I love incense in almost all its (perfume) guises, from gothic to boho to meditative. Sonoma Scent Studio’s new Incense Pure, in my own entirely idiosyncratic fragrance family classification system, goes neatly into the “outdoor incense” category, a group that also includes Tauer Perfumes Incense extrême and Comme des Garçons Ouarzazate. Both of those fragrances have a contemplative quality, but they’re too airy and fresh to be churchy.
Incense Pure, despite being denser than either Incense extrême or Ouarzazate, likewise smells like the outdoors, and in this case, a specific time and place: it reminds me of early fall in northern New Mexico, a particular smell of woodsmoke (although it is not a smoky fragrance) and piñon pine and sagebrush, although none of these things are in the notes.1 It is rich but crisp, and not at all too heavy for spring or early summer. There is just enough vanilla to keep it from being bone-dry.
I’ve been very very good this year, in fact, I still haven’t bought anything since my big splurge last September with Van Cleef & Arpels Bois d’Iris. I’ve got 5 ml bottles — wouldn’t the world be a grand place if everything came in 5 ml? — of Incense Pure and Vintage Rose in a shopping cart right now, and I’m thinking of getting samples of some of the body lotions as well, so please comment if you’ve tried them.
Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure is an updated version of Encens Tranquille (2007). It is available in 5 ($19), 17 ($36) and 34 ($58) ml Eau de Parfum, and the lasting power is very good. For buying information, see the listing for Sonoma Scent Studio under Perfume Houses.
1. The notes for Incense Pure include frankincense CO2, myrrh EO, labdanum absolute, cistus oil, natural oakmoss absolute, aged Indian patchouli heartnote fraction, sandalwood, cedar, ambergris, orris, angelica root absolute, elemi EO, vanilla absolute.