M Generation by Mauboussin
Thread: 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
M Generation by Mauboussin
NK Incense-probably one of the best out there.
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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.
Franck Boclet Incense
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Definitely check out the CDG Incense series. Also, Olivier Durbano's fragrances would probably be up your alley.
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.
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.
As stated check out CDG's Incense Series for sure...
Avignon is probably my favorite dark, murky incense, but Lush's Icon smells like a beautiful unlit incense.
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.
Thanks for all the recommendations, everyone has been so helpful. A lot of incense frags listed here that I had never heard about.
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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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.
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.
Try Tauer's he's got great stuff
Also Anything from Amouage
Dzongkha is wonderful
And like someone suggested Blackbird
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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.
In love the by kilian incense range but unfortunately theres no actual incense in them.
Tauer Incense Extreme.
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A very cool and transparent incense, propped up by indolic lilies, is Passage d'Enfer by L'Artisan.
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.