Incense Pure by Sonoma Scent Studio

As an Italian kid growing up in a big inner city back east, I came up Roman Catholic and was schooled in a neighborhood parochial parish with nuns as teachers. Yes....they hit me with large rulers, chalkboard pointers and whatever else may have been handy. I was a  mischievous lad who, to please my very devout mother, was an altar boy for a few years.

Before I was thrown off the altar boy crew for a non-appreciated practical joke, I found that servicing weddings and funerals was lucrative for a kid my age. It was easier than caddying at the local golf course or engaging in assorted , nefarious ventures my crew seemed to gravitate to at the time. Girls, cigarettes and beer were the order of the day for testosterone filled teenagers.....and not necessarily in that order.

Catholic mass and other services exposed me to incense. That familiar smell would fill the church and thin streams of smoke would spiral upwards from the incense holders. The aroma would waft its way slowly through the congregation and the worship-smell recognition factor was forever seared into memory. It's a cerebral but pleasant smell and with it comes connotations of purpose. Hence my review of Laurie Erickson's "Incense Pure".

Since I have sample worn quite a few by this house and own 1 so far, I have come to know ( and like) the fingerprint of these releases. The common denominator in most is Labdanum absolute and it's an anchor note in Incense Pure. It seems to be underneath the other players, resolute and steadfast. This is a very realistic rendition of the incense I am familiar with and while I may not be a zealot for incense per se, I have owned some releases featuring this note and none of them come close to what Laurie has captured here.

Wearing this, I am transported back in time to my misguided youth. I am holding the gold plated utensil that is held under the chins of those receiving the Eucharist and the aroma of incense is strong  as the organist is filling the air with sound. This fragrance is a linear and well executed scent and I believe accomplishes exactly what the parfumeur had in mind. A time....a place.....a purpose......

Incense Pure is chock full of nuggets. As many notes that are implemented, they all seem to come into play from the initial spray. This could just be me smelling the entire composition from the get-go, but I like that it's transition-less on my skin. Real incense is that way. You get the frankincense and myrrh along with wood additives from the very beginning.......without fanfare....or in stages. Incense Pure has these as well; in addition to labdanum, cistus, oakmoss, patchouli, sandalwood, cedar, ambergris, angelica root, orris and vanilla. Like I said.........chock full of nuggets.......and together somehow smelling exactly like spiritual incense.

Laurie has captured a part of my past with this fragrance. It's a part I take pleasure in remembering and her rendition of this aroma is admirable to say the least. This is a must try for incense lovers who treasure longevity and like their incense soft yet dense. Another excellent release from SSS.


  1. I love incense! I'll have to try this.

  2. Sounds rather "quintessentially incensy"... Yup, I might have to try it as well!

  3. Sounds yummy ! I tried Sienna Musk and was blown away by the quality of it.

  4. This is the best, most wearable incense fragrance I've tried to date. Definitely a must-try A-lister for any self-respecting incense fan.


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