Perfume Reviews

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

Total Reviews: 35
Jaisalmer has an Indian masala chai accord over the incense skeleton of the Incense series. This accord has notes of cardamom, cinnamon and pepper, besides other spices. This structure is present throughout its life on skin, with little to no transformation. Only in the dry down the spices soften and the fragrance becomes a little ambery.

Personally I'm ambivalent about this composition. I'm not a fan of barebone incense; but while it's more substantial than something ethereal like Kyoto, I cannot claim to be a fan of this particular interpretation of incense. In its favour is the fact that this is indeed quite a unique take on incense. Nothing great, but definitely worth checking out - particularly if one is a fan of incense.

Average projection and tenacity of 4-5 hours on skin from 4 sprays.

02nd June, 2017
After first spray, I already like it better than Avignon. This is so much brighter, bursting with conifer-like incense. Sharp and spicy like CdG’s Black, but with more warmth, which gives this more versatility than either two scents. Unfortunately, I experience the same short lifespan as Avignon, but still a thumbs up!
29th November, 2015
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.
02nd April, 2015
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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.
18th June, 2014
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.

15th April, 2014
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.
16th December, 2013
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!
14th May, 2013
Smoky and tangy like a crackling bonfire where some cardamom seeds have fallen.
Jaisalmer is the fragrance of a walk in the woods in an Autumn afternoon when a cool mist rises from glowing, rust coloured leaves and mingles with wood smoke coming from afar.
A fragrance I prefer smelling on somebody else's skin than wearing myself, with a decent longevity and sillage.
29th November, 2012
The opening is a mix of cardamom, turmeric, camphor and ginger. The incense note is instantly present, and in the background there is a bit of wood smoke and a very interesting smoky chemical note from kerosene that is used for cooking in India, that I have never encountered elsewhere. The cardamom and turmeric soon disappears and it becomes more spicy and resinous. It is a slightly dreamy scent that is worn for your own sake to inspire and evoke memories. It is not related to the smell and experience of churches like Avignon and Zagorsk and less dry than these scents as well.
18th November, 2012 (last edited: 24th November, 2012)
Dry, herby-woody and balsamic scent with masculine appeal. More complex and less aggressive than its close cousin, Avignon.

Most of all, Jaisalmer is reminiscent of old wood, old furniture. If you've ever been in an auction room stacked with furniture of various ages and states of repair, this is it.
18th December, 2011
Spirit of the Tiger mixed with CdG White. Great!!
30th November, 2011
Spice, incense, cedar - what's not to love?

This is by far the most rich and complex of the CdG Incense range, and by far my favourite. I would second previous comments about its longevity, but while it's around it's magnificent.
15th October, 2011
A rich incense opening! But not the kind of incense that we can find in Avignon, where mixed with myrrh gives us a church feeling.

Here we have a incense note accompanied by spicy notes like cardamon upon a resinous base where benzoin shines. A very versatile incense based fragrance if I may say.
09th October, 2011
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poe Show all reviews
United States
I was walking through an arts festival here in Portland a few weeks ago, and was struck by the smell of something magical coming from a woodworking demo... I joined the crowd watching the planing and sanding. Nostrils flaring, I kept looking for the pot of burning incense nearby, there was none to be found. When the crowd dispersed, I stayed, as the scent remained steady.
Asking the craftsman what I was smelling, he took a long curl from off the table he was working on, telling me it was yellow cedar. Over the course of the next thee days, I returned to his booth to smell fresh yellow cedar again and again.
It was when I applied Jaisalmer (a scent I had worn many times previously) that I made the connection.

Not merely a ceder scent, this can almost be described as a single note scent. Yellow ceder. Bliss.

