Oct 7, 2022
In addition to the so numerous great suggestions, also adding Santa Cruz and Smyrna (as well as possibly other options with the Le Parfums Remarquables scent line) by Le Couvent des Minimes.
While to a lesser extent even "dark" incense-like base male classics along the lines of Knize Ten or Jacomo de Jacomo.
I appreciate the recs! I'd tucked Jacomo de Jacomo away into some bookmarks to try after hearing it had a reputation of being popular among goth crowds a few decades ago, but hadn't encountered the others.
 

pumaparded

Basenotes Member
Apr 22, 2022
Bit of a rogue suggestion in that in theory it's an artistic interpretation of the smell of mars but We Are The Martians by AromAtom really reminded me of being a kid at mass. Really immediate sense memory that took me by surprise, not sure how much it's just me that gets it though. There is frankincense in it but it's more than that, other stuff with frankincense in doesn't evoke the same thing.

https://mbparfums.com/aromatom/fragrance/we-are-the-martians

 

Tonyprince

Basenotes Dependent
Jan 1, 2007
This is a really interesting rec, I actually had Relique D'Amour on my to-try list already since I heard it smelled very "mossy cave"... sort of a rain and incense effect. And who doesn't want to smell like a mysterious grotto now and then. Now I need to double down on getting a sample. My slight aversion to flower notes is that they usually ended up smelling overly sweet when I wear them, but this one seems like it has enough weird notes to balance it out.
It is definitely a weird perfume (in a good way). I don't think you'll find the lily particularly sweet. It's more chilly. I would probably not wear this very much but if you do "want to smell like a mysterious grotto now and then," this one will deliver on that big time!
 

peter4ptv

Basenotes Dependent
Jun 1, 2015
I notice with a lot of incense focused fragrances, especially when traditional liturgical notes like frankincense, myrrh, and benzoin are involved, tend to be compared to whether or not they just smell like a Catholic church or if they've risen above such comparisons.

While I can completely understand why people wouldn't find that a pleasant and/or wearable scent, I crave it. I would like the help of those more experienced in the world of fragrance than me to help add to my list of fragrances I mean to try. If you've ever thought "this smells like mass" or "this is vampire cologne" or "this reminds me of a metaphysical shop", your recommendations are appreciated. Things that have a bit of peppery spice to start or some woodsy notes too them are especially welcome, florals can be a bit touch and go for me. As a point of reference, I enjoy Encens by Rag & Bone a great deal, but with the odd complaint of a fragrance being named after incense needing way more of it.

These are fragrances on the to-do list so far. Not sure if any of these are straight churchy, but I like incense in general.
  • Avignon by Comme des Garcons, and Zagorsk for a more woodsy, orthodox alternative.
  • Full Incense by Montale
  • Cardinal and Eau Sacree by James Heeley
  • Incense City by Allsaints
  • Frankincense and Myrrh Cologne by Czech & Speake
  • Seraph by House of Orpheus
  • Heresy by Chapel Factory
Honourable mention to Encens Flamboyant by Goutal, which I do want to try for the fresher side of my fragrance wardrobe but which I have heard explicitly reviewed as "not too churchy".

I prefer unisex or masculine scents, and I'm in my late twenties/early thirties if it matters, though I feel like age appropriateness isn't really a factor in this kind of request.
Avignon, full incense and cardinal is like catholic church
Zagorsk and Frankincense and Myrrh Cologne by Czech & Speake more like orthodox church.
for me the best is Casbah Robert Piguet this one is like Catholic, Orthodox, Mosque and Buddhist monastery all together with lasting for days even after shower.
 

ambergeese

Basenotes Member
Sep 7, 2022
I've tried Avignon and Kyoto from the CdG line, and I adore them. Kyoto is less like a traditional Western church, but there's still a cool, solemn incense going on that feels contemplative in the same sort of way.

This is a slightly random one, but Serge Lutens' Five O'Clock Au Gingembre feels churchy to me. (I was actually thinking of reviewing this one today -- I'm taking this as a sign!) It's not in a literal incense scent, but more in its architecture. It makes me think of a dark-wooded Norwegian stave church, the kind that's made with no nails, particularly the Heddal in Notodden. It's quite a woody ginger fragrance, and there's a certain resonance to it that makes me think of high ceilings and all the architecture terms I've forgotten from my college art history class. That one's less of a literal incense connection, but if you happen to like ginger and woods, I highly recommend it. There's a similar aura going on in that one, quiet majesty and solace.
 

eosphore

Super Member
Sep 18, 2021
I would add Milano Fragranze Basilica (lactonic and aromatic incense), Laboratorio Olfattivo Sacreste (warm incense), Beaufort London Terror & Magnificence (old stones and incense), Matière première Encens suave (haven't tried it, heard good things).
Also Pierre Guillaume Louanges profanes, less incense and more church flowers.
 
Oct 19, 2017
I notice with a lot of incense focused fragrances, especially when traditional liturgical notes like frankincense, myrrh, and benzoin are involved, tend to be compared to whether or not they just smell like a Catholic church or if they've risen above such comparisons.

While I can completely understand why people wouldn't find that a pleasant and/or wearable scent, I crave it. I would like the help of those more experienced in the world of fragrance than me to help add to my list of fragrances I mean to try. If you've ever thought "this smells like mass" or "this is vampire cologne" or "this reminds me of a metaphysical shop", your recommendations are appreciated. Things that have a bit of peppery spice to start or some woodsy notes too them are especially welcome, florals can be a bit touch and go for me. As a point of reference, I enjoy Encens by Rag & Bone a great deal, but with the odd complaint of a fragrance being named after incense needing way more of it.

These are fragrances on the to-do list so far. Not sure if any of these are straight churchy, but I like incense in general.
  • Avignon by Comme des Garcons, and Zagorsk for a more woodsy, orthodox alternative.
  • Full Incense by Montale
  • Cardinal and Eau Sacree by James Heeley
  • Incense City by Allsaints
  • Frankincense and Myrrh Cologne by Czech & Speake
  • Seraph by House of Orpheus
  • Heresy by Chapel Factory
Honourable mention to Encens Flamboyant by Goutal, which I do want to try for the fresher side of my fragrance wardrobe but which I have heard explicitly reviewed as "not too churchy".

I prefer unisex or masculine scents, and I'm in my late twenties/early thirties if it matters, though I feel like age appropriateness isn't really a factor in this kind of request.

I just purchased a Ralph Waldo Emerson candle from the Paddywax Library range and to me it is reminiscent of a church.
M 75AE37BE-4ADF-4903-BC96-6D571D87A135.jpeg
 
Oct 7, 2022
I would add Milano Fragranze Basilica (lactonic and aromatic incense), Laboratorio Olfattivo Sacreste (warm incense), Beaufort London Terror & Magnificence (old stones and incense), Matière première Encens suave (haven't tried it, heard good things).
Also Pierre Guillaume Louanges profanes, less incense and more church flowers.
These sound incredible, and I think I'm only familiar with Encens Suave from the lot. I appreciate the recommendations!
 

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