Frankincense and Myrrh perfumes – Guide to Incense Fragrances

Once you are past Thanksgiving, it is officially Christmas, yes?  Close enough.  That must make it time to talk about frankincense and myrrh perfumes – two of my favorite incense notes and ones we will all need desperately over the next month to keep breathing deeply through all the Holiday Hoopla that threatens to overtake what we all really desire – love, family, friends, peace and great company.  

 

 

frankincense and myrrh perfumes

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”
Mary Oliver

Incense dates back to the time when man fearfully tossed his new discovery, fire, on some resin and delicious smoke came billowing out.  Used for a multitude of religious or cultural ceremonies over thousands of years, incense smoke is a common point of spirituality.  

Long before the three wise men showed up by the manger with frankincense, gold and myrrh, Egyptians used myrrh for embalming, the Hebrews used frankincense and myrrh in the Temple as sacred anointing oil, and myrrh was used to purify and beautify women in the ancient Persian Empire.  

Frankincense & myrrh perfumes inhabit a unique space in the perfume pantheon – a scent that can be deeply meditative, warming, comforting and sometimes disturbing.  

We absolutely will be doing a giveaway or two sets of most of the perfume referenced in this post – rules and how to enter are at the bottom of the post.

 Give it to me Straight Frankincense and Myrrh Perfumes

If you want to sniff these notes with no frills, AbdesSalaam Attar Frankincense and AbdesSalaam Attar Myrrh are the perfect choices.  These are both the excellent, high quality single-note examples and will help clarify what these two notes smell like without any distractions. The budget choice is Demeter Myrrh, a fairly straight up myrrh fragrance, though there’s more sweetness in it and perhaps other notes.  Tesori d’Oriente Mirra is another budget myrrh perfume choice, but, again, this is a myrrh fragrance, not a single note fragrance.

Ommmmmmmmyyyyyyyrrrrrhhhhh

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. – Buddha

Let’s begin by traveling through just the myrrh perfumes.  Annick Goutal Myrrhe Ardente is a woods-infused myrrh smoky-tonk dream.  Warm, soft, silky, there aren’t any rough medicinal edges to jar you out of your chanting for calm time, but this isn’t a small perfume.  Apply with some zen restraint.  Prada Myrrhe is part of their exclusives collection – you know, the one nobody can ever find and you almost need an Act of Congress to convince a Prada salesperson to sell it to you?  This is myrrh infused with a wee bit of lavender and laying on a woodsy bed.  It’s a great straight-up myrrh scent that almost nobody knows about.  How does that happen do you think?  Pricier, but it is a parfum, and $160 or so for 30 mls is a pretty great pure parfum deal that may help you restore some pocketbook calm.  Or not. 

Guerlain Myrrhe et Delires is plump myrrh, all fattened up with Guerlain magic dust, which makes it beautiful beyond words.  It also is a domesticated myrrh that’s been sitting on an overstuffed couch eating bonbons all of its life – no life of sorrow and suffering.  Calming may not be a word you use either once you have them ring it up (above $200 for 75 mls). Huitieme Art Parfums Myrrhiad is a spectacular warmed myrrh scent, sweetened into a rich, slightly burnt vanilla/licorice base with black tea notes to smoke it up. While this isn’t a ground-breaking myrrh scent, it is one I love to wear. A loved, well-worn fragrance is not a small thing.

Cristiano Fissore Cashmere is a unique myrrh scent – fruity myrrh!  Apricot adds a wonderful charm, and this is the kind of incense scent you want on to leave in your favorite cashmere sweater. 

frankincense and myrrh wolf

L’Artisan Mechant Loupe – myrrh ashes burning next to the whiskey and cigar on the Big Bad Wolf’s table.  Mmmm, lean in closer… the Big Bad Wolf also smells like toasted hazelnuts, slightly caramelized molasses and myrrh.    Hey, Mr. Wolf, I’m gonna eat you up!

Laura Tonatto Amir (Rat Money Smell for me) brings in amber and other things that go bump in the night with the myrrh.  Heady, slightly sinister for much of the open, it dries down to comfort after lots of discomfort.  L’Erbolario Myrrhae is myrrh, sage and ginger.  It comes closest to capturing that slightly antiseptic tonality of myrrh clearly.  Myrrhae provides an interesting contrast with sage.  Best news!   A decent price point peeping its head up in this field of Budget Busters.  

Serge Lutens La Myrrhe is the King of the Myrrh Hill.  An unusual pairing of myrrh and aldehydes creates crystalline myrrh that reflects light.  Myrrh can do this?  Under the coaxing hands of Christopher Sheldrake, yeah, it sure can.

L’Occitane Eau d’Iparie is now discontinued, but I’m going to break my rule and mention it here because it’s pretty freaking great, like a few other L’Occitane fragrances that are now discontinued. It’s straight up frankincense and myrrh.  It was cheap when it was actively made, about $60 for 100 mls, smells great, a great contrast between medicinal myrrh and warmth, and it is exactly what it says it is.  Hey, L’Occitane, can you bring back some of these discontinued fragrances that have so many fans?  

Lorenzo Villoresi Incensi is myrrh and apple pie on the open with spices that eventually swell up and choke that apple.  It’s not my favorite incense perfume, but it has a lot of fans out there that this combination speaks to; it’s worth trying to see if you are one of them.

Caron Parfum Sacre is rose, myrrh and pepper, and there’s really nothing else that smells like it.  Take the trip to a beautiful myrrh/vanilla/woods happy ending that you will love having on your clothes the morning after.  If you have a plump bank account, hunt down the Caron Parfum Sacre extrait – discontinued, of course.  

Speaking of plump bank accounts…  Baccarat Les Larmes Sacrees du Thebes is almost impossible to get, ridiculously priced, and it can’t be worth it for such a fleeting scent?  Period, ? no question mark???  WTF with the???  Stop that???  I mean, it, no question marks!…?  Grrrr.    Sandalwood and myrrh that takes the most beautiful parts of Caron Parfum Sacre extrait and mixes in a tidge of ambergris just to break your heart.    And your wallet.  Worth it? No, of course not. Really, Pshaw, tooooooo…much…money.    or maybe not

frankincense and myrrh perfumes zen

Who cares if you’re enlightened forever? Can you just get it in this moment, now? – Byron Katie

Frankincense and Myrrh Zen Stew

CB I Hate Perfume Fire from Heaven is a frankincense/myrrh blend of soft smoke, warm resin and a joy to wear without getting too “churchy.”  Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir does frankincense and myrrh… with a side of iris. Giving myrrh an earth-bound lightness it so often needs to keep it from brooding in the corner.  Orris Noir is perfect if you want your myrrh to find its happy place.  Eau d’Italie Baume de Doge is one I’m doing on memory and quite angry that I don’t have some around – where is that? Do I really not have even a sample?  Must fix. Spiced orange, frankincense and myrrh over vanilla and saffron. I remember loving this for its lovely spiced warmth that’s not just a little addictive.  Inhale, exhale, inhale — wait, are we huffing? This is definitely a frankincense & myrrh perfume that you should try.  The Eau d’Italie line is expertly done, and this one was crafted by Duchaufour, which is all the reason you need.

Profumum Olibdanum is a beautiful frankincense and myrrh scent, infused with some lovely orange blossom rays of sunshine to warm all that incense.  Incredibly easy to wear, no mildewy dark cathedral basement or sackcloth and ashes included.  Olivier Durbano Rock Crystal always shocks me with how freaking great it is when I haven’t smelled it for a while.  With the cuminy open transforming into a rich churchy fragrance, it embraces sinner and saint in equal measure and holds them in tension with neither giving ground to the other. Christian Dior Bois d’Argent. The silver woods, it is infused with frankincense and sweetened by a vanilla-honey-iris combo that’s unique and understated in its elegance. There aren’t a lot of discrete notes; it is well-blended incense perfection, maneuvering between shadow and light, coolness and warmth.  Every time you get annoyed with Dior’s current roster of perfumes, just grab this, and you’ll remember why Dior has a comeback in them, if they choose to use it.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Cathedral has a little rougher frankincense and myrrh ride, but no less beautiful, and the spot of mildew feels not just like a church, but Etro Messe di Minuit.  Speaking of which, incense, mildew, church basement, crypts full of dead bodies.  I have a love/hate relationship with Messe di Minuit.  When it works on me, it is amazing. When it doesn’t, Cryptkeeper.   Or, according to the fine folks at Reddit, Pirates of the Caribbean. 

frankincense and myrrh perfumes light

Frankly, My Dear, I just want the FrankinZENse

Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant is another entry in the incense market more centered on frankincense – resin, burning incense, surrounded with pepper, spices and fir.  Have some patience through that full-in frankincense open, this has a gorgeous finish that you really don’t want to miss.  Aesop Mystra was created from a historical perspective, you know, of the embalming kind done in ancient cultures.  Don’t expect this to move much beyond that, it stays pretty much right there – antiseptic and harsh.  This is for the “incense with no gilding of the incense lily” crowd. 

Amouage is the King of Frankincense in fragrances, and I think everything they make is loaded with it.  Instead of going through the whole line, I’ll highlight a few.  Amouage Lyric Woman is a beautiful rose wonder, but on me it’s all about the incense and very little about the rose. Amouage Jubilation Man and Amouage Jubilation Woman are great examples of the use of frankincense in Amouage fragrances as well.  Amouage Tribute Attar, though, is frankincense perfection –   smoky, rich, leathered diesel frankincense.  Expect serious wafting from just a drop.  

Regina Harris Frankincense Myrrh Rose Maroc is frankincense through a dark filter. A beautifully blended oil, it’s close to the skin and wonderfully warm.  Worth the price tag of 100+ for 15 mls? Who knows?  If you love it, sure, it only takes a drop to scent you.  

