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  1. #1

    Default what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    ok i know we discuss incensey fragrances and messe de minuit is still on one of my must try lists but maybe the discussion is usually in the context of the roman catholic church smell -- kind of dank and incensey, as opposed to the russian orthodox which would maybe just be more overwhelmingly spicy and smokey and incensey. any suggestions? i don't think this has been discussed in awhile but if it has i'm sorry don't hate me

    edit: ok i know the "smokey and delicious" thread is getting a lot of replies but i think this thread is about something a little different, more spice/incense than smoke, maybe. still checking out the smokey thread for hot tips.

  2. #2

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    To quote my crush: CDG OMG! Zagorsk that is!

  3. #3

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    wow THANK you. this sounds absolutely perfect. i definitely need to try this.

  4. #4

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    ITA on the Zagorsk. This is bottled Liturgy complete with metanias!
    We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give - W. Churchill

  5. #5

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Zagorsk Zagorsk! Zagorsk!

    (...sorry 'bout the out-burst, but this is one of my favourite fragrances, and one of only four that I really wear )

  6. #6

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    I am pretty sure it was Angelique Encens that got a funny face from an (orthodox) friend, and a question as to why I would want to smell like a church.

    While Avignon and Zagorsk both have church tones to them, I don't think it was either of those ... it could have been Messe de Minuit is the only other thing I might have worn around him....

  7. #7

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    One more vote for CdG Zagorsk.

    To be specific it smells like a small wooden old and draughty Russian Orthodox church in the middle of snowy pine and birch trees to me.
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  8. #8

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    To specify, Zagorsk really does smell like an antique wooden Russian or Slavic Orthodox Church, walls, icons, incense, everything. I know this from experience. But it really doesn't smell like the incense on its own, and there are a number of variations. Avignon is definitely Roman Catholic. I have to say that I just received an order of Egyptian kyphi and it really reminds me of certain Orthodox incenses. Interesting. I haven't found any perfume that smells like the incense on its own, it's sweeter and spicier than western incense. I've been trying to create it with EOs, sort of a wearable version. Will definitely post if I succeed!

  9. #9

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Orthodox here and I can tell you it's Avignon that's closest to the black incense we brun here :-)

  10. #10

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Yes, Helg, I think you're right (fellow Orthodox here). Avignon is closest to just the incense. My husband smelled Zagorsk last night (I was retesting them all!) and noted that it smelled like the Lavra, a series of underground chapels, catacombs, monks' cells, complete with the preserved bodies of saints, that is located in Kiev. And he's right! I think that's why, while Avignon just makes me happy, Zagorsk always makes me feel melancholy and nostalgic....

  11. #11

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    The place that has smelled most like CdG Avignon to my nose was St. Mary's in Kraków, Poland. But I'm neither Catholic nor Orthodox, but an ex-Lutheran.
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  12. #12

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Glad you agree Elf.

    I love the smell of ecclesiastical orthodox incense.

    The crypts and catacombs, yes, they're a different matter....They do have a cooler and more musty note.

    BTW: Another interesting incense scent: Essence of John Galliano by Diptyque. It's worth checking out (room spray actually, but you can get away with spraying on hands). Close to Messe de Minuit.

  13. #13

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Donna Karan Cashmere
    To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.
    Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970),

  14. #14

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Another fellow Orthodox here!

    To me, Parfum Sacre evokes the smell inside an Orthodox Church!
    “I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”-Anais Nin

  15. #15

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Quote Originally Posted by restlessoul
    To me, Parfum Sacre evokes the smell inside an Orthodox Church!
    To me Parfum Sacré smells like an old theater diva's dressing room: rose talc, powders and other theatre cosmetics, exotic paraphernalia, dried roses hanging from the ceiling...
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  16. #16

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    This is very interesting. I only knew about MDM. So, the subtle differences in the resin actually make a difference from church to church? I shall have to look into some of these other suggestions. Thanks, people.

  17. #17

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Another Orthodox here. I agree with Helg that Avignon. If I think of Orthodox incense, it is what I think about.

    The smell of Messe de Minuit is close to the scent of incense burnt in Kievo-Pecherskaja Lavra, but it needs a sweeter note to be perfect. Zagorsk is too piney to resemble incense I grew up with, but it is good too. I brought some incense from Lavra, and although I have not burned it, I can smell its scent. My favourite incense fragrance is Bois d'Encens, but it is too dry.

