First sniffed this in 2004 at Sak's.
The Dry Pepper grabbed me, the Vetiver shook me,and the Frankincense sealed the deal. It was the first Armani, for me, that captured the essence of elegance since the Vintage Pour Homme.
In 2008 I purchased it along with a pair of Black Label Gray Flannels.
It remains as my favourite of the Prive Line.
It sits most noble beside a small decant of Vintage Pour Homme.
An excellent, mysterious incense fragrance, actually my favorite, it realy is a skinscent so if you are looking for "statements" avoid. It starts of peppery and then follows a pungent ambery, slighlty animalic note (labdanum) along with a light airy franckincense which also reveals a citrusy vibe. Then it dries down to a mainly musky cedar with some vetiver. Personally I find all the phases extremely beautiful and I adore the fact that it wears as a cologne. If you like incense BLIND BUY IT.
Without question, this is the highlight of the line and one of the best frankincense perfumes on the market.
It’s basically a cerebral chin-stroker of a frankincense with cedar facets that are balanced out by what seems to me to be some kind of floral note. Frankincense can be quite bitter, and here it’s smoothed over in a way that exalts the material’s richness. There are some spices present, but they’re really just there for texture rather than flavor. It’s a cold scent—not quite as sharp as the similarly-themed Avignon—but chilling all the same. However, it has a calming, meditative quality to it that offsets some of the coldness. It’s linear and it winds down to Iso E quite fairly quickly, but it’s really all about highlighting the frankincense—and that’s what this does well. It feels like a solinote, so if you’re looking for a more developed perfume, I’d turn to Clive Christian’s V or perhaps Sahara Noir, but this is great for what it is, and it’s by far the best thing from the line.
Bois d'encens by Armani is a realistic, balsamic, piney, resinous and grey incense, still stuffed with Iso E Super but well disguised in a more "organic" way, less futuristic than other incenses like Avignon – and also less heavily liturgical, more natural, mystical and woody. The family is the one comprising Casbah by Piguet or Exultat by Maria Candida Gentile. More exotic than those, Bois d'encens is also more "grey" and a bit darker. Basically that's it, a sophisticated incense cloud with spices on top and woods on the base. A must for incense lovers – for all the others, it can soon turn into boredom. For me? Despite the enthusiastic reviews I find it well made and undoubtedly classy, but honestly a bit shallow.
Armani Prive - Bois d'Encens
This a special gem in the Armani Prive-line up. Such a simple perfume but yet incredible rich, thick, layered and also airy smelling. This is superb blending, especially for the all-natural ingredients: hot black pepper, cool yet spicy, salty vetiver and hissy-peppery resinous frankincense. These aromatics were chosen with much care and attention. I guess there were a lot trials made before the exact right combination of oils gave the right effect- but what a marvelous accord this is.
This smells far away from the most masculine’s- this one focuses more on what’s happening inside its form than on the form itself. It moves from light to dark, from soft to raw-edgy, and back and forth. It plays a game with light and dark, casting shadows her and there, giving it a very dynamic interplay. It projects airy-green and dark-earthy notes at the same time. The fresh black pepper harmonizes with the peppery topnote of the frankincense that has the most complete scent-profile of top, mid and base. The vetiver is all the way green: fresh greenish on top, more of a solid rooty-dark green in its dryout. The frankincense acts more as an introvert while the vetiver is more extravert, it radiates more lightness and freshness and becoming more stronger and dominant in its dry-out. Then, Bois d'Encens gets a darker tone, almost of sweaty animalic wet fur, a sort of musk-tone. I guess the salty rooty-earthiness of the vetiver and the sticky stony-resinous from the frankincense are responsible for that.
Its nice to smell a frankincense-based perfume that stays away from the smoky-dusty inside of a church-perfumes. Bois smells more of the outside- like a mixed forest of pine- and broadleaf-trees after a long night of raining that’s being warmed up by a very hot sun, early in the morning, during springtime. Damp, fresh-green, wet, humid and at the same time hot, dry and sweet, sticky-resinous. Definitely a perfume with a heart that beats with an analogue pulsation, not with the digital precision of an alarm clock. A masterpiece. Get it while stock lasts cause this one is gonna hit the perfume-Hall Of Fame...
30th April, 2014 (last edited: 04th May, 2014)