It’s not in my bag of things to carry in this life – it belongs to other people, not me, so I left it for the waves to carry away, along with a lot of other crap I don’t need or want anymore.         – Patty White

Okay, okay, I promised, I know, no hard to get scents, but I can’t do a frankincense and myrrh perfumes post without throwing in Armani Prive Bois d’Encens. It is still made, I think, or at least still available in Europe.  They seem to have cut the Prive supply line over the ocean for reasons I’ll never know.  Regardless, for any incense perfume lover, it’s worth all the hoops and sexual favors you may have to provide to get your hands on some.  It takes the heavy quality of incense and then sends it soaring infused with air and light.  It is hard to choose if it is my favorite incense fragrance or — crap, picking favorites tortures me. Speaking of favorites, Comme des Garcons incense series are some of the best incense scents available.  Those cradle Catholics that break out in hives at the smell of frankincense should avoid Comme des Garcons Avignon, which is High Church incense.  I adore it from the beginning to end; it is deeply meditative on me, similar to the Armani, but denser.  

L’Artisan Passage d’Enfer is probably one of my other all-time favorite frankincense fragrances.  Olivia Giacobetti paired incense with lilies, and there is really nothing else quite like it as the brightness and sweetness of the lily intertwine with the meditative and earthy aspects of the frankincense. Serge Lutens de Profundis is centered more on chrysanthemum and tagetes, but the earthy smell of incense pervades this fragrance.  For me de Profundis is longing, loss, hope and earthy enjoyment all wrapped together.  After the funeral sex basically.  

Cartier XII L’Heure Mystérieuse combines incense, elemi, patchouli and spice to form something dense and dark, but the night is warmed. Strange Invisible Perfumes Fire and Cream is frankincense and hay. Sure, there’s other stuff in there, but that’s what I get, and it is just glorious, my two favorite meditative notes. 

Erik Kormann Eau de Froehliche takes on frankincense in an unexpected twist – it makes it fun.  Like throwing a big old party in the Cathedral with chocolates and raspberries.  I saved this one for last, because I’d never smelled it before, and I was quite dreading it when I saw the list of notes.  But for a first-time scent from a Berlin soap shop, I’m quite enchanted by this dumb thing!  

This is a great place to end our journey through frankincense and myrrh perfumes.   And the pesky rules to be entered for the giveaway.   You must leave a comment here to be entered at all.  You can get additional entries by doing any/all of the activities in the little widget below!  Entries will be taken through Monday noon, December 3, 2012.

So your favorite frankincense and myrrh perfume?  Either, both or a combo is great.  I’ve missed some, I’m sure, so it’s your turn to tell me what a chowderhead I am for overlooking X.

Samples used in this review and donated for the drawing provided from my private perfume collection and Surrender to Chance.

This is interesting too!

242 Comments

  1. I’m excited about this one. I love me some incense in a perfume!

    • Oh, me too!!! This was one of my favorites to do from a smelling perspective, but incense doesn’t lend itself to as much creative writing! 🙂

    • katie, I was SO shocked at how much I liked that darn thing. It was beyond cute and fun to wear. Best surprise of the post.

  2. I have a bottle of myrrh essential oil that I sniff at occasionally because it reminds me of the scent that I experienced in the Great Pyramid when I went to Egypt a million years ago. At the time I thought of it as the very scent of the Ancient and Timeless. Turns out it was the scent of the incense burned by some latter-day Isis worshippers who were there just before me. Either way, it was wonderful and the experience wouldn’t have been the same without that deathly/living perfume. Can’t wait to try a few of these perfumes.

    • Oh, that’s funny! I love prowling around the old cathedrals in Europe. They all *feel* different – some kind of haunted or scary and some that just hug you, but all of them have the incense lingering, and I think about how many centuries that scent has been seeping into those columns.

  3. Incense notes are my absolute favourites! I love Passage d’Enfer and SL’s La Myrrhe.
    Right now I’m wearing ‘Incensed Short Fuse’ from Smell Bent, which has cardamom and pepper notes in with the frankincense. Mmmm…

    • Oh, that sounds nice! I really need to get ahold of more smell Bents, but there are so many, I don’t know where to begin!

      • The oil samples are very reasonably priced, so I’ve been trying heaps. 🙂

        • I am afraid to bring more sample vials in my house lest I hit the tipping point and become the next episode of horders – perfume samples edition. 🙂

    • I know. I used to get the raw materials, then I had a censer and the charcoal. Loved the smell, but, man, it was a LOT of smoke in the house! 🙂

  4. Rather disappointed re your descriptions of two frags. 1. De Profoundis is so icy cool and deeply rich simultaneously I wouldn’t dare associate with ‘after funeral sex’. I. have worn to 3 funerals this yr. 2.Aesop’s Mystra..you suggest as being ‘bland’…IMHO ,it is ‘magical’ .Where I live is a “fume wasteland’ so to my nose something very different like Mystra’ is pleasant. Also Neil Morris has a gorgeous nod to ‘High Mass’ with his scent also called Cathederal. I might have to seek out a few samples of these gorgeous sounding scents. thanks for the Enlightentment.

    • I didn’t mean that as a pejorative. I love de Profundis. I find it to have an aching need for renewal. That’s why I used “after funeral sex.” it’s that moment of grief and loss when life wants only to affirm life, as if you can push death completely away. It seemed more offhand than I meant it because that term is one that has deep underlying meaning for me. Not in a literal sense.

      Mystra I didn’t call bland at all. It is a much harsher myrrh treatment that’s not really to my taste, but people looking for a softer myrrh might be put off quite a lot. I like to describe things so those that are averse to the more raw smell of a note will take note. but that’s why perfume is so fun, we all get to like what we like!

      I’m not familiar with the Neil Morris scent at all, but it sounds lovely!

  5. Seven more fragrances: 1-“Casbah” by Robert Piguet, maybe the strongest incense parfum ever (one spray lasts more than 24 hours on skin!) and the nearest experience to the High Mass in a Catholic Church (despite its name!) ; 2-“Spiritus Land” by Miller& Bertaux, a very inusual incense fragrance with lots of ingredients that “renders” this fragranche under many aspects; 3-“Mirra” by Sergio Soldano, a pure myrrh EDT really inexpensive; 4-“Ambre” by Arno Sorel, don’t be fooled by its name, it’s seems “incense poured all over leather”, really enjoyable; 5- “Incense Extreme” by Andy Tauer the name says it all; 6- “Incense pure” by SSS (Sonoma Scent Studio), again, name says it all; and last but not least, “ShaalNur” by Etro. Every one of this Magnificent Seven deserve a try!

    • I cannot believe I missed the Miller & Bertaux, I LOVE that one. Definitely it has to be in there.

      I’m not sure why the Piguet didn’t come up on my frankincense/myrrh radar. I think maybe because I was looking for frankincense specifically! I don’t know the others you reference except the Tauer, which I didn’t have, darnit! and the ETro. I’m not sure why that one missed my radar, except the list was getting waaaaayyyy long. 🙂 But thanks so much for mentioning your favorites so other people can try them, as well as reminding me of the Miller. Love, love, love that. Ack, these are the moments when I beat my head against the wall because I know I’m going to miss at least 5-10 that I really wanted to include and forgot.

  6. I have been looking forward to this post since you mentioned
    it weeks ago… I love frankincense and I’m surprised at how many of these I have
    not sniffed. (And how many I have where I wouldn’t have identified myrrh as a
    prominent note—like Mechant Loupe and Orris Noir.) I definitely need to revisit
    some of these this season, especially Baum de Doge. And I was so glad to see
    Erik Kormann Eau de Froehliche here—such a strange thing that just seems like
    it could go so very, very wrong, but it’s a great scent.

    • I know, some of them suprised me too, but once you get the memo and re-sniff, it opens up a whole different doorway of understanding. Especially Mechant Loupe. I never really got Mechant completely until I noted the myrrh. Then, dingdingding!!!

      You’re torturing me with the mention of Baum de Doge. Really, really need to get my hands on some.

      The Kormann still cracks me up. What a delightful thing, it was the perfect last one for me to smell, and it really did happen that way because i just didn’t want to!!! 🙂

  7. Love, love, love the Serge Lutens myrrh! My husband brought me a bottle back from Paris and it is definitely the star of my perfume collection. It sparkles and has a warm, comforting feeling to it at the same time. I keep planning to buy some myrrh resin to see what the real stuff smells like.

    • It is so gorgeous. I used to burn a lot of myrrh and frankincense year ago, and the raw stuff is not what you think. You always have to remember that it was used and still is used as an antiseptic substance, and it has that quality to it. It has so much more,, but that medicinal thing is potent. 🙂

      • I tend to adore things with a medicinal aspect. La Myrrhe – so light-filled, so refined, but yeah, medicinal, like healing for the soul.

  8. L’Artisan Mechant Loup for sure…the gingerbread house in the forest to me! I have been dying to try CB Fire from Heaven, too!

  9. Serge Lutens Myrrh…so delicious, light and yet luscious (sounds like a yoghurt ad!)
    But I have also tried and love Keiko Mecheri Myrrhe et Merveilles, it has the same aldehydic top with the coolness of myrrh.

    • There’s another one I missed! Oh, well, I’m just going to have to accept that there will be these gaps that you all will fill in, yeah!!! xo

  10. Serge Lutens La Myrrhe, no question about that! As for incense-based scents, I’d go for Serge Lutens Fourreau noir (incense for all Morticia Addams-wannabes), Parfum d’Empire Wazamba (incense and woods galore) or even Olfactive Studio Chambre Noire (booze and incense… and I’m not talking mass wine here, rather old Armagnac liquor).

    • Dangit, my comment disappeared before I got it posted! I got more lavender from Fourreau, I think, but yeah, those all fit too! I haven’t done many or any of the Olfactive Studios yet, I do need to remedy that. Thanks for adding these to the list!

