One of my favorite incense fragrances is Etro's Messe de Minuit. There is a dry austerity to that fragrance that really connects for me when I want incense, most of the time. Then there are times when I want a more rounded incense expereince and when I am seeking that I don't have to move out of the Etro section in my wardrobe. The 1995 release Shaal Nur is a more lush incense experience as it adds citrus, rose, vanilla and amber to the mix to create the antithesis of Messe de Minuits chilly incense and instead create an incense that feels like a Snuggie.
The top of Shaal Nur begins with a bracing combination of lemon and coriander with rosemary lurking in the distance. The incense is also present right from the beginning and the resinous nature of the incense versus the tart feel of the lemon would be jarring without the presence of the coriander to create an almost bridging note between the two. As a result the top comes off as something quite enjoyable. The heart is supposed to be a mix of four floral notes but the only one that really awakens on my skin is the rose, and this combination with the dry incense is really nice as the spicy aspect of rose complements the incense at the core of this scent. The base is where this turns towards the comfortable notes of vanilla and amber and this is where Shaal Nur becomes like a blanket of soft notes to be pulled tight around you and enjoyed.
Shaal Nur has average longevity and slightly above average sillage.
There are times when I want my incense to be dry and austere but for those times when I want to just feel warmth and comfort along with my incense Shaal Nur is where I will turn.