Incense Is Best!
I went gandering over the weekend for scents for fall, and it hit me that a great way to create that smoky, burned smell that I associate with autumn would be with, duh, incense! So I thought I'd snoop around and see if I found any incense that's actually good quality, and lo and behold I did! Votivo makes incense, so I was looking at their wood scents, cux what better way to create a firewood smell than with wood incense? I settled on 3 of their scents that I think would work for a smoky, autumny scent: Teak, Mahogany and Tumbleweed. Teak seems to be a dark, dry wood (it also seemed to have an almost moldy note), one that maybe has a whisper of a smoky character anyway. Mahogany seemed to be a richer, fuller wood scent. Tumbleweed was kind of a dry earthy scent, which smelled a little like this synthetic vetiver I found once; it seemed like it would work for a dried leaves kind of smell. I ended up getting Mahogany, and spending more than I should have on it--in this place on Avenue A they had the Teak incense for $12, but they didn't have Mahogany, so I ended up spending $19(!) on it at Details in the West Village. So if you're in the mood for Votivo incense, especially the Red Currant one (cux that's the one everyone has shitloads of), buy it in the East Village. I just wish I could remember the name of the store.
At this store, they also had that line of really expensive candles with the French names that textwrap on the label (which I think is a little precious in the pejorative sense). I wish I could afford them, cux their Feu de Bois is second to none. I'm assuming it means 'firewood' cux the words and scent convey that. It really smells quite natural. It oughtta, though, for $45!! (!!!) The room fragrance for the feu de bois, interestingly, is terrible. There's a weird mossy/moldy/off note in there somewhere, and it doesn't really smell like firewood. Their Tubereuses candle is also top-notch. Once I was at Sephora, when they still had the perfume organ, smelling stuff--the woman gave me a sample of the West Indian Tuberose; it was the most amazing thing I've ever smelled--it was a rich, full and sweet floral that actually smelled like that candy Smartees. I thought it was the most amazing scent; and interestingly, it smelled NOTHING like the tuberose absolute/essential oil you can buy, which has the vaguest hint at something floral but is mostly a peculiar oily green scent which isn't all that pleasant (a lot of essentail oils are like that--why does the Carnation oil at Enfleurage, for example, not smell like honey-clove-floral-green?! Why does the Narcissus not smell like much of anything?! Osmanthus is supposed to have a cherry-almond-leather note mingling with a spicy floral, so why doesn't it smell like anythying?! Jasmines are the only thing that are very impressive--even Neroli is crap most of the time you smell it! I've only smelled ONE Neroli Bigarade oil in my whole life that really smelled like the blooming orange groves of my youth). Anyway, their Tubereuse candle smells like the West Indian tuberose oil that Sephora had. It's quite amazing, really. They have a new one too--a New Mown Hay smell (I can't remember the French); unfortunately, it doesn't smell like new mown hay to me. It doesn't really even smell like coumarin, seemingly. It smells like powdery honey. I thought new mown hay was supposed to smell like, well, hay, or at least tonka bean, which smells incredible and pretty much can't be found in New York anymore. (Everyone says you can find everything in New York--well, you can't find tonka absolute; neither can you find beeswax or really good floral absolutes. An aromatherapy-addicted friend of mine has never even heard of cassie; and the only time I've ever seen genet was a long time ago in a line that Aveda discontinued. Until recently, in fact, it was difficult to find a good vanilla!) So the new-mown-hay thing is a bust.
Speaking of new-mown-hay, that's becoming the theme for that fall home-fragrance oil I'm making for myself. Well, more like Wood Masquerading as New Mown Hay with Spice Notes. Basically it just involves putting some warmer notes in it, which on the whole give a new mown hay type nuance. Anyway, we'll see how the blend turns out.
And that's it for today. Ed Shepp