Thanks, Colin Maillard - I was looking at that one last night with much interest.
Thread: In Search of most divine Incense
Go for Tauer's incense series, notably Incense Extreme. The most aerial, architectural, complex, elegant and versatile incense ever made.
Thanks, Colin Maillard - I was looking at that one last night with much interest.
This website was undergoing maintenance earlier but there is some very interesting info. here about Somali Boswellia sacra and the differences in the resins of carteri & sacra, which are harvested at different times of the year over there.
It will be interesting to compare this with the carteri & Omani sacra already here when it arrives.
Will report back on the Tauer Incense Extreme as well when that arrives.
Last edited by lpp; 31st January 2014 at 02:15 PM.
Well the Vitamin C, Wild Oregano Oil, Boron Cold Calm and tons of water worked. And whatever Somali Incense is discovered to be, I so far love every scent that contains it. Catching up in alpha order:
MaisonFrancis Kurkdjian Paris Absolue Pour le Soir. The name translates to "absolute for the evening," and it is quiet as the night. On first sniff from the vial I smell almost nothing. On paper it barely registers. Linger and my nose begins to receive a subtle reward -- mastery of florals and woods, yet nothing shouts. Notes: Infusion of benzoin from Siam, cumin, ylang-ylang, Bulgarian and Iranian rose honey, incense absolute, Atlas cedarwood and sandalwood. This is a skin scent in that it perfumes the skin itself rather than the surrounding atmosphere. To achieve any projection takes more than a dab, but even then its creamy, powdery sweetness is restrained. This is an intimate scent in which no single note dominates, including incense. I recently sniffed L'Artisan's Amour Nocturnes and they remind me of each other except, to my nose, this is better. Yasmin, agreeing, picks it as a favorite.
CoSTUME National Scent Intense. "What to expect of these odd notes?" Yasmin asks. Amber, woods, jasmine tea and mother of pearl hibiscus. I don't recall seeing them together before, either, I say. Sniff. The top note is almost floral then the incense comes stronger, clearer than in the preceding scent and remains. Compared to Pour le Soir this is intense, as the name implies, but not so much that it would put anyone off. I'm almost coming to the conclusion that incense as an ingredient ennobles just about any combination of notes. Or perhaps it's that the scents my fellow BNers recommended are, on average, darned good. Yasmin also puts this with her favorites, despairing of how she'll manage the final sniff-off (but manage she shall)
Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme. "I don't smell much incense," Jasmin says. "This is a greener scent in a familiarly male genre. Let me try to guess: something citrus in the top then something else almost camphorous. The effect is very agreeable. I'd like Walad to wear this," she says. "There are woods, perhaps patchouli and another note I recognize but can't name." Looking it up for her. Top: Bergamot, cypress, violet. Mid: Tobacco, jamine. Base: Patchouli, olibanum, amber, elemi resin, leather. Re-smelling my elemi essential oil, I'm reminded it has a greenish-leathery-minty/camphor smell that is also called a spicy balsamic kind of smell. Going back to Gucci, its presence is recognizable. I do like what elemi does to perfumes. Reminding myself what olibanum is...okay, Frankincense. So, technically, this does have incense, just not in the Avignon or Norma Kamali league.
Guerlain Myrrhe & Delires. Yasmin sighs. "Another hypnotic one! How shall I ever compare them? Or perhaps I'm learning that, besides Jasmine, my preferred note is incense. This one is also a bit familiar, but still quite pleasant. It has a subtle creaminess that reminds me of Pour le Soir. I wouldn't knock down doors to get to it, like I would some of the others. Perhaps that's the criteria I should use. Would I go to any length to obtain it? No, but if given to me I'll not throw it away." Top notes are bergamot and grapefruit; middle notes are osmanthus, jasmine, rose and violet leaf; base notes are patchouli, incense, tonka bean, vanilla, myrrh and licorice. I agree with Yasmin that this is an accomplished perfume, but not one that would haunt me until I obtained it.
Guerlain Encens Mythique D’Orient. Yasmin hands it back to me. "This was in the Jasmine Sniff-Fest. I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. Too much..." She looks out at Basenotes. "What are you calling it? Stank? Skank?" I look up the notes so we can settle this once and for all. Top: Rose, Aldehydes, Saffron. Mid: Pink pepper, Vetiver, Patchouli. Base: Woody notes, Ambergris, incense. Also somewhere in there is musk. Together with saffon, it must be the source of the funkiness and the rose isn't strong enough to civilize it. It's not for me.
