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Thread: a true incense

  1. #1
    Super Member Poohdini's Avatar
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    Default a true incense

    Ok so I own a lot of niche/designer incense scents but they all are either balsamic, resinous or have amber. I am looking for a incense frag that is strictly incense with none of the balsamic, resinous, amber notes I listed in it. I have not yet tried the CDG incense line up btw. Thanks in advance

  2. #2

    Default Re: a true incense

    M Generation by Mauboussin

  3. #3

    Default Re: a true incense

    NK Incense-probably one of the best out there.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: a true incense

    Minus any buffers? Comme des Garcons Avignon foremost, secondarily, Heeley Cardinal and Profumum Olibanum.

    In my opinion, Sahara Noir delivers the most immediate burning frankincense note in the top, but the drydown is the mixed, ambery oriental you're looking to avoid.

  5. #5
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: a true incense

    Franck Boclet Incense
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  6. #6

    Default Re: a true incense

    Definitely check out the CDG Incense series. Also, Olivier Durbano's fragrances would probably be up your alley.

  7. #7

    Default Re: a true incense

    When you say you want a incense scent that's not resinous, what do you have in mind? Incense is a resin, so it might be hard to sidestep that aspect. Are you leaning more toward liturgical or nag champa style head shop incense?

    NK Incense is probably the pinnacle of the genre, but it's made from all kinds of resins. Definitely a true incense, though.

  8. #8

    Default Re: a true incense

    I had to read it again too. Maybe you're referring to the smell of incense sticks that you find in stores and head shops. I think Avignon by CdG hits the nail on the head if that is indeed what you're looking for...or maybe Sancti by Les Liquides Imaginaires. I don't really get the "church incense" because my church has never used it while I attended - so I don't have that association.

    Both are heavy on incense w/o labdanum which adds that deep dark amber/resinous part of some incense fragrances I think you're referring to.

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    When you say you want a incense scent that's not resinous, what do you have in mind? Incense is a resin, so it might be hard to sidestep that aspect. Are you leaning more toward liturgical or nag champa style head shop incense?

    NK Incense is probably the pinnacle of the genre, but it's made from all kinds of resins. Definitely a true incense, though.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: a true incense

    As stated check out CDG's Incense Series for sure...

  10. #10
    Basenotes Member du57in's Avatar
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    Default Re: a true incense

    Avignon is probably my favorite dark, murky incense, but Lush's Icon smells like a beautiful unlit incense.

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    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: a true incense

    Bois d'Encens
    Cardinal
    Avignon

  12. #12
    Super Member Poohdini's Avatar
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    Default Re: a true incense

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    When you say you want a incense scent that's not resinous, what do you have in mind? Incense is a resin, so it might be hard to sidestep that aspect. Are you leaning more toward liturgical or nag champa style head shop incense?

    NK Incense is probably the pinnacle of the genre, but it's made from all kinds of resins. Definitely a true incense, though.
    Yes wow you seriously read my mind didn't want to sound like a hippie but I'm looking for that nag champa head shop smell. I went to school at UC Berkeley which is all you smell walking down telegraph so it brings back memories. I do get nag champa from kalemat even tho there is no incense listed, but only in the opening.

  13. #13
    Basenotes Member du57in's Avatar
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    Default Re: a true incense

    Quote Originally Posted by Poohdini View Post
    Yes wow you seriously read my mind didn't want to sound like a hippie but I'm looking for that nag champa head shop smell. I went to school at UC Berkeley which is all you smell walking down telegraph so it brings back memories. I do get nag champa from kalemat even tho there is no incense listed, but only in the opening.
    Sai Baba makes a nag champa body oil that smells pretty close to the incense once it drys down.

  14. #14

    Default Re: a true incense

    Quote Originally Posted by Poohdini View Post
    I'm looking for that nag champa
    What u are looking for is Jacques Bogart Furyo - a masterpiece...

