Sauf – Incense fragrances based on Notre Dame organ

sauf perfumesSauf perfumes are the brainchild of the same guy who did Unum Lavs, Filippo Sorcinelli. That’s the scent that started out as what they scented the Pope’s robes with, then it became a perfume and a gorgeous one – one of my all-time favorite incense fragrances, room sprays, etc.

For the three fragrances in the Sauf line, he took his inspiration from the organ stops of the Grand Orgue at Notre Dame. The sauf perfumesbottles are as cute as can be, looking like little organ stops (just guessing on that since I’ve never seen an organ stop up close.).

Sauf Voix Humaine 8 has notes of bergamot, cardamom, elemi, ambrette, jasmine, orange blossom, amber, leather, olibanum, milk mousse, musk and vanilla. Vox Human is the short-resonator reed stop, which sounds like the human voice when pressed.  This incense is rich and creamy, the vanilla and milk worked in perfectly to make sure it doesn’t become a gourmand, but softens it.   It’s like a honeyed incense.

Sauf Plein Jeu III has notes of lemon, ginger, mimosa, black pepper, amber, olibanum, jasmine, cedar, balsam fir, myrrh, oakmoss, patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver. The endless dance of angels was the inspiration.  It does soar. the pepper and lemon with other heavy notes seem to make this impossible, but it’s not, it lilts with little peppered lemon fir bits  dusting up.  Charming in every way, and the lightest of the three.

Sauf Contra Bombarde 32
has notes of elemi, juniper, bitter orange, cedar, sandalwood, amber, caramel and vanilla. The resins, old wax and wood that has built up in the organ over the years/centuries were the inspiration. You know what else must have been under the organ?  Skank, that’s what.  Okay, it’s the cedar/amber that lends a bit of pittiness on the open.  It doesn’t last forever, unfortunately.  Even after that bit, the slightly gourmand notes take incense in a direction I never knew it could go. It feels ancient and warm – a hug that has centuries of experience.

Just when I think I can say Sauf Contra Bombard is my favorite, I go back and smell the other two and can’t decide.  I was wearing all three of them in a disgusting amount all last week. I forgot how much I had on until I went to church. Once I realized, I was hoping everyone just thought mass was going heavy on incense that morning.

These three are like hitting the mother lode of incense fragrances.  It sounds like Sauf. intends to continue with more fragrances in this series – there’s a lot of organ stops. They better, this feels like an amazing beginning, and it’s not enough!  I am so greedy.

Winner of the pick 10 from the Niche lines I chose last week is – aelilly. Just click on Drop Us a Note at the top, send me an e-mail, remind me of what you won and get me your mailing address. I’ll send you a quick e-mail to let you know I got your e-mail and it didn’t land in a spam filter and then get it on the way to you.  I only check Posse e-mail like once a week, so it can take a few days sometimes to respond there.

Giving away two sample sets of these gorgeous Sauf fragrances. Just leave a comment to enter. You can also enter on the Surrender to Chance Facebook page by liking, commenting or sharing that post, which will go up later tonight, so two places to enter to win!


  • I have a pipe organ builder professionally for 20 years. The idea of smelling like the inside of these instruments boggles my mind.

  • nozknoz says:

    Heck, yes! I have a bottle of Unum LAVS on the way, touch wood.

  • Paige W says:

    Sauf Voix Humaine 8 is crying my name! As a classical singer and church music enthusiast, this line appeals to my aesthetic sensibilities in every way! Thank you so much for this informative post – I shall try to track these scents down in Canada!

  • Koyel says:

    I’d love to try these 🙂 I thought it was kind of gimmicky at first (especially given the aesthetic of their creator), but your review has persuaded me otherwise!

  • Scent says:

    I have established that incense i by far my single favourite note for cold weather perfumes. Please, please let me sniff these!

  • lena says:

    I’ve recently come across Avignon by CdG and have fallen heavily for it – these sound wonderful, too, and I’d love to have the chance to try them! Thank you 🙂

  • R_UN says:

    Honeyed incense. Holy bees. Yes, please! ???

  • Christine says:

    Oh my. These sound amazing. I like my incense churchy. Which is funny since I’m lapsed Catholic and basically only go to church for weddings, baptisms and funerals.

  • Nemo says:

    These all sound amazing! One cannot own too many incense perfumes, after all. Thanks for the reviews and giveaway!

