Oliban by Keiko Mecheri

Hiya Posse! Hopefully you all in the Northern Hemisphere are heading happily towards Autumn. The crazy heat you’ve all endured should be making its way down here for beach and bush fire season. I thought we could talk about one of the heftier, thicker and more cozy Keiko Mecheri offerings. Released back in 2004 Oliban has made it to the new bottles, so celebrating its 18th birthday. I’ve had my bottle nearly ten years and it has had a few wears over the 2022 Aussie winter. Ergo, you are getting a Posse Post about it to remind some of you of your put away bottles and others as an introduction.

I know a lot of perfumistas dismiss Keiko Mecheri because often her scents are sheer, pretty and more about creating a soft nimbus that a statement. Oliban breaks that mold. A unisex statement scent that is so different to most other offerings by anyone that it commands attention. If sheer and pretty are your jam then I wrote about Un Jour d’Ete on the Posse.

Oliban by Keiko Mecheri

Oliban Keiko Mecheri

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Olibanum Rose Incense Tobacco Ambergris Palisander Rosewood Virginia Cedar Tonka Bean

This Yann Vasnier creation is so beautiful even from first spritz. The rose, resins, smoke and tobacco are all immediately notable. Rich, intoxicating and with that ever so slightly sharp backdraft of cedar. Oliban is centred around olibanum, also known as frankincense or incense. Through the heart it shines bright and has a lovely dusty woodsiness, like stepping into a church with no people. That cool air, the echoes and the vastness are all contained here in a fragrant memory. As we head into the dry down Oliban warms and sweetens. Becomes more amber than incense and enfolds me in a gentle, loving hug.

Below is my bottle, above is the newer style. I loved the opaque black, interestingly shaped older bottle. It had so much style and looked like someone really cared about beauty. It still felt sleek, modern and luxurious to me. Now they look like LUSH bottles. (Sorry, that looks like my thumbprint on my bottle.)


Even if you didn’t have a Roman Catholic upbringing, or any organised religion that used incense in their rites, I think the scent will still be beautiful to wear. The memories it evokes are peripheral to the beauty of the composition.

Unisex, magnificent, wears well and has good projection for the first few hours. Oliban continues to pump its beauty softly long after the initial show stopping fireworks are gone. 10+ hours later I’ve had friends ask what I am wearing if we hug or catch a cab together.

Do you have any of your cooler weather perfumes out yet?
Portia xx


  • Tom says:

    I liked her stuff for what it was but always found something else that was sort of treading the same ground that I liked better. Never tried this one. I’ll add it to the (ever growing) list.

    • Portia says:

      HA! Yes, there were a few houses that did this sort of feel. Ineke, Le Galion, and even ELdO have trodden some of the pretty floral beauties, and some darker hefty stuff. Hermès is another that does it but with an edge.
      Portia xx

  • Maya says:

    I have to admit that Keiko Mecheri is a line I kept meaning to try but eventually forgot about. Now you have me seriously wanting to try Un Jour d’Ete. LOL. It seems to be more “me” than Oliban.

  • March says:

    Whyyyyy can I not remember this one?!?!? It sounds right up my alley and I can’t believe I skipped it back in ye olden days, even if it was just a sample, but I’m coming up blank … it would be perfect this time of year, too!

    • Portia says:

      Hey March,
      Don’t beat yourself up. Unless someone pointed you to it you probably would have walked on by. There was a LOT to sniff in the era Olibanum came out. We only have one nose.
      Portia x

  • Musette says:

    Snakes alive! I confess to having forgotten all about Keiko Mecheri , probably because I’ve never smelled this one! Alas, I’m not a huge incense fiend so I probably wouldn’t love it – but based on your lovely review, I certainly wouldn’t have forgotten it.

    We’re in a cold snap here in IL, with temps dipping into the mid-30s! at night. WAY too early, though it beats the 94F of last week. I was clearing out my closet today, wore Daim Blond for its distracting beauty – and it worked. Shifting over (and clearing out ) closets is very anxiety-inducing. But needs must and all that. Now it’s (mostly) done and I can enjoy DB completely.


