As the nose behind two of the standout fragrances in Comme des Garçons' celebrated Incense quintet scent line (Jaisalmar and Zagorsk), it makes sense that Evelyne Boulanger was invited by the house to offer up her own interpretation of traditional incense as part of the new Blue series for summer 2013.
French-born Boulanger was one of three noses invited by Comme des Garçons and fragrance director Christian Astuguevielle to give their own take on three key 'warm' notes: incense, cedarwood and sandalwood. Any Comme-scent-devotee knows that these always play a key role in their lines. And if you like these, it's a pretty safe bet you're going to be catered for.
"Boulanger's Encens is a bold fusion of mystical incense and crushed Artemisia contrasted with blazing frozen spices"
Incense is a powerful substance – an aromatic biotic material which releases fragrant smoke when burned. The word incense comes from 'incendere', the Latin"to burn", and its use can be traced back to Neolithic times. As well as Comme des Garçons fragrances, incense can be found in scents such as Shalimar by Guerlain, Blue de Chanel by Chanel, Black Orchid by Tom Ford and Infusion d'Iris by Prada, and is strongly favoured by Serge Lutens.
Whereas the original Comme des Garçons Incense series (launched in 2000) took its inspiration from different cities, and brought to mind the rich aroma of a church, rituals and mysticism, the intention of the new Blue series was to create a cool offerings of the original warm notes. Boulanger's Encens is a bold fusion of mystical incense and crushed Artemisia contrasted with blazing frozen spices (Indian cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon), mystical incense and mineral amber crystals.
In this exclusive interview, Boulanger discusses the ideas behind her Encens fragrance.
Text by Laura Bradley