  11. My favorite incense, hands down, is annick goutal’s encens flamboyant.
    I also like shaal nuur.

    I am quite ignorant about Myrrh.
    I learn tehre’s quite a bit of it in sweet redemption’s base – and I like the drydown very much, but have no idea what myrrh smells like. A shame, I know….

    • Love Encens, completely agree. Yeah, I could have thrown Sweet Redemption in here, but I think I’ve used it in like two others so far and am risking overuse! 🙂

  12. I love Lutens La Myrrhe – it smells of mushroom mycel deep in the roots of a forest….
    Annick Goutal’s Myrrh is a close second…
    My love for Messe de Minuit is well documented by now. I also adore Tauer’s Incense Extreme and Incense Rose. And the one and only Air du Desert Marocain. Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods. Czech & Speake Frankincense and Myrrh. Guerlain Winter Delice. Etro Shaal Nur. So many wonderful perfumes, so little time, so little skin….
    And Eau du Froehliche just cracks me up (“Oh du Fröhliche” is a well-known German Christmas song). I need to get that for the name alone!

    • Really? I don’t get quite that out of La Myrrhe, but that sounds great. I should have thrown some Tauers in there, he’s got a lot of incense in the line, all of them great. I never smelled the Czech & Speake!

      That little thing is adorable. The little perfume that could!

  13. I think that it was Katie Puckrick who suggested layering Avignon with L’Artisan’s Vanillia. Inspired by you, I am getting out my Avignon and am going to try this combo (I have three bottles of Vanillia, bought when I heard it was being discontinued!); I always think I frighten the other shoppers when I waft Avignon around, and I reckon the soft, sweet but ashy smell of Vanillia might just make it more palatable.

    • That is a great combination! Incense typically does pretty well with vanilla if it’s not really sweet. I never feel bad about wafting any of my incense scents around.

  14. Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient is a beautiful incense perfume. I like it because it’s got that Guerlain sweet quality and doesn;t get too “churchy”. I never thought of Orris Noir as an incense scent, but you’re exactly right! Enjoyed this post! 🙂

    • Another one I forgot. I swear, it was on the list, but somehow it wasn’t on the final one. Gah! Agree, it is gorgeous.

      Thanks, this was fun to do.

  15. I’ve been wearing Paestum Rose this fall. Another Duchaufour one for Eau D’Italie. It’s rose plus incense. I like the old Messe de Minuit for occasions like Halloween and Christmas Eve. I have a sample of
    Baum de Doge that I’ll have to get out and wear today. 🙂

    • do you love the Doge? I’m worried my memory is playing tricks on me, and now I’m just obsessed with getting some to be sure. so darn annoying when that happens.

  16. I love any and all fragrances that have myrrhe or frankincense listed as ingredients. Even better would be if they are combined with incense. Anything with these elements is ‘nectar of the gods’ to me. I feel like I have entered a beautiful temple, I hear soft chimes and at peace. I don’t wear these on a season basis because they are a ‘mood’ or ‘feeling’ to me. I love them year round!!

    • So agree, Charlotte. Incense is one of my go-to scents in the summer. It’s cooling and just seems to relax me any time I wear them. They’re just fun to concentrate on during holiday time, I think.

  17. Am I allowed to enter? This is the JUICE I would love to be sniffing over XMAS!
    Myrrh & Delices lasts on me for about 3 minutes before it goes skin scent. GRRRR
    Portia xx

  18. Hurray, it’s winter! I know–people don’t like to hear that kind of enthusiasm for the cold. But I love it and I’m going to say it: bring on the snow. And the Frankincense & Myrrh. 😉

    • I’ve got to get some of the C&S F&M. I’m not sure how it has escaped me before now,but I couldn’t get ahold of some fast enough to make this post. You smell marvelous, dahling!

  19. So many lovely fragrances suggested here. Will have to seek out and sniff some of these suggestions. I would also like to add Mirra Mirra by I Coloniali … Not a very complicated scent but I always get compliments when I wear it. Thanks for the draw, Patty. 🙂

    • you are so welcome, and thanks for the add on the i Coloniali! I like to make sure there are those mixed in at some more reasonable price point. it seems so many of the frankincense and myrrh scents are much higher end, at leaast the ones that I think are more dominated by those notes.

  20. Another Shaal Nur fan here. There are so many others I need to try, though. Must get busy! (This and the amber post are going to be my favorites, I think.)

    • OH, goodie! I bet I’ll wind up pulling some other note out of my hat later on you’ll like as much. Maybe tea? Or the rest of the incense notes? 🙂

  21. Huitieme Art Parfums Myrrhiad is a fave, but I also think it smells like root beer! Great picks in the list!

  22. I like Lutens Encens et Lavande. I suppose that might be too much of a lavender to make this article…

    • I went back and forth. There were a few Serges I could have put in here, but I didn’t want to get too many of any one line unless it was really frankincense or myrrh specific. I love E et L, and I promise it will be a biggie when I get to lavender!

  23. Thanks so much for these reviews. I love, love, love incense fragrances. Encens Flamboyant is my holy grail incense, but there are so many I haven’t yet tried. You’ve got me wanting to go sniffing in a big way. I really need to explore more myrrh fragrances; that’s a note that often smells like root beer to me (and not in a good way). I’d love to smell it combined with my beloved frankincense.

    When I want to add straight-up incense to a fragrance, I’ll dab a bit of a solid perfume with a riduculously long name: ShanghaiJava Encens Mystique by Crazylibellule and the Poppies. Sheesh. Anyway, it’s cheap and smells like straight frankincense. I like to add it to the occasional woody scent. It’s even interesting with Chanel No. 5. (I know, sacrilege.)

    • Me too!! Okay, that’s an accomplishment when I’ve got you looking for things to sniff! There is a root beer thing to myrrh, I never really thought of it until R_Un mentioned it below, but yeah.

      That long thing? takes longer to say or type than it takes to put on. sounds pretty, and those are super cheap, aren’t they?

  24. Well now, I am not too familiar with incense. Or Frankincense. Or Myyrh- I have a couple of samples of one ot two mentioned above, but being relatively new to the world of perfumes, I haven’t had a chance to explore this particular category. Your great suggestions will keep my sniffer busy for a good long time! While I am still lost (and loving being lost) in leather based perfumes, I have a sample of Avingnon that I really like and I now have a list with which to go sample shopping! Mary Oliver is a SPLENDID poet! So happy she appeared above- it was the icing on a delicious cake of a post!

    • Oh, thanks, Ramona! I’m a huge Mary Oliver fan. I’d litter the blog with stuff she’s written if I didn’t practice a wee bit of restraint.

      These were the primarily frankincense and myrrh fragrances. There’s more incense out there that I didn’t even get to – Elemi, Styrax, benzoin, balsam, cistus. There’s some overlap on some, and there are fewer in those that are really focused on just those notes, and I may not even do them. I just didn’t want to mix them in with the frankincense and myrrh or this post would have been like 3x as long!.

      I think anyone can start with sampling the Cdg Incense series, which Avignon is a part, and from that you can get which type of incense does it for you – more green or piney, resiny, the colder frankincense from Avignon. It really is one of my favorite notes for just wearing all the time.

      musette is volunteering to do leather. I’m not the leather girl at all. My descriptions would be – smooth leather, rough leather, icky leather, wthisthis leather. So I’m sure I’ll have some commentary, Musette will be doing that note. she should be grinning now because that means I have to send her some Doblis, you know, for writing and research purposes. 🙂

    • You are so welcome! I didn’t have any of the sonoma incense pure, which sounds amazing. Another one on my list that I still need to try!

  25. I’m curious. Do you consider labdanum an incense scent or will it have its own post at some point? To me it has the incense resiny qualities over a dark,pervasive heat that’s very unlike the chillier myrrh et al. I find it completely addictive to sniff at so I wanted to bring it up, but if it’s going to get its own post in the future, I’ll stop yapping now.

    • Hey, Heather! I’m putting the other incense notes off to the side – labdanum, elemi, cistus, etc. I wanted to just do frankincense and myrrh for this because throwing in the rest would have made this category/post waaaaay too big. They are all related, and I’m not sure how many I’ll have that concentrate on those other incense notes. so many perfume notes just lump them all in with “incense” so you have to sniff out what you think it is, which is just a chore. Bleah.

      so, yes, that’s on the list to do. If I can’t get enough of those that are centered on those – I hate to use the term – lesser incense notes,then I’ll just revisit incense generally and put in some of the frankincense & myrrh perfumes I missed and a bunch of those generic “incense fragrances, but I’ll separate out the labdanum-centric fragrances.

      Whew, that was a super-long answer, sorry!!!

  26. Wow…this list has moved me more than any of the others. I have been feeling very meditative lately. I have been eyeballing candles for my fix but I would love a perfume as well. I have had Parfum Sacre on my list for far too long…must push it to the front!

    • I’m not sure how anyone can go through life without a little Parfum Sacre. 🙂 I just put it in the
      “Good for What ails You” perfume category. woods, rose, incense, you can wear it for any occasion – work, play, evening out, church. Now, I know a few people – very few – don’t care for it, but it’s probably the closest thing to a universally loved or at least liked perfume I know. December is my month to go crazy with it. I even break out the extrait. 🙂

  27. I haven’t had much experience with incense up to now, but I’ve recently become a fan of Parfum Sacre and Chanel No. 22, with its lovely incense base notes.

  28. I love the Durbano Black Tourmaline, the Tauer Incense Extreme and Incense Rose, and Knize Sec are a couple of my unmentioned fave incenses. I used to love Bond No. 9 AW Silver Factory, but I haven’t sniffed that one in ages–I might have to dig up my decant.

    • I thought about putting in the Black Tourmaline instead of the Rock Crystal, but I think most of his fragrances have some incense in them, and I really love that line and can never figure out why it doesn’t get more attention.

