Launched 2014 by New York perfume retailer/niche fragrance house Aedes de Vensutas, Copal Azur is, to me, a perfect incense fragrance.
The inspiration for Copal Azur was copal, a resin from the Protium tree that grows in the wet tropical forests of Mexico and Central America. The dried sap of the tree was used as an incense in ceremonies by pre-Columbian Mesoamerica cultures. It’s still used today in Mexico in sweat lodge and Sacred Mushroom ceremonies.
The AdV website says that “Karl Bradl was drawn to its scent while cycling on the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula through copal-laced air towards the natural reserve of Sian Ka’an, which translates as “Gate to Heaven”. The suave cloud of burning copal whirling over Tulum's bohemian and eco-chic outdoor locales at the foot of an ancient Maya walled city, confirmed his inspiration for Copal Azur.”
Imagine that bike ride. Really imagine it. The sights, the sounds the smells as you move along seaside and through tropical forest.
That is Copal Azur.
Since copal cannot be used in perfume, Duchaufour used three different extractions of frankincense and threaded it throughout the fragrance to invoke copal. It’s at the opening of Copal Azur, bracing and piney and it pulls you right into the fragrance. A lick of salt and ozonic notes filter through the resin and puts you at the seaside. As it settles into the skin, the scene changes from the seaside to the tropical forests of Sian Ka'an – a biosphere reserve in the municipality of Tulum in Mexico. The frankincense shifts from coniferous to woody, while aromatic cardamom, resinous and minty, makes it warm and green. Patchouli, sweet and woody, and myrhh balsamy, earthy and a little anisic, complement the frankincense perfectly and help create the feel of tropical forests. At the base, the frankincense is softened, and sweetened with amber and almond, then smoothed by Tonka bean, making the drydown creamy, rich, lush and so AdV.
Notes: salty notes, ozonic notes, frankincense, cardamom, patchouli, myrrh, amber, almond and Tonka bean.
Parfumeuer: Bertrand Duchaufour