Blog post by Gwen

No 05 Incense Extrême – minimalist and intense and clear

Photo - Wikimedia - Incense burning on hot coal - by birdy, march 2007

Andy Tauer, a self-taught perfumer living in Zurich, opened up a new world of niche artisanal fragrances to me. I’d wear any of his fragrances anytime, but the one I go back to more and more lately is 05 Incense Extrême. I was given a bottle of it shortly after it came out, so it's a sentimental favourite, but who wear it to please the person who gave it to me, I wear No 05 Incense Extrême for the pure pleasure of it.

On Tauer's website No 05 Incense Extrême is described as: Minimalist, intense, clear.  A perfume built around a natural CO2 extract of Boswellia serrata, aka incense; it captures the roughness of the climate of the semi desert where Boswellia trees thrives. It is translucent like the first whiff of incense smoke from Boswellia resin on red gleaming coal. Yet, it is crisp like a night in the desert. On this website I describe it as “essential”. Here's how it smells on me.

It opens with a soft and green from petitgrain. Petitgrain has a gorgeous rosy/woody facet that stands out here before being joined by spicy, woody coriander. This opening is among the most beautiful I have ever experienced. largely because it is considered part of the experience and not just the perfunctory citrus opening. But let’s get to the heart of the matter – rich, deep  incense. To me, it’s not smoky but clear in a way that I have never experienced before. The warm incense plays off cool orris root with the coriander wafting in and out of the background in perfect harmony. As it blooms, the orris root gives it a powderiness.  At the base, Texan cedarwood, keeps it austere and dry while ambergris bolsters and sweetens the incense.

The drydown is light, dry and clean. I must confess, I don’t get the ‘Extrême’ in the title. No 05 Incense Extrême doesn’t overdose on incense, so don’t be misled. Instead it is as advertised: minimalist, intense, clear.

You know, if I had to put a few personal possessions in a time capsule to be dug up by my descendants 500 years from now, I'd put this in because I’d want them to have the experience of it. 

Check out No 05 Incense Extrême in our Shop.