Guerlain L'Art et La Matiere Bois d'Arménie. Another quite pleasant masculine scent that is familiar. It begins with a tobacco note that soon blends with ingredients I'm coming to recognize: florals, woods, perhaps a bit of spice. Top notes are iris, pink pepper and incense; middle notes are coriander, benzoin and guaiac wood; base notes are patchouli, white musk and copahu balm. The incense isn't dominant and I can't really distinguish it from other good male scents. "Neither can I," says Jasmin, "though it's certainly nice enough."
It is an hour before Maghrib, the day's fourth salat, when the Imam's voice will recite the Adhan, calling the encampment to prayer. Yasmin and Walad are out riding and most have followed them. They will return at the Imam's call. Diba strolls past his tent, knowing he is alone, studying the Q'uran. Just at the entrance she pretends to trip and falls, headlong into the sand. The Imam rises and rushes to her, looks about and seeing no one, fetches water to revive her.
Last edited by ScentFan; 1st February 2014 at 05:10 AM. Reason: add Guerlain Armenie
Kurkdjian Absolue pour le soir smells like pee to me - not joking, I detect a rich, steamy smell of pee.
I've just finished working my way to this point in this epic saga. Such a fun read and educational in addition to enjoyable! Do keep up the fine sniffing/writing extravaganza! I can see I'll have to test some of these myself, down the road a bit.
Oh thanks! I am looking forward to that very much. I agree that it is sometimes surprising how many really great options are available.
Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
My Sales Thread - A Collection Purge
BdA says it has somali incense. I don't believe Jeke does, but I'm not sure.
Last edited by ScentFan; 6th February 2014 at 03:50 AM.
Miller Harris 'La Fumee', which has just been re-packaged, is another very nice one, quieter than the Tauer and very 'natural' smelling, not overpowering but unmistakably frankincense, spicy to start with radiance and the subtlety of sandalwood further along.
Last edited by lpp; 13th February 2014 at 02:15 PM.
This is an awesome thread for one of my...if not...my favorite accord.
I thought it was interesting that you say Gucci pour Homme really feel like it doesn't feel like it has any incense. I myself some days get loads of cedar, not much incense and other days a ton of smoky incense and faint cedar. The incense in GpH never really jumps out and slaps you in the face like Avignon, it's more subdued.
Some days it's sweet (slightly Dr. Pepper ish...) and others it's bone dry cedar. It's one of those fragrances that wears differently each time your reach for it...at least for myself and that's why it's such a nice fragrance.
Last edited by rynegne; 13th February 2014 at 02:55 PM.
To me the olibanum (frankincense) note is very clear in Gucci pour Homme every time I wear it. It lasts for the first three hours, before the fragrance moves into dry, slightly smoky cedar and a light amber. But that slightly lemony frankincense blast is always there in the beginning.
The riders return, then at the Imam's call they perform wudu (ablution before prayer) then salat (prescribed prayer) -- rituals which lift Walad's heart, but not Yasmin’s because her people worshipped differently from Walad. After a meal, perfume samples are passed around.
Il Profumo Incens Epices. I think I smell very green notes, I say to Yasmin. She takes the vial and sniffs. “Yes. The incense is subtle. Green and woods strongly predominate, but mute themselves fairly quickly. I’m trying to decide whether i like it. The top note is almost camphorous and clears the nose.” Notes are: cypress, larch, incense, pine tree gems, coriander seeds, patchouli leafs, Opoponax, blond tobacco. “It’s agreeable, but I wouldn’t call it a luxurious scent,” she says. Neither would I.
Joseph Statkus Eau de Parfum. My hard-to-obtain sample has vanished! Will keep looking.
Jovoy La Liturgie des Heures. I tell Yasmin, this is the enchanting fragrance that inspired my exploration of incense perfumes. She takes the vial, sniffs, splashes some on her wrist and puts her nose there, saying, “Mmmm. Mmmm. What is it?” Cypress, incense, olibanum, cistus, myrrh, musk. These mere ingredients conspire to create a pleasing and lovely fragrance that is simply hypnotic. The musk and cistus tame the other elements, making this beauty a major entry in Yasmin’s finals. She looks forward to comparing it to the fragrant the likes of Bois D’Ascese and Incense Pure.
