100 Fragrances Every Frag-Head Guy Should Try, part 21: The Incense Series

    100 Fragrances Every Frag-Head Guy Should Try, part 21: The Incense Series

    post #1 of 2
    Thread Starter 


    I suppose its almost a cliché at this point to recommend that someone sample the entire Comme Des Garçons incense collection as an introduction (or a useful refresher course) to incense perfumes. It happens all the time on Basenotes, and the inspiration for this blog already did it, too. But sometimes things like this happen because theyre true, and I dont think I could come up with a more well-considered, diverse, and influential group. Sure, other incense scents will make their way into my list (incense scents as a genre are often favorites of aficionados, myself included), but these five are essentially the grail of the genre.

    Comme Des Garçons Series 3: Incense


    61. Avignon by Comme Des Garçons



    Avignon has proven to be one of the most influential modern scents. Its skeleton of frankincense, cedar, and iso e super has become the backbone on which almost all modern incense scents (from Jubilation XXV to Bang) are built. As such, its required sniffing for that alone, but its also a fantastic smell.

    The other quality Avignon brings to the table is that its creamier and more feminine than youd expect a burnt-wood scent could be, and arguably the most woman-friendly smoky incense scent out there (as a genre, cedar/frankincense/iso e super incense scents tend to be built on an interplay of rough and creamy Avignon has all of its potentially rough edges expertly smoothed out). It has a subtle plumy quality fused into the cedar and an unexpected perfuminess to the whole affair that is almost never copied by the perfumes that use Avignons basic formula. As such, Avignon is important for its influence, but also as an example of a different direction incense scents can take.


    62. Jaisalmer by Comme Des Garçons



    Of the incense series, Jaisalmer is probably the most literal of the group in terms of smelling like wood. If you can imagine hiking through a redwood forest, the smells pouring off the pine needles and tree bark, while sniffing a pepper shaker, thats Jaisalmer. Its also got a smoky quality, as if you were building a campfire from the most fragrant possible cedar wood. As such, I think Jaisalmer, of all the perfumes of the world, is my personal pick for the ultimate woody scent. Its literal but also figurative, artful but comforting, and the rugged realism fades into something creamier and more abstract as it descends into the base.


    63. Kyoto by Comme Des Garçons



    To me, Kyoto is an evergreen forest, decorated with berries, red fruits, cloves, and flowers and then set on fire and buried under a thick blanket of volcanic ash. It has a subtle leathery characteristic, and the ashy smell has undertones of wet cement and patchouli. Its an artful smell, cool and distant, though still completely wearable.

    I think that, technically, Kyoto is another rose/sandalwood/patchouli/fruit scent along the lines of Egoiste, but buries this familiar mix under an avalanche of ashy smoke and dusty oak. As such, it makes for really interesting sniffing, deftly riding the line between artful weirdness and wearability.


    64. Ouarzazte by Comme Des Garçons



    Ouarzazate is another one of those scents that uses bay leaves and sage to smell like tea, and it does it incredibly well. It uses a subtle lemon note as well as a damp brown undertone to flawlessly recreate the smell of opening a tin of expensive tea leaves. Then, it takes this perfect tea smell, douses it with salt and pepper, and pairs it with faint plumes of smoke, which provides a devastatingly nice study in edible versus inedible, and tea versus spices.


    65. Zagorsk by Comme Des Garçons



    Zagorsk is largely built on the traditional vetiver formula (vetiver mixed with nutmeg and verbena). But, with a wink and a nod to Aqua Velva, it tops this mix with a dollop of wintergreen to give it an icy chill. It has a quiet undertone of burnt woods and what I can best describe as paint fumes, which make for an interesting countermelody to the icy blue-green brightness of the rest of the structure.
    post #2 of 2
    Arrrgh, as a newbie, I just picked up samples (Thanks Kat
    !) of every one of these last weekend !

