a church incense but not the one that comes out during the liturgy by the priest's burning-incense. but it is that wonderful smell that is felt in an empty church. smell of old church woods smell of the confessional, smell of the church benches. smell of church, this describes the perfume perfectly. 9/10 one of my next purchases. excellent performance.
Unique? Yes. Bizarre? Absolutely. Wearable? It depends. I'm using incense sticks for a couple of decades now, but I don't like incense fragrances very much. First of all I think there's a huge vagueness in defining what an incense note is, because there are literally hundreds of different "incense" scents out there. In Christianity "incense" is mainly associated with myrrh and olibanum, while in Buddhism it's associated with more exotic substances, like sandalwood and benzoin. Not to mention the multifariousnees of incense sticks, which come in virtually every scent imagined. And as is the case with anything coming in a great variety, our subjective point of view dictates that there are specimens to love and specimens to hate. But I take it that "incense" in perfumery usually means a church-like olfactory quality, cause churches and temples are usually the places where this kind of smell is more likely to be encountered. But despite the fact that an Eastern Orthodox church and a Buddhist temple smell nothing alike, I'll take it for granted that La Liturgie des Heures is an incense fragrance the way such an one is perceived by Christians. All the more that it displays myrrh and olibanum amongst its notes.
However, there's no way I'll follow the "Why would someone want to smell like this?" cliche. Just because! As Latin wisdom has put it centuries ago, "De gustibus non est disputandum." Because the one to whom this question is addressed, could very easily reverse it and ask the one who asks it the very same thing about her/his favourite fragrance. "Why would someone want to smell like a cupcake?". And to be perfectly honest, I never liked smelling like food, thus incense fragrances have a clear lead against gourmands in my book.
Now, if Avignon or Cardinal smells like Bernardo Gui's religious habit in "The Name of the Rose", then I imagine that La Liturgie des Heures is the way Adso's of Melk robes smelled like. Pious, yes, but not yet pious enough to have every hint of mirth exiled in the purgatorial fires. It's the difference between an old, cantankerous and cold-hearted bishop, probably disappointed that the world does not understand his "rightfulness" and a young and sanguine monk, who still thinks he can make a difference. This doesn't mean that La Liturgie des Heures is a joyous and playful fragrance. God forbid! It just means that this aspiring novice enjoys equally delving profoundly into the ancient manuscripts in the monastery and quaffing a couple of pints in the local tavern. Walking the dense coniferous forests surrounding both in the meantime, and taking a nap on the ground every once in a while.
Oh, and for those who expected a Sean Connery association to be included, this emblematic Scotsman will always be beyond genres and classifications, thus Guerlain's Jicky will always do the trick for him. Monkish or not.
What happens when a Messe de Minuit takes place in Avignon Cathedral? That must be the question buzzing in the head of the people at Jovoy when they started thinking about an incense fragrance for their line. And the answer is, of course, La Liturgie des Heures! It starts coniferous and rock mineral like Avignon, though it displays immediately a darker, richer, deeper and even sweeter side: more myrrh, more resins. A grapefruit- bitter, sour, mineral in a slightly urinous way- note that immediately reminds me of the Etro fragrance hovers on the whole development. The drydown is more mellow, fizzy resinous, compared to the CdG fragrance, and, most important of all for me, it seems to be lacking the woody ambers that I find so bothering in Avignon.
In short, an enjoyable take on the church incense theme, though not much original.
Ugggghhhh...I do not want to go against the grain here. And I love my fellow Basenoters, I really do. I especially love reading Darvant & Colin Maillard's reviews (and others). But I gotta go along with my buddy, Odysseusm on this one. Awful! And after my FOURTH Jovoy try...I'm done.
Perhaps my nostrils are cluttered with my last (latest) Jovoy (Psychedelique) try prior to La Liturgie but I am detecting AMBER...again! C'mon Jovoy! Because of the quality ingredients evident in Jovoy fragrances AND the staying power (longevity), I REALLY want to love ONE of this house's fragrances; however, I'm done.
Well, if it's all "in my head," than it's all in my head; but I swear this fragrance opened with notes of sweet, cloying AMBER and if not, definitely some sickly sweet, granulated something...some sweet gourmand note, perhaps. Trying to push through the opening, I felt dizzy with confusing mixed notes of God knows what...incense, myrrh, smoke, berries, jam, jelly, fruit-cake. I don't get it. I literally felt nauseated and as if I was developing a colossal headache.
After several hours, I couldn't bear it anymore, so I had to scrub...and scrub and scrub and scrub.
And of course...like all Jovoy fragrances...I could not get this one off. Finally washed all clothing and took a shower.
A fresher, more balsamic take on the "catholic" incense à la Avignon, with floral-woody notes and a fruity touch, and even an earthy-mossy side. Not as fascinating as CdG's milestones, but with a different personality, which is still a good feature. La Liturgie is close to Avignon but "moves the camera" on the outside of the Church-ish ambiance, like wandering in the garden of a Mediterranean abbey. The incense notes blend with a herbal-balsamic breeze; the mood is still much meditative, cozy and mellow, just fresher and more "natural", less hieratic, less severe, but also less experimental and "contemporary" speaking in terms of structure. This is more friendly, more aerial, more "safe" in a way. The drydown is a bit disappointing on my skin, as it turns into an unpleasant, sour rubbery note, but apart from that, it's an elegant and cozier alternative to other darker and "bolder" incense-based fragrances.