Perfume Reviews

Reviews of parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Avignon by Comme des Garçons

Total Reviews: 108
A parody of church incense.
26th May, 2018
Just like Lavs Unum......Its just too brutal. It's pure incense. I have come to the conclusion that I prefer my incense with some fruit/freshness.

Not for me!!
08th January, 2018
Avignon is a fairly good incense accord: It has a nice element of frankincense paired to a citric wood (presently very reminiscent of the CdG/Monocle "Hinoki" Georgywood), coming across rather high-pitched. But, I'm not entirely sure why people freak out over this: it's not a holy apparition.

In memory, I recall enjoying this more years ago, so perhaps I have changed. Today, this perfume is giving me a headache. It's linear, straightforward, and rather banal. It's not complex — it's in-your-face frankincense and wood — rather the product of too many altar boys igniting the censer. The drydown is mostly the higher-gamma Iso E Super with some remaining frankincense.

Great opening, but fades toward audience universalism.

04th July, 2017
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Stardate 20170410:

Reference Frankincense. Beautiful.
10th April, 2017
Beautiful. Very woody, smoky, dark, resinous, and filled with a stunning Frankincense that takes me back to a comforting feeling of Sunday morning church with my Great Grandmother as a child. It opens up about 30 minutes into spraying it and goes close to the skin after about 4 hours. It stays pretty much linear the whole time, not a whole lot of development after the first 30 minutes. Totally gone from my skin around the 8 hour mark but still lingers ever so slightly on my clothes. Considering the fact that I don't normally leave the house until 10PM and usually get home before 6AM it lasts just long enough to do what I need it to do. This is not one for the office. It is the smell of Lutheran/Catholic Mass in a bottle. There are hints of cold and wet stone, mustiness, dust, old bible pages, & good girls who like to do bad things in church pews. Great for a night out on the town at a Goth party, funerals, Christmas Mass, Satanic Rituals, & and anytime that I am feeling extra blasphemous. So all in all, it will get moderate weekend use in cold weather. Very fitting that I bought it a few hours before a Peter Murphy show in December.
21st December, 2016
The Raising of Lazarus
Rembrandt 1630-32
29th October, 2016

An bold and classic incense fragrance that is extremely rich yet classy and elegant invokes feelings of religious mysticism.smoky,bitter-sweet, warm and dry dark and interesting.the incense note is rounded by elemi,myrrh,labdanum resisns and oilbanum.peppery elemi is for lightly citrusy top notes,patchouli for the earthy woodiness,cedar for the dry,labdanum and myrrh to stretch out its warmer,balsamic wafts into soft this perfume incense is king and other notes are definitely falls into the European, catholic/ greek orthodox category scent.a gorgeous masterpiece for a mysterious character in cold evenings.


Longevity?About 6 hours on my skin.

25th June, 2016
This is clean pure Frankincense. I own Frankincense essential oil and this is identical. A Wonderful fragrance which does smell of old churches and incense. So far this is linear and with only fair projection/silage.
10th June, 2016
Future Jason:

Neutral may be a gift. This starts with some of the more boring patchouli elements of the more boring versions of patchouli that you've smelled.

Then, quite frankly, it almost disappears. So... it's Etro, without the projection. Don't know if that's good or bad.

Nevermind. You just reread your review of Etro Patchouly. It's bad.

It has potential. Perhaps as something layered with something else? But maybe you're just remembering that the last dozen of your reviews have been neutral, and maybe you're trying to convince the Basenotes world that you're not a total hater. Just remember that you're too lazy to really care about that too long.

Kyoto is so much better. But don't tell anyone else. You can keep it secret and be "the cool one" who smells "good."
29th March, 2016
The patina on the frankincense burner, the unwashed vestment.

A concept fragrance, it transports you, I'm speaking to an other me, I feel very superstitious all of the sudden.

I had entered a cathedral within my home town whilst wearing this, the experience was simply...special. I had captured everything, every sense possible.

Camomile is a definite note, I do detect cedar and oak moss, frankincense is without a doubt the top note.

Conviction, you better believe it!

