I figured Blue Encens would fall more on the masculine side, considering the bottle and notes, but this is very unisex.
It's pleasant smelling, and nice in a person's aura (the sillage). The refreshing base and subtle incense vibe blend well and feel at home together. It also smells nice outside, which, as we all know, imperils many fragrances. There's no powder and no stinky musk - just kind of a crisp, clean blend of subtle earthy incense and blue, airy water backdrop. It escapes the pitfalls of sport fragrances and stays subtle and well-judged. I envision it as what a classy guy would wear to a casual outdoor get-together, yet I can entirely see it as something I might wear to the same gathering.
And yet I found I didn't exactly care for the drydown - that's when the frozen spices aspect came out. I didn't quite like the blue note making the spices a little sharp and brittle. So it's in a place between thumbs up and neutral. I'm almost tempted, but ultimately not.
It lasts around 6 hours on me, but I can still catch whiffs of it for several more.
Blue Encens starts in a modern synthetic style :
'frozen spices', aromatics and sweet amber; and there's a ton of Iso E. There's also an incense overtone; but incense is just a note here and it doesn't really take the theme.
So because of the minor role the incense plays, I find the name is misleading : but then Blue Iso E Super doesn't have the same ring to it.
Having said that, the profile is quite coherent in the early stages - even if it's not really my cup of tea - but as time goes on, a thick oriental fills out the body and the modern feeling is subdued. There's nothing wrong with that in itself, but I think the synthetic vibe doesn't work with an old fashioned oriental.
And because the two halves clash (rather than creating a pleasing dynamic tension) the profile gets a bit confused, and it doesn't quite work.
I'm so relieved to read the other reviews. I thought perhaps this fragrance had some ingredient to which I was anosmic. After the first exhilarating thirty seconds, I just couldn't smell it at all. But it looks like first thirty seconds are also the last. Back to Avignon.
An interesting, but a bit underperforming / underdelivering, "Blue" scent from Comme des Garcons.
Blue Encens starts out smelling a LOT like Mennen or Old Spice After Shave (not a slight against the fragrance at all), with a very spicy, bracing intro. The cardamom sustains this quality for a bit, keeping the fragrance quite spicy but stable; the black pepper may be acting as a reinforcer to this opening act. This has a frozen sort of effect perceptibly, with a mentholated character not too unlike Donna Karan's Unleaded (also having cardamom and with a bright quality).
It seems to remain this way onward towards eventual fade out; it feels like it disappears way too soon for an EdP formulation. Even after an extra layering, Blue Encens didn't develop as I was wanting it to, where I may get a sudden hit of incense emerging from the mentholation experienced thus far.
Instead, I only got a tiny sensation of cinnamon coming out after five minutes, and a possible whiff of very subtle incense stick...virtually speaking, from the cooled down incense ashes sitting in the incense holder, not the burning stick itself nor from smoldering, freshly fallen glowing embers off of the stick.
As another reviewer put it, Blue Encens comes across as transparent, hollow, having potential to transform into a more substantial "incense" scent but not quite doing so.
Not a bad smell per se, but I would need to layer this on three layers deep on myself for it to project even moderately, and longevity still wouldn't be more than a few hours. (This could all be my personal skin chemistry.)
Maybe this one will grow on me, but for now - a neutral rating from me.
The marketing that came with my sample emphasised the presence of incense, artemisia, and "frozen spices" - whatever they are. To be honest, in the light of that I wasn't expecting much. I've always found "blue" fragrances to be disappointing.
As it happens, Blue Encens takes a fairly original, although unexciting, path towards providing a clean and refreshing scent, relying neither on aquatic accords nor any form of citrus. The result is transparent and pleasant, albeit far from natural-smelling. The artemisia is prominent and the spices, perhaps the least convincing component, provide a mixed and rather chemically coda. It does sit lightly on the skin, though.
The main problem here is the chronic lack of performance. Two separate applications over the course of the day led to at best four-hour duration with low sillage - for fragrances on my skin, this is dismal.
The school report would read: good imagination, but finds it hard to focus. Consider yourself lucky to gain a Neutral rating.
So when I finally ran out of my bottle of Kyoto a few years ago, I bought a replacement on ebay and just couldnt stand the pepper note. This is like the updated Kyoto. Woody, sweet, antique doll smell, like kyoto, without the sharp pepper note with a slight transparent tape smell! Would love a spray sample though becasue the last few cdg have been VERY weak as far as longitivity and sillage.