Saturday, 21 June 2014

Avignon Review

Of the various incense perfumes, Avignon perhaps most convincingly captures the spirit of olibanum, whose terpy-citric-mineralic scent is vaguely redolent of Coca-Cola. Here, this association is particularly pronounced in the opening when the sweetly herbal odour of Roman chamomile is most noticeable and the fragrance has a refreshing zinginess.
If there’s a criticism to be leveled against Bertrand Duchaufour’s creation however, it’s that the timbered facet of frankincense feels somewhat over-developed by a heavy (circa 25 %) Iso E Super-driven chord of woods and woody-ambers (inc. cedramber, cedryl methyl ether ?). Still, the presence of some guaiac-type smokiness in the fond successfully contributes to the liturgical theme, and is perfectly balanced by lightly powdered musk.

Nose: Bertrand Duchaufour
House: Comme des Garçons
Release date: 2002
Notes (per Fragrantica): incense, chamomile, vanilla, patchouli, rosewood ambrette.


  1. Interestingly you can't create church air if you use only only olibanum, myrrh, opoponax, styrax. Technically diffifult to design cold church walls, incense smoke, woody things. I tried many times to get this effect but I couldn't do it in the lab. Actullay, I got a bee in my bonned about create this accord!

  2. Hi Koray,

    Indeed, a technical challenge and likely not possible using only natural resins. Lots of C-12 MNA, musks, woody ambers and some phenolic materials are (I'm guessing) also required.
    I adore incense perfumes as a genre and burn a lot of green hojari grade frankincense at home.
    Good luck with your accord and thanks for commenting,

    1. The perfumer said to me "Use C-12 MNA to give an incensy effect and he added " combine with absolutes (not oil) like myrrh, olibanum, opoponax To give an stone effect, use veramoss. For darker effect, use patchouli (with patchoulol) and black pepper" How many trials ı have tried ı dont remember but ı will get it soon! Hope so..

  3. Koray, are you familiar with Givaudan's incense smelling captive Mystikal? If you have a chemistry background and access to a lab (or can convince someone who does to help you), you might be able to make your own, starting with C-12 MNA.
    I never thought of veramoss as having much of a stone smell - it's quite powdery. But I'm not a perfumer, so what do I know?
    As for dark notes, I'd say you have quite a few options.
    Good luck with your trials.

  4. Ah unfortunately, we don't have this captive molecule!I will put lot of c12 mna to give an incensy effect, with myyrh, olibanum, patchouli and labdanum. The perfumer said once that I can use it for dusty-stone effect. Miller Harris L'Air de Rien has a lot of veramoss to give an dusty library ambiance actually. Thank you for your options. :)