5 perfumes: incense fragrances for winter

burning incense stick

In July, I picked 5 great incense fragrances for summer wear, and I followed that in October with 5 perfumes: incense fragrances for fall. Now that we’ve moved on from “a decent chill” to “polar vortex warning”, it’s time for the winter version. As always, do add your own picks in the comments!

Comme des Garçons Avignon ~ as I’ve said here before, Avignon is my gold standard for church incense. Developed by perfumer Mark Buxton, Avignon starts out foreboding but ends up meditative; it’s also wearable and makes a great layering agent. If you want something churchy but not quite that churchy, try Bois d’Encens from the Armani Privé line. For the budget version, try Demeter Holy Smoke

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Aedes de Venustas Copal Azur ~ fragrance review

Aedes de Venustas Copal Azur

When Aedes de Venustas sent me a sample of their new Copal Azur fragrance, I immediately sent it to Kevin. Kevin (who some of you old-timers might remember used to review home fragrance here, including lots of incense) was not impressed. It did not, he said, smell like real copal. I wouldn’t know from real copal; my experience is pretty much limited to Demeter Incense, which is advertised as having “a unique core of Copal”. Send it back, I said, I think it smells great.

I include that story only to warn you that while it does, to me, smell great, Copal Azur might or might not meet any expectations you might have about a copal fragrance — remember our recent discussion of “realism” vis-à-vis the gardenia in Tauer Perfumes Sotto La Luna Gardenia?1 If you love incense in general, though, or if you’ve been a fan of the three Aedes fragrances that preceded this one (Oeillet Bengale, Iris Nazarena and Aedes de Venustas Signature), do give Copal Azur a try…

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5 perfumes: incense fragrances for fall

incense sticks

In late July, I picked 5 great incense fragrances for summer wear. Now that we’ve got a decent chill in the air here on the East Coast, it’s time for the fall version. As always, do add your own picks in the comments!

L’Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu ~ A number of people mentioned Timbuktu in the comments to my summer incense post, and I know some people feel Timbuktu really blooms in the heat. Some other people (including me) find Timbuktu a bit much in hot and humid weather. Whatever season you prefer, it’s a distinctive fragrance that smells as much like dirt and old paper and spices (with a touch of sour mango) as it does like incense…

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Top 10 Fall Fragrances 2014

Cold Colours

We pick the dates for the seasonal top 10 posts far in advance, and sometimes that works out fine. This year, it feels odd to be writing about fall so early — we’ve had strange weather the past few months, so while it stopped feeling like a proper summer here sometime in late July, it still doesn’t feel anything like fall. Here are ten fragrances I might wear if it did feel like fall, or that you could wear if there’s already a chill in the air where you are. Do add your own fall favorites in the comments!

CB I Hate Perfume Burning Leaves: The perfect way to get into the mood for fall even if the weather won’t cooperate, and extra-nice if you live in a place (as I do) where all the leaves get composted (as they should be) instead of burned (I do miss the smell). The last time I wrote the Top 10 of Fall was back in 2008, and I included Burning Leaves on that post too. Some things never change…

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