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Incense Extrême – Minimalist, intense, clear - October 21, 2013 New Fragrance Listing


Photo - Wikimedia - Incense burning on hot coal - by birdy, march 2007

Andy Tauer is a game changer. A Swiss living in Zurich, he is a self-taught perfumer. He starting making perfumes in 2004 for Medieval art&vie, a little bookshop in Zurich, where his fragrances can still be bought. Over the years he has gained a reputation for being uncompromising when it comes to ingredients, and for having a total commitment to the craft of perfumery. The results are outstanding fragrances like Une Rose Chyprée, L`Air du Désert Marocain, Orange StarEau d'Epices, Lonestar Memories and Zeta. These frags had reviewers swooning and put Andy in the pantheon of great perfumers.

Andy Tauer opened the world of niche artisanal fragrances to me and changed the way I experienced fragrance. I’d wear any of his fragrances anytime, but the one I go back to the most is Incense Extrême. I was given a bottle of it shortly after it came out, so it is a sentimental favourite, but who wants to wear something out of duty? Not me – I wear Incense Extrême for the pure pleasure of it.

On the Tauer website Incense Extrême is described as: Minimalist, intense, clear.  A perfume built around a natural CO2 extract of Boswellia serrata, aka incense; it captures the roughness of the climate of the semi desert where Boswellia trees thrives. It is translucent like the first whiff of incense smoke from Boswellia resin on red gleaming coal. Yet, it is crisp like a night in the desert. On this website I describe it as “essential”.

It opens with a soft and green from petitgrain. Petitgrain has a gorgeous rosy/woody facet that stands out here before being joined by spicy, woody coriander. This opening is among the most beautiful I have ever experienced. largely because it is considered part of the experience and not just the perfunctory citrus opening. But let’s get to the heart of the matter – rich, deep  incense. To me, it’s not smoky but clear in a way that I have never experienced before. The warm incense plays off cool orris root with the coriander wafting in and out of the background in perfect harmony. As it blooms, the orris root gives it a powderiness.  At the base, Texan cedarwood, keeps it austere and dry while ambergris bolsters and sweetens the incense.

The drydown is light, dry and clean. I must confess, I don’t get the ‘Extrême’ in the title. Incense Extrême doesn’t overdose on incense, so don’t be mislead. Instead it is as quoted earlier: minimalist, intense, clear.

You know, if I had to put ten personal possessions in a time capsule to be dug up by my descendants in 500 years this would be on the list because I’d want them to have the experience of it. 

Incense Extrême is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.