Jovoy Lys Epona. “This stinks,” Yasmin says. Don’t talk like that, I tell her and take the vial. “What’s Lys anyway?” Lily, I say. Top :Bergamot, Lily, Ravensara. Heart : Narcissus, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Wheat, Hay, Lily. Base: Musk, Labdanum, Tobacco, Cedar. “What’s Ravensara?” she asks. I have it as an essential oil. Well, it’s not exactly a beautiful smell. Ravensara and Lily, without other help, might conspire to be unlovely. They only made 100 bottles, I inform her. “That figures,” Yasmin says and rolls her eyes. “Like I said, it stinks. By the way, when are you getting back to our story? Right now.
A man strides toward me. It is the Imam Rahim. "What is our historical period, author?” he inquires. I knew he was going to ask that. All I know is that Rahim's father and Walad's were lifelong friends who pledged their sons to each others' service -- Walad to defend Rahim and Rahim to advise Walad. They have never failed each other. Unfortunately, Rahim isn't an excellent scholar, in spite of studying the Q'uran. He loves his friend, Walad, though, and wants to do right by him. I suggest to Rahim that, since we’re only having fun while discussing perfumes, we suspend history. Rahim frowns and replies, “At the earliest, this story must be occurring during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and Walad must be one of the Arab Caliphs who overthrew Yasmin’s people and introduced Islam. Therefore she’s probably Sassanian. Otherwise, our story elements do not fit.” Yasmin grumbles, “But I want to be a sultana, not a calipha.” I think she can be both, Rahim says. I agree to his historical terms, more or less. “Furthermore, while Walad is Muslim, Yasmin was raised a Zoroastrian.” Rahim adds. I nod in concurrence. After all, he is an Imam.
Back to the story. Hearing that Walad has ignored her since their unplanned wedding, the Imam Rahim agrees that Diba has cause for complaint. Sure that Walad will right his wrongs to poor Diba, he takes her into the presence of Walad and Yasmin, his newly diminished and — as rumor has it — chaste first wife.
Knize Sec. "I will test this one, if you don’t mind,” Diba says, then takes it from Yasmin and sniffs. “It’s glorious,” she declares. [Hmm, not sure about glorious.] Yasmin snatches it back and sniffs. “It’s agreeable. Certainly not as beautiful as La Liturgie des Heures nor as putrid as Lys Epona.” She sniffs Knize Sec again. “It falls short of being distinctive, but I like the citrus top note and the dry down is, well, agreeable. Nothing disturbs or greatly pleases. It’s good, but not more." Top:Citric notes. Heart: Lavender, Sage, Frankincense. Base: Woods, White musk.
L’Artisan Dzongkha. I inform Yasmin that I own this one and find it marvelous. “I can certainly smell appealing elements,” she says. “What’s in it?” Top: Cardamom, Peony. Heart: Spices, Vetiver, Frankincense, White tea, Cedar. Base: Iris, Leather, Papyrus. “But seriously,” she asks, “having smelled wonderful others, author, can you still say this is tops?” I tell her I still like it. She rolls her eyes and tosses it in the box of favorites.,
L’Artisan Passage D’enfer. Woods, Lily, Musk, Frankincense. “A simple fragrance and lovely as a result,” Yasmin says. I agree. It smells like several of the other good incense perfumes.
L’Artisan Timbuktu. Once again, Diba steps up and takes the vial from me, saying, “This is a good one, it goes in the finals.” Yasmin frowns. “Who are you to decide?” Imam Rahim speaks. “She is Walad’s second wife. She may decide.” Walad’s eyes widen as he realized Rahim is right. “I, as sultan, am the ultimate decider.” He takes the vial, sniffs and looks woefully at Yasmin. "This is a beautiful scent. It doesn’t have the power of a Blackbird or Norma Kamali. It is a simple fragrance, but it is good like the previous one, perhaps better.” Yasmin asks in a low voice, “Good enough for the finals?” Walad faces Diba and says, “No!” Disagreeing, I slip it into the favorites box and look up its notes: Top: Cardamom, Mango, Pink pepper. Heart:Papyrus, Frankincense.Base: Benzoin, Myrrh, Patchouli, Vetiver
The Imam Rahim faces Walad. “Diba requests her marital rights. I advise you to comply.” He glares at Yasmin. “Our kingdom needs an heir.”
Outside the tent, Walad’s former personal guard, Fizur, has snuck back. When Diba, the one he loves, repeats the request for marital rights with Walad, Fizur finds his horse and, in despair, leaves the beach side encampment and rides off toward civilization, intending never to return.
Last edited by ScentFan; 19th February 2014 at 04:45 PM.
I don't have much to add to this thread as basically all of my favorite *incenses* have been already mentioned. I will drop one more name to add to the list though…
Liquides Imaginaires - Sancti
You might want to check my review here.