  18. #18

    Thumbs up Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twolf
    To quote my crush: CDG OMG! Zagorsk that is!
    I am sampling Zagorsk for the first time tonight and I am in LOVE!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE, did I mention LOVE?!
    Beauty is but the sensible image of the Infinite.
    Like truth and justice it lives within us; like virtue and the moral law it is a companion of the soul.
    -George Bancroft {1800-1891 American Historian}

    =

    current favorites:
    Balmain Jolie Madame, Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan
    =

  19. #19

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Yes, all this talk about incense and I finally broke down and ordered a bottle of Zagorsk! And I'm layering Crazy Libellule Encens Mystic (a solid that smells very much like Avignon) with Gucci PH and it's really nice! I think I'll be on this incense kick for at least a month, now....

  20. #20

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Quote Originally Posted by helg
    Orthodox here and I can tell you it's Avignon that's closest to the black incense we brun here :-)
    Helg:
    Do you know the name of the black resin?
    In the Greek Orthodox Church of North America, we burn the little yellow beads of frankincense, which in Greek is called "livani."

  21. #21

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    @Purplebird:
    We call it "livani", yes.
    It's a generic term for all kinds of resin incense used in burners though.
    The scented varieties are powdery white on the outside (like actual powder, it comes off on hands when you handle it) and the inside is yellow-ivory in colour as it melts on charcoal. Those come usually in rose, jasmine, freesia scents etc and are artificially scented with oils when made.

    However the black incense is really dark coloured naturally (it even melts as a dark grey mass) and has a heavier, denser, sweter aroma. We call it St.Nectarius' incense. He was supposedly patron saint of exorcisms and thus he became tied to it, as incense is meant to keep demons out (we have a saying for anyone who regresses from something " like the devil regresses from the smell of incense"....LOL
    I can't give you a commercial name, as we buy it from either ecclesiastical shops that sell local product from monasteries or from open-air flea markets (especially around churches before a religious holiday- there are stalls that sell it along with little crosses, charcoal pieces, burners etc.)

    I *love* black incense, to me it's the true monastic incense. A divine smell.
    Last edited by helg; 17th February 2007 at 10:26 AM.

  22. #22

    TaoLady's Avatar
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    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Thanks to you guys and to this thread I have ordered samples of FOUR of the frags mentioned here and hope the thread keeps going 'til they arrive and I can jump in again!! :bounce:

    I learned how to write Icons in the basement of an Episcopal church from a Russian Orthodox priest who spoke no English and who burned incense and played Orthodox chants on an aged tape recorder while we sanded our plaques and laboriously mixed pigment with egg yolk and distilled water for a process that takes months to complete.

    I fell in love with the incense(s) and sent away for the little standing censers and the opaque rocky crystals that are piled on little charcoal briquettes to create that heavenly smelly smoke. Haul them out from time to time to invoke the spirits. ("Google and ye shall find....")

    Still looking for a frag that invokes that same mystery....film at 11:00!!!
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  23. #23
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    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Avignon

    Hard to get any closer to the smell of real frankincense. Amazing stuff.

  24. #24

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    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran
    Avignon

    Hard to get any closer to the smell of real frankincense. Amazing stuff.
    That's one of the four!!! :bounce:
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  25. #25

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Thanks for the info, Helg.
    I am surprised that some of the resin is artificially scented!
    I'm disappointed. The resin, itself, should provide the aroma.
    I hope my church doesn't buy the cheap, scented incense. Maybe that is why some people's eyes water and they have to open the windows.
    I went to St. Nectarius' church. He is the saint who has the pair of shoes by his crypt, and his spirit is supposed to walk around in them and do good deeds, and the shoes wear out and have to be replaced.

    Taolady, that sounds like a really cool and fun experience, making icons the old-fashioned way.

    Both of you, which of these resins are closest to the ones that you enjoy the most?
    http://www.somaluna.com/cat/powder_r...se_gums_ac.asp

  26. #26

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Quote Originally Posted by helg

    The scented varieties are powdery white on the outside (like actual powder, it comes off on hands when you handle it) and the inside is yellow-ivory in colour as it melts on charcoal. Those come usually in rose, jasmine, freesia scents etc and are artificially scented with oils when made.

    However the black incense is really dark coloured naturally (it even melts as a dark grey mass) and has a heavier, denser, sweter aroma. We call it St.Nectarius' incense.
    I *love* black incense, to me it's the true monastic incense. A divine smell.

    Just as a trivial aside, the scented rose, jasmine, etc,. stuff is usually made by blending powdered frankincense resin (can be purchased in big bulk bags) with fragrance oils which also act as a binder. then sthe stuff is rolled into long ropes and cut into small chunks and then dried somewhat. The powder is a very fine kaolin or bentonite type clay that coats the chunks to keep them from sticking together and becoming a gooey mess if they become warm.

    The frankincense powder is a uniform processed creamy color in the bag so that it one reason this type of incense is as light as it is.

