Juozas Statkevicius / Josef Statkus : Perfume Review

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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
Iunx L’Ether
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.

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14 Comments

  • Judith: I really like this, too. I think it’s a shame, however, that it costs so much more in the US than it does in Europe. If I remember correctly, someone got it for me in Germany for 70 euros. February 28, 2007 at 7:30am Reply

  • Judith: Adding–I see from checking the FiF link that it has gone up in price there, too. I wonder if this is the result of fame! February 28, 2007 at 7:42am Reply

  • Marina: I don’t know what to do this morning. Posse made me won’t to put on the poor, misunderstood Angel, which no one loves 🙂 Ina reminded me how much I love Psychotrope. Now you write this beautiful review and I want to wear Juozas today. What is a girl to do? 🙂 February 28, 2007 at 8:49am Reply

  • newproducts: Arrrgggh! I want this one so badly. Yours is the fourth review I am reading on this scent, and it is pushing me over the edge! 😉 Thank you for a beautiful review, as always. February 28, 2007 at 9:21am Reply

  • Flor: Lovely review! Now that it’s available in the US I’m going to see if I can get my hands on a sample. From all the reviews I’ve read, it certainly seems worth the effort. I really love the ad for it. It’s perfect, isn’t it? Style, sex appeal, elegance. February 28, 2007 at 9:48am Reply

  • Patty: I did like this, but it just did not send me over the edge. Like you, I still prefer Bois D’Encens to wear, though I admire this one a great deal.

    Hey, Judith, my understanding is that we got a great deal on those bottles, that the little shop that was selling them were only selling them for like $10 above wholesale, and that the other shops that had it were selling it for like $120 euro, which brings it to about what everyone is charging for it. February 28, 2007 at 9:52am Reply

  • Elle: Beautiful review. This is my idea of a cozy, comfort incense and I’m definitely in the mood for it today. Am glad it’s easily available now. February 28, 2007 at 10:06am Reply

  • minette: Your mention of Orthodox incense now makes me want this. The only other incense scent that captures an Orthodox, rather than Catholic, incense smell is Chanel No. 22 – I know it’s a floral – but its incense note is pure Orthodox incense at Pascha (Greek, rather than Russian, though). I smelled this incense at a Greek monastery here in Texas, and was blown away when I smelled it in No. 22. Thanks for the review! February 28, 2007 at 10:38am Reply

  • aimtx: I really did absolutely adore this until I got into the drydown, which went too sweetly vanilla on me. Perhaps the solution is just to keep re-applying… February 28, 2007 at 10:45am Reply

  • Leopoldo: I like this, but there are three or four others you list that I much prefer. Funny how his name has shrunk in crossing the Atlantic, like an old fashioned pair of jeans in water… February 28, 2007 at 2:50pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: J, I agree it, the markup is significant. Is that Berlin store still selling it for 70 euros? At any rate, it is a very nice incense. February 28, 2007 at 3:03pm Reply

  • Robin: Lovely review of a lovely scent. I am very sorry to hear that it could be had so much cheaper before I knew about it, but that seems to be the way it always goes 🙂 February 28, 2007 at 10:50pm Reply

  • k-amber: As a incense fragrance fan I love to try everythind Victoria lists. Thank you for a great review as always.

    Kaori March 1, 2007 at 8:08am Reply

  • Gaia: My sample should be here tomorrow, and I can’t wait. I adore most incense scents and your review is very appealing. That said, Zagorsk is the one perfume that made me physically ill. I’m not sure which one of the notes there is responsible, but it was among the vilest things I’ve tried. March 1, 2007 at 7:29pm Reply

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