  15. #15

    Default Re: a true incense

    Quote Originally Posted by Poohdini View Post
    Yes wow you seriously read my mind didn't want to sound like a hippie but I'm looking for that nag champa head shop smell. I went to school at UC Berkeley which is all you smell walking down telegraph so it brings back memories. I do get nag champa from kalemat even tho there is no incense listed, but only in the opening.
    If that's the case, Blackbird by Matriarch might be the way to go. It's not literally a hippie scent, but it does draw some countercultural associations and feels suspiciously head-shop-y without going all nag champa. It is, however, a complex and loaded affair, structured upon (of all things) leather and seaweed. It also performs strangely, appearing to vanish quite fast but reappearing in various forms over the course of a day. It's also pricey, so definitely sample first.

    Nag champa is actually a created note made from sandalwood and frangipani whereas what you might find in used in certain perfume is the champa flower itself (see Zahd for an example). That could be why you don't see it listed as incense—it's a flower. So, much of what's been suggested above is a mix of liturgical incense (smoky, musty) and straight-up frankincense—which doesn't sound quite like what you're after. The problem with the head-shop thing is that it signifies the Telegraph Ave. aesthetic too strongly, and few perfume lines are going to be interested in working with a format you can find on Venice Beach for $5. But when it's done creatively, it can really sing.

    Another thought is that you might actually be better off exploring a few oil-based cheapies to see how they work—literally the kind of thing you might find on Venice Beach. Lines like Auric Blends are cheap enough to explore without any real commitment, and you might even break into the world of Indian attars like Shamama (White Lotus has a nice version) or Majmua (Matriarch does a good one called The Maj). These aren't liturgical scents—nor are they necessarily champa-based—but they form in the mind the kind of connections you seem to be after.

    Another final option is something like Masque's Montecristo. Now, be warned, this is a highly animalic scent that doesn't smell a bit like incense or anything remotely hippie, but it smells like a space or a room—one that I personally connect to record stores (sort of dusty and musty). It's a stretch, but it might be worth thinking about as sometimes we're better off finding associative scents rather than literal replicas of what we're after, and Montecristo might do that for you.

    Anyhow, hope some of that's of some use.
    Last edited by deadidol; 27th August 2014 at 03:58 AM.

  16. #16
    Super Member Poohdini's Avatar
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    Default Re: a true incense

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    If that's the case, Blackbird by Matriarch might be the way to go. It's not literally a hippie scent, but it does draw some countercultural associations and feels suspiciously head-shop-y without going all nag champa. It is, however, a complex and loaded affair, structured upon (of all things) leather and seaweed. It also performs strangely, appearing to vanish quite fast but reappearing in various forms over the course of a day. It's also pricey, so definitely sample first.

    Nag champa is actually a created note made from sandalwood and frangipani whereas what you might find in used in certain perfume is the champa flower itself (see Zahd for an example). That could be why you don't see it listed as incense—it's a flower. So, much of what's been suggested above is a mix of liturgical incense (smoky, musty) and straight-up frankincense—which doesn't sound quite like what you're after. The problem with the head-shop thing is that it signifies the Telegraph Ave. aesthetic too strongly, and few perfume lines are going to be interested in working with a format you can find on Venice Beach for $5. But when it's done creatively, it can really sing.

    Another thought is that you might actually be better off exploring a few oil-based cheapies to see how they work—literally the kind of thing you might find on Venice Beach. Lines like Auric Blends are cheap enough to explore without any real commitment, and you might even break into the world of Indian attars like Shamama (White Lotus has a nice version) or Majmua (Matriarch does a good one called The Maj). These aren't liturgical scents—nor are they necessarily champa-based—but they form in the mind the kind of connections you seem to be after.

    Another final option is something like Masque's Montecristo. Now, be warned, this is a highly animalic scent that doesn't smell a bit like incense or anything remotely hippie, but it smells like a space or a room—one that I personally connect to record stores (sort of dusty and musty). It's a stretch, but it might be worth thinking about as sometimes we're better off finding associative scents rather than literal replicas of what we're after, and Montecristo might do that for you.

