A few months ago I went on a bit of an incense rampage and really sampled quite a few incense-focused perfumes, including Olibanum, by Profumum. I think I'm naturally drawn to incense, having always loved its smell, even as a small boy, when I most associated it with church ceremonies. I love the contemplative nature of incense, and the sense of history one gets when considering it's varied uses over the centuries and its versatility and incarnations. Profumum is not a line I am familiar with. In fact Olibanum is the only one I've tried and often when reading reviews of their fragrances I am surprised at the often negative reviews of many in the line. Anyway, the listed notes include incense, myrrh, orange blossom and sandalwood. The opening of Olibanum is unusual (at least to me) in that it doesn't seem to pair the usual tart citrus notes with incense. In fact, until I had read what the notes were, I couldn't quite make out what was paired with the incense. There is a sweetness to the opening which I couldn't pin down, but now of course I realise that it is orange blossom. I must admit that I didn't find the opening particularly enticing. It was rather nondescript to me, but thankfully, the heart onwards became rather more alluring. As the sandalwood creeps in, the fragrance becomes woodier and creamy, which combined with the slightly smoky (but by no means churchy or gothic) incense is a nice, if fairly well-charted route. Think 10 Corso Como for example, which to my nose is the most comparable. Nothing wrong with that. If anything, I would say that Olibanum is perhaps a bit more intense that 10 Corso Como, with more of an incense presence. The second half of the development works really well on my skin and I must say that I ended up liking Olibanum rather a lot. I wouldn't say it is particularly daring or innovative, but it smells darn nice and that is surely what counts? I don't detect a huge myrrh presence, but I must admit that myrrh is not a note that I'm very familiar with and I'm sure it is in here, somehow complementing the incense and sandalwood, but not in a manner that I can readily identify and comprehend.
Olibanum is, I think, perfectly unisex, particularly with the creamy sandalwood note and I think any fan of incense perfumes would most probably enjoy it very much. If you already like 10 Corso Como but perhaps find it a bit too restrained, then I would recommend giving Olibanum a go, as it seemed very much like a more intense version of a similar theme.
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