      Can’t believe I overlooked putting in ANY Tauers. I had so many to choose from and intended to get Incense Extreme or Rose in for sure, and it somehow got knocked off the list. I must have had a revised list somewhere that it got left off of.

      I loved silver Factory too. My annoyance with the whole brand sorta spoiled it for me. I liked it, but there are better incenses out there, so I just decided to ignore them. 🙂

  29. I think if SL had named De Profundis “Merry Mums” no one would ever associate it with funerals. To me it smells too mad and carefree to be contemplative. It’s my very favorite though its probably the incense note I respond to.

    • I only associate it with funerals in the sense that Profundis totally gets that life is short and we are all headed for closed box eventually, and then it scampers away to enjoy it while it has life. So it’s like this nod to death and endings before it turns its back on it. It is one of my all-time favorite scents because it hits such an emotional chord in me. It feels like an extension of me, I guess. Except I’d be with daisies, but daisies have not enough smell. 🙂

  30. Wow, I know so few of these. I have samples of Avignon, Parfum Sacre, and de Profundis, which I love and will be getting some play now that we move into December. I am crossing my fingers that they’ll have the Annick Goutal at Nordstrom when I go next. I doubt they’ll have many of the others to sniff. Off topic, but I also want to try Clinique Wrappings, because yes, it IS officially Christmas now.

    • Oh, I hope they do! I’m not sure how far out they’ve gotten in the Goutal line in the regular department stores. They should have that incense line at least in the winter. It would introduce a whole new legion of fans to their scents. I’ll cross my fingers for you, Elena!

  31. I think incense might be my next Signature Scent. I nearly ordered a full bottle of Avignon after my last round of samples, but it’s not quite perfect, or something. Close… but before I take the plunge, and probably wear it for the next six years, I would love to try something more obscure!

    • Lord, I am the one that puts off choosing that much too. There are so many great incense scents, and I adore Avignon, but if you’re not sure, keep looking!

  32. I have not tried a lot of myrrh and frankincense perfumes. They only ones that I have tried was the Amouage Lyric and Jubilation 25. I got some frankincense in Lyric but a lot more fruit and rose. Jubilation 25 was just a lot of overripe fruit with a hint of frankincense.

    Eldarwen22
    http://realmofeldarwen22.blogspot.com

    • Wow, I get a ton of incense out of all of the Amouages or most of them. It was tough to pick. That’s really too bad, too!

  33. This might be my favorite of all of the note guides thus far! I absolutely love frankincense and myrrh and am always looking for the next great one. My favorite has to be Amouage Interlude Man (although, as you mention, Amouage is the king if frankincense so pretty much any of them are great). I am saving my pennies to get the Tribute attar. Armani’s Bois d’Incense is easily available here in Dubai (jealous, I know) and the other day in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia I found a bottle of Parfum Sacre Extrait (my tiny little gold plated gem) for about $125 (I don’t have to say I snatched that up without a second thought). I am so hoping to win this set of samples, I know I would love so many! Thanks for another wonderful guide!

    • Oh, good! I adore the two Interludes, but I think I’ve almost broken my fingers in the past with all the nice things I had to say about them.

      Tribute… ah. I keep looking at my teeny bottle that’s more than halfway empty, then remind myself that I only have to use a drop, it should last another year or two, right?

      yes, I am jealous. have you ever heard why they aren’t sending them here anymore? It’s just weird. One minute you can get them everywhere, including the refills, and then they were just, poof! gone. Only to be found in Europe.

      Oh, the little gold PS Extrait! I don’t even want to tell you how many I have. there was someone on eBay about a year or so ago that seemed to have an endless supply of them, but she/he would only put up 2 at a time. So I’d check every day, and if they put them up, I’d buy them both. Wait and wait, two more went up. I probably got like 6-8 of them, and I horde them like they were my last crumb of bread. I wear them, but only a drop at a time. i assume they ditched the extrait because of the ambergris in it and the cost of making it. Shame. Much as I love PS, the extrait is a whole other level of beauty.

      Good luck in the drawing!

  34. I am nearly ignorant about incense based fragrances. The idea of frankincense and myrrh is mysterious and exotic – this is probably due to my upbringing as a Presbyterian. It was a dry immersion into religion. One time, when I was about 14, I went with a friend to a Catholic high mass and was just thrilled by the priests walking down the aisle swinging the incense censers. It was all most intriguing. At any rate, religious training aside, I tend to like fragrances that include some type of incensey note, or at least remind me of incense and spices. Am looking forward to expanding my perfumery education. Thanks for the opportunity, Patty.

    • Yeah. I was raised Baptist, then converted to a Catholic later on, and I swear some small part of it was the smells. I was doing a combo scent with orange essential oil, clove bud oil, cinnamon oil, and it just wasn’t right until I threw some labdanum in for a nice base.

  35. The ones I’ve tried and loved, Amouage Lyric (way more rose on my skin) and Jubilation, Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir and CdG Avignon. Mmm. And of course Armani Prive Bois d’Encens. I can’t remember if I saw it when I was in Paris this past May. I really should have taken more notes while sniffing in Paris, because after 10 days it all became a blur. The ones I really want to seek out samples of and try, Annick Goutal Myrrhe Ardente and Caron Parfum Sacre.
    I love these one note, multi-perfume reviews. It makes me realize how little I’ve really smelled and how much more is out there to be explored!

    • Your trip sounds lovely, but it does all run together after a while, doesn’t it?

      Those two are great picks to try, absolutely, love them both.

      You know what? I find that out too? I keep thinking I’ve sniffed most everything, and then I start going through these, picking as man as I can without going completely off the deep end, and I find all the things I haven’t smelled and some of them really great!

  36. Ohhhhh … layering Frankincense , myrrh, sandalwood, and powdered gold copal has been one of *my* Special Little Conconctions. Why did I never think to see if some professional perfumer had done the same? Glad to have such information. (Will be glad when I can purchase L’Artisan Passage d’Enfer and Serge Lutens La Myrrhe samples.)
    Of course, when I’m ready to buy from you, I’ll look through the list and my two treats will turn into 20. That’s the risk I take when looking through your blog.

    • That sounds amazingly great! You know, it should give you some consolation that I have the same problems when I’m perfume shopping. Everything sounds so great.

  37. Though not listed in the article. I like a lot, Frankincense and Myrrh by Czech & Speake. Maybe because it doesn’t smell like frankincense or myrrh.

    • It doesn’t? Wait, wait, that doesn’t make sense. I didn’t include it because it’s one I don’t have and didn’t have time to get before deadline – once I realized I didn’t have it. I would have thought it smelled like frankincense or myrrh or both?

      • It really doesn’t smell like frankincense or myrrh to me. It’s light. It’s not churchy or smoky. If the words frankincense and myrrh weren’t on the bottle, they wouldn’t be my first guesses for notes. And while it’s little known and lacks the best reviews, I seem to like it a lot.

  38. I love the Amouge frankincense that is in so many of their scents. I also enjoy Tauer’s Incense Rose.

  39. I’m not sure I’ve actually smelled an “incense” perfume. I must have, right? Hmmmm, think, think, think…. Nope.

    BUT,

    I have a glorious Frankensense essential oil (which costs a pretty penny) and it smells gorgeous! Plus, it is truly healing. It heals scrapes, burns, acne, etc. beautifully, even better than lavender and I love, love, love is!

    Right now I’m burning a Frankensense/Patchouli candle, and oh mama, does it smell divine! It’s meditative and addicting. Sigh. I am going to have to check out these babies, even if I only make it to Demeter!

    • You probably did and didn’t know it. Incense is in a lot of perfumes, but it’s not that prominent much of the time.

      I do have Frankincense and myrrh EOs, and they really are so rich and not always what you think they’ll be.

      you know, that Demeter is pretty great. It’s not the highest quality, but Demeter does an amazing job of making things smell pretty close to what they should be! Best cheap thrill on the list has to be the Caron Parfum Sacre. you can pick up a little bottle of this for practically nothing on eBay. It is my go-to scent for about everything.

      • I am now seriously curious about it. I’m off to find the Caron because I love incense. Would it be a note in either Angel, Ralph Lauren Polo (the green bottle), or Shalimar? If so, than yes, I’ve smelled it. 🙂

  40. I’m crazy for try La Myrrhe by SL! But i’m procrastinating the purchase of a sample, don’t know why.

    Amouage is, as you said, the king of frankincense, and Jubilation was my first Amouage ever, so it has a very special feeling. There are so many perfumes in this draw that are new for me, crossing fingers!

    Thank you for the draw!

    • Really? Do you think there’s something else out there that you would love more? Musette got all huffy with me when I told her that I admire Jubilation, but it’s just not me. She even argued with me that I should love it. 🙂

      She’s so crazy.

      Well, good luck in the drawing!

  41. I am an incense whore and have tons of faves but Avignon and SSS Incense Pure are my top two (for today at any rate). Also, Scents of Earth has some truly fabulous Frankincense and Myrrh resins and oils, not to mention very nice incense. I hoard the resins in little boxes and pretend I am going to burn them someday (but never do, thanks to fear of smoke allergies and chronic migraines).

    • My fellow incense whore, Liz! 🙂 Crap, I hate it when 3-4 people keep saying the same scent that I haven’t smelled. SSS Incense Pure is now at the top of that list.

      oh, wow, I just clicked over to that site, what a great variety of Frankincense! And they are so different. i know I’ve tried a couple resins, and one I love and the other I’m more indifferent to, even though they both have the same basic’ish smell. I suspect Myrrh is similar. I do love burning it, but the resins are really BIG smells.

  42. My favorite frankincense is Tribute Attar… I’m a huge fan of smoky incense! I don’t have as much experience with Myrrh. For some reason Myrrh Ardent smells exactly like root beer on me!