    I made some once upon a time with frankincense powder & rose absolute. Did another with frankincense powder & neroli. Both turned out very nice for home incense but like you, I prefer the dark resin only stuff for Liturgy.
    We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give - W. Churchill

  27. #27

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Thanks for clarifying this.
    According to your description, our church doesn't use the scented frankincense.
    The pieces we use are little droplets, shaped naturally as they dry after oozing from the wood.

  28. #28

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    well - I cannot agree that Zagorsk is the closest one. Actually it was an attempt to create a fragrance which smells like orthodox church.
    But as for me La Myrrhe SL smells like an orthodox church

  29. #29

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    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7
    Thanks for the info, Helg.
    I am surprised that some of the resin is artificially scented!
    I'm disappointed. The resin, itself, should provide the aroma.
    I hope my church doesn't buy the cheap, scented incense. Maybe that is why some people's eyes water and they have to open the windows.
    I went to St. Nectarius' church. He is the saint who has the pair of shoes by his crypt, and his spirit is supposed to walk around in them and do good deeds, and the shoes wear out and have to be replaced.

    Taolady, that sounds like a really cool and fun experience, making icons the old-fashioned way.

    Both of you, which of these resins are closest to the ones that you enjoy the most?
    http://www.somaluna.com/cat/powder_r...se_gums_ac.asp
    Took a look at your site and was totally flummoxed. Haven't a clue. However - this http://www.skete.com/index.cfm?fusea...Category_ID=19 is where I order my incense from - if that's any help! :bounce:
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  30. #30

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    I have always wanted to buy a sample of all the different kinds of items from that site. Look at those perfume ingredients: benzoin, aloeswood, amber, labdanum, styrax, galbanum, myrrh, olibanum, peru balsam, sandalwood, opoponax. It's a great opportunity to smell the real thing. Plus frankincense and myrrh from various countries, copal, mastic, other resins. Not to mention the "herb" category: oakmoss, ambrette seeds, patchouli, tonka.

    The unit price is low. However, by the time I order all of the above, the price climbs to well over $150. If I split an order, it would cause the amount of 1 oz. per item to be divided by the number of people who want to split.

    Is there anyone interested in doing this? People who want to grind and tincture the real ingredients?

  31. #31

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    I for one would be very interested if someone was doing a split. And many of the ingredients you mention are among my most-loved.

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7
    I have always wanted to buy a sample of all the different kinds of items from that site. Look at those perfume ingredients: benzoin, aloeswood, amber, labdanum, styrax, galbanum, myrrh, olibanum, peru balsam, sandalwood, opoponax. It's a great opportunity to smell the real thing. Plus frankincense and myrrh from various countries, copal, mastic, other resins. Not to mention the "herb" category: oakmoss, ambrette seeds, patchouli, tonka.

    The unit price is low. However, by the time I order all of the above, the price climbs to well over $150. If I split an order, it would cause the amount of 1 oz. per item to be divided by the number of people who want to split.

    Is there anyone interested in doing this? People who want to grind and tincture the real ingredients?

  32. #32

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    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    DSH's Cathedral - bergamot, oppoponax, frankincense and myrrh

    Sonoma Scent Studio - Sanctuary pour Femme - smoke and myrrh, some bergamot - very subtle. Wearing this today to have dindin with Boss Lady who is ex-Orthodox (Russian) and a stern critic. Will report!

    These are great experiments for cold weather!! :bounce:
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  33. #33

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taolady
    Sanctuary pour Femme[/COLOR][/SIZE] - smoke and myrrh, some bergamot - very subtle. Wearing this today to have dindin with Boss Lady who is ex-Orthodox (Russian) and a stern critic. Will report!
    Great idea. Tactical warfare.

    kasae, I'll PM you and we can discuss. Elf, you too.

  34. #34

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaelynn
    Just as a trivial aside, the scented rose, jasmine, etc,. stuff is usually made by blending powdered frankincense resin (can be purchased in big bulk bags) with fragrance oils which also act as a binder. then sthe stuff is rolled into long ropes and cut into small chunks and then dried somewhat. The powder is a very fine kaolin or bentonite type clay that coats the chunks to keep them from sticking together and becoming a gooey mess if they become warm.
    The frankincense powder is a uniform processed creamy color in the bag so that it one reason this type of incense is as light as it is.
    This is my understanding as well. It's not an inferior quality product, just a product that is further scented with essential oils. They do smell good.
    But preferences what they are I like the black...

    Purplebird,
    wish I had some specific brand name or official name to help you along. I am betting myrrh and even more farnkincense are the closest to what I am smelling in this particular type.
    There is this, which I think is it:
    http://www.greekshops.com/Food_and_C...=AOMOSX&ug=137

    PMed you, in any case.

  35. #35

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    They show a packaged product, so I cannot see what color it is.
    The title says "Mosxolibano" which sounds like oliban.
    Yes, I bet the dark incense you smell is myrrh. Here in the U.S. the churches prefer frankincense. I like frankincense, oliban and myrrh.