17th September, 2011
A lovely, warm scent -- pungently woody and smoky on the one side, soapy and invigoating on the other. The invigoratingly clean element surely derives from aldehydes and cinnamon, which brings me to the conclusion that this is the earthier, woodier cousin to "Hotel Costes"; both have that irresistible soapy-cinnamon note I don't come across very often. The incense note is relatively weak; the wood notes win out. This is only mentionable as the scent appears in the CdG series of incense-inspired scents.
The only down side: The drydown of this eau de toilette pales in comparison to the non-stop drydown of eau de parfum "Comme des Garcons 2". Two spritzes of the latter and your're set for the whole day; "Jaisalmer" requires 6-7 spritzes and you don't really make it past your lunch break. But still -- extemely pleasant. I wonder if Jaisalmer/India smells anything like this? Would be a dream.
09th August, 2010
Minty incense? That's what I get. Smokey and cool. Fresh and woody. Not bad.
21st June, 2009
Pimento berries, cardamom, cinnamon, incense, guiac wood, ebony, amber, benzoin.
Revised review.
Very dry, austere spices are a good accompaniment for the incense. The overall effect is a shimmering cool from the incense against a dry warmth. The wood tones are exotic and compelling. No sweetness here. Substantial but not heavy. A woody-incense. The amber is very restrained, and the benzoin gives intensity to the overall fragrance. I think this is quite distinctive.
10th April, 2009 (last edited: 20th August, 2014)
There are clearly people here with more advanced noses than mine, but I would like to add that the cedar smell in this is definitely smokey and burnt (in a good way) - it's not cedar chips in a closet, it's cedar chips smoking in a barbeque.

I bought this at the same time as the Commes Des Garcons Series 8 Lime, because, contrary to common sense, they smell amazing layered together. Honestly, I can't imagine wearing this by itself, but it works really well adding a smoky, woodsy layer to an amazing array of sweeter scents that I have. Try it with rose scents (I like Le Labo's Rose 31). I also use it to tone down Jo Malone's Pomegranite Noir and make it more masculine.

It was totally worth buying the whole bottle, and I find this to be one of my go-to scents.
02nd January, 2009
A freshly sharpened pink pencil.
23rd December, 2008
JonB Show all reviews
United States
This is a wonderful wood fragrance. Yes there is some incense, but it's not as important to Jaisalmer than it is to the other frags in this series. This is really a nice spicy cedar fragrance. It's thumbs way up for Jaisalmer, although it would be improved if there was a bit more incense. Layering this with Kyoto is very, very nice.
01st November, 2008
spicy and intriguing.
not an everyday scent, but to wear on special occasions.
29th July, 2008
Jaisalmer: opens with lush spicy notes, mainly those which evoke sweet aroma, smells of barks with a touch of chilli. the spicy notes is well rounded by midnotes with a heavy hand of woody notes, this scent is not dry but, its definitely warm though... somewhere in midnotes i felt as if i have reached the basenotes and there would be no development here on, oh well, i was wrong, the woody notes starts to wear off revealing the sweetest incense notes, i think this one is the "sweetest" of the incense series with a very camphory cool feel potent enuff to numb ones nostrils....definitely wearable, be prepared for "what are you wearing! you smell exotic." comment.

CDG incense series:

The incense series in general, startled me at first. kyoto and Jaisalmer would probably be the two which would come across embracing you immediately, saying that it doesnt mean it doesnt have substance, only that the other two, Avignon and Zagorsk, are pretty bold, no holds barred, really intense scents but, couple of wears in to it and one would appreciate all of these for their respective qualities.

Incense series is dark, woody, smoky, mysterious, resinous, earthy, dusty and loaded with incense in general. though they all have the same characters, they smell poles apart from each other in their approach. a definite for someone who is looking for an adventure, a spiritual and meditative adventure in perfumery.
21st July, 2008
Jaisalmer is predominantly a cedar fragrance with lashings of vetiver and pepper which smells the same from the application all the way to the drydown. The pepper/wood combination reminded me a lot of 10 Corso Como which is chiefly sandalwood whereas Jaisalmer is mostly cedar (to my nose, anyways). I also agree with a fellow Basenotes reviewer who described Jaisalmer as conjuring up “images of campfires and charred pieces of wood”. The pepper note reminded me a good deal of Ormonde Jayne’s Isfarkand. Lastly, although it is characterized as an incense fragrance, Jaisalmer does not have a heavy “churchy” incense smell. In fact, it is quite dry and aromatic. If you enjoy Diptyque’s Tam Dao, Diptyque’s Feu de Bois, Ormonde Jayne’s Isfarkand, CdG’s Ouzarzate or 10 Corso Como, Jaisalmer would definitely appeal to you.