    • More Myrrh root beer! 🙂 That’s definitely there.

      Tribute is THE perfect smoky incense and the best one, I think, out there. I always swear there is a frankincense diesel train hovering around me every time I put on just one drop.

  43. I need to get a lot of samples! My favorites have been L’Artisan Passage d’Enfer, the Annick Goutal ones, and Profumum Olibanum. Ave-Luxe used to make one just called Olibanum that was wonderful too.

  44. When I saw this post’s title, I resolved to postpone reading it until I could finish some morning chores, settle down with a big cup of coffee (and two aggressively snuggly dogs) and savor it properly. I LOVE incense, and this has been my favorite note-centered post so far! Some of my favorites are Comme des Garcons Kyoto, Olibanum (dear Profumum: please consider selling it in a bottle size that I can afford!), and the take-no-prisoners Norma Kamali Incense.

    • Okay, that is so cute, thank you for saying that. I’m glad everyone has their own favorites. The CDG Incenses, I think I love them all for different reasons. I’m a huge fan of Japanese incense, my regular order at Shoyeido is ridiculous! They’re more delicate than other incenses.

      Profumum…. sigh. They do so many things right in their fragrances and just won’t adjust some other things. Atelier got it that their 200 ml bottles were too big and started making the little 30 ml enchantillons, which are perfect, plus the discovery set. Profumum should do the same, it would really briskly increase their sales. They should hire me. 🙂

  45. I love Angelique Encens, but I don’t know what type of incense it is. And, of course, it’s discontinued! I think incense is my favorite note overall. I love Shaal Nur, but again I have no idea what incense that is. I

    • AE is so gorgeous. I know every time I put it on, I’m put off by the open, and then it just does its magic. Do you think it’s the incense or the ambergris in it? I always thought it was the ambergris they used that gave it all that extra beauty and also why it was discontinued – cost and materials are a problem.

      Usually the more generic “incense” as a note means it’s a blend of several types, which is pretty common with all fragrances, even the ones that are centered on frankincense and myrrh.

  46. I have only recently – in the last two weeks or so! – started deliberately exploring incense fragrances, and this is a valuable resource. Thanks, Miz P.

    I already loved Parfum Sacre and Lyric Woman, which I came at from a rose-appreciation angle, and La Myrrhe (probably my most valuable bottle of perfume, and certainly treasured), which I came at from an aldehyde-appreciation angle. Oh, and I loved PdN Vanille Tonka from first sniff, too.

    Other incensey things I’ve been enjoying lately: DK Black Cashmere (if anything can tempt me away from florals, it might be BC), CdG Zagorsk (wintery! in a where’s-my-fur-cape sort of way), and Bond No. 9 AW Silver Factory (which does smell cold and metallic, and I like it).

    Some I didn’t like: Passage d’Enfer (lilies and pine, so wrong), YSL Nu edp (sour, like wet ashes), PdE Wazamba (the horror… the horror). Some I haven’t tried yet but have plans to get my hands on: Messe de Minuit, Avignon, Bois d’Encens.

        • It’s probably not the Wazamba, it’s probably me. But LORDY, it was hideous. I see the similarity to the SL Fille en Aiguilles that everybody was talking about, and I didn’t like FeA much but I didn’t feel forced to scrub… sigh. I’ll get right on that Avignon thing, though. 😉

      • I think you’re right, I have sampled other stuff such that Nu seemed familiar. But wrong. Just very very not good on me. And I guarantee you, you’d have recoiled from Wazamba on me!

    • Really? I love incense and I wear them all the time, and I thought I had them catalogued pretty well in my head, but going through them like this was eye opening about several and how they fit into my new incense paradigm in my head.

      I was going to include the PdN, and I deliberately cut it at the end because of length. These posts were getting out of control on word count.

      Love your loves too. wow, a no on PdE? I’ve heard people say that it can go all wrong on them, and I just can’t even comprehend how that happens. I get zero pine in it. Odd!

      Wazamba and I do not get along either. It’s over in the Fille de Anguilles pile of pain that I just don’t like to think about.

      • I never connected them in my mind but I like both Wazamba and Fille en Aiguilles, and I guess they ARE both basically fruity pine trees.

  47. Avignon and Parfum Sacre, for sure. Avignon for pure spiritual rapture via incense, Parfum Sacre for a most lovely variation on the theme. Messe de Minuit is quite an experience — stepping into a spooky crypt underneath a cathedral — but not one I’d want to wear myself.

    • MdM is an experience! fo sure! I remember the first time I put it on, it was perfection. Now about every ten times I get a repeat of that perfection. the rest of the time, cobwebs and decayed bones.

  48. Caron’s Parfum Sacre…Never fails to elicit lovely responses. A man young enough to be my son, sold me a printer and then insisted on carrying it to the car because he loved the Parfum Sacre
    atmosphere. Thank you for the draw.

    • Oh, my Parfum Sacre lovers, you’re all here!!!!! yes, too many exclamation point, but I love them.

      it is lovely and warm and so inviting. It just seems to ask people to come in and give you a hug. It was always be one of my favorite fragrances. And it is so freaking cheap. One of my favorite things in the world.

  49. I really liked Tauer’s L’Air du Desert Marocain. I need to try Incense Extreme too. I tried Incense Rose, but the rose part of it was an utter disaster on me. It was a giant day-glo fruity rose beast.

    I have some frankincense essential oil that I like to mix with jasmine and amber attars, vetiver and bergamot. The combo isn’t especially incensy.. more dry dusty earth with jasmine.

    Persian Shafiyat by Attar Bazaar is a nice inexpensive frankincense-y scent too.

    • I need to play with my EO and mix it. I was thinking I’d mix it with labdanum and maybe styrax and see what happens.

      Juicy Fruit gum? that makes me so sad. 🙁 I bet it does you too.

  50. I am a huge fan of the Regina Harris; I think that what I have always thought of as amber in the scent is probably frankincense. Whatever it is, it makes me feel safe. Weird, huh? I truly love it, and am now dying to explore some of theses other scents! The only others I have tried are the Caron (love it) and the Guerlain, which I loved for about 30 minutes until it exploded into some kind of Monster Wood on me.

    Thanks for a chance to win; I have thoroughly enjoyed all these reviews!

    • Yeah, I think you’re right. I paid attention to it, and you can detect the way it softens and gives like frankincense does or can do. Frankincense is welcoming, it feels like it’s inviting in all the great things when it’s present in the air. Maybe that’s just centuries of use calling on our spiritual sides when it’s burning.

  51. I rediscovered my little bottle of Attar Bazaar Frankincense and have been mixing it with various attars and oils every evening to create a quiet meditative scent. It melds well with so many things–esp various ambers.

    • That sounds lovely. I was going to do a think with Mountain Rose Herbs where you can learn to make your own incense, and I really should just so I can save a little money on my Shoyeido bill, but my fear is I’ll spend 6x as much and wind up with something I don’t like.

      But, yeah, that’s my thing I burn when I meditate. My meditation still sucks, but I like doing it just so I can sit quietly and enjoy my frankincense. 🙂

  52. I’ve been reading all the comments, because I did not have any experience with any of the fragrances you mentioned. I have had samples of Chanel 22 & Olfactive Studio’s Chambre Noir…which I loved, but I thought of it as a leathery type …definately got the booze. It is much heavier than the Chanel 22. I would love to try any or all of the fragrances you listed. I am Catholic, so I kinda know what frankincense is from church, and it sure brings up memories of Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, which they do not do anymore in any of the churches near me. I wish that they still did…it was a lovely way to start Christmas…and you did not have to get dressed so early on Christmas morning! I learn so much from these note posts. Thanks for the info and the draw.

    • Dang it, must get to the Olfactive Studio stuff. You know you guys give me as many lemmings as I pass on to you, right?

      I grew up in a community that did Midnight Mass. I wasn’t Catholic then, but after I converted, the Cathedral here in Denver still does Midnight Mass, one of the few still doing it. I think Holy ghost still does it as well. It’s jam packed with people, standing room only, long, you have to get there at about 10 or 10:30 if you want a seat, and then it lasts until maybe 1:30 or 2 in the morning.

      You know what? I love it. I’m usually soooooooo sleepy before the end, but the smells, the greenery, the incense, all those people, humanity and skin, it smells like Christmas should. I haven’t been to one for a while, but I think this year I may have to stock up on coffee and do it again, but take a nice book with me to read while I’m waiting. 🙂

      You are so welcome, I learn as much from you guys, trust me!

      • Oh, you’re so right about “but the smells, the greenery, the incense, all those people, humanity and skin, it smells like Christmas should.” I love Christmas Mass, in great part because of the smells — it’s an essential part of the spiritual connection for me. We are very blessed because I’m on the West coast and our Pastor celebrates a “Midnight in NY” mass – 9pm. It’s so beautiful, with all the best parts of the midnight Mass without feeling like I’m going to fall asleep standing up.

  53. Oh, how I love incense perfumes! When someone says frankincense or myrrh, my mind immediately goes to CdG Avignon. Two other favorites: CdG Zagorsk (what a wintery beauty) and PdE Wazamaba. The combination of Fir and Incense really appeals to me.

    • Yup, all love for the CdGs, all five – there’s five, right? That Wazamba, though. I just don’t get it, and most of the PdEs are amazing for me – let’s not even get into that Musc Tonkin have about drowned myself in today – but Wazamba? Just no. I’m one of like four people that doesn’t love it.

  54. I can’t wait to try the fragrances listed here. I really like Mechant Loup, which is the only one I’ve sniffed. Back in the day I used to wear Frankincense essential oil. People would ask me what I was wearing, and ALL of them would ask, “Where’s the myrrh?” Hardeeharhar.

