Tag Archives: Parfum d’Empire

We Three Kings: Frankincense

I left this one for the end as I still have unresolved issues with incense and it was too optimistic to think I’d be able to resolve it this week if I haven’t been able to do so in years.

Way before I got interested in perfumes (and sucked into its world), I was a practising Catholic. I went to mass each Sunday, for all Catholic holidays and pretty much did what every practising Catholic does. I don’t really remember what mass it was (and luckily for me it was only one) but incense was burned during it. That was the only smell so far that made me think I was going to get nauseous and faint. I almost did. A friend of mine can’t stand it and reacts the same way so she thinks we were witches in a past life. 😉

Whenever I get my hands on a frankincense smell, I’m a bit wary. So far, they never made me feel nauseous or faint, but wariness remains. Especially if it smells more churchy than Cola-like. The thing is, here we have a cola type of drink called Cockta that obviously has some incense for smell in it because when I first tried Shaal Nur (my first incense perfume) I was very much taken aback that it smelled exactly like that soft drink.
So basically, incense perfumes fall into two categories for me, those that smell more church-like, more dry and austere and those that smell like Cockta, wet and sweet but both very obviously incensey.

Today, I’ll talk about Parfum d’Empire’s Wazamba. Which although seriously incensey doesn’t fall into any of the two categories I have but has one of its own. A foresty incense.

Notes: Somalian incense, Kenyan myrrh, Ethiopian opoponax, Indian sandalwood, Moroccan cypress, labdanum, apple, fir balsam

I always get surprised by how much more I am able to smell once I read the notes. The whole apple (fruity) thing would completely escape me if I wasn’t looking for it. It almost managed to escape me like that as well.
It really is a strange incense – like I said, it reminds me of forests, more probably of how I picture a rainforest (I was never even close to one, let alone in one) but that’s what this reminds me of – except for the incense part, I’m sure you can’t smell that there. But there is an underlying dark green, woody, slightly wet vibe to, and interspersed in all that, you get myrrh (I can’t believe I actually can smell myrrh in my incense choice) and the barest fruit hints (I do have a  cold, so they might not be barest to other people). Anyway, as incense goes, this one makes me always think about what I’m smelling and doesn’t fall into any of the mentioned categories.
Not that those categories are bad, they just have an existing association in my mind and that makes me not appreciate them appropriately.

So, once more, here is a list of participating blogs and I do hope you enjoyed our week of gifts of the three kings. 🙂

Redolent of Spices

Scent of the Day



Bonkers about Perfume

My Perfume Life

The Perfume Chronicles

Chicken Freak’s Obsession

Notes from Josephine

Three Kings Icon ©2010 Megan Ruisch

Sampling Parfum d’Empire

My arms are finally better so today I decided to try the samples I ordered from Aus Liebe zum Duft. At the moment I can’t really remember how I decided to order Parfum d’Empire (I must have read something somewhere, but I can no longer remember what or where). What I tried today are Cuir ottoman and Fougere bengale.

I’ll start with Cuir because although I find it nice and wearable, it’s not as fabulous as some others out there (primarily Cuir de Lancome which I love). It’s just, you know, cuir-ish. It starts a bit sweet, nothing too much with a slight burnt aroma (all this being burnt styrax which I found on Aus Liebe zum Duft site) and at some point it gets really interesting, having this middle phase where you actually get hints of “Benjoin resine that massage the musky skin of languid bodies” by Aus Liebe zum Duft again, and I honestly thought, ok, this is it, it’s perfect, and unfortunately, then all that went away and I was left with a light vanillish cuir. It is just, well, too soft for me.

Cuir ottoman notes: jasmine, leather, iris, benzoin, balsams, resins, incense
Now, Fougere bengale is another thing. And for someone who learns French for far too long, I am ashamed but I admit, I had to go and look up the meaning of fougere. That explained a lot! 🙂 Sometimes I get to feel stupid at the most strangest of times. Anyway, it seems fougere is THE combination for me beacuse I just love the lavender oakmoss pairing.
The thing is, at the beginning this one roars fougere while in the drydown it simply says fougere (and since it tells the story of Bengalese tiger hunts, I find it completely appropriate). Thank God it doesn’t whisper fougere. You get from it all the things all the sites list, lavender, gingerbread, oakmoss, the sweet, green, herbalish aspect given by lavender and oakmoss and my discovery today (= fougere). I kept thinking the drydown reminded me of something else, and after my discovery of what fougere means, I remembered, like Ilaun by Burren perfumery.

Fougere bengale notes:Lavender, tarragon, patchouli, geranium, tobacco, tonka beans, vanilla
P.S. For all those who, like me, don’t know what’s tarragon (or dragon’s wort), it is a perennial plant that looks strangely a lot like rosemary and is used in cuisine.
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