From what I’ve been able to glean from various sources, here are the notes: cedar, vetiver, cardamom, incense, cinnamon, amber, benzoin, pimento berries, guaiac wood and pink pepper.
03rd June, 2008 (last edited: 19th June, 2008)
Gucci pour Homme and Bois d'Ombrie (minus the famous vinegar note). Throw in a little synthetic incense and we're cookin' with gas, folks.

Good stuff!
29th October, 2007
cardamom, incense, cinnamon, amber, benzoin, pimento, berries, guaiac wood (aka gaiac wood or saint wood), ebony

My favourite of the range, very strange as it doesn't have any flower note and in me smell deliciously kind of flowery with incense ('course).
Maybe it can be the cinammon and the berries.
Also get the metallic aura.
Fascinating piece. Very recommended.
11th October, 2007
For me, Jaisalmer is easily the most challenging fragrance in this series. I suspect there´s a good amount of raw vetiver in there. A note that with it´s earthy and soily qualities certainly is not a favourite of mine. I do however like this fragrance anyway. Like the others have pointed out, it is intensely smokey and spicy. I too get images of campfires and charred pieces of wood when wearing it, and I like it! Jaisalmer is intensely dry, a bit dirty and very masculine, would not want to smell this on my girlfriend. Like many CdG´s it is an aquired taste, so don´t buy blind. It´s siblings, Quarzazate and Avignon are mucher safer bets if you´re into incense and want a cool avantgarde approach to it. Jaisalmer´s staying power outlasts both of those easily though.
18th May, 2007
Smells exactly like clear-burning pine resin incense. There's a slightly metallic edge on dry down on my skin, but the overall effect is exactly what I'd hoped for: the scent of incense. So far no other incense type fragrances have captured this so well for me. (Though I undesttand that that could also be dependant on the type of incense I was expecting to smell.)
03rd May, 2007
I walk through the silver birch trees of dappled white, the leaf strew dry and dusty underfoot. Ancient moss covered boulders squat turgid with slow thoughts whilst forest incense is warmth surrounding and rises peppery and resinous. I am held within its embrace.
17th April, 2007
I love all of the incense series, but chose this above the others. I have visited Jaisalmer many times and this does not smell like the place at all!! One would expect to smell indian type incense here,or indeed bazaar spices but instead it smells like eastern european gothic churche type incense. That being said, I still love this frag, so will forgive the misleading name. Smells exactly like the Lithuanian fragrance Jozias Stravithicus, but much better longevity. Just wish it was more readily available in the UK.
02nd April, 2007
To quote the Dead Kennedys: "Chemical Warfare, Chemical Warfare, Chemical Warfare, Warfare, Warfare." Blasphemy? Let me explain myself: I think CdG is an avantgarde fashion house that makes a point of stressing the 'artificiality' of their fragrances. In upper echelon perfumery synthetics are generally employed to make a fragrance appear more natural. I should think CdG would have a gas using natural ingedients to produce a synthetic smelling perfume (but I guess economy dictates they use synthetics to that end after all). Now, I am a great lover of incense, and regarding perfumes Incensi by Villoresi and Valentino's Vendetta pour homme are among my two favorites, both give an incredibly authentic, i.e. very natural smelling rendition of incense. With Jaisalmer,IMHO, the synthetics scream in your face. It's an Indian spice market allright, but, like a 'ship in bottle,' it's a 'spicemarket in test tube,' assembled with pride and a sense of irony. Which is fine by me, except I really don't much like ISO-E-Super, somehow it just massively irritates me. But please don't let this opinion by a minority of one spoil your enjoyment of this fine fragrance. In fact, my bottle is up for swap :-).
21st February, 2007