One of my favourite smells is the inside of an ancient Church or Cathedral. High Anglican Churches or Roman Catholic Churches are best for this as they use thuribles, or incense holders, often swung on a chain during procession. Combine this smell with ancient wood, slightly musty old stone walls, and a sense of humbling awe, and you have Comme Des Garcons Series Three: Incense Avignon. The fragrance was named after the commune of Avignon in the South East of France. Once upon a time, this ancient town was the Papal seat during the Catholic Schism from 1309 until 1377 and today the Papal Palace is still there in the old walled town. The fragrance is from a series of five:
- Ouarzazate – Islam
- Zagorsk – Orthodox Christianity
- Jaisalmer – Hinduism
- Kyoto – Buddhism and Shintoism
My only very slight misgiving about this outstandingly evocative scent is the question of whether I want my skin to smell like an ancient church? It’s unquestionably beautiful, but it jars very slightly that the smell on my wrist smells of bricks and mortar and ceremony. But then again, I haven’t been able to get my nose off my wrist since trying it, so I guess we revert to the old perfume rule and that is: There Are No Rules. This smells so alarmingly like a church that vicars should wear it when playing truant. You will always smell like you’ve just left Mass. And it will always make you feel a little bit guilty without knowing why.