16th October, 2015
I had to chuckle about 20 minutes into the drydown of Avignon, because it smells exactly like the dry cracked church pews of my youth, permeated with decades of incense and the smell of old prayerbooks and hymnals. I love it! And I also understand why some people would not appreciate it, in the absence of a similar personal history. It does smell musty, dusty, etc. Avignon is an experience, and the evocation of ages past - it is exactly what it purports to be, and I think it's wonderful.
02nd October, 2015
Behold the olfactory equivalent of a Gregorian chant! Inspired by a 14th Century Gothic cathedral in Avignon, France. Wafting like catholic church incense, clouds of frankincense and myrrh, drifting smoky and resinous. Incense Avignon unfolds into a high mass or peaceful meditation, depending on mood. Captured in all its stark beauty by master perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. Like his best scents, it is capable of transporting the wearer to another time and place. Perhaps the holy grail of incense fragrances.
04th September, 2015
Wonderful austere Frankincense scent.
Smells like the unburnt resin, but slightly softened and rounded, very linear on my skin.
Great pure, dry incense scent.
23rd August, 2015
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Notes: roman chamomile, cistus oil, elemi, incense, vanilla, patchouli, palisander, ambrette seeds.

Avignon opens almost as grandiose in stature as the Palasi des Papes of Avignon itself; weaving a whimsical and evocative tapestry of dark smoldering warmth of Gothic-cathedral proportions, attributed to a vividly accurate star accord of smokey ash laden frankincense and myrrh.

With the image of warm sunlight shining through the colorful mosaic glass and those childhood memories of Sunday mass conjured and in full swing, comes the scents swirling and unraveling progressive stage of the opening; akin to the smoke emanating from a swaying thurible of the priest making his way from the vestry. This phase is by far my favorite, as it’s when Avignon’s wonderfully challenging burning and glowing resin is presented in its full glory.

Bertrand Duchaufour cleverly avoids pushing the boundaries to levels of burning and jagged austerity and realism, by taming and softening the edges with a bone dry vanilla and an enchanting and comforting Roman chamomile, which plays its role in setting forth a peaceful and meditative state; leaving a trail of dusty sweetness soothing out the bitter in a manner in which only lavender or chamomile can do.

This crucial step in the blending never creates a dichotomy of contradicting and conflicting elements, but rather strikes that meticulously inventive contrasting (yet harmonious) state, where the stark dry boldness of the heated ash is tempered and complemented with it’s polar opposite of light and warmth (a zesty elemi/vanilla/chamomile) which is key for the scents wearability in my opinion. Avignon remains very linear on my skin for the most part, with iso-e-super playing its role in imparting a rich velvety prominent texture and volume giving the incense accords a much needed lift in carrying the concept through to the very end.

After spending a portion of my childhood in a quaint little Catholic town in Southern Italy called Martina Franca, I became quite accustomed early on to the rich and enigmatic aroma of freshly burnt incense, which naturally was common place in the charming town. Although I’m not Catholic myself and have no religious affinities to the scent, I’m definitely partial to the smell of incense and Avignon is immensely enjoyable and evokes those fond childhood memories in spades.

In closing, I must confess. I really do love this one a lot, highly recommended! Finally I’ll add that after sampling the entire Incense series 3 line up, I can unequivocally attest that this one is the stand out and definitely up there with Zagorsk as having the best longevity and silage in the series.

Rating: 8.5/10
Longevity: 8/10
Projection: 8/10
Occasion: Casual
22nd December, 2014
I had picked the perfect day to review this scent...clod front moving in, chilly winds and grey skies. The fragrance itself is wonderful! With my limited experience in patchoulis, I found Avignon to be exactly as I expected. Not the nag champa smell from college, but a refined church-like accord. The sad disappointment came with the short longevity and minimal sillage. For me, it is a skin scent, and one I have to reapply after 3-4 hours. For these reasons, I cannot give it a thumbs up.
03rd October, 2014
I haven't been in a church before so I don't know how they smell like but if church truly smell like this, I believe I've found my new goal in life. becoming a father! :D
This is a great classic with adding a little bit more dark flavor comparing to the usual classic fragrances.
The opening is a semi fresh, clean and kind of soft soapy aldehydic scent with great support of smoky incense, some resins and a little bit of sweetness in the background. very good balance between light and dark side.
While the opening is really good, the mid is even better and actually I love the mid.
In the mid the semi fresh and aldehydic scent settled down and incense and resinous myrrh notes became stronger. I can feel a soft powdery feeling in the background as well that gives the scent a very elegant and classy feel.
The mid is smoky, resinous and oily, slightly powdery with kick of mellow aldehydic smell in a smooth way that all together creating a beautiful and so elegant classic scent.
The base is a simple semi sweet smell with some smokiness in the background.
Projection is above average and longevity is around 4-5 hours on my skin.
15th June, 2014
Genre: Woody Oriental

