Three Crisp and Bright Incense Perfumes

Frankincense, the subject of my recent article and video, is on my mind again. Today I would like to reply to a request for fresh and bright incense fragrances that can be worn during warm weather.

Frankincense is a chameleon of a note, and it can evoke different impressions depending on what other ingredients are used in a composition. In general, if you’re looking for a fresh incense blend, consider fragrances with green, leafy and citrus notes. If you’re after a dark, smoky incense, search for notes like benzoin, tonka bean, Peru balsam, amber and guaiacwood.

Fragrances mentioned in the video:

Aedes de Venustas Copal Azur

Comme des Garçons Zagorsk

Hermès Un Jardin sur le Nil

More on the subject of incense: why the supplies of frankincense are fragile and which brands source sustainably.

What unconventional fragrances do you prefer during summer? What are your favorite incense perfumes?



  • rosarita: I love incense perfumes and some favorites for warm weather include Etro Messe di Minuit & Schaal Nur; YSL Nu; Un Jardin Sur le Nil. CdG Incense Series is wonderful, my favorites are Zagorsk and Kyoto, also CdG 2. Other favorites are vintage Obsession, Parfums d’Empire Wazamba and Lutens Ensens et Lavande. Oh, and Passage d’Enfer! I’m sure I’m missing some. July 19, 2021 at 10:21am Reply

    • Dorothy: I enjoy Kyoto too. Samples of the other CdeG incenses I’ve tried, especially Zamora and Avignon, seem beautiful. Another incense perfume that I love on my partner, though I’m not sure if it’s frankincense, is Timbuktu.

      It’s hot and humid in southwestern Ontario, and yesterday I wore Donna Karan Gold which I have read is a lily amber. It has a faint smokiness, and if I apply it lightly it’s just a little elusive, which I think suits it. It was reasonably priced when I got it a few years ago.

      Thank you Victoria. I really enjoy hearing about ranges of perfumes like this. July 19, 2021 at 10:48am Reply

      • Gretchen: Timbuktu is great and I’m partial to the vintage fragrance rather than the stuff in the new-ish bottles. I’ll be sad when that stash is used up! July 19, 2021 at 11:37am Reply

      • Debby: Gold is wonderful, I’ve been rotating that lately too, it’s great for humid days. July 19, 2021 at 1:56pm Reply

      • Victoria: I enjoy reading all of the lists and suggestions. More ideas on incense perfumes to try. July 20, 2021 at 4:39am Reply

    • Victoria: Lovely choices! July 20, 2021 at 4:39am Reply

  • Nina Z: I find Sideris by Maria Candida Gentile very cooling in the summer because it’s sheer and the frankincense alone to me is a “cold” note. It worked very well for me in the heat of New York City. July 19, 2021 at 12:58pm Reply

    • Victoria: I agree, it’s cool and fresh on its own. July 20, 2021 at 4:39am Reply

  • eva: I use frankincense essential oil mixed with jojoba oil on my face, good for skin and the senses July 19, 2021 at 1:25pm Reply

  • Debby: I must dig out my sample of Zagorsk, I got it in the winter and that frosty pine forest feel probably seemed a bit too literal for that time of year in Scotland! Maybe I’ll find it more interesting in the summer. I love CdG Avignon, but not on me, those kind of incense perfumes don’t work on my skin for some reason, I have the sort of skin that makes things sit too close. It’s divine on my husband though. He also has Montale Full Incense which is similar to Avignon but sweeter and less serious we think.
    I enjoy Messe de Minuit in the summer, and one I think a lot of people would be horrified by in the heat is Tauer L’Air du Desert Marocain, I think it is just made for sultry days. July 19, 2021 at 1:54pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, true. It depends on the amount you use and the context. In hot, humid weather, anything smoky, sweet and balsamic would be too much, of course, but if it’s hot and dry, it works better. July 20, 2021 at 4:40am Reply

  • Ije N.: Its so interesting that you discussed this topic as i am wearing Amber Absolute today and a search for it online brought me to your review when it was released in 2007 and blog! I get a decent dose of Incense from it as well and ive also worn Incense Oud by Nicolai lately.
    Keep up the good work with your videos and article, they are a refreshing breath of fresh air to consume. July 22, 2021 at 1:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for your kind words! Enjoy Amber Absolute. July 23, 2021 at 11:09am Reply

  • Ewan: I found that mixing essential oils: Frankincense, Labdanum, Vetiver, Jasmin, Basil, Verbena and Bergamot warms and softens up the Frankincense. It retains its woodiness but not the sharpness, though still a penetrating fragrance, just speckled or highlighted with the vetiver and jasmine, once the top notes have given way. July 23, 2021 at 1:50am Reply

  • Marianne: I would appreciate advice on incense themed candles. One I tried was Spiritus Sancti by Cire Trudon but I found it to be rather ‘severe’ and am looking for something softer, yet with a generous throw.
    I love the bois de jasmin site, have read avidly over years now. Thank you Victoria.
    Marianne August 10, 2021 at 8:47pm Reply

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