Unum Reliqvia was the perfume I’ve been waiting for since I first read about it. I finally found it at a little shop in Italy, and it was right during all the protests happening there, and it had to fight its way out of the Milan postal shop to me! Finally! Sorcinelli seems to have it in stock in his shop, so it seems to be getting stocked up at the regular perfume shops.
I love incense scents, and the only way I know how to talk about them is either in over the top language I find embarrassing years later or to try and just do a comparison with more well-known incenses to help you know where this falls.
Having no shame, I’ll do both – goopy love, then compare and contrast. I admire Socinelli’s incense work – from my first sniff of Lavs and my love for Vox Humaine, which seems to have all but disappeared, he gets the big H’s in humanity and hope exactly right when he does incense. And I really love Reliqvia, just need to say that before we get into the compare and contrast section. It’s the scent I walk by, grab and spritz on because it makes me feel better, warmer, hopey-er.
Notes of patchouli, incense, cashmere wood, guaiac wood, sandalwood, orange blossom, scots pine, cloves, lentisk, amyris, elemi sweet orange, black currant, nutmeg, smoke and tobacco. Lavs is much more straight up churchy woody incense, while Reliqvia has some deep, pounding bit of skank that rolls around on the open. Cedar and gaiac? There is a peppery quality, along with the patchouli that drags Reliqvia into darker, smokier, more worn places than Unum. Unum stays pretty linear and defined from the start as exactly what it is. Reliqvia shapes and reshapes inside of its woody smoked incensed framework. It is less churchy and cerebrally meditative than Lavs, more personal.
Armani Prive Bois d’Encens is a much chillier incense. Reliqvia is so much warmer. Instead of pushing you out and upward, it draws you into a smoky little hug. CdG Avignon fits somewhere between BdE and Lavs, warmer than both. Reliqvia is even warmer than Avignon.
Reliqvia is a deeply personal kind of incense, warm and welcoming, shot through with peppered pine and smoke. It takes its inspiration from the relics. In long ago times, people revered the remains of their holy people – their martyrs and saints – of the things they touched, that they left something of themselves behind in those objects. Reliqvia is that place in between the high church incense and the human struggle of being better than our base desires. There is a phrase in the Bible somewhere that always stays with me, “I will sift you like wheat.” This is that – the grinding of flesh against spirit sifted fine. It is what remains.
Speaking of sifting, my bread baking continues. I’m now doing rye sourdoughs and did this honey rye miche last week that wasn’t as good as it should have been because, welp, I have no lager in this house, and no one would run get me some. So now I have a six pack of Guinness in my fridge and I’m trying again! To accompany this, I’m going back and watching old season of British Baking Contest. I think I’ve just seen on season of this because it makes me hungry! But they have bread week every season, so I’m keen to watch that episode.
Now that we have pricked the crust of freezing here, it is definitely bread baking season! My started kind of lives on my countertop, getting fed, divided, made up into another loaf for me or someone else. Now that I have my timing worked out, with very little effort, I can easily crank out a loaf every 3 days or so. I never really eat a whole loaf of bread in a week, so I have to give it away! Luckily I have my sister and her family of 6 and soon 7 that love sourdough bread.
How are you getting ready for winter, those of you that are heading into it? I need a chimney sweep since I didn’t get the gas conversion done yet for my fireplace, so I need it cleaned out if I’m going to have a bit of a fire. I’ll give away three samples of the Unum Reliqvia, just drop a comment to be entered!