I think Encens Flamboyant is pretty great. It explodes on with a shock of smoke, almost like lighting a match, with a hint of rubber in the background. From there it settles into a really realistic ash/charcoal note, probably the best I've encountered. There is churchy incense in the background, and a bit of leathery pine tar, but the real star is that burnt smell. Given time, it ended up as a mix of resins, including a very ash-covered galbanum that gives an impression of the charred remains of a chypre base set on fire.
I really like Encens Famboyant for its willingness to not smell pretty. This is no creamy comforting hug of incense like Bois d'Armenie or Costes - this is more of a high-art juxtaposition of burnt charred smells with "holy" incenses. Scents like this make me wonder why the Annick Goutal line is so often written off as dull or prettified. Maybe it's just those silly bottles with the bows, but don't skip over them - there are some serious contenders here...
Really odd. It opens with a peculiar note of stale smoke, like clothes after a night out in a disco, and this note is soon joined by fir or pine balsams. It creates a sort of flat, grey, sad aura. There is nothing joyful or uplifting about the incense in this one - it is calm and meditative. The top notes are difficult to like, but the middle and dry down are quite soothing, in a medicinal, liturgical way.
I can't help comparing it to other incense fragrances - Fille En Anguilles also marries pine/fir balsams with incense, but the smell there is juicy, fruity, rich, and yes, joyful - compared to that, Encens Flamboyant is very severe, a Nordic forest on a snowy night compared to the dry heat of a pine forest in a sunny, hot Mediterranean country. FeA is teeming with life - Encens Flamboyant is chilly and still. It moves not.
There is a dry, flinty, metallic aspect to EF that is quite similar in feel (but not smell) to Tauer's Incense Extreme. I suppose, they do share a certain austerity and "bareness" of structure. However, Incense Extreme is even more gaspingly dry and is fierce in its intent - it reaches out to the heavens to touch the face of God, whereas EF humbly lowers her eyes to the wooden pew, ashamed to meet the eyes of the priest.
Finally, it shares that notorious stale cigarette ash note with Etat Libre d'Orange's Jasmin et Cigarette. I was not enamored of that one, for the exact same note.
I expected to love this, but I do not. I think that it suffers from my high expectations. As a former smoker, I am always on the look out for a smokey fragrance that feels/smells like someone smoking a fresh cigarette near by me. This and Jasmin et Cigarette go for a smokiness that is more fag ash than smokey, in my opinion. And I love incense too - but there are others that are much better variations on the theme of incense. I have FeA and Avignon, so I am covered for incense.
Now, would someone get working on a truly smokey - someone-lit-up-a-cigarette-near-me fragrance so that I can get a contact high without the (real) second hand smoke and the chance of cancer? Please???
l bought this bottle blind at a time when l was feeling the need for an incense fragrance, & spotted it in TK Maxx. lt took me a few wearings to really get into it. At first, l got mainly an overwhelming scent of burning incense, but over time it has revealed its other facets to me. The opening is bright, peppery & lemony, there's woods in the heart along with the incense, & at times in the base l detect something softly animalic.
This isn't the scent of a damp, musty old church; as others have said, it's more like a cosy log cabin in the woods with a wood fire burning. lts warming, dry feel is particularly comforting on a cold, wet day. Although it appears to settle quite close to the skin & loses the "burnt" vibe around three hours in, others can smell it on me many hours after application, & there's still faint traces on my skin after fourteen hours.
l can't compare this to the CdG series or the Montale as l haven't tried them, but it became a wardrobe staple for me this past winter, & l'm sure l'll have no trouble finishing the bottle. There may be nothing classically "feminine" about it, & for sure l do love my florals, but for me this burning incense is a satisfying wear nonetheless.
This is a weird scent to me. Perhaps one of the weirdest I've ever tried. It has a really strong, evocative, clear "old lady" feel. Not in the sense of great classics which let us daydream about 1930's rich, foreign ladies and countesses; more like an actual, real old grandma, not even that rich or aristocratic. An ordinary, discreet, refined, wizened granny. This is the exact smell you would meet at her place: a bit of a perfume, sure, balsamic pine notes coming from the window, stained ashtrays near the sofa, crochets, dusty furniture and curtains impregnated with the smell of time passing by - the scents she used once, the cigarettes she doesn't smoke anymore. Balsamic and a bit gloomy, or better say, almost funereal.
10th January, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)
Great calming scent
Updated Review: Originally, I couldn't warm up to BE due to the arresting ashy top note. However, I wore this and kept rewearing it. Eventually, that discordant note no longer bothered me. I guess it's like many great scents that take time to come around to.
BE is an excellent calming, if simple, incense-based scent with a huge fir component. I can't stress how great of a fall/winter scent this is for those who do not like the traditionally heavy winter orientals. There is a certain outdoorsy/churchy/medieval vibe with BE. This would pair well with Full Incense during fall/winter.
It is a simple scent with not much evolution, but that is how I prefer incense-based scents. Too many notes and it starts to get away from the concept and point of incense. Very calming and grounding to wear.
Silage is good and longevity is very good (although it becomes close to the skin after 8 hours). I just bought a full bottle of this.
Pros: Original, calming
Cons: Burnt gunpowder note, simple"