    • People are soooo funny. 🙂 I’ve got some Frankincense EO and Myrrh EO, and I think I might wear them around one day to see how I like them just straight up. Usually I burn them if I dont’ want anything else in there, but sometimes the clouds of fragrance are a little dense in my house.

  55. I haven’t smelled enough of these by a long shot, but my favorite incense is definitely Parfum Sacre. That drydown is just heaven. I’ve long been tempted by the CdG Incenses, particularly Avignon, but an overeager SA once sprayed me in it fit to drown, and I can’t quite get over the memory of being suffocated by a cathedral.

    • I’m just hugging and hugging all my fellow PS lovers! Of course their name is legion. Don’t tell anyone, but I really do prefer it to Nuit de Noel at Christmas. Spritz some Fendi Theorema nearby, and it is scented perfection.

      Yikes! SAs should be more careful! have you tried the others? All of them are so different, and given my mood, one of them is always just the right thing. I think if I really had to, I could live for six months on just those fragrances. I’d be really unhappy by the end, but I could do it.

  56. Yay, another “Guide to… ” post! I love this series of posts; not only are they informative, they give me something to work towards and have helped flesh out my “Once I have a well-paying job, these are the samples I will order” list 😉 I have no favorite frankincense/myrrh scents; in fact, I think I have only been exposed to those two scents via sniffing loose ingredients in a local New Age shop (which tends to be heavily perfumed to begin with, so I’m not sure I actually smelled the ingredients properly), and via a Mass when I was in first or second grade and for whatever reason, that day our school’s associated church decided to break out the incense. All I remember of it is that it was *sweet*, a tiny bit peppery-smoky-spicy, and gave me my first ever asthma attack; seriously, I almost passed out because I was having so much trouble breathing! I have yet to sniff any other church incense like it (I’ve caught the lingering remnants of burnt incense in other Catholic churches since, and none of them have smelled like that Mass’s incense!). I wish I could track it down… I would happily wear it as a perfume, but very lightly. When did incense stop being commonly used in Masses? Post-Vatican II? Or is this a U.S. thing?

    NP

    P.S. Two lovely little packages arrived for me recently, and I promise I will send proper thank you notes soon 😀 i’d have sent them earlier, but the hubs checked the mail when said packages arrived, tossed them to the side, forgot to tell me about them, and only remembered to tell me yesterday. Sometimes I wonder if he actually remembers his name, his memory is so bad 😉

    • Oh, thanks, sweetie! I’ve just added a few to my pile of “once I have a few bills paid I can think about getting some more perfume.”

      Myrrh is sweeter of the two normally, and you’ve probably seen the reference to root beer. i’ve learned to ignore it, but yeah. Frankincense tends to more pepper.

      I know they have a lot of mass incense mixes, and the Eastern Orthodox use very different blends than we do. What you’re describing definitely sounds like a blend. Have you played with the Shoyeido japanese incenses? Those have a lot of spices in them or some of them do.

      Wow, that was a LOT of smoke, but at least you liked the smell!

      I think they used to do incense for every mass, and Vatican II did do away with a lot of it, and now it’s reserved for high mass, it seems like. It’s annoying because that’s one of my favorite parts, it brings in one more sense into engagement with a spiritual ritual. Music, incense, beautiful soaring Cathedrals, you’ve got to engage them all to get a proper spiritual uplifting, I’ve always said. I can get that same sense in the outdoors, but usually it’s because I’ve got the same list of ingredients.

      I mean, I understand if they just don’t have the censer or whatever, but at least they could get a stick of incense or two and burn it over on a side altar! 🙂

  57. Patty,
    Thank you for another great fragrance note post. It’s weird, I don’t think I’ve smelled any of the perfumes you mention, that has to be a first! Clearly, I have my work cut out for me. I’ll be adding lots of scents to my “must smell” list. I feel like Anima Dulcis has an incense aspect to it, along with the chili and the chocolate and Lonestar Memories has something going on besides the blacktop and barbecue but I’m not sure what it is.

    • Any? wow, that’s awesome! 🙂

      I think you might be right about Anima Dulcis. I just had a small sample that’s gone now, and I need more of it, but with the historical background on it, it would make sense for it to have it, and my memory is saying you’re right.

      lonestar memories, I’m not sure! I know Marocain has incense, but I’d have to go hunt up LM. It probably does, I know Andy likes to use it.

      Enjoy the exploration!

  58. I never expected to like incense perfumes, but loved it when I first tried it in Seville a l’Aube. Now I need to try a bunch more! I’ve got a sample of De Profundis on its way already 🙂

    • Wow, I forgot about Seville, but that’s so much orange blossom, I just shove it into that category, but it is amazing. I hope you love de Profundis!

  59. Incense…mmmm….now you are speaking my language! So many to love…My favourites are Kilian Incense Oud, the late Ceremony by Norma Kamali (which layers deliciously with Divine EDP and CB Wildflower Honey), YSL Nu. And I’m so glad to see someone else loves Rock Crystal! Luca gave it a very unfair drubbing. On the myrrh front, you know I adore La Myrrhe-_even though I find it disturbingly supulchral.

    • Did Luca hate Rock Crystal? Wow, I don’t know why he’d do that, so strange! I can’t believe I forgot Incense Oud. Another bang of the head against the wall. 🙂

  60. Afraid I’m another incense ho. CdG Avignon and SSS Incense Pure are at the top of my list, followed by Parfum Sacre, Nu, Smell Bent Incensed, Olympic Amber, and two 2011 Yule seasonals by Possets: Caspar and Melchior. And every once in a while, I get a hankering for Gres Cabaret, which smells to me like rinsed incense. Thanks for the draw.

    • you all have to stop with the Incense Pure. SSS has probably made every list I’ve done so far either from me or you guys throwing them in. Clearly it’s a line with a lot to love in it, and I’ve barely sampled it. I feel like such a newbie! 🙂

      But PS hugs all around.

  61. I’ve been trying to expand my experience with incense.As a child all I knew of it was it was that stick stuff at the end of the potpourri aisle in the supermarket that only the hippie or trying to cover up pot smoke people bought. Oh and that apparently according to the Bible and lots of carols the Wise men brought it as a gift for Baby Jesus .(and I’m thinking incense smells like wierd artificial strawberries? ) Fast forward several years now I’m reading about Barbara Bui ,Nu ,and other scents that ARE incense with no wierd powdered artificial strawberries!
    I like the Tauer’s the CDG series, the original CDG ,Original Armani Mania ,Cabaret,and vintage Opium (which has a boatload of spices too.) BTW doesn’t Youth Dew have Myrhh or Opponax in it ? I haven’t worn it since I bought the mini on a hot summer afternoon and wore a part of a drop of the parfum- Whoa baby is that stuff STRONG!! .And my boy cat objected to the scent of YD -I believe that’s when he killed a pair of my favorite sandals.
    By the way as a word of warning to fellow perfume lovers -When checking to see if a bottle still works DON”T look at it directly! Personal experience today folks and it ain’t fun to get My Sin parfum in the left eyeball ! I know there’s some proverb that says something like ” be sure your sin will find you out ” but REALLY ? LITERALLY? MY SIN found my left eyeball ! And Wednesdayevening is Choir practice( AT CHURCH!) where we are not supposed to wear fragrance to(due to some having severe allergies/migraines), and which it seems I will be attending with my left eye bloodshot and watering from My Sin . Finding my eyeball . Oh the eye-ronic punniness of it all ! Ow!

    • Isn’t it weird how our perceptions of a smell or a name associated with a smell can really skew how we look at it? I’ve got a lot of stuff I avoid, like patchouli, even though I have several patchouli-heavy scents I love.

      YD has olibanum, peru balsam and benzoin in it. They never list all of the notes, so it could have more. Olibanum is also known as frankincense. But, yeah, YD is loaded with incense notes. It IS strong stuff.

      sorry about the My sin in the eyeball, ,but I don’t have enough fingers and toes to tell you how many times I’ve done that. Hey, where is that little hole? is that it. Spritz. Bang, right in the eye or the mouth.

    • I have heard that for a couple of years, and I still haven’t gotten my hands on some. It’s on my list, but never quite gets there!

  62. Thank’s for this list; these are some of my favorite notes and there are many fragrances there I have not tried yet. I would add another Amouage one: Dia Man, which does not smell manly on me at all, and has the most delicious (and pronounced) frankinsense note.

  63. And I just found my Laura Tonatto Amir decant under a pile of A la Nuit, Le Chevrefeuille and the like. Time for some more along this theme! Have you tried out the Attar Bazaar ones? Now those I like!

  64. Gah. I’m dying (dying!) to win this, just for the Frankincense stuff. Is it bad that I’m not even sure what myrrh smells like? But oh, how I love frankincense. Especially in Amouage Beloved. it just smells so beautiful/peaceful/serene/deep/resinous/thought-provoking/smart/spiritual/human.

    • Well, good luck!

      Myrrh is sweeter, a little more resionous, there’s some root beer-like smell to it at some points. When they get burned together, the dry and the sweet merge and makes a really great smell. I always recommend people get a pure frankincense and pure myrrh incense stick, burn them separately and then together.

      Love Amouage Beloved, I think it is all of those things too. have you tried Interlude? Different, but the same complexity/weirdness/beauty factor.

  65. Tauer Incense Extreme is a favorite incense, but I’ve must confess I haven’t smelled a lot of the perfumes on the list. Wearing Guerlain Encense Mythique d’Orient today, although it’s not strong on incense despite the name.

  66. I’ve been recently enjoying Parfums de Nicolai Vanille Tonka, and Donna Karan Black Cashmere is a longtime favorite of mine. I loved reading this article and just knew there would be several scents mentioned that I MUST sniff out, that I’d never even heard of before! Also, several mentioned that I’ve been actively seeking out but haven’t been able to get my hands on yet. Erik Kormann Eau de Froehliche!

