. So much so that it winds up smelling all too much like Tiger Balm. Now while there’s nothing wrong with the smell of Tiger Balm, why spend $150 US on a bottle of niche perfume when you can get the real thing for three dollars at your local drugstore? Jaisalmer doesn’t fall into this literalist trap, and its more subtle take on camphor, balsam, and frankincense makes it at once a more wearable and a more interesting fragrance.
While Jaisalmer is easily the most medicinal scent in the Comme des Garçons incense series, it is also (along with Ouarzazate,) one of the sweetest, and hence most approachable. It’s stimulating, yet also comfortable, with very little of the forbidding austerity that turns some people away from Avignon or Kyoto. A nice introduction to this line, or to incense fragrances in general.
A slightly more fruity and more ambery, less liturgical version of Avignon. Green balsamic breeze with a pungent hint of pepper and laurel oak on aromatic woods – and of course, a soothing, oniric, meditative incense fog all over. Another great scent among the must-have Incense Series.
This fragrances is nice, it starts out with a marsala spice and then you get this smell which could be decribed as pencil shavings which I believe is Borneo Oud, the oud then unfolds to get a nice wood finish.
The first time around, I found this to be the best balanced, and least of an "outlier" among the incense series. (Hopefully that doesn't mean boring). It's more of a straightforward, sweet wood in the top notes, with just a hint of spice to begin with, but that will grow. Cinnamon like in Maharadjah starts to appear pretty quickly, and gets very strong but doesn't completely overshadow the initial wood note, something that I find happens too often in spicy wood scents. The spices here are very "warm", or even hot, but it's not spicy in terms of burning or being peppery. It has the garam masala spice blend of chai tea, but in spite of the "incense" label, it blends them almost solely with wood, not with smoke. I honestly prefer this, when I consider how Tea for Two is almost ruined for me by too much smokiness. Later the ardent fire of the spices cools down, and the smooth, middle-of-the-road sweet wood returns, and it ends up resembling Sequoia somewhat, but with a more polished rather than raw wood aspect. There's still enough creamy sandalwood along with that slight crayon-waxiness to show that it's Indian-inspired, but like Ouarzazate it's not over-the-top, not trying too hard to be exotic. Another balanced, sophisticated winner from the Incense series!