A (happy) blue Monday: Incense on ice — Comme des Garcons Blue Encens

blue encens With the big holiday almost upon us, I was really in the mood for something different. And Comme des Garcons Blue Encens delivered. It just sounded so cool, pardon the pun, that I had to try it.

I admit, I did have my doubts. After all, doesn’t it seem as if most every iteration of incense has been done already? But I was pleasantly surprised. It really did have that hot/cold dynamic going on, with the warm incense and the chilly spice of cardamom, pepper, and something else in the notes lending a bright sheen (the artemisia, perhaps?). It did have a trace of “fresh” running through it as well, but not as in aquatic, thankfully, and seemed to work well with the general flow of the scent.

To my nose at least, Blue Encens doesn’t hew much to the almost ashy, traditional-ish aspect of incenses like Avignon and Cardinal, and has no real smoke to speak of. It doesn’t have the Indian-style spice bomb fest of Neela Vermeire’s Trayee. But its incense on ice kept me sniffing my wrist for the whole day, so I think this blend really struck a chord.

And blessedly (for me, at least), it doesn’t have undertones of oud, or go tripping too near the big-amber cliff off which so many other fragrances seem to fall. Even when the chill wears off, it still stays smooth, smooth, smooth, all the way, drying down to the softest haze of incense and a hint of amber; not earth-shattering, but more than nice enough. Especially since that opening salvo lasts a pretty good while; that alone is enough to keep me coming back for more.

I think Blue Encens is a great addition to the incense family: a lovely, contradictory scent that’s interesting enough to hold your attention, but not so odd as to be polarizing, and would work equally well on men and women. Victoria over at Bois de Jasmin noted, “It crosses peppery incense with a gin and tonic, which seems incongruous but is exciting,” and I agree.

After wearing it awhile, I thought: “Wow! I might be able to wear this one year-round.” Well, maybe not quite on those killer 95-plus-degree days, but still, that’s pretty good.

Have you tried this? Would love to hear what you think of it, or about your favorite incense in the CdG stable. Its Blue series also includes a cedar scent and a sandalwood number; I’ve not tried those, but if you have, please do weigh in.

Notes for Blue Encens from LuckyScent: Artemisia, Indian cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, mystical(?) incense, mineral amber crystals (Fragrantica lists mineral crystal amber).

Wishing a very happy and blessed Christmas to all who celebrate it!!

  • Lisa D says:

    Oooh, I’m so glad you posted this, Ann – I’ve been wanting to try this one in my search for the perfect incense. My favorite of the CdGs is Jaisalmer. Lately, though, I’ve been wearing a lot of SSS Incense Pure. Blue sounds like it might be very wearable. Happy holidays, amiga!

    • Ann says:

      Happy holidays to you, too, dear Lisa! So glad you stopped by! Give this one a try — I really think you might like it. In fact, it’s prompted me to want to go back and try all the other CdG incenses, which I sampled early on in my fall down the rabbithole. I do remember liking the Jaisalmer a lot, though.

  • Musette says:

    you get incense in Trayee? I need to revisit. xoxoA

    • Ann says:

      Yep, maybe it’s my crazy nose, but I find some really nice incense-y smoke pokes its head up through the gorgeous spices and florals in that beauty.

  • Musette says:

    the only thing that’s close to incense for me is Epic. Try as I might, that’s a type I just can’t seem to fall in love with.

    Happy Holidays to you, darling!!!


    • Ann says:

      Oh, sweetie, not to worry — there are plenty, plenty more fish in the sea to love, so if you don’t “get” that category, it’s no huge loss as there are so many other divine things to love. Wishing you beautiful and blessed holidays, dear!

  • Portia says:

    Hey Ann,
    I have Incense Avignon for the churchy feel, harking back to my misspent childhood in Catholic schools with Nuns & Jesuits. Beautiful. Thanks for the reminder, I haven’t had it out much lately.
    Portia xx

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, Portia! Thanks for stopping by! Sometimes when I get the craving, nothing else will do but Avignon. I do hope you had the kindly sort of nuns growing up. I almost went to a Catholic school (but am not of that denomination), but ended up going to a Baptist Christian school instead. A few of my friends recounted tales of getting smacked with rulers – and worse – for such crimes as writing with their left hands (perish the thought now!). Not necessarily the best way to share God’s wonderful love, but those were the times I guess. So I counted my blessings that I only had to wear skirts below my knees. Anyhoo, hope you and yours have a lovely holiday!