It’s Mood Scent 4 time again! Our monthly blogging project where Portia, (on A Bottled Rose) , Samantha (I Scent You A Day), Megan (Megan In St Maxime) and I write about a different subject linking perfume to mood or occasion. This time we picked frankincense and myrrh perfumes.
Frankincense is often associated with church by those who visit or used to (Catholic) church. I used to go to a Dutch Catholic church as a child but frankincense was not used in this very modern 1970s church. I have only fairly recently started to appreciate frankincense when visiting churches as a common visitor. All my choices here are my personal favourites and not meant to give a list of the ‘best’ frankincense fragrances. I only included one myrrh perfumes as these are not easy to find and I wanted to include a fragrance which is still sold for a decent price.
Maria Candida Gentile Exultat and Sideris
Exultat brings a feeling of awe and wonder by combining dry frankincense with sweet violet candies. Imagine yourself as a small child sitting at the back of an old empty Mediterranean church, the priest has left a faint trail of frankincense hours ago and now you are eating violet candies secretly next to your grandmother who is visiting the church to pray. My Spanish grandmother was fond of visiting the cinema together instead of going to church with me, so this image was a mere fantasy, but I love these two fragrances combined: the violet candies and scent frankincense in a Catholic church. They make this a special fragrance while light powder and dust give it a more worldly aura.
Sideris, another creation from perfumer Maria Candida Gentile takes the frankincense to different territory by adding pungent pepper, very dry Mediterranean herbs, light sweet rose and balsamic benzoin. The fragrance was dedicated to a poem written by Cesare Pavese and inspired by walk along the Mediterranean Sea in the North West Italian area of Liguria. The frankincense is liturgical in both Italian creations, reminiscent of the smell a Catholic church hours after the priest has wafted a barrel on a chain of smoking frankincense. While Exultat is sweetened by violet confectionary, Sideris is adorned by sweet powdery rose petals, precious saffron and peppery spices.
Comme des Garcons: Series 3 Ouarzazate
While Avignon gets all the attention from the Comme des Garcons Incense series, Ouarzazate is well worth a try. This incense series was inspired by 5 different world religions. The fragrance Avignon relates to Christianity and Ouarzazate to Islam. Mark Buxton was inspired by the fortress (kasbah) in this Southern Moroccan city. Ouarzazate is the gateway to the Sahara Desert and features in many series and films including Game Of Thrones (season 3) and Gladiator.
Ouarzazate is a sweet caramel like and spicy frankincense scent. Hints of black pepper, nutmeg and dry clary sage on a translucent olibanum/frankincense and dark woody base make it easy to wear. It is a little too light for my taste especially compared to the Ouarzazate incense sticks which I bought first but an interesting frankincense fragrance full of spices and well worth a try.
Caron Parfum Sacre Eau de Parfum
In Parfum Sacre lush dark red velvet rose petals are enveloped by pungent black pepper and warmed by cinnamon. Parfum Sacre feels like wearing a crimson long satin dress, the soft light fabric touching your skin. Resinous dry myrrh and soft vanilla add a comfortable sensation while rich orange blossom and a light cinnamic touch bring an overall feeling of smoothness. This velvety feeling reminds me of Guerlain Samsara which makes me wonder if sandalwood was not added as well.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer
In Passage d’Enfer perfumer Olivia Giacobetti combines the white lily flower, symbol of the virgin Mary in Christianity, with translucent cold frankincense and clean ‘laundry like’ musk. Passage d’Enfer translates as passage to hell and was originally created to pay homage to the first office of L’Artisan Parfumeur in the Passage d’Enfer in Paris in the 1970s. Lily flower is toned down here and transparent in true Olivia Giacobetti style leaving a light impression of its essence. Passage d’Enfer comes as an accompanying body lotion and shower gel as well.
Boujee Bougies Gilt Scented Candle
The recently launched Boujee Bougies scented candle Gilt plays with the idea of gold, guilt and confession. Golden sun rays shine through the stained glass lightening up a dark church and the metallic touch of golden leaves. Frankincense was burned hours ago still leaving its light smoky and pine tree trail, embellished by the cold scent of copper from the frankincense barrel. Gilt has amazing throw even for a small 60 g candle and burns evenly which is a great bonus as you use the whole candle until the end.
These are my frankincense and myrrh perfume and scented candle picks. Have a look on Samantha’s blog I Scent You A Day Megan’s blog Megan in St. Maxime and Portia on A Bottled Rose, to read they choices too!
I Love To Hear From You
What are your favorite frankincense and myrrh perfumes? What do you think of my choices? Do you know them?
Disclosure: All fragrances, candles and samples mentioned were bought by me personally. Photographs were made by me as well and are an artistic expression. Bottles which are sold now, might be different from the ones shown on the photographs.