    Still working through them, so it's great to come across this post and know I made a valuable educational choice.
    class="

    11/5/11 at 2:35pm

    rogalal said:





    I suppose its almost a cliché at this point to recommend that someone sample the entire Comme Des Garçons incense collection as an introduction (or a useful refresher course) to incense perfumes. It happens all the time on Basenotes, and the inspiration for this blog already did it, too. But sometimes things like this happen because theyre true, and I dont think I could come up with a more well-considered, diverse, and influential group. Sure, other incense scents will make their way into my list (incense scents as a genre are often favorites of aficionados, myself included), but these five are essentially the grail of the genre.

    Comme Des Garçons Series 3: Incense


    61. Avignon by Comme Des Garçons



    Avignon has proven to be one of the most influential modern scents. Its skeleton of frankincense, cedar, and iso e super has become the backbone on which almost all modern incense scents (from Jubilation XXV to Bang) are built. As such, its required sniffing for that alone, but its also a fantastic smell.

    The other quality Avignon brings to the table is that its creamier and more feminine than youd expect a burnt-wood scent could be, and arguably the most woman-friendly smoky incense scent out there (as a genre, cedar/frankincense/iso e super incense scents tend to be built on an interplay of rough and creamy Avignon has all of its potentially rough edges expertly smoothed out). It has a subtle plumy quality fused into the cedar and an unexpected perfuminess to the whole affair that is almost never copied by the perfumes that use Avignons basic formula. As such, Avignon is important for its influence, but also as an example of a different direction incense scents can take.


    62. Jaisalmer by Comme Des Garçons



    Of the incense series, Jaisalmer is probably the most literal of the group in terms of smelling like wood. If you can imagine hiking through a redwood forest, the smells pouring off the pine needles and tree bark, while sniffing a pepper shaker, thats Jaisalmer. Its also got a smoky quality, as if you were building a campfire from the most fragrant possible cedar wood. As such, I think Jaisalmer, of all the perfumes of the world, is my personal pick for the ultimate woody scent. Its literal but also figurative, artful but comforting, and the rugged realism fades into something creamier and more abstract as it descends into the base.


    63. Kyoto by Comme Des Garçons



    To me, Kyoto is an evergreen forest, decorated with berries, red fruits, cloves, and flowers and then set on fire and buried under a thick blanket of volcanic ash. It has a subtle leathery characteristic, and the ashy smell has undertones of wet cement and patchouli. Its an artful smell, cool and distant, though still completely wearable.

    I think that, technically, Kyoto is another rose/sandalwood/patchouli/fruit scent along the lines of Egoiste, but buries this familiar mix under an avalanche of ashy smoke and dusty oak. As such, it makes for really interesting sniffing, deftly riding the line between artful weirdness and wearability.


    64. Ouarzazte by Comme Des Garçons



    Ouarzazate is another one of those scents that uses bay leaves and sage to smell like tea, and it does it incredibly well. It uses a subtle lemon note as well as a damp brown undertone to flawlessly recreate the smell of opening a tin of expensive tea leaves. Then, it takes this perfect tea smell, douses it with salt and pepper, and pairs it with faint plumes of smoke, which provides a devastatingly nice study in edible versus inedible, and tea versus spices.


    65. Zagorsk by Comme Des Garçons



    Zagorsk is largely built on the traditional vetiver formula (vetiver mixed with nutmeg and verbena). But, with a wink and a nod to Aqua Velva, it tops this mix with a dollop of wintergreen to give it an icy chill. It has a quiet undertone of burnt woods and what I can best describe as paint fumes, which make for an interesting countermelody to the icy blue-green brightness of the rest of the structure.

    11/6/11 at 8:16pm

    Birdboy48 said:



    Arrrgh, as a newbie, I just picked up samples (Thanks Kat
    !) of every one of these last weekend !

    Still working through them, so it's great to come across this post and know I made a valuable educational choice.





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