So it’s February and already the year is whizzing by even with a 6pm curfew, which basically turns you into an early bird and leaves you knackered by 9pm. COVID hit closer to home recently with workmates testing positive, so it was back to the home office (read desk in corner) and more Zooming this week. It’s times like these when you get a teeny bit jealous of your NZ compatriots, and the normal life they are leading and so interesting to see the divergent path they have taken compared to Europe where we’ve basically been in a lockdown / curfew routine for nearly a year now, apart from a brief burst in summer where we relapsed into life as normal. NZ and Australia go into lockdown or full on track and trace when they get just one new case brought in from their borders, while in France it’s pretty much 20k cases a day and business as usual (if you don’t work in events, hospitality, the arts or anything tourism related).
The only other point of note since the last Mood Scent 4 is that I managed to do Dry January. At least it was a lot easier to tick it off when no bars or restaurants are open and there’s not much going on after 6pm. Bizarrely the urge to imbibe has not returned, so I’m not quite sure what to make of that, as usually the urge for a glass of wine emerged immediately after work.
Anyway after that ramble, let’s move on to the Mood Scent 4. Today my fragrant partners, Portia at A Bottled Rose, L’Esperessence and I Scent You A Day are your perfume selectors for fragrances containing frankincense or myrrh. These ingredients have always had a strong appeal for me, whether they’re a dominant focus of the scent or even if there is a little incense that really uplifts and provides an added boost to a fragrance. There is a certain mystique with their spiritual link. Per fumum, the origin of the word perfume, means through smoke, from the times when resins were burned to communicate with the gods. Frankincense or incense comes from the boswellia tree and myrrh from the commiphora tree. Frankincense tends to be more sweet when burned and myrrh is a bit more bitter and pine like. Whether you remember the hippy, new age incense sticks or incense burned in church, you most likely have some sort of scent memory of this fragrant material. So without further ado, here are five incense / myrrh fragrances for the Mood Scent 4 selection.
Mortel is a churchy incense fragrance and smells rather similar to the Spiritus Sancti candle in the Cire Trudon range. Mortel has that peppered slightly aldehydic feel up front and immediately has an enjoyable warmth. It’s not a cold scent at all and falls in between a warm loved up incense and the chilly Church style with myrrh as an accompaniment. It’s elegant, easy to wear and gets better as it wears on skin. There’s a spiciness that’s attractive, not overpowering but a nice counterpoint to the burnt incense.
Wazamba : Parfum d’Empire : Marc-Antoine Cortichiatto
A mystical vibe surrounds Wazamba, a scent that hums to its own beat. The fragrance is warm and dry with a beautiful ambered, incense focus. There’s a decidedly sour aspect at times which could come from the myrrh but it makes it a little more intriguing nonetheless. The scent also has a slight tang of apple too, so there’s always something lurking in here that’s a little bit off kilter to keep the interest level up and a dash of fruitiness too.
Ancient Resins Body Oil : Atelier Perfumes : Mandy Aftel
I have a small sample of this gorgeous hair and body that was created for the legendary Leonard Cohen by scent artist Mandy Aftel. The oil is deliciously subtle on skin and contains frankincense, labdanum and balm of Gilead (poplar buds) amongst other natural ingredients. The base is jojoba and fractionated coconut oil and glides onto skin with ease. If you use it on your hands, you won’t be able to stop smelling the delicious scent and it is quite something to think that Mr Cohen wore this too.
Larmes Du Désert : Atelier Des Ors : Marie Salamagne
It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t talk about something from Atelier Des Ors. My bottle of Larmes du Désert was temporarily lost, but unearthed in a box last week, which was good timing for this post. This is one of the first perfumes released by the brand in 2015 along with Rose Omeyyade, Lune Féline, Aube Rubis and Cuir Sacré. Larmes Du Désert is a gorgeous, dark incense and woods scent that conjures up warm nights in the dry, unforgiving heat. It has a sense of mystery and makes me feel as if I’m transported to a mystical ceremony that summons gravitas. There’s no sweetness here, just the spirit of frankincense, woods and resins with a dusty sheen.
Coromandel : Chanel : Jacques Polge
Coromandel is an example of a perfume that has incense as a note but is not the predominant feature. This Chanel perfume is a firm favourite and a bona fide patchouli classic. Incense just makes the fragrance smell even better. Please note that I’m writing about my older version before they updated the Exclusives so I can’t attest to what the newer creation smells like. Strangely with this perfume, I find that even though I love it in winter, it is completely overbearing in the heat and becomes rather distasteful. When it hits its stride though, Coromandel really is magnificent and nothing can touch its warm, sexy charm.
So that’s a wrap for this edition of Mood Scent 4. Thank you so much for stopping by and please make sure to read my fellow Mood Scent 4 group writers : Portia at A Bottled Rose Samantha on I Scent You A Day and Esperanza on L’Esperessence.
Notes : Images from the brand websites.
Disclosure : I provide services to Atelier Des Ors and the perfume was provided by the brand. Coromandel and Wazamba were bought by myself and a sample of Ancient Resins was gratefully received from Aftelier Perfumes and Mortel was included in a discovery set gifted from Cire Trudon.