    • you have to try that Froehliche, just fo the fun factor. I think First in Fragrance has it. Pretty sure that’s where we got our bottle. I hope they wind up doing some more perfumes. With that kind of humor and daring, they’ve got to have some more fun stuff in store.

  67. I love frankincense and myrrh! lease count me in! Faves–a couple I didn’t see and many I did:
    Keiko Mecheri Oliban (fresh and green/citrus/rosy frankincense)
    Zents (think this is discon?) Spirit

    Parfum Sacre, L’ADDM, Tauer Incense Extreme, Jubilation XXV, L’artisan Timbuktu and Dzongcha(spelling?) (must look for a sample of Passage D’enfer),

    Really want to try now, thanks for all the temptation!:

    SIP Fire and Cream,Serge Lutens de Profundis, Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant, CB I Hate Perfume Fire from Heaven, Baccarat Les Larmes Sacrees du Thebes, AbdesSalaam…

  68. What a freakin’ great givaway – I had to ‘re-tweet’ it! I can’t tell you how difficult it is to name a favorite perfume perfume of any genre – I simply can’t do it. So let me say this – I agree wholeheartedly with your assesments of Myrrhe et Delires, La Myrrhe and de Profundis as they are super-duper favorites of mine. You have many listed that are on my ‘must sniff’ list and I am totally intrigued by your mention of the Prada Myrrhe as I’ve never heard a peep about it! Now, I’ll *have* to search it out, naturally. 😉 Did I mention what a great givaway this is?

    • Oh, thanks! The Pradas are all under the radar. They got a little attention when they first came out, but they really are lovely mostly single-note parfums, and all of the incense onces are great -bejoin, myrrh, the Cuir sytrax, trying to think of the rest. It seemed like they were discontinued for a while, even the Prada boutiques didn’t have them, they had sent them all to the outlets and then, bam, they were back. Huh. sometimes, the mysteries of Prada confound me.

  69. You mentioned two of my absolute favorites, Parfum Sacre – the only perfume to wear for Christmas Midnight Mass and Mechant Loup – the scent I love the most on my husband, it definitely makes him smell edible. Thanks for a very interesting post and an amazing draw.

    • PS love, so much of it, it makes my heart happy! Mechant Loup, I need to get someone besides me to wear it. It is just perfection, and I want that to be my winter smell this year.

  70. I love a lot of incense perfumes. Amouage Tribute is probably my favorite, with Armani Prive Bois d’Encens my runner up…two VERY different moods, but also two of my most often worn perfumes.

    • Oh, we agree on those two. I think those are two of my top 5 or 10. See, then I get all squishy again. But those two are really perfect and, as you said, completely different moods.

      • Glad we agree!
        I never thought I would see the day, but…I just joined Twitter. I followed you and tweeted about the giveaway…I must really love incense.

  71. Interesting take on the incense based perfumes. I see a couple you didnt mention: Ambre Fetiche by Annick Goutal and Silver Factory by Bond No 9. I love incense in perfume, but it has to be the right kind of incense. Nothing gets me going like the smell of burning wood and resin. Amber Fetiche is just a dark, resinous and brooding concotion that is absolutely wonderful! Im not sure if Silver Factory has myrrh or frankencense in it, but it just smells so darn good. If you know what’s in it, please chime in.

    • I put Ambre Fetiche in the amber note guide. Bond is a name we do not utter here. 🙂 no, kidding. Well, mostly. I’m not sure what incense exactly is in Silver Factory, they just list it as the generic, and I haven’t smelled it for years, so I don’t really remember!

    • Opoponax is sweet myrrh, so yeah. They come from the same bark of the same species of tree. Opoponax is sweeter, myrrh is more austere. Hope that helps!

  72. I am a happy owner and admirer of two kings according to your review: Amouge Jubilation (despite the fact i am a woman my preferred version is the one for men) and Serge Lutans La Myrrhe (utter perfection). To add a few names: Myrrhe&Merveilles by Keiko Mecheri and Djhenné (myrrh note), Parfumerie Générale.

  73. I too give enthusiastic praise for Sonoma Scent Studio’s Incense Pure. If any incense lover hasn’t tried it you are missing a well done frankincense scent that is very reasonably priced.

  74. I haven’t had the chance to try anything,Frankincense and Myrrh, but after reading of them i think it would be great.

  75. Frankincense & Myrrh brings me back to my visits to Spain, Italy, Greece & France where I love touring all the churches. The architecture, quiet and expecially the scent…I love it!

    • We would be doing the same tour. That’s mine. Every time I go to europe, I pick new churches to go visit and a couple of old favorites. The older, the better, and if I can get a tour down in the basement, like they were doing at the Duomo in Milan, I’m in heaven.

  76. I have the AbdesSalaam Attar Mecca Balsam. It is heavenly and I get tons of compliments when I wear it, it’s so warm and different. I can’t imagine how good the Frankincense and Myrrh scents are as those are two of my favorite scents ever. The sample sets sound like a dream. Fingers-crossed. 🙂

    • Oh, yeah! You know I’ve been wanting to sniff that one forever. I keep thinking I have some of it somewhere around here. I’ve heard it is amazing. I love the stuff he does!

  77. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I LOVE the smell of incense and am so happy you’ve done this guide. I don’t really have experience with most of the perfumes you listed. I have tried Amouage Lyric but it just smells like roses on me. I never get the incense at all. Based on your posting I’d like to try several, in particular the Comme des Garcons, the Serge, and the Eua d’Italie Baume de Doge. Please enter me in the draw so maybe I can try some of these other scents as well. Thanks again!

    • Really, no incense from Lyric? I think maybe that’s why some people love it more. I get enough rose from it, but on me it turns incensey amazement.

      Good luck!

  78. Was testing Chergui while reading this :). Love it, but now I’m wanting to smell Parfum Sacre very badly. Oh how I miss my big bottle of Barbara Bui. Is the incense note of Eau D’Italie Paestum Rose very prominent?

    • I don’t have any Paestum Rose right now, but I think it does have some incnese in it, as well as spices, if I am remembering correctly. Sorry I can’t be more help! Barbara Bui you can get pretty cheaply on ebay, I think, or you used to be able to

  79. This is great! I’ve been on a F&M tear for a week now and ordered samples of your top faves before even finding this post. I think the Universe is choosing my next fragrance for me! Thanks so much for the great info. While not high-brow by any means, Shea Moisture makes a F&M lotion that started my obsession. Happy Holidays!!

    • Woo-hoo, you are in the same zone! Where do you get the Shea Moisture? I haven’t heard of it! I have some F&M EOs that I work into lotions now, and i love the way that makes my hands smell. Happy Hokidays to you too!

  80. These scents always remind me of Christmas! I need to try the Guerlain Myrrhe et Delires. It sounds amazing!

  81. This one is timely, I just tried Avignon, I have to admit I wasn’t expecting it to live up to the hype, but it really is incredible, and I’m now hoarding the remaining 2/3 of my itty bitty sample, I will not waste a drop! Thanks for posting this!

    • Ack, I mis-entered my twitter username for the giveaway entry, it’s supposed to be Turtledove88 instead of just Turtledove, it doesn’t look like I can go back and edit it though.

    • Isn’t it? Now, there are people, really, that that smell reminds them of endless masses as a child, and they really hate it. That whole incense series could be the start and end of incense exploration for anyone, it is just that well done. of course, I think there are more out there, but those five would really be enough if you were pushed to it.

      • Oh I understand that! I actually do have the Catholic connection to it, although we mostly only had incense for the special ceremonies, like easter vigil or confirmations, so to me incense is special rather than tiresome. That’s actually probably a big part of why I like it so much. I’d feel weird about wearing it around, let alone on date nights or anything (there’s definitely a part of me that goes ick just typing that!) It’s lovely for a quiet evening at home though, it’s so tranquil and meditative, it’s like it puts you right in a church filled with candlelight.

  82. Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with any of the fragrances mentioned above, but many sound like they are right up my alley. Anything incense-based sounds wonderful to me. Thanks for the great giveaway!

    • You are so welcome, Claudia. I love my incenses. all this talk about it has me burning up way too many of my expensive japanese incense sticks that I normally hoard.

  83. You know, just when I think I’m starting to get a handle on a specific note, I read one of these things and am simply agog at your encylopedic knowledge, Patty. Bowing: I am not worthy. There are a lot of notes that don’t play well with my skin, but it was a serendipitous thing to have my very first sample order be with Mr. Tauer, and my second included Parfum Sacre because of your Perfume 101 post; it was an exciting discovery to find out how nicely incense and I play together. I’ve tried a lot of them now (and obviously need to try even more;) and the only ones that got nasty were SL’s L’Eau Froide and Olympic Orchid’s Kyphi. Favorites include the amazing Parfume Sacre, Incense Pure – how is it possible you haven’t tried this yet? Get on that, girl – Avignon, Wazamba, Nu, Lyric, Incense Rosé, Incense Extreme, and my beloved Black Cashmere. January on is set aside for more incense, so as usual, this will get bookmarked.

    In fact, my perfume document titled “categories” is now starting to show a lot of the phrase “refer to Perfume Posse post.” 🙂

    • I don’t know about encyclopedic! You can see how many I really wanted in it that I missed. I do a lot of googling ahead of time, trying to get a broad range of the type.

      I am hoping that that Perfume 101 thing that’s been out there forever has made a lot of those Parfum Sacre fans or at least a good number of them. If that’s its one accomplishment, I’ll be happy.

      I dunno how I’ve missed that. SSS just never got on my radar, not sure why, though I’ve always heard good things about them. But I’m slowly backing up and picking them up.

      hey, I have a little thingie at the top, a category, so you can just click on that to find it again later. That’s me, Miss Helpful.

