Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Attending Sunday mass has never been a part of my childhood, and perhaps it is for this reason that the church service has never lost its romantic appeal for me. Even the simple act of burning frankincense satisfies my longings for its mysterious darkness and serenity. As a perfume note, it possesses a remarkable complexity and depth. In fragrance, frankincense tends to add the same beguiling sobriety and austerity that I discovered when inhaling its scent inside churches. Given its ornate quality, the less complicated the treatment of incense, the more rewarding the result. In this vein, the eponymous fragrance from Lithuanian fashion designer Juozas Statkevičius (Josef Statkus) is a composition that is bound to sway those with a penchant for the dark and sonorous incantations of incense.
Josef Statkus Eau de Parfum was created by perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin whose creations include Hermès Calèche Eau Délicate, Diptyque Do Son, NellyRodi Cardamome, L’Occitane Cologne Feuilles d’Oranger and Mäurer & Wirtz Tabac Sport. The fragrance opens up on a bright peppery note of frankincense, which attains a richer and smokier character as the composition develops. It is the essential backdrop of the composition, against which the rest of the accents are placed—the soft floral tones, the warmth of labdanum (amber) and the luscious creaminess of vanilla.
The pronounced vanillic facet gives Josef Statkus Eau de Parfum a character that is quite different from other incense themed fragrances, such as Armani Privé Bois d’Encens, Etro Messe de Minuit and Diptyque L’Eau Trois. It softens the austerity of frankincense, lending it an alluring softness. While objectively I do not prefer Josef Statkus to Bois d’Encens due to the elegance of the latter, the sweet and ambery overtones remind me of the incense of Eastern Orthodox churches. For this reason, wearing Josef Statkus Eau de Parfum is akin to stepping under the ornate arcades during the Easter midnight mass. I almost expect to subsequently smell the nutmeg scented sweet breads with which the Lenten fast is broken.
Juozas Statkevicius (Josef Statkus) Eau de Parfum is the ultimate unisex fragrance. It possesses a beautiful sillage and yet like most incense compositions it does not announce its presence, but rather whispers seductively. It features notes of incense, coriander, jasmine, patchouli, amber, cashmere wood, vanilla, resins and musk. It is available from Beautyhabit, Luckyscent and Germany based First-in-Fragrance.
Other incense fragrances:
Armani Privé Bois d’Encens
Caron Nuit de Noël
Caron Parfum Sacré
Cinq Mondes Eau Egyptienne
Comme des Garçons Avignon (Incense Series)
Comme des Garçons Zagorsk (Incense Series)
Costes (EDT and room spray)
Crazylibellule and The Poppies Encens Mystic
Diptyque L’Eau Trois
Donna Karan Black Cashmere
Donna Karan Labdanum Essence
Etro Messe de Minuit
L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer
Miller Harris En Sens de Bois
Nelly Rodi Scent Factory #1 Incense
Josef Statkus advertisement is courtesy of Marina, whose beautiful review on her blog Perfume-Smellin’ Things inspired me to seek it out.