  • Pam says:

    Ok, 1. I love love love incense and 2. I am an organist. And yes, I would to try these. They sound wonderful.

  • Karen says:

    Sounds so delish! I swoon over incense frags.

  • tandaina says:

    Oh my goodness those sound delicious! I’d love to try them.

  • Audrey says:

    I love Unum Lavs, this sounds like a winner to me. Thanks for the chance to sample. You are so generous. I really appreciate it. Happy Holidays.

  • Maggiecat says:

    My goodness, these sound lovely, and perfect for the season!

  • Paddy mogan says:

    Ohhh, I’d love to smell like a pope!!!!

  • grizzlesnort says:

    incense!! yes!!

  • SamanthaL says:

    These sound amazing…particularly Sauf Voix Humaine 8, I’d love to try any of them though! Filippo Sorcinelli seems like a fascinating guy…very driven to express himself creatively. I really like his photos…kind of melancholy.

    • Patty says:

      yeah, he is an artist with all of the things that come with it. I loved the pictures I’ve seen of him around this launch. He does jewelry design as well. He’s interesting with a side of tortured artist for sure. I like that!

  • datura5750 says:

    Very interested in these!

  • Tiara says:

    When I saw the headline, I thought OK, now this is going too far. How can you make perfume smell like an organ?! How would Notre Dame’s organ actually smell?! They do sound quite nice and perfect for this time of year.

  • Olivia says:

    Love the inspiration some of these perfumers have. Voix Humaine 8 sounds yummy. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • zelda1947 says:

    Incense fragrances are my catnip. Literally; they make me purr. And I love my incense with a little skank thrown in for good measure. The second of the three you listed sounds like perfection. I am currrently addicted to Montale Incense Full, so you can imagine how the description of these new fragrances made me salivate. Oddly, I haven’t yet smelled Unum Lavs. I need to remedy that ASAP.

    • Patty says:

      I love Unum Lavs for different reasons. The Contra is great with that pitty thing. I’m hoping at some point they make one with more skank that lasts longer, but it is the most sensual of these three.

  • Devon H says:

    Oh my word, this literally sounds heavenly!!! Incense scents are my weakness, I must have them. Thanks for such stunning reviews!

  • HeidiC says:

    I love the concept behind these, and it sounds like the scents really deliver. Incense is a note I’m just starting to explore, so I’d love to try these, especially the Contra Bombarde. Big church organs make me think of that great scene in The Commitments where the band’s keyboardist is practicing Whiter Shade of Pale on the organ in the church. Thanks for the lovely post, and for the draw!

  • Ellen M says:

    Oh please let me win this pick! I’m such an incense lover and these sound like the newest objects of my desire. As a singer in a choir, the thought of these fragrances using the organ as inspiration is so fascinating. Thanks so much for the draw.

  • mikasminion says:

    I love all the different aspects of incense in perfume. Some are cold, metallic, soapy, and some are warm, smoky, and textured. Series of perfumes with a theme like this always get me curious and since I really like LAVS, I’m going to have to try these. The bottles are great, too. My dad has a distant cousin who is an organ virtuoso and I still remember the wonderfully tingly feeling of hearing a huge organ in an almost empty church when I was a child and my fascination with the energy and extreme dexterity of the artist.

    • Patty says:

      That sounds amazing. I’d love to listen to a huge organ in an empty church – that just sent shivers up my spine. I agree that incense is much more nuanced than they appear. I’m so glad Sauf/Unum decided to explore that more fully with this kind of backdrop.

  • rosarita313 says:

    These sound heavenly!

  • AnnJune says:

    Thanks for the drawer – would love to sample as incense is a favorite note.

  • Peggy says:

    I thought Unum Lavs was pretty interesting and I love the idea of scent inspired by the pipe organ of Notre Dame!

  • Sylvia says:

    Now I want to smell these. Great review!

  • Joaquim says:

    Just when I’m in a Incense Rush! Perfect timing, sounds really impressive. Thank you for the draw!

  • Connie says:

    Oh these sound lovely. Always up for an incense with a bit of gourmand or skank.

  • judithl says:

    I would like to sample the Sauf fragrances. I am a gourmand girl but I should expand my horizons 🙂 Thank you for the drawings!