This locus classicus of incense-based perfumery deserves every compliment it's gotten in the earlier reviews. Avignon doesn't bother much with the traditional top notes. Instead, it launches right into deep, smoky, incense that's infused with dried fruit, bitter citrus zest, and spices - perhaps nutmeg, mace, or cinnamon. Over the course of an hour the fruit, citrus, and spices gradually retreat, leaving in their wake a very dry frankincense-rich incense accord. At this stage, Avignon is rarified, transparent, and somehow distant, yet also very profound. The heart has a spiritual quality that vividly evokes the silent, cool interior of an ancient cathedral. Avignon remains in this groove for a long time before it starts to dry down into a faintly vanilla seasoned myrrh and cedar accord.

This scent is potent and long lasting, with plenty of sillage, and mercifully avoids the harsh synthetic tone that marks some of Comme des Garçon's more outré fragrances. It's not my favorite incense scent - that would be Dia for Men or Dzongkha - but it's certainly a great one.
08th June, 2014
The pine scent I always looked for. The comparisons to religious things really bore me as I don't get that (yes I've been to church and mass before). Very strong out the gate..also on the expensive side and hard to find in the US (just Lucky Scent). Morrissey wears/wore this so good enough for me!
30th March, 2014
Oh, yes, yes. Yes, I want to smell like this. Avignon has become my new favorite.

It vaguely (just for a moment) reminds me of Guerlain's Aqua Allegoria: Winter Delice, which has been my previous favorite. (I think it's the myrrh/resins I'm fixating on and loving.) And I still love Winter Delice with all my heart. But mmmmm, the incense in this -- and the fact that Avignon is in production! -- means that Avignon wins out.

And it really does remind me of Easter mass...

Maybe not "wearable" for all people, since not everyone would care to smell like a church, but I do.
05th March, 2014
Cold Gothic Perfection

Overall rating: * * * * * (masterpiece)

Few fragrances manage to capture a mood and a place as well as Avignon, the Roman Catholic entry in CDG's incense series. Close your eyes after applying it, and you could be standing on the cold stone floors of a gothic cathedral in northern Europe in the 15th century.

But it is more than just a photo-realistic impression of a cathedral. As it dries down, it continues to evolve . The frankincense becomes quieter, more meditative. Woodsy notes dance in the shadows and mineralic gloom. Sheer perfection.

This is my Sunday scent, and my preferred fragrance for holidays, funerals, weddings, and spiritual encounters. Wearing this is a bit like reading (and entering) the Cloud of Unknowing.

12th October, 2013
A lovely skin scent...

A wonderful fragrance. Starts off a bit harsh, but them moves into a dry incense. Over time, it travels down a sweeter path, always staying close to the skin. Very little projection, but this might not be a bad thing for this kind of scent. A winner.

Pros: A lovely skin scent...

06th October, 2013
Mysterious dirty and comforting wow

I have really fallen for Avignon, the incense is intense with myrrh and woods in it and just a bit of sweetness, not much at all but also dirtied and made deeper by the animalic notes. Just how I would imagine the Catholic church with its history but then not really, I cannot quite see this as a church scent, it is not tame at all but more like dark, mysterious and dirty but yet very comforting and warming. I have worn this out of a generous sample from Darkdreams for five days in a row and cannot get enough. The lasting power and sillage are wonderful on me, not really feminine but not masculine either, complex and unique. I love incense and this may be my favorite incense fragrance to date, definitely one I will be looking forward to own. Really surprised me as it far surpassed my expectations. The only thing is that maybe I would like a tadbit less woods on a woman but the woods can be comforting too. So nothing negative, just drawn to this fume.

Pros: all I was looking for as an incense lover and more
Cons: none"

05th October, 2013
AlHamr Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Not the church I was looking for.

I'm sure I reviewed this before. It may have got lost in the website move.

Anyway, Avignon has not been the end of my quest for an incense that actually captures the vertical, etherial qualities of burning frankinsence (which I don't actually associate with the Catholic mass as it's not in my personal history). I'm afraid I may be looking for the impossible.

Yes, it is churchy, but for me it's less of a cathedral and more of a modern church with cheap carpets and a dwindling congregation. The incense is certainly there, together with a certain mustiness, but the feeling of height, space and the soaring trajectories of stone arches are wholly absent; rather the walls are finished in plaster board and painted in magnolia. The beeswax on the pews has been recently applied by a pleasant but somewhat pedestrian verger. And the sweetness is overpowering.

