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If Andy Tauer's signature notes (at least in his early perfumes) are coriander and amber, his style can be said to orbit the quality of dryness, of 'dessert air'. Incense Extrême is the starkest and most arid of Andy Tauer's perfumes and is an important contribution to a seam first tapped by Guerlain's now nearing-extinction Djedi.
The scent opens with lashings, and lashes, of frankincense, and a substantial cedar accompaniment. There is a faint spiciness that smells like coriander seeds in a pan on the gas ring, having moved through 'fragrant' to 'smouldering' and now approaching 'charred'. I have trouble detecting the orris mentioned in Tauer's pyramid, but do pick up an increasingly prominent, though nonetheless subdued, ambery sweetness.
For purposes of comparison, I'd skip the Incense Series from CdG, which are overall thinner and less convincing than Tauer's scent, and instead look to the (admittedly much quieter) Armani Privé Bois d'Encens, or go back to the beginning, with Diptyque's L’Eau Trois. In structure, I'd suggest a sideways glance at Oud 27 from Le Labo: both Incense Extrême and Oud 27 have pungent beginnings and both then
compose themselves into far more nuzzling, cedar-based drydowns within an hour or two.
For the meddlers out there, Incense Extrême begs to be layered intelligently; I'd go with a zesty cologne with lots of natural oils and not too many pretensions.
13th May, 2011