  • SHMW says:

    Great descriptions, I would love the chance to try these and I love the way they have the names of the different notes. Do you think the descriptions match the different perfumes? The voix humaine sounds especially intriguing.

    • Patty says:

      I think they do, yes. These are definitely artistic and intended to meld music with perfume. contra Bombarde 32 is very much old, old wax and wood and incense, it surprised me how much it felt like the thing it was intended to capture. Pleu Juen III literally soars, and it’s hard to explain until you smell it. As heavy as the notes seem, the pepper/ginger/lemon give it an amazing lift, and the heavy notes are done softly. Voix Humaine 8 is like listening to a DJ. I loved them all for different reasons. Incense too often seems monolithic, kind of like oud can be. The play on these is very distinct.

  • Shelly says:

    Sounds amazing

  • Monoatomic says:

    Love to try these. I can’t decide whether I think the bottles are really amazing though – they seem almost like they wouldn’t be stable, but conceptually I love the idea.

    • Patty says:

      They are stable, which surprised me. They look tall and unstable, but they have a good base, and the tops fit on securely. They are prone to knocking them over because of how tall they are – and I’m a klutz deluxe – but they aren’t a weird or hard to work with as they first appear. That whole top thing slides off, and then it’s a regular bottle with a spray on the base part of it. Plus they look awesome, and they are wood, I believe or faux-wood. I think you almost need 20 of them for an artwork piece somewhere. 🙂

  • Love incense! Thanks for the chance to win samples!

  • solanace says:

    These sound sooo interesting. Thank you for the draw.Gotta give the guy some credit for not underestimasting our intellects, especially these days.

    • Patty says:

      I know, I like what he’s done here and that it’s a stretch and melding of music and fragrance. This level of artistry is fun to watch and participate in, and I love to see it rewarded so there is hopefully much more of it from him and others. And the bottles — i laughed at them at first, and then my very dull brain figured it out. Clever, artistic and beautiful.

  • These sound great! I would love to try.

  • Raluca Dana Popeti says:

    I would love to try them on! Thank you!

  • bevfred says:

    Back in the day there was a classical organist named Virgil Fox. He was totally into Bach. I was in Vancouver at the time. My husband and I went to see him perform. We “prepared” before, then went. Can you imagine this massive organ, the sounds, the music AND a light show? On top of it, Virgil had light on his heels! So you could see the incredible dance an organist does on the pedals, not t mention the keys and stops. Now if I had there fragrances it would be totally over the top. But it was the best show I’ve ever seen and I’ve always smelled good.

    • solanace says:

      And as I’m here “getting ready” to begin my day, your story made me smile. Thank you for sharing it!

    • Patty says:

      Sounds amazing. I’ve been in Notre Dame a number of times, including Mass. I wasn’t brave enough to try it in French, just Latin. Playing that size of organ has to be an intense workout for sure! thanks for the story.

  • I have never heard of these and I would love to experience them.

  • bevfred says:

    OMG… these sound amazing. I was so excited after I read your post that I rushed to reply. I don’t even know where to purchase samples. Maybe I’ll win some! I haven’t been this excited for ages.

    • Patty says:

      LOL. We have them at Surrender to Chance, and Luckyscent has samples as wel, and I think Twisted Lily is carrying the line as well. There, three places at least, but you’re in Canada. Maybe The Perfume Shoppe has them or will be getting them.

  • furriner says:

    I really liked (and own) LAVS, and have tried all the others from UNUM. I would love to try these as well! Thanks for offering them!!

  • fae ehsan says:

    i LOVE these perfumes!

  • Sarah says:

    Neat description Patty. You make me think I could like incense. 😉

  • Jeanne says:

    Many memories of mass in Latin and the smell of incense. Easter they pulled out all the stops. I can still hear the people coughing and choking! But best of all, my new Easter outfit, gloves, hat, shoes and even a coat my mother made for me.

  • Marianna says:

    This sounds very interesting. I was quite impressed with Unum Lavs

  • Robynne says:

    I’d love to test these. I adore incense in perfume and it seems perfect for this time of year

  • Tara C says:

    I love incense, very interested to try these!

  • Tora says:

    I am very intrigued by your review. I do love a good incense perfume. I would be excited to enter in on this giveaway!! Thanks!

  • carol b says:

    Incense is my new love! It would be wonderful to test these!