Discover my Guest Reviewer Of The Day here
Probably my favorite is still the "hellish" (but at once divine) Norma Kamali Incense.
I just purchased this last week (vintage 1982 decant) and it arrived earlier this week. Definitely one of my favorite incense fragrances, if not my favorite already. I still need to devote more time to NK to formulate a more concrete opinion... But, off the bat thought, this turpentinic fragrance transports you to a dark and ominous world with dark grey skies and warm scorched earth. After one wearing, I can tell this one is both shocking and *^%*#@ breathtaking!
NK Incense is the touchstone that all other incense fragrances have to answer to. Brutal and profound.
As the lower status first wife, Yasmin serves wine to Walad and Diba in preparation for their night of love. Then she runs out of the tent to cry in private. The Imam Rahib, a kind man, follows and comforts her, but reminds her of her duty. She must not behave like a common woman. "Even though Diba is a common maid?" Yasmin wails. Rahib admits the situation is difficult. He brings perfume to distract her.
L'Occitane Eau des Baux. Another agreeable fragrance, Yasmin finds, though not moreso than the several other agreeable ones in the genre. It's quite pleasant, but lacks distinction compared to the best.
Le Labo Cuir 28. I smell the leather, Yasmin says, and something else a bit odd--like rubber? I can't quite place what's in it, I just know I don't want to wear it. Le Labo says: "Its main ingredients are leather (synthetic base), woods (vetiver), animal notes (ambrox), musks (muscenone), and vanilla absolute."
Cardamom, Pink pepper
Tonka bean, Vanilla
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Cologne Pour Le Soir. "Now this is better," Yasmin says. I agree it has no odd smells and is more distinctive than the L'Occitane. It has a strong floral note. Luckyscent says it's: Infusion of Benzoin, Bulgarian and Iranian rose, honey, incense absolute. Rose dominate the incense to such an extent it barely belongs in this genre. I love rose, but it must be the Benzoin that's keeping me from falling in love.
Nasomatto Black Afgano. "Oh!" Yasmin gasps. "You are a beauty, aren't you?" This one reminds her of the great sniffs here -- of NK, Norne, Blackbird, but soon I detect a chemical note of some kind that is going to challenge breathing if I keep sniffing this. What a shame. It contains lovely woods and resins, perhaps a hint of florals. Incense rides majestically alongside all. Also oud? I'd be in love if I weren't about to sneeze.
Cannabis, Herbaceous notes
Resins, Woods, Coffee, Tobacco Base :
Suddenly there is a rumbling in the sky. Rahim and Yasmin look up, as do the others when they emerge from the great tent. It is hard to see in the dusk of evening, but soon an incredible sight appears. Surrounded by her retinue on dozens of magic carpets descending to the ground comes the Valide Sultan on her throne. Trying to hide on the very last carpet is Fizur, the former guard.
Last edited by ScentFan; 20th February 2014 at 06:49 PM.
I just found this thread about an hour ago and have enjoyed it immensely. Thank you for your efforts. A quick question, how close are you to the end of the journey? I look forward to the ultimate conclusion!
Link your wardrobe: http://www.basenotes.net/wardrobe/3023
Parfum d'Empire Cuir Ottoman. I’d better get some sniffing in before things get dire. The top note is an enchanting leather accompanied by incense that my nose thinks is synthetic though it may not be. It bars, rather than blends with, the other notes that try to lend a sultry floral/vanilla beauty. I’m left wanting to sneeze again. Those without such an allergy may enjoy this perfume.
Top: Iris, Jasmine, Labdanum
Heart: Benzoin, Leather, Tolu balsam
Base: Tonka bean, Vanilla, Frankincense
When her carpet lands, the Valide Sultan steps grandly from her throne and insists on a halt to Diba's marital rights request. She says to Walad. "What is this insanity, my son? You have married your wife's maid? Where is the wretch?" Diba, previously emboldened by Imam Rahib's support, now shivers in her new finery. Yasmin pushes her forward and she stumbles. "I am here." The Valid Sultan crosses her arms. "Aren't you the one who used to empty my daughter-in-law's chamber pot?" To Walad she says, "Divorce her! You will not beget my grandchildren on such a one.” Imam Rahib steps forward and starts reciting from the Q’uran, which doesn’t recognize a spouse’s social status as grounds for divorce. Inflamed, the Valide Sultan, a quite good scholar herself, points out that divorce is the right of the husband alone, after two arbiters are consulted, one from each family. Silence. No one wants to call in Diba’s brother. Fizur, pleased with events, tiptoes to retrieve perfumes for Yasmin to smell during the duel of sacred passages, everyone pausing as they must for Maghrib, sunset prayers.
