Monday, January 17, 2011

My New Perfume Phase: Incense

2010 was my Year of The Rose. 

Prior to that, I had never been attracted to rose perfumes, thinking they were So Not Me, believing they were too refined, proper and...boring, really.

Then I got more boring.  

For whatever reason,  I was not only drawn to rose perfumes, but craved them - especially the dark, woody, dirty roses - like other people crave chocolate. 

Chocolate will never rival Cheetos.

My favorite rose perfumes of 2010:

Black Aoud
White Aoud
Rose 31
Agent Provocateur
Tea Rose
Memory and Desire

Now, I feel myself changing again and moving into another phase, which is a familiar theme in my life.

B-man asked me once, 'Why is it that you change almost everything in your life on a regular basis, but you continue loving me?'

It's a fair - and poignant - question. Perhaps because he allows me to evolve and doesn't cling to one image of what he thinks I should be.  Perhaps the stability of us allows me to risk, and change, other parts of my life.  

But I suspect it's simply because, 25 years later, I know I never want to be without him.

Yesterday, I wore Silences by Jacomo, feeling in the right mood for it after posting an 'Ode' the day before.  It was perfect, both fresh and cold, melancholy and odd.

I love odd. 

No reflection on B-man.

Incense perfumes have piqued my interest because they signify a shift, but avoid the floral, oriental or gourmand territories.  I have dabbled in knowing them better, but a vast territory remains unexplored.

To those of you more seasoned in the incense genre, what do you recommend as the best churchy, woody, dark and most...odd incense perfumes?

Image from


  1. I'd say for odd, definitely Wazamba which I'm wearing today. :)
    L'Artisan Timbuktu which is absolutely incredible feat if you ask me (and Luca Turin as well). :)
    Etro Shaal Nur was the first true incense I tried and I really liked it (and the Cockta smell it reminded me of).
    I'm not that familira with CdG incences but I'm pretty sure there will be others recommending those.

  2. Welcome to the world of incense Josephine! One of my favourite genres. I could quite literally list dozens, but if you want odd, very odd, (and very dank), I would say Messe de Minuit by Etro. For accessible and woody, you can't go far wrong with Cardinal by Heeley. As for churchy, there are a lot out there, but I think Avignon by CdG captures it well. A recent incense/rose/honey combo I dig is Cologne Pour le Soir by Francis Kurkdjian. As for as pure-as-you-can-get, try Incense Pure by Sonoma Scent Studio. Happy days!

  3. I second Cardinal and Abignon, but also suggest Annick Goutals Encens Flamboyant - it's a softer dreamier incense than the other two.

  4. oops Avignon! My fingers don't seem to be working well today! heheee

  5. Yes, Encens Flamboyant is a good one. A few others have sprung to mind - Andy Tauer's Incense Rose, while Amouage have a whole host of incense-dominant fragrances, the Jubilations being stunning examples!

  6. Another vote to Heeley Cardinal. It's soapy incense and it's wonderful.

    CDG Avignon, CDG Zagorsk, CDG Jaisalmer... they are not bad at all.

    Eau d'Italie Baume du Doge is another favorite of mine, and I'm enjoying Kenzo Amour Le Parfum a lot, thanks to its lovely incense.

  7. CdG Avignon for frankincense for sure! I also love CdG Hinoki, but it's more woody than incensey. I also like Tauer Incense Rose in small doses. For myrrh I like Paestum Rose and the quiet Baume du Doge. Oh, and Abdes Salam Attar Mecca Balsam is lovely!

  8. I'm a diehard fan of Tauer's Incense Extrème and Zagorsk, Balsamo della Mecca and I've heard very good things about Amouage Epic Woman. Like you, I've also rediscovered incense. Now, I don't know how I've lived so long without it!

  9. Churchy, woody, dark and most odd... Messe de Minuit!
    Also- Byredo M/Mink

  10. But the latter is no churchy. Just woody, dark and very odd.

  11. To all of my incense friends, thank you! These are wonderful suggestions and samples of all are forthcoming.

    I will report back on the outcome.

    Isa, welcome and thanks for your helpful comment!

  12. --blergh, lost my earlier comment, will attempt to recapture--

    On the fickle swirl of interests, and B-man's humorous but touching question: Clearly, he is the center of all orbits. There is only one love that needs to remain constant, and it seems it has for 25 years. :) Congrats to both of you.

    On the perfume front, I'll tackle incense first. And mention one I ultimately can't wrangle myself, but feel compelled to point out: Diptyque L'Eau Trois. To my way of thinking, it's more like smudging an incense stick on you than a perfume based around incense. But some folks swear by it.

    On a happier perfume front, a vote for something odd: SMN Nostalgia. Gasoline, pavement, leather. I think it totally calls the bet Bulgari Black made, and raises the stakes. This one, I enjoy.

    Am thinking about wood. Will get back to you on that. Meanwhile, enjoy your adventure!

  13. I like roses, but before I preferred not to wear rose scents. I like Une Rose Vermeille by Tauer, for example!

  14. Hi SS - thanks for the kind comment. B-man makes me laugh, and he thinks all my stupid one-liners are funny. Doesn't get better than that.

    I've already ordered a bunch of samples from Luckyscent and tried to order the Diptyque you mention. They carry everything BUT that.

    You're right about Nostalgia. Trumps Bulgari Black in all the right ways...and much dirtier, which you know I love.

    Will look forward to your wood suggestions!

  15. Vintage Lady, hello! Isn't it nice when you find a rose scent you love? Enjoy!

  16. Darshan International has been involved in this pure and sacred art of making forever 50 years and has experienced the growth of the importance of incense in every field. We are manufacturing like Agarbatti, Incense Sticks Manufacturers, for more details visit

  17. 2008 was my year of the rose, but in 2011 it is more or less just another note to me. How flittersniffery is that?! So I am glad to hear that you go on "note kicks" periodically too. : - )

    An unusual incense I would recommend is Flower by Kenzo Oriental. It is the Chinese variety, something called kyara, ie burnt agar wood, and it adds a dry, almost haunting dimension to this scent, whereas I don't care for regular Kenzo Flower, finding it too sweet and powdery, at least initially.

  18. One of my favorite incense fragrances is a super cheap thrill - Encens Mystic by Crazylibellule and the Poppies.

  19. Darshan International has been involved in this pure and sacred art of making forever 50 years and has experienced the growth of the importance of incense in every field. We are manufacturing like Agarbatti, Incense Sticks Manufacturers, for more details visit

  20. Sarathi is one of the leading manufacturers of incense products like sticks, cones, burners & fragrances oils. we are exporting to across the globe. For more information visit our website



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