When Jo Malone get it right, they get it right. This is especially true of their big hitters like the recent Peony & Blush release. However, it’s the darker, heavier. more sultry side of Jo Malone that tempts me in which is why I’m always a sucker for the black and mysterious cologne intense range. I’ve flirted heavily with velvet rose & oud and succumbed to tuberose angelica which is sweet and luscious. The new swarthy stranger to the mix is the faintly mysterious incense and cedrat.
Just released, Incense & Cedrat comes on like a Summer holiday romance, deeply welcoming with a faint smoky intensity, and with a hint of dry soft benzoin that brings a fullness and sweetness to the base. The fragrance description reads of layers of resins with a lemon and pepper note with an amber like labdanum facet that builds on this soft balsamic holistic approach. However, the beauty of this fragrance is its simplicity rather than its attempt to appear complex. It’s more direct with it’s big bolt of incense wrapped in folds and sways of elemi and labdanum that comforts with a faint lemony twist (cedrat). This is no scary big & powerful blast, but is like lighting an incense taper and allowing its waft to calm and restore. It’s exceedingly approachable rather than mind blowing. Which was probably what master perfumer, Marie Salamagne had in mind when using the scent of Omani incense, the most precious in the world, as a starting point. But, due to excessive cost and for the fact that the Boswellia sacra tree from where the resin is taken is endangered, for the first time in perfumery, Salamagne at Jo Malone used NaturePrint™, a new form of technology to recreate the scent of Omani incense from essential oils. This is where synthetics should be applauded. recreating something rare and natural by combining existing naturals and technology to recreate something wonderful.
Incense & Cedrat is a tame, first time, mellowed incense. A first step into the big and sometimes scary world of large full blown frankincense, myrrh and opoponax. Tread lightly as these fellows will lead you to fragrant enlightenment with their sweet heady power.
Incense & Cedrat is found within the Cologne Intense range at Jo Malone online and in stand alone Jo Malone stores and on counter in major dept stores. Cologne 100ml RRP £105 / €130 or £120 (100ml) for the limited edition bottle.