Doing what it says on the tin, Incense Flash presents a somewhat abbreviated but nonetheless satisfying picture of incense resins half-smoked on the censer. It leads with a piney frankincense and quickly adds in the tarrier, bootstrap molasses nuances of myrrh for heft. It's smoky, but this is due to the resins themselves rather than the addition of birch tar, so there's air to breathe and it never quite tips over into acridity. There is some rubber and fuel detritus floating around in the frankincense accord, but that's just the nature of frankincense - anyone's who's ever bought or burned any will recognize this aspect immediately. The dry woods and Ambroxan in the base are less satisfying to me, personally I am never sold on the clean starched shirt taken off an aftershave-doused male body' accord this tandem births like a malevolent serpent into the world. Yet it is never as aggressively soap-powder-shot-into-your-nostrils' as Incense Extrême, a small mercy for which I'm very grateful.
My main issue with this scent is that it smells like something I could knock together myself; there's a lazy, homemade edge to this that disappoints. Incense Flash is very fairly priced, but it's one of those products that make you aware of the mark-up while you're in the act of consuming it, like the store-bought apple tart that tastes fine, even satisfying, but you can taste that they cut a few corners and just knocked it out onto the production line in time for the 5 o' clock rush, so you're kind of questioning even the measly 6 you spent on it.
When I wore this the first time, I was immediately struck by how much it smelled like burning boswellia frankincense. Smells exactly like it. It does have a bit of a plastic smell to it which fades. That will put off some people. Pretty potent stuff though.
Like many of Tauer's efforts, this is too strong, too long, and in this instance, borderline caustic. Never have I experienced an immediate headache as quickly after spraying as with Incense Flash. This lemonbomb is the worst parts of citrusy frankincense without the incense – it's frank in its statement, but lacks the sublimity of good incense.
A flash, yes, like an oncoming and deafening migraine.
Also: Cf. Lonesome Rider, which is basically a refitting on Incense Flash to be more "leather."
Incense is a note with titanic proportions, pretty much like vetiver. It also is a multifaceted material with hints of citrus and evocative of smoke (through its primarily use). I love incense and own many compositions, others more minimal others more plethoric. Incense flash is of the former type. Tauer utilizes an accord of high grade frankincense, dry woods and ambroxan. The scent opens with incense and features mostly the dry vein and character of this material feeling very crisp and piney. Then comes the brilliant ambroxan which pairs ideally with the incense providing an ambery, musky (salty skin like) warmth for a surprisingly ultralong-lasting and greatly distinctive drydown.
Tauer is certainly one the most charismatic perfumers of the new age. His L'Air du Desert Marocain proves this beyond doubt. Incense Flash is simple (not simplistic) but ingenious, very classy and goes on forever. Frankly after testing and owning many incenses I was a bit disappointed with the lack of novelty throughout the genre. Incense Flash is the best incense fragrance I have tested in years. Not in the league of Bois D'Encens since it lacks its complexity and nuance but the most brilliant Tauer I have come across since LAdDM and certainly full bottle worthy. Excellent work.