  84. Waaaaay late to the party….some favourites of mine are on your list, but there are lots I haven’t tried yet and now these get added to my already monstrous “to-try” list. I love Fire & Cream, I need to get me a full bottle of that. Other faves – Avignon, Orris Noir, Kenzo UFO, Tolu, Myrrhe Ardente to name just a few. Thanks for the draw!

    • Not too late at all. It’s not over until we do the drawing on next Monday. 🙂

      I love UFO, but the darn thing I think was a LE, or was it?

      • UFO was LE, and I went through hell to get a bottle of it (all thanks to a lemming spawned by a post on the Posse too!). I tried to order it from the US Kenzo site, but they wouldn’t ship to the UK. Tried the Europe Kenzo site, yep, they wouldn’t ship to the UK either. I eventually had to call Harrods in London and pay for it over the phone and have it shipped to Scotland. I’ve seen a couple of new bottles turn up on Ebay (from Latvia I think), but they were fakes! 40mls will last me a lifetime though. Kenzo’s Madly EDP has a ghostly whisper of UFO, and it’s worth trying. It’s not the same, and it was never meant to be, but the incense is recognisably similar.

  85. What a fabulous list and for once I have smelled several, and even own three (Myrrhiad, Fire From Heaven, & Parfum Sacre)!

    Smell Bent actually makes two of my fave incenses: Tibet ur Bottom $ (discontinued, but the Vocabulary Dry is very similar) and Incensed. Tibet is resinous and light, and Incensed is smoldering – alone each is great, but in combination, even better.

    • Thanks, Tama! You’ve got possession of three great ones. I think I could live on those probably, maybe.

      Between Smell Bent and SSS recommendations, I’m in so much trouble as far as needing more of these!

  86. I’m just starting to learn about these frangrances. I ordered a sample of Black Jade by Lubin thiking it would be fun to try it from an historical perspective. Surprisingly, I like it!

  87. I haven’t smelled a lot of these but my favorite so far is Avignon.

      • I just got my sample and I LOVE it! It so reminds me of a New Age Witch Shop I used to haunt years ago (but w/o the cat pee soaked in the carpet…Eye of the Cat, anyone?). I was SURE I would fall hard for the Armani Prive, since I can’t get it here, but the CdC nailed me! Thanks Patty! Mwah!

  88. Bathe me in frankincense and myrrh and roll me in a blanket….. and deliver me to Richard Burton ….. no, no – make that Jon Stewart!

    • Speaking of Richard burton, did you see that awful LIz and Dick with Lindsey Lohan? I was so embarrased for everyone that did that film. I couldn’t even make it to the end.

      • Patty – I am planning to watch it in a few minutes…. I did think that RB was a rugged spunk … and Jon S – I could eat him up!!

  89. Incense was the first note that got me excited when I got into this hobby. I think that may have been more to do with its mystical associations, though, than its actual smell! I cant actually think of an incense scent that I adore though I have ended up with several. I do like Avignon very much but find it a little hard to wear. Frankincense can be just too cold – which is my problem with Incense Rose. Parfum Sacre is too dry for me – not dry as in bitter but literally dry – I feel like I need to give it something to drink 🙂 Incense Extreme is wonderful, but I prefer it on my b.f.
    Recently I tried Prada’s Amber Intense which is supposed to have Somalian myrrh in it and there is a sweet rubber note in it which makes me want to keep sniffing. Oh, and one more (also mainstream) is Dior’s Farenheit Absolute which has incense and myrrh in it…

    • Frankincense can be very, very cold. I’m so used to the smell of it because I burn so much all the time, I think it feels cozy in its coldness, detached. Like its warm and comforting, but it’s not really involved.

      • “warm and comforting, but it’s not really involved” kinda sounds like Grandma…

  90. Love love love the smell of frankincense all year round — I’m not a Christian but the smell of frankincense is my favorite part of visiting Orthodox churches! I so appreciate this guide and am looking forward to acquiring some of the scents mentioned.

    • You are so welcome. Orthodox incense is really different from Catholic mixes. It’s interesting just how varied they can be, depending on the region and custom. Enjoy1

  91. Last summer, I bought a bottle of frankincense oil which I’ve been burning in candles; it makes my room smell glorious!
    And as for myrhh, I don’t know what it smells like but I own Mechant Loup so I must be a little familiar with it…

  92. My favorite myrrh-based fragrances, so far, are Guerlain Myrrhe et
    Delires and Caron Parfum Sacre. That said, I haven’t tried Serge Lutens
    La Myrrhe yet, or Keiko Mecheri Myrrhe and Mervailles, so they may have
    to scootch over. Frankincense? Oliban by Keiko Mecheri, Opus III
    from Amouage, and although you wouldn’t know it by the name, Vanille
    Tonka by Parfums de Nicolai.

  93. One year, at the Festival of American Follklife on the mall in D.C, they highlighted the Arab country of Oman. I learned that every family has its own special blend of incense. Before guests leave, the host makes sure that the guests’ robes are perfumed with the smoke from the bowls of incense. I was fascinated with the thought, but came to my senses before shelling out some outrageous amount for a small, small bag of crystalized lumps. Ever since then, I’ve wondered what I’ve missed. I’m intrigued with so many different special takes on the theme here. Thanks for the draw, and the writeup.

  94. I’m fairly dismayed you didn’t include any Andy Tauer scents in here – many of them have incense in them to my nose, even some of the ones that don’t list it as a note. My fave incensey one is probably Incense Rose.

  95. I also like Mecheri Myrrhe & Merveilles. A truly bitter myrrh note. Unusual with a dash of almond to confuse. Thanks for the drawing. Your articles are fun without but winning one of these sets? Yum.

  96. I love reading these “ingredient specific” articles, so informative and a great keep for reference. Someone mentioned SSS Winter Woods and I immediately got up and found my little decant and put it on – just beautiful! I think I will wear it today. Thanks for the great list of decants I have yet to buy and for the draw.

  97. I haven’t found my dream incense/myrrh/frankincense perfume yet, but hte one I die to try is Serge Lutens La Myrrhe!

  98. I love incense! I have many favorites but currently Etro Shaal Nur has been stealing the show.

  99. I really like the smell of incense, and would love to try all of these ‘fumes. I haven’t tried a whole lot of incense frags yet, but I do have a FB of Avignon, which I enjoy quite well, perhaps because I have absolutely no Catholic background at all. It smells like what I imagine an old Gothic cathedral would smell like. I have always thought that Protestant services are somewhat incomplete; there are things to look at, particularly this time of year (a tree, garlands, wreaths, etc.), and music to listen to, but nothing to smell.

  100. I love frankincense & myrrh as incense, but have yet to try it as a fragrance. I’m buying the Beginner Niche/Lux sampler set for my mom for Christmas, but I think I’ll snag the Avignon for myself 🙂

  101. I used to think that incense is not my thing (still had a deep appreciation of Goutal’s EF and Rock Chrystal, for example) until I tried a sample of Tauer’s Incense Extreme. I found it extremely addictive and very wearable. Somehow it worked for me perfectly. It’s been on my wishlist ever since. As for myrrh, I still think it’s not my thing. But then I have not tried many of those. I must admit that Myrrhiad by HAP that Patty finds so much fun seemed somehow too barren and clean to me–despite it’s rich vanilla and licorice; it’s one of those modern scents that are never rich enough and like to remain light.

  102. Love the sound of all of these. Faves I have include Avignon, all Goutal’s les Orientalistes and Tauer’s incense-y works. This post is seriously bad for my wallet…….

  103. I would add Annayake Miyako to the list of Frankincense and Myrrh comfort blends. Do we get to include sweet myrrh (opopanax)? Not quite the same, but Memo Manoa is a strangely wonderful, thick, resinous cold weather scent. I like so many of the fragrances on your list that I started to stalk a few on ebay as I was reading. Must….stop.

  104. I don;t yet have a favorite incense perfume, but would love to try these, based on your great descriptions.

  105. I love these articles, Patty. Thanks so much for all of the work that must go into writing them. I love incense. In perfume. In life. I love many on your list and in comments but I’ve also got a bunch now that I must try.

    There are a few others that I’ve enjoyed for some time and haven’t seen mentioned – Demeter has one called Holy Smoke – to me it comes as close to Catholic Mass incense as Avignon does, although it might not last as long but it’s pretty cheap so there is that. I have both the perfume and the room spray. I also love Van Cleef and Arpels Midnight in Paris and Kilian Cruel Intentions, although I’m not sure if the incense is either myrrh or frankincense.

  106. Incense is a staple theme in my SO’s perfume collection, not so much in mine. I should clarify that I have plenty of scents with incense as a supporting note, but not many loves that highlight it, with the exception of myrrh. My myrrh favorite thus far is Myrrh Ardente. Moving on from myrrh, Avignon is just simply too much and overwhelms my nose, and I am not Catholic so have no real association with church incense. But I adore Kyoto especially on my SO. Other favorites on him are Christian LaCroix Tumulte Pour Homme for cedary incense and Amouage Interlude Man for spicy incense (I can still smell the remnants of yesterday’s wearing now).

    Having said all that, I would love to be entered! I have tried many but not nearly all on the list.

  107. Being a newbie I don’t have a favorite yet. Lots of ideas, though – my “to sample” list already totals 11.

  108. I really love the incense/myrrh fragrances of Maria Candida Gentile: Exultat and Sideris. Both are compelling and beautiful, but I prefer Sideris a teeny bit more. Exultat has more citrus and a candied violet notes; whereas Sideris wraps one with spicy rose and sandalwood. The frankincense is ethereal in both.

  109. My favorite incense is Tauer Incense Extreme and I really liked Annick Goutal Myrrhe Ardente!

  110. I can’t believe I overlooked this post! My beloved incense notes along with labdanum and Cardinal just happens to have them all… in SPADES! Take me to the church padre, light some of the good stuff and I’ll believe anything that comes out of your mouth… mmmmm

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