Incense was an extremely valuable commodity in the ancient world, sometimes even more valuable than silver and gold. It was valued for its fragrance, religious significance, and medicinal properties.
Incense is derived from the burning of scented woods and plant-based gums and resins, for instance myrrh, frankincense, and benzoin. Thousands of years ago, the incense scents produced by these burning woods were the only sources of fragrance. One might even say they were the precursors to all fragrances – the earliest perfumes. And interestingly, the word "perfume" comes from Latin "per fumum" (which means "by means of smoke") – a poignant reminder of the bottled scent’s genesis.
But What Do Incense Perfume Notes Smell Like?
A typical incense perfume note is sweet, spicy, earthy, balsamic, and above all – smoky. In its purest form, incense perfume oil has an almost black peppery scent with a hint of lemon peel. As it dries, the oil reveals its woody flavor. It’s ridiculously easy to detect incense (its smoky aroma goes straight to your nose), yet every time you take it in, you’ll still find new depth and nuance. Truly a fragrance that exudes the mystery of the unknown – a scent that begs to be explored.
Incense is a highly versatile perfume note. Its simple and uncomplicated linear nature lends itself well to mixing. Often, it is associated with woods, fruits, florals, and other oriental flavors. We’re talking lavish accords of spice, musk, amber, vanilla, leather, and more. Combined with these notes, incense can dramatically alter a fragrance’s complexity, adding new dimensions of fantasy, sensuality, and spirituality.