    • Portia says:

      You’re so good Musette. I hardly change anything except my sweaters and shorts. It’s almost shorts time here again.
      Daim Blond! I have it and wear it but the damn thing is fleeting in the extreme on me. It’s a serious bummer.
      Portia xx

  • Tara C says:

    Still pretty warm in southern California, but I’m really looking forward to my autumn cozy scents. Despite being an incense fiend, I can’t remember smelling KM Oliban. I have Profumum Olibanum, Tauer Incense Extreme and SLutens L’Incendiare, plus the whole CdG incense series which I enjoy.

    • Portia says:

      Incense fiend indeed TaraC. You have a lovely line up of frags chock full of it. Olibanum might be extraneous, worth a sniff though.
      Portia xx

  • Kathleen says:

    I’ve never sampled Oliban but have enjoyed sampling many of the perfumes. The only one I own is Loukhoum. I fell in love with the original and purchased the square bottle in the early days from Luckyscent. Since then it was released as the noir or sour flanker in the dark purple bottle similar but smaller than your Oilban and a Poudree version in a smaller pink bottle. I didn’t know Keiko Mecheri changed to the newest modern bottles now, they look classic style.
    I am sooooo excited for cooler weather perfumes! My favorite perfume season! xoxo

    • Portia says:

      Do you wear Loukhoum much Kathleen? It’s gorgeous but was very overwhelming for me. I’d love to see what my nose makes of it now.
      Yeah, I think Autumn is my fave time for perfumes too.
      Portia xx

      • Kathleen says:

        I still wear Loukhoum on occasion. It is a powder bomb, which makes me happy! But I’m not subtle about my perfume ever 🙂

  • alityke says:

    Never tried any Keiko Mecheri. Never piqued my interest. Olibanum does sound interesting though.
    I’ve had a wee spritz of BV EdP & of Thomas O’Brien’s Faun. I’ve got a phantom plum scent in my nose so might dig out my dregs of FdB, BV Velours or TF Plum Jap when I get a break from my carers duties

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    Never paid much attention to anything with Keiko Mecheri. I might have tried one but can’t remember. I just brought out Memoir and LHB for fall.

  • Dina C. says:

    I met Keiko at a perfume event here in Virginia around 2009 or so. She was very nice, so easy to talk to, and friendly. A now defunct perfume boutique/florist shop/interior decor shop hosted her. I know March remembers Art with Flowers. They had her line (the short black bottles). I remember sniffing and sampling several, but I missed out on Oliban. That was near the beginning of my perfume hobby when I kept strictly to my lane of things I already knew I liked. Sounds like I missed out on something lovely. It’s cool enough to wear my fall scents now. Wore Sycomore the other day, and Bottega Veneta edp yesterday. Thanks Portia!

    • Portia says:

      Hey DinaC,
      YAY! I got that vibe from Ms Mecheri though only through online stuff.
      Sycamore and BV EdP! Two of the best. Yummy.
      Portia xx

  • cinnamon says:

    The only Keiko Mecheri I know of had a long moment on Makeup Alley around 15 years ago. Loukoum. Never tried it (or if I did I don’t remember it). Amber floral, with some almond in there? I have the cooler weather things out. Arabie, etc, plus around 7 samples I got in London which need going through. It’s cold here AM and PM but warms up decently during the day.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Cinnamon,
      Loukoum was so sweet on me I had to move my bottle on. Wonder if I’d like that OG version now, in the super weird purple black bottle and lid. It was Art.
      Woo Hoo! Samples. Have fun.
      Portia xx

  • Maggiecat says:

    Not quite yet, unless you count my sample of Rosendo Mateu No. 6, with which I have fallen in love (and which is lighter and crisper than its notes sound). Its still getting into the 80s here during the day – but that’s better than 100+!