It's almost August...for many of us, the really hot summer weather is just around the corner. Citrus fragrances often carry me much of the way through the humid late summers typical of the East Coast of the US, but last month I looked at some spicy fragrances suitable for summer wear, and today I've got five incense fragrances that work well on steamy days when anything too heavy will make you wilt before lunch. Do add your own picks in the comments!
L'Artisan Passage d'Enfer ~ arguably the quintessential summer incense, and a long time favorite of mine. It was developed by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti and reflects her quiet, almost-transparent style. There's a hint of flowers, a whoosh of cold, clear incense, and a lovely pencil-shavings dry down, all of it perfectly clean without smelling like laundry detergent. I haven't smelled a new bottle in some time and hope it has not been reformulated...my own bottle is almost empty.
Comme des Garçons Black Play ~ lighter than the more recent (and confusingly named) Comme des Garçons incense outing, Black. When I reviewed the latter, I said Black Play could be "the Eau Légère / office-friendly flanker or something", except that Black Play pre-dated Black. Anyway, Black Play is spicy and peppery, with hints of black tea and birch tar, but it's lighter than it sounds and works just fine in hot weather.
Comme des Garçons Ouarzazate ~ one of my favorites of the extensive incense offerings from Comme des Garçons, Ouarzazate manages to be both mild and invigorating, and smells just like what the name implies — a hot summer day in the desert. The very chilly Zagorsk (both scents are from the Incense series) would work fine in summer as well.
Aftelier Ancient Resins ~ a scented body oil that works just fine in any weather. When it's hot, I like just a squirt or two mixed in with my regular unscented body lotion. The result, once it settles, is a very light, close-to-the-skin layer of airy, outdoorsy incense, fine on its own or perfect as a base for whatever other fragrance strikes your fancy (it adds some depth to light citrus fragrances, for instance).
Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant ~ the brand description emphasizes the "olfactory journey amid the Orient and its mysteries", but the persistent fir notes give it the feel of a cold night in a pine forest. Applied lightly, it's a great antidote for a too-hot day, and it's a calming scent in nearly any weather.