Lore’s Top 5 Smoky Fragrances

Smoky scents belong to one of the oldest fragrance categories in perfume – the word “perfume” itself actually means “from smoke”! These scents often contain woods like birch and cade, as well as oud, incense, and resins like labdanum and opoponax. Smoky fragrances are usually pretty bold in character, rich and deep without being overly heavy – like smoke suspended in the air.  While smoky notes are used sparingly, when they are there, they add a mystical and bewitching quality to whatever other notes they are paired with. 

Check out Laura’s top 5 below…

1. Mihan Aromatics Munlark Ash

A morning spent camping in the Otways – the whisper of the coals from the night before mingling with the dense greenness of the rainforest – that’s what this scent brings to mind for us. With sharp cedar and cypress, frankincense, vetiver, labdanum and elemi, Munlark Ash makes us feel surrounded by native plants potentially hundreds of years old, deeply rooted in undisturbed land. 

2. Carner Barcelona Botafumeiro

Part of Carner Barcelona’s History range, Botafumeiro pays homage to the over 400-year-old pulley-operated hanging censer of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Northwestern Spain. When first installed, the incense helped mask the smell of tired and unwashed pilgrims, and was thought to prevent the plague. The perfect fragrance for someone feeling trepidatious about a smoky scent, Botafumeiro is a soft incensy smoke with spice and warmth perfectly balanced with earthy notes, and has a distinctly holy feel.

3. Map of the Heart Black Heart v.2 (The Heart of Darkness)

v.2 Black Heart is an ode to rebirth and regeneration in the aftermath of a fire – sunlight through the blackened trees, green shoots sprouting from the ash.  With citrus and eucalyptus on the top, spice in the middle and smoky wood and sandalwood on the bottom, this is a true Australian botanical smoke. Terrifying yet beautiful, this scent is a testament to the power of nature – a journey into a dark forest that is dangerous and intimidating, yet it is one of transformation.

4. Beaufort London Tonnerre

Tonnerre or “thunder” is the fragrant imagining of the Battle of Trafalgar, capturing the scent of naval warfare. It’s a clash of sea spray, blood, booze, smoke and gunpowder that is at first confronting, but as the fragrance settles and the sea calms, it becomes smoother and more refined while still retaining its uniqueness.  A powerful and persistent wear, Tonnerre is thunder, bottled.

5. Naomi Goodsir Bois d’Ascèse

When she was still based in Australia, the perfumer behind Bois d’Ascèse, Naomi Goodsir, lived in a converted 19th century church in rural NSW. She fondly recalls long nights with friends spent around the fire at dusk, drinking smoked whiskey, surrounded by the mystical smell of the church – incense and stone. So, naturally that is the construction of this fragrance, booze, tobacco, woods and incense. It is a beautiful encapsulation of both the church and the wild Australian outback that surrounded it. 

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