    The strangest Greek resin aroma is mastica. It is the resin of a Greek pistachio nut tree. The older ladies who came here from Greece used to tie it in a cloth sachet bag and carry it in their purses. They also used it in cookies as a spice. It is supposed to be a digestive aid. The strange thing is, it smells musty. Very strong, too. My mother hated it when they served us cookies, and it was in there, and she had to eat them to be polite.

    It is a similar "acquired taste" such as asofoetida, which the Indians use in cooking. Very peculiar smell and taste. Also fenugreek powder, which is bitter.

  36. #36

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    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Never one to let go of a topic....! Samples, including Zagorsk, the fifth of CdeG's "Incense" series, arrived last week and today I am trying this one - a month after Avignon, the first!!

    Funny thing - with both, the opening note was pickle juice! (But then, for me, the opening note of some roses is fish! Go figure. :bounce Only lasts a few seconds and then settles into a seaside-ish, dry frankincense. Very evocative - but of the two I prefer Avignon because it has huskier, more guttural voice.

    I've learned a lot - pursuing this thread. Many thanks to all you contributors!
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  37. #37

    Thumbs up Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    BLACK CASHMERE!!!!Definately! When I first wore this my friend said"Hmmmm..you smell like a Greek priest"!!He fell in love with this scent..As a child he was an altar boy in the Greek Orthodox Church..So it most definately stuck a sensitive note in him!!He LOVES Black Cashmere.

  38. #38

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    I went ahead and ordered some of the incense from Greek.com. I will do a full review in a few weeks when I receive it! This thread has got me interested in making kapet/kyphi, as well. Why not go way back in time to the Egyptians, yes? I don't think anyone has made a perfume based on kyphi, though, which is too bad. Honey, raisins, sandalwood, spices, galangal, frankincense, red wine. I'll let you know how mine turns out. My son is going to help me, and we'll make it part of his project for the science fair (archeology section).

  39. #39

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    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elf
    I went ahead and ordered some of the incense from Greek.com. I will do a full review in a few weeks when I receive it! This thread has got me interested in making kapet/kyphi, as well. Why not go way back in time to the Egyptians, yes? I don't think anyone has made a perfume based on kyphi, though, which is too bad. Honey, raisins, sandalwood, spices, galangal, frankincense, red wine. I'll let you know how mine turns out. My son is going to help me, and we'll make it part of his project for the science fair (archeology section).
    Yo! Elf!! Way to go!!

    Your project sounds fascinating and I for one am so happy you are undertaking it. I agree totally that a trip back in time is long called for - after all, perfume didn't spring full blown from the forehead of the French parfumeurs! (To mix several metaphors.)

    You going to report here or start a new thread?

    Either way, we'll be cheering you on! :bounce:
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  40. #40

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Elf, that's awesome!
    What a fabulous idea. May I steal it when my son gets to the Science Fair age?
    That is so cool. The project will get all high marks for originality. I hope he wins!
    You could even make a fake ancient Egyptian container out of clay, inscribe hieroglyphics, and paint it with gold leaf.

  41. #41

    Wink Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Great ideas! And for all of us who attempt kyphi, or Roman incense, or Mesopotamian, or whatever, we must set some aside to swap with other members who are doing the same. Of course, if they're opened by the post office, oh dear...I guess we'd have to enclose an explanation with the little plastic envelopes of weird, fragrant powders!

  42. #42

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    I order my incense from Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV.

    I'm a Reader in the Antiochian Orthodox Church, btw.

    I'm all for Floris Lavender. Smells exactly like the Tsarina's Lavender we use for liturgy.

  43. #43

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    If you are reading in a church full of incense, you don't want to smell like the incense, but something that is complimentary. I saw your post asking for suggestions on the other board, Texican, so thought I'd throw that in.

  44. #44

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    I am sure CDG Avignon has been mentioned already. If not, there you are.

  45. #45

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    I've only been into an orthodox church once, and I remember how great it smelled!

    Bravo on this thread!

  46. #46
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    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    My eau de parfum MONK, incensy, but with notes of linden blossom and cocoa. Ummmm.
    MICHAEL STORER fine niche perfumery for the individualist
    www.michaelstorer.com

  47. #47

    Default Re: what smells like an eastern orthodox church?

    Just found this old thread and had to jump in. The sample of Les Néréides' Impérial Opoponax that I recently got from Kyra is VERY Byzantine in nature -- almost pure sweet myrrh. This secularist keeps looking around for an ikonostasis and a bearded priest in a kamilavka every time he dons this gorgeous, rich, positively enrobing frag. I'm still anxious to try Zagorsk, yes, but really just had to post right now to sing Impérial Opoponax's praises.
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