    Anyhow, hope some of that's of some use.
    Thank you for the info, totally helped me understand why some frags that don't have incense noted in them smell so much like incense to my nose. Blackbird by Matriarch seems very interesting but the cannabis note in it kind of steered me away, how is the cannabis note in there? I don't wan't to walk around reeking of reefer lol. I might have to finally have to break into the world of Indian attars, something I have been curious about for a min now.

  17. #17
    Super Member Poohdini's Avatar
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    Default Re: a true incense

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    I had to read it again too. Maybe you're referring to the smell of incense sticks that you find in stores and head shops. I think Avignon by CdG hits the nail on the head if that is indeed what you're looking for...or maybe Sancti by Les Liquides Imaginaires. I don't really get the "church incense" because my church has never used it while I attended - so I don't have that association.

    Both are heavy on incense w/o labdanum which adds that deep dark amber/resinous part of some incense fragrances I think you're referring to.
    Thanks for the advice, Been looking into Avignon by CdG and I think I'm going to pull the trigger and blind buy this one, especially since it smells like incense sticks to your nose. Thats the kind of incense I am looking for.

  18. #18
    Super Member Poohdini's Avatar
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    Default Re: a true incense

    Thanks for all the recommendations, everyone has been so helpful. A lot of incense frags listed here that I had never heard about.

  19. #19

    Default Re: a true incense

    Hard to find but if found well worth it "Incense" by Norma Kamali, Tom Ford's Sahara Noir is pretty nice for incense admirers.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: a true incense

    No one for "Full Incense" Montale ?

  21. #21

    Default Re: a true incense

    Quote Originally Posted by Poohdini View Post
    Yes wow you seriously read my mind didn't want to sound like a hippie but I'm looking for that nag champa head shop smell. I went to school at UC Berkeley which is all you smell walking down telegraph so it brings back memories. I do get nag champa from kalemat even tho there is no incense listed, but only in the opening.
    Most of the recommendations on this thread ( including mine ) are for frankincense - the resin one burns over coals, rather than stick incense which tends to be sandalwood-based, primarily.

    I must say that honestly, I've not found a stick-incense type of note in a fragrance that was flying solo. I think the best I've smelled is in C&S No. 88, which is a rose fragrance, but, it has a huge stick-incense type of sandalwood note in it.

  22. #22

    Default Re: a true incense

    Many mentioned here are very balsamic, which isn't what you're looking for. Try the CdG series. They're dry and more likely to be up your alley.

  23. #23

    Default Re: a true incense

    Try Tauer's he's got great stuff
    Also Anything from Amouage
    Dzongkha is wonderful
    And like someone suggested Blackbird


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  24. #24

    Default Re: a true incense

    Dzongkha and C&S No. 88 are great suggestions. Dzongkha is unique. I'd also give Miller Harris La Fumee a try, and Tom Ford Oud Fleur. Sahara Noir is amazing but pure church, not headshop, as is Avignon. Of the CdGs, Jaisalmer might be what you're after.

  25. #25

    Default Re: a true incense

    Avignon.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: a true incense

    My favorite is Kyoto. (Comme de Garšon; series 3)
    Last edited by kumquat; 31st August 2014 at 12:11 AM.

  27. #27

    Default Re: a true incense

    In love the by kilian incense range but unfortunately theres no actual incense in them.

  28. #28

    Default Re: a true incense

    Tauer Incense Extreme.
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  29. #29

    Default Re: a true incense

    A very cool and transparent incense, propped up by indolic lilies, is Passage d'Enfer by L'Artisan.

  30. #30

    Default Re: a true incense

    Give Miller Harris La Fumee a sniff.

    If thats considered balsamic or with amber then scratch it....i tried it and found it quite wearable in a really cool non extreme sort of way.

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