Continuing with yesterday's incense theme, today I'm wearing Incense extrême, the latest from indie niche line Tauer Perfumes. According to perfumer Andy Tauer, the ladies over at Perfume Posse wrote to him because they were curious what an incense fragrance from Tauer Perfumes would be like. Et voilà, here we have Incense extrême, and Incense rosé is expected to launch in March. What could be nicer than that?
When I first heard the name Incense extrême, I pictured a big-dark-gothic "whack you over the head" kind of incense fragrance, and while I'd have no complaints over such a thing, Tauer's Incense extrême is something quite different. The "extreme" part comes from a 25% concentration of Boswellia serrata (aka Indian frankincense), but the fragrance aims to play up the fresh and crisp aspects of incense, and to capture "the roughness of the climate of the semi desert where Boswellia trees thrive".
The opening is bright and crisp, as advertised, with a touch of sharp citrus and a goodly dose of spice (the notes: coriander, petitgrain, iris, incense, cedarwood and ambergris). Lest you weren't sure just how heavy a 25% concentration of incense would be, let me assure you that it is LOTS of incense. It does very nearly knock you upside the head, just not in the way I imagined. And while it's appropriately rugged (it really does call up the untamed desert*), it also retains a feeling of weightlessness — it is neither dark nor churchy, and does not feel overwhelming on the skin. Assuming, that is, that you really love the smell of incense. If you don't really love the smell of incense, I can imagine that you might find it rough going.
As it dries down, it gets smokier and woodier, but the iris smoothes and softens some of the rough edges. The closest comparison I can think of would be to Comme des Garçons Ouarzazate, but Ouarzazate is a quieter, smoother, tamer scent. Incense extrême is not going for polish and refinement; it is, like Tauer's Lonestar Memories, a fragrance about the outdoors. I suppose it is perhaps on the masculine side, but it isn't swaggeringly so, like Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline, and I find it very easy to wear. I'm also thinking its minimalist character might make it a perfect layering agent. Nice.
Tauer Perfumes Incense extrême is available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum. For buying information, see the listing for Tauer Perfumes under Perfume Houses.
* See this picture of Frankincense trees (Boswellia sacra) growing in Oman. The areas of India where Boswellia serrata grow look quite different, but the Omani desert shown here is to my mind a perfect visual match with the smell.