Comme des Garcon Series 3 Incense: Zagorsk

  1. odysseusm
    odysseusm
    Zagorsk fragrance notes: white incense, pine, pimento berries, violet, cedar, iris, hinoki wood, birch wood
    Sometimes the image and the concept of a scent can be so captivating that I buy into it, and fail to apply a fully discerning scrutiny to the scent in question. Sometimes the elements are so idiosyncratic that it takes me a while to comprehend them and fit them into a larger conceptual structure. Such is the case with Zagorsk. I loved the mystique of the isolated Russian Orthodox chapel, the lingering trail of incense, the old pews redolent of sweat and devotion, the long trek into the deserted chapel in the dead of winter, crunching through the snow... And earlier reviews reflected that mystique.
    Folks, this is a birch-tar prominent scent. Pure and simple. At least that is how it lands on my skin. So, if you like birch tar then you will like this. Smoky, woody-leathery, substantial, assertive. Cuire de Russie and all that sort of thing. It is a very elegant, restrained birch tar. But a large bronze gong of birch tar can only be so subtle, even given the best and most intelligent treatment.
    Perhaps it has all those above romantic elements in the background. Allow them to develop in your mind. But be aware of the realities of scent before you.
    The birch and violet work together quite well, especially in the opening salvo. The violet is violet leaf, herbaceous and silvery-cool. Along with the smoky birch note, the effect is very dry, cool, masculine. Grey Flannel or Declaration on steroids.
    My usual caveat -- the conifers could be more prominent.
    Definitely the most distinctive of the CdG Incense line. Check it out, but be aware of the heavy hitters here.
  2. MonkeyBars
    MonkeyBars
    Our perfume who art in nostrils, hallowed be thy scent, lead us not into isoquinolines, but deliver us from birch tar!
  3. odysseusm
    odysseusm
    Today's thoughts... When the scent sorts out its components and the birch tar doesn't dominate, it is a good, evocative scent.

    Upon first application, one is hit by a veritable blast of birch -- some sap, mostly smoky tar. Whew!
    After a bit, the scent opens up. We find other words, hints of conifer, white paper, pepper.
    The scent is cool, wintery, dry. Smoky birch always lurks in the vicinity.
    Zagorsk is a pilgrimage site in the Russian Orthodox tradition. Perhaps the leathery smoky note is also meant to evoke Russian Leather-style scents.
    Definitely one can get the impression of an old hermitage chapel, graced by centuries of incense smoke, nestled in the wintery woods.
    If I could fine-tune this, I'd dial back the birch tar and increase the incense.
    But, it is a fine and stylish scent -- if you can appreciate birch tar!
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