Puckrik on Perfume: Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure (Part 2)

Mimi ON May 07, 2010 AT 11:10 am

Sonoma Incense Pure


When first sprayed, the ambery thickness of IP’s labdanum made me think of one of my old favorites, Tom Ford Private Blend Amber Absolute. But going into an immediate sidebar on labdanum while reviewing IP makes about as much sense asthe time my husband claimed he was watching a Hannibal Lecter cannibal movie “for the lighting”. (What kind of freak does that? All I heard from the TV was screaming and chewing and crunching and lip-smacking as I tried to focus on my frilly-dilly perfume writing.)

So let me back up and state that the first blast of Incense Pure is frankincense a-go-go. IP features an emphatically non-ecclesiastical treatment of incense, one that celebrates its own rugged beauty rather than referencing a churchy ritual.

This eau de parfum starts out sharp — not quite a pine fragrance, but with a sinus-clearing intensity that approaches menthol. As IP wears on, it mellows and becomes less dry, a little more “muggy” as the myrrh and oakmoss show themselves. There’s an herbal quality that edges it toward Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan turf, but it never heats up to AS’s spicy weeds. And after about an hour, the baseline hum of labdanum flips the script from an incense perfume to an amber one.

With Tom Ford Amber Absolute kicking around in my head, I applied some to compare, and that’s when I dramatically fell out of love with AA. Instead of the dense labdanum mystery I remembered, it turns out that Amber Absolute is a sweetly warm inside-of-a-cedarwood-drawer smell, distinctly vanillic. Which is okay, I guess, but the real issue was that next to Incense Pure’s Old Testament-style resins, AA began smelling phony baloney and synthetic.

IP’s dry-to-humid path perfectly complimented our ramblings through Vasquez Rocks: the aromatics of juniper and sage baking in the hot sun, the boulder puddles filled with tadpoles, the shaded canyons threaded by creeks.

After passing the mountain lion test (Katie not eaten: check), I can now declare  Incense Pure my new favorite incense — Secular Category.

Watch Katie’s Vasquez Rocks video here:

Incense Pure available from: www.sonomascentstudio.com

For more of Katie’s fragrance rants and rambles, visit KatiePuckrikSmells at: www.katiepuckriksmells.com

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