The 14th edition of our “He says, she says” column. He: Jakub and She: Aleksandra of Persefume — two people, two genders, two opinions, both valuable, both sincere. Sometimes similar, sometimes contrasting — we test without checking each other’s impressions. Choose what fits you better. Write your own part in comments.
This time we are focusing on the main line of Maison Incens – interesting French niche house which definitely needs more reviews and attention. Maison Incens was founded by Philippe Constantin who collaborates with talented nose Jean Claude Gidodot, best known from his great creations for Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger.
Mr Constantin designed bottles of the whole line himself, he is also actually the one who also created flacons for Au Pays de La Fleur d’Oranger Haute Parfumerie line. The current line-up of Maison Incens comprises of five scents within classic line plus three new extraits from Les Incensees series which we will cover in the separate post.
Let us go to the main collection then:
Notes: Fig, lemon, orris, galbanum, clove, tuberose, mastic tree, scots pine, cedar, musk tonkin, civette and castoreum accords, sandalwood
He – All names of Maison Incens can be sometimes bit misleading. Figue Eleei is rather more about journey of tuberose than fig itself. Very bold and green fragrance with dose of mystery and sensuality. Truly long lasting, with perfectly used raw materials. Hidden gem.
She – Bright and captivating, Figue Eleii never ceases to surprise me with its pine accord, sweet and almost fresh. It’s unmistakeably green, sometimes with a cool, aquatic shadow, sometimes almost acid. On warmer skins it blooms with a ripe, fleshy scent of plants waking up in a glorious spring sunlight.
Notes: Bergamot, orange blossom, fig, ylang-ylang, violet, orris, cedarwood, calamus, leather, vetiver, incense, clove, celery, oud, musk tonkin, civette and castoreum accords, sandalwood, amber
He – Strong orange blossom is really similar here to Mr Gigodot’s work for Aus Pays de La Fleur d’Oranger . Married with woody, animalic oud and this time definitely more detectable fig – it is very solid composition which can perfectly bloom in the heat. Bravo.
She – I found it the most interesting among the five, as I like this kind of synthetic, medicinal, almost one-dimension oud married to some bright notes. It works fine in Rose Anonyme, my favourite concoction of this type so far, it also makes a great perfume here. The fig, archetipically green and fresh, quickly turns very sweet here, still without loosing its milkiness. The whole mix sounds weird at times, but generally it wears astonishingly easy and proud.
Notes: Bergamot, mandarin, sandalwood, benzoin, cinnamon, cistus, incense, leather, orange blossom, geranium, clove, styrax, orris, myrrh, musk tonkin, civette and castoreum accords
He – elegant, rather classic aromatic leather with lovely citrusy, iris and animalic touches. Very wearable, it remided me a bit Cuir de Nacre by Ann Gerard, yet in much more complex form.
She – after a short burst of citrus, iris kicks in almost immediately, quite bitter in fact. This bitterness is not a question of incense, it smells like heavy tar rather. It softens with time; I very much appreciate the gentleness of later phases that are all smooth with orris and deep with myrrh. An elegant, nostalgic fragrance of first autumn days, when the air is crisp and something is gone forever.
* on some markets sold as Tabac Licorii, with few subtle scent modifications
Notes: Anise, licorice, celery, geranium, citrus, Liatrix, mate tea, musk tonkin, grey amber, tobacco
He – behaves as minty fougere with green and violety elements. The most dry and masculine from the bunch, on my skin it was rather shy.
She – neither oud nor tobacco, it smells just as my incense sticks do, a violet type. Which means it has some cheap, hippy vibe to it, perhaps captivating, but a little sour and generally very harsh on the skin.
Notes: Bergamot, citrus, orange blossom, cypriol, eucaliptus, guaiac wood, labdanum, vetiver, jasmine, rose, leather, vanilla, sandalwood, musk, patchouli
He – Intensive, decadent scent with prominent leather and bit gourmand and musky notes. Warm, lush, truly unisex. Well done!
She – I find it more leathery than musky which would normally make me indifferent, but not this time. This leather is simply delicious. It’s more oriental than one might expect looking at the notes – all the flowers are just a prelude to the soft yet distinct whisper of sensual concoction dominating the scent. Again, it plays a different song on warmer skins (or in a hotter climate), where it starts to burn with incense undertone. Classy, soft and luxurious.
Official artwork for Musc Kalirii
All five Maison Incens scents are available as Eau de Parfum 100ml, 139 EUR RPP from the official e-shop and authorized retailers. Reviews of Les Incensees line coming soon.
Pictures, notes and samples via Maison Incens – thank you.
Jakub (left) and Aleksandra (right)—photo edit by Jakub Grabarczyk. All rights reserved.