This is less the Avignon of the Western Schism, more the Basingstoke of the protestant one, and reminds me of Eddie Izzard's take on the improbability of Church of England fundamentalism: "You must have tea and cake with the vicar or you DIE!"; "CAKE OR DEATH?!"

19th September, 2013
Ethereal liturgical mind trip

The first spray yanked me back like a fish caught on a hook to my Catholic upbringing. The sharp liturgical incense note is certainly true to the brief. Don't think I've ever had such a strong scent/memory response.
Although a liturgical bombast at the head, Avignon at the same time is hollow and ethereal, the hand of Duchaufour can be felt keenly (in the spirit of Timbuktu). During the heart the chamomile/floral accord gives some softness and and stops things becoming too astringent. I also found the Iso E Super to be quite prominent after a few hours.
Where Norma Kamili Insence is dense saturated and slightly macabre, Avignon to me has a airy spiritual quality and gossamer lightness, it's very good.

Pros: Liturgical Perfection

15th August, 2013
First up, let me preface this by saying I've never smelled catholic church incense in my life, so I'm not approaching this stuff as the scent of a known object. It starts out rather warm and resinously sweet, though I don't feel like the underlying wood note is that sweet on its own. Even though I don't visualize any particular thing, I feel like the scent is among the more realistic of the series. It's more ambery, however, and maybe even vanillic, which for me means that it has more potential to get tiringly sweet as it moves along. The spices have a hard time cutting through that kind of sweetness. Still, it's good, maybe just a bit richer and higher-pitched than I'd like. It's just a tad christmasy-smelling and doesn't captivate me like some of the others. Because it's a bit closer than the others to being a typical ambery masculine oriental, it seems more wearable. I'd wear it in place of Heritage (very similar!) or maybe PdN New York. Interesting how it kind of pulled me back from the realm of thematic fragrances into the mainstream, just as I'm done reviewing this series.
14th May, 2013
After having tried "Kyoto" and "Avignon", "Avignon" is my favourite. There is certainly a good whiff of incense, with a citrusy yet warm sweetness to it, which I like. Perhaps because I'm a girl. it stays relatively constant like this for a good few hours, nice, not overpowering, and although I am drawn to Catholic Churches and wouldn't dream of attending a mass with NO incense, the incense isn't overpowering. My friends thought it was pleasant, too, and they didn't think "churchy" at all.
25th April, 2013
wow.fantastic. unisex? i don't see how but hey go for it ladies!! very deep,rich and complex. gourmands were my fave but do to this and gucci pour homme i am an incense lover!! just got my 95% full 1.7 oz bottle today in the mail for 68 bucks!! i need the 3.4 oz if they make it. anyway in the same realm as gph powered by at least 5 times. more incense, more cedar and more woods. very lovable scent especially for cool/cold weather. blind bought do to all the rave!!
07th April, 2013
Marais Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Everyone goes on about churchiness...speaking as an ex-altar boy, used to swinging the thurible with the best of 'em (oh, forgive me!), I think this comparison is overstated. Or maybe parish parsimony (it was the 1970s) meant we got a bad batch of incense from the discounters.
There is more to Avignon (both the town and the perfume) than religion. I smell as much salt and garrigue herb notes here as I do incense; fancifully one may imagine the warm, salt mediterranean sea air blowing across dry, sun-baked scrubland, dotted with wild rosemary, sage and thyme. Overwrought gloomy associations and self-flagellation are not compulsory.
Longevity is quite good; 6 hours from 4 sprays.
03rd April, 2013
Avignon definitely lives up to the hype; I just can’t get enough of this fragrance! Several fantastic reviews have already described Avignon, so I really do not have much to add except that Avignon=man trap. Yes, that’s right; I’ve been wearing it every day for about a week now and I have received more compliments per (arbitrary) unit of time than with Hypnotic Poison and Angel. I’ve already given away two decants. This stuff is a drug!!!

5/5!!! Weeeeeeeee!
12th February, 2013
Opens with some kind of freshness(is that possible?) that remains for a while. Then it does become a warm incense scent that smells slightly sweet, much probably by the vanilla. It's hard to use because its very dense and smoky. Sillage, lasting power and projection are great. Very unique. Thumbs up.
12th December, 2012