Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Encens ancien

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Total Reviews: 6

No. 5 Eau Première by Chanel

Watercolor love child of Shalimar and Chanel no. 5 EDT.

Thumbs up because it's inoffensive, soft, and well-done. Upon multiple wears, it reveals a hidden complexity -- however, Eau Premiere is ultimately 'flatter' than the original EDT, lacking the latter's textural, effervescent aura. A nice but, unlike the EDT, ultimately uninteresting scent.

3.5 stars.
28th December, 2019

Gucci Bloom by Gucci

Love child of Diptyque's Olene and Lutens' Fleurs d'Oranger, but less interesting than both. Reminds me of a cheap body spray I used in the late 80's or early 90's.

If you're looking for a fresh white floral with more jasmine, Olene is 'higher,' lighter, and more natural.

Perhaps I'm just not a tuberose fan. Perhaps I'd like it better if it didn't smell to me like "Beverly Hills 90210."
06th May, 2019 (last edited: 07th May, 2019)

Parfum Sacré by Caron

Very similar to Diptyque's Eau Lente. Both are predominantly cinnamon and myrrh. If you own one, you could probably live without the other. Eau Lente has better sillage.
06th May, 2019
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Narciso by Narciso Rodriguez

One of the most wonderful things about perfume is its power to evoke completely different reactions in people.

On my skin, Narciso EDP is almost entirely cedar overlaid by musk. I have a box of cedar chip (Virginia red) incense cones, which I compared side by side with Narciso EDP. Yep, there it was in Narciso—that sharp yet surprisingly sweet scent of fragrant wood.

I am aware that most ‘cedar’ notes in contemporary perfumery are not from the true cedar tree. Nevertheless, the image Narciso paints in my mind is linked to the cedars of Lebanon, miles and millennia away from the clean cut marketing image of Narciso and most peoples’ perception of it as a basic office fragrance.

To me this is the scent of the great hall of the ancient Persian palace of Persepolis. Crimson rugs embrace the floor, a plucked instrument accompanies the low hum of conversation, monolithic stone columns rise towards darkness. And, although the majestic cedar planks of the ceiling are concealed in the shadows, their scent mingles with the fragrance of musk-anointed robes of princes and princesses as they tread softly around the room.


29th August, 2018

Encens Flamboyant by Annick Goutal

Haunting and mysterious -- as long as one doesn't think of it as an incense fragrance. When I first tested this, I was looking for straight frankincense frags like Montal Pure Incense, TF Sahara Noir, and Heely Cardinal. IF to my nose is nothing like these. I tossed my 5ml decant in a corner, dismissing the scent and wondering how it could have "encens" in its name. Yet it nagged at the back of my mind, because I really, really wanted to like it; it felt like something I "should" like.

Having retested it for the past few days, I'm suddenly and deeply infatuated with it. Just purchased a FB. To me - as I mentioned above and cannot stress enough -, the key to appreciating this fragrance is to understand that it is a pine/dark forest scent and NOT an incense perfume.

This has more in common with Imaginary Authors A City on Fire and Lutens Fille en Aguilles than with Avignon, Full Incense, Cardinal, and the like. It falls into the conifer and smoke category. Here, you're walking through a pine forest -- not going to church.

Yet this is not an "outdoor incense" scent either. Jovoy's Liturgie des Heures (one of my favorites, if not my favorite, fragrance) falls into that category, but IF is somehow different than that. Perhaps more raw, a bit more forest-y than LdH. I can't put it into words.

In a nutshell: If you're expecting an incense fragrance, you may be disappointed. But if you're looking for a piney, austere, mysterious yet somehow soothing scent, with maybe, just maybe, a tiny wisp of frankincense far above the treetops: this may be for you.
31st May, 2018 (last edited: 01st June, 2018)

Baptême du Feu by Serge Lutens

I am slightly fascinated by this scent. It's unusual. To my nose, this opens with autumnal dried fruit that immediately calls to mind Lutens's Arabie. It settles to something in the same family but rather different. To test, I sprayed Arabie on my other arm -- it's sweeter and more "potpourri"-ish.

Except for mandarine, I am unfamiliar with the notes in this perfume. It's maybe because of this that the individual notes are indistinguishable to my nose. But after reading about them here, I think I'm primarily getting the gingerbread -- but the way it's done is quite unusual. Maybe it's the "gunpowder" (whatever chemical compounds that actually is) that gives this its unique character?

Worth a sniff, at least.
22nd May, 2018