Saturday, 15 December 2012

Scent of the day - Attar Bazaar Tunisian Frankincense

I can't find any note lists for this oil from Attar Bazaar. I'm interested in finding out, because it doesn't smell like the sort of frankincense perfume I am accustomed to, and I wonder if Tunisian is a style of frankincense and if so, what other notes are in here. 

This oil takes a little time to warm up on skin and when it does, it smells quite strong to me. It is sweet, with a floral tone, and when smelt quickly from a distance, comes across as almost soapy clean. I struggle to identify the more traditional frankincense note, the one that smells smoky, yet almost lemony. 

I like Tunisian Frankincense, but find it just a little too sweet and floral for my liking. The floral note is, I think, orange blossom, and it doesn't work badly, but this is not quite my style. Having said that, wearing it now and again is an interesting experience.


  1. Michael,

    Tunisian Frankincense is a sweet one. My impression was that this was a straight-up resin and not a blend. I've read that the scent of resins from different locations can vary significantly.

    Maybe Meg will be able to provide more info on this one as I've ordered several Attar Bazaar oils on her recommendation.

    1. I'd be happy too! I've been wearing Tunisian Frankincense continuously now for more than a decade -- longer than any other perfume -- and it always possessed the smoky-citrus peel quality that Michael describes.

      When I got my most recent dram, I DID note that additional sweet orangeflower aspect, and the "smoke"-o-meter seemed to have been ever so slightly turned down, making for a mellower perfume. But overall I counted these as improvements and felt that the "new" TF stayed to the "old" TF that I loved.

      I'm thinking, as Cymbaline stated, that Tunisian Frankincense IS a single resin oil, and that as the provenance and quality of the "crop" has changed over time, so has the character of the resulting oil. But every dram I've ever owned has developed a creamy layer of solidified frankincense resin/silt at the bottom of the vial, which assures me this is natural stuff, not synthetic.

      (I should state here, I'm NOT on Attar Bazaar's payroll!!! I just really love and believe in their wares, which I have used for so long with tremendous satisfaction.)

    2. Cym, you could well be right and Meg backs you up. I never really thought about it like that, but I suppose like grape vines have their own terroir that helps determine the odour and flavour profiles of grapes, so frankincense from a bush grown in a particular place might do the same.

      I should add - thank you for sending me that sample!

  2. Meg, funnily enough, your review of this oil was the only review I could find on the net! To be fair, I didn't search for all that long, but yours was very prominent. I must say that their oils seem very reasonably priced. I haven't tried a lot of their stuff, but I did enjoy the sandalwood oil Cym sent me a few months ago.

    1. The sandalwood oil is very good (though suitably expensive for what's purported to be authentic Mysore santal). Just as good, and a lot less pricey, is the Sumatran vetivert. I'm well into my second dram of this wunderfume and continue to marvel at how forcefully and beautifully it captures the scent of autumn.

    2. I haven't tried the vetiver, so worth seeking out. I love vetiver fragrances that remind me of autumn!



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