PK Perfumes Pentecost. This is a unique fragrance, which also proved too much for my nose. I fell in love with the distinctive leafy notes, fresh sap of twigs, the florals. The lush base mellows it and the incense. This fragrance and I would have walked off into the sunset were I able to tolerate whatever it is that makes my nasal passages close. For those without such sensitivities who like these notes, this is a gem.
Birch leaf, Green twigs, Leaves, Fresh air,
Rose, Jasmine, Tuberose, Cassia,
Frankincense, Myrrh, Sandalwood, Amber
Profumum Ambra Aurea. The power of this lovely scent is its simplicity. It is a perfect blend of grey amber, frankincense and myrrh. The smell is dry and ascetic. I think there’s a little spice, but not much. Yasmin, who’s been riveted on the verbal battle, takes notice of this one and selects it for the finals.
Slumberhouse Norne. What can I say about this magnificent scent that I haven’t already said elsewhere? Yasmin and I are bowled over by Slumberhouse perfumes, each a work of art. Here the notes are Pine needle, Lichen, Fern, Moss, Hemlock, Frankincense, but it must be the Hemlock from King Lear, it must be lichen from gravestones in Père Lachaise, it must be Walt Whitman’s moss hanging from a Louisiana live oak’s lusty branch. Let me sniff Norne again. “How can anything smell like this?” Yasmin asks. I don’t answer. I am in the forest primeval with “the murmuring pines and hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight.” When she finishes sniffing, Yasmin, in spite of her troubles, ululates to the night sky and the desert sands in celebration of this scent.
Slumberhouse Vikt. Another one for which I can only write superlatives. Here’s an excerpt from my BN review: “Glorious decadence. Beautiful. Yes, technically, it's green and woody and a tad spicy, but, shucks, those are only words. If I ever decide to go to hell in a hand basket or on wheels, or to kingdom come, I'll wear Vikt! Applause.” The notes are: Oud, Ravensara, Styrax. I’ve smelled all three in my expanded perfumery notes kit. How Vikt was the result, I’ll never know.
Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure. After falling in love with most of Slumberhouse, I fell in love with most of Sonoma Scent Studio, too. Both houses produce unusually accomplished scents, IMO, if in very different ways. Yasmin says she adores Incense Pure and finds it more suitable for herself than some of the beast fragrances here. The fabulously blended notes are: Ambergris, Angelica root, Oakmoss, Elemi resin, Indian patchouli, Iris, Labdanum, Myrrh, Sandalwood, Vanilla absolute, Frankincense, Cedar, Cistus. I agree with her, in part. I’ll never actually wear Norma Kamali. I just want to be able to smell it the rest of my life. IP I can wear. If someone incensed a spring meadow, edged by fragrant woods, IP would be the result. Needless to say, the last three go in the finals.
Now to the debate. The Imam Rahim plays his trump card. “Walad may not divorce her until we are sure she is not pregnant.” Tired of allowing a lie, Walad says, “But—“ then he stops, fearing no one will believe him. His mother, the Valide Sultan, quotes a hadith to Walad. “Say the truth, even if bitter.” Hoping that Aphrodite and Poseidon won’t punish them further, Walad gathers courage and says, “I never had relations with Diba. I only married her to save her life.”
Diba cries, “No! It was you! I am sure of it!” The Imam Rahib, believing Walad, says, “You must tell us who has undone you, child. Was it Fizur?” Fizur, confused, tries to hide himself. He knows Diba’s brother will hear of this and return to take her life as well as Fizur’s. Not caring about a servant’s troubles, the Valide Sultan marches to her son, grabs his ear and leads him to Diba. Repeat after me, she orders, “I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you!” Sultan or not, Walad obeys and repeats the words. Diba says, “but you forced him to say that and I did not agree!” The Imam Rahib sighs and explains her agreement is not required. “When a man verbally declares divorce three times, even if forced or in jest, it is final.”
Next the Valide Sultan’s angry gaze finds Yasmin.
Last edited by ScentFan; 22nd February 2014 at 05:15 AM.
Love your description of Incense Pure, I can't wait for it to arrive. Incredibly raw and realistic. I love the fact that it smells as if I'm sniffing resins directly from the tree in Oman or Somalia...comparable to smelling live tree saps in the forests around here and Norne in a sense.