The smell of woods remembered that fell before I lived.
This is exquisite. This is holy as I learned the word : set apart and yet connected. Strong, multidimensional, transcendent. The frankincense washes you down like a cat tongue, then the sandal and orange blossoms snuggles you up in fur. I tested Olibanum last year in May, in the U.S. North West. It was rainy and sunny by turns and often scents on the skin seem to sleep if I don't warm up a little. This is one of those. I had sampled Battito d'ali from this house, which was lovely but too soft for my need at the time; with isolation I found a leaning toward harder, more bracing scent. At first application it was harsh, astringent, almost like nail polish remover. I like that myself. Sharing my vial with a couple of dude friends, one of whom I inadvertently doused, they also caught that opening abrasive power; the dousee messaged two days later to tell me how much he enjoyed it on his clothes as it mellowed and that it was still going strong, if subdued. My experience is this - it smells natural, medicinal, woody, ever so slightly blossomy; for personal intent but not unfriendly; it sinks into my skin and after about an hour develops (or simplifies) into a tonic of cool, light smoke that carries into a gently retreating veil of gauzy comfort. To say that Olibanum warms up would feel misleading as it always feels rather neutral in spirit to me, like gin being neutral as opposed to tequila feeling hot or vodka cold. As it works more into my skin with work or exercise, however, it does bloom in a dignified, unselfconcious...just rather pure and clean while still human way; I get no sense of artifice or pretense, I wouldn't worry about smelling my own sweat through and around it as I do with some others that I also love. This is different. I very much enjoy that it's a woody incense without spice. It doesn't last forever on me as the Patchuly and Confetto have, though it does linger long in whisps and twinkles. It also is so simple in elements (while complex in effect) that it layers exceptionally well with any other perfume including incense or sandalwood that I've tried, adding a smooth, clean backbone to softer works or an extra sparkle to heavier. I could go on. Personally, once past that initial blast -which, again, I enjoy- it is to my nose what rising smoke is to the eyes that watch it : mesmerizing.