Mysore Incenza is a frankincense amber with gourmand and woody attributes. It is part of Areej Le Doré‘s newly released 7th Collection.
Mysore Incenza is an eau de parfum that is described as follows:
Aged Indian Mysore Sandalwood focused incense composition with a charming vintage feel showcasing the most traditional way of perfuming by using smoke of frankincense and sandalwood.
Top notes: smoky frankincense
Heart notes: Indian rose, jasmine and a touch of natural ambergris
Base notes: Mysore Sandalwood distilled in the year 2000, amber accord and natural fosil amber resin.
Mysore Incenza opens on my skin with a shimmering, radiant cloud of gold and silver. There is warm salty ambergris, toffee’d labdanum, tonka-like vanilla, and caramelized benzoin, all woven together with chords of silvery, cool, clean but smoky, frankincense. Moments later, thinner threads of pink roses and syrupy jasmine join the duet, though they are not, at this point, as prominent, strong, or rich as the mixed amber accord or frankincense. The latter is slowly taking on Catholic High Mass and cottony undertones; it also smells similar to really high-grade Omani frankincense.
Mysore Incenza’s greatest shifts and nuances all occur during the first hour. 10 minutes in, the frankincense begins to emit lemony and piney aromas. 15 minutes in, the rose surges in strength, its honeyed floralcy now becoming one of the three main notes. 25 minutes in, the trio of frankincense, mixed amber, and rose (in that order) turns into a quartet when a syrupy and increasingly indolic, musky, ripe and fleshy jasmine becomes central as well. The result of the heightened floral notes deepens and enriches the bouquet, making it feel more concentrated and also more powerful in reach. Separately, the cumulative olfactory effect of all these changes continuously reminds me of the old, original Amouage aesthetic.
The shifts in nuance, strength, and aroma continue as the first hour passes. 25 minutes in, Mysore Incenza grows woodier, even sweeter, more ambered, and more resinous. The Mysore sandalwood rears its head for the first time. More significant is the rising wave of benzoin caramel fused with a darker, smokier, almost tarry-feeling amber, perhaps the fossilized amber in the base. 40 to 45 minutes in, the sweetness continues to grow as vanilla appears, drenching everything, particularly the florals, with an intensely sugary, creamy, and powerful aroma. Near the end of the 1st hour, its strength effectively muffles much of the florals on my skin, turning them into a largely impressionistic subset. They don’t last for long after that.
The sum-total effect of the surging sweetness and amber changes Mysore Incenza’s focus and fragrance family. The scent is now wholly gourmand in feel on my skin. The weakened, muffled floralcy disappears, roughly 60 to 65 minutes in. At the same time, there is a sharp and major decline in the clarity of the frankincense and of its nuances.
This blurring effect serves to render the scent significantly less complex during the second hour and all the ones that follow it. In fact, the overpowering effect of the vanilla and amber, their prominence, their force, and the blurring effect that they create ends up ironically affecting even those notes, acting like a thick, opaque filter that eradicates the delineations between the labdanum toffee, benzoin caramel, and resinous fossilized elements. The cumulative effect feels like a once crystal-clear photo has turned into a bokeh image of darkly sticky, gourmand amber elements inseparable from clean, silvered frankincense.
I am not being hyperbolic when I say that the fragrance remained this way – unchanged in any significant way – for more than 12 hours. From the 65th minute until the 13.25 hour mark or early in the 14th hour, Mysore Incenza chugged along as the hazy, blurry duet of a sugary, vanilla-infused mixed amber accord and clean frankincense silver smoke.
A patina of powderiness, either from tonka or frankincense, dusted everything for about 90 minutes from the 7.25 hour mark until just after the end of the 9th hour, but I’d estimate that it comprised maybe 3% or 4%, at most, of the bouquet on my skin.
After it disappears, slivers of ambered woodiness take its place about 9.25 hours in, or early in the 10th hour. Initially, the Mysore, too, was largely inconsequential, but it slowly grows in strength to become a more prominent member of the bouquet. As it grows, the sugary vanilla that is part of the mixed amber base accord begins to finally fade away.
Mysore Incenza begins its drydown on my skin roughly 13.5 hours into the fragrance’s development (or during the middle of the 14th hour). Basically, in a nutshell, the order and prominence of notes changes. Mysore Incenza goes from being a largely two-note frankincense amber soliflore with tertiary amounts of resinous, very ambered Mysore sandalwood to being a largely two-note Mysore woody amber with the frankincense in third place, lagging behind and losing further strength or prominence with every passing moment.
14.75 hours in or late in the 15th hour, the frankincense effectively disappears. Fleeting, muffled whispers of it haunt the background if I stick my nose deep into my arm and sniff hard but Mysore Incenza is basically a sweet, softly resinous, benzoin-skewing amber quietly and lightly infused with ambered woodiness. The scent remains this way until it finally dies away as something vaguely sweet and/or vaguely woody-ish.
Mysore Incenza had initially good sillage that took a while to grow soft and excellent longevity. Using 2 good squirts from my sample atomizer, the fragrance opened with 5 inches of sillage that ballooned to just over a foot after 30 minutes. The sillage begins to shrink about 2.5 hours in to roughly 7 inches, incrementally dropping further in the hours that pass. Still, 7.25 hours in or early in the 8th hour, Mysore Incenza projected 1.5 inches above the skin – which is pretty good for the quantity that I used. The fragrance became a skin scent on me about 9.5 hours in, or in the middle of the 10th hour, but didn’t require much effort to detect until late in the 13th hour. In total, Mysore Incenza lasted just shy of 16.20 hours on me which translates into early in the 17th hour.
There are parts of Mysore Incenza that are lovely and enjoyable. As an amber lover, I very much enjoyed the central accord, even if the vanilla was too sugary for me. There were a few times where I’d catch passing wafts of the vanilla-infused frankincense amber between the 5th and 9th hours and think to myself “That smells good.” There were similar occasions when the frankincense faded from sight during the drydown and the bouquet was largely sweet, resinous, slightly caramel-skewing amber with ambered woodiness subsumed within.
That said, there were far greater times when I kept thinking that incense amber had been done better and with greater complexity in the first fragrance to blow me away in 2022: Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier‘s 2016 Ambre Mythique which I reviewed in detail in a Twitter thread and which I loved so much that I bought a full bottle early in my 2nd test of it. I haven’t done that in quite a while.
(Review Thread) 1. Testing Maître Parfumeur et Gantier's Ambre Mythique. #MPG does great ambers, so it should be good.
Notes: bergamot, coriander, geranium, myrrh, Omani frankincense, labdanum, lavender, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, tonka.
Will live review/TW as it develops. pic.twitter.com/f6lu37eFhn
— Kafkaesque (@Kafkaesque_Blog) December 5, 2021
As you can see from the note list mentioned in the Twitter review thread’s opening tweet, Ambre Mythique has frankincense, amber, vanilla, tonka, and sandalwood like Mysore Incenza, but it also lets myrrh incense (and, in my opinion, opoponax incense, too) share the stage. Just as Mysore Incenza does, Ambre Mythique includes tertiary notes but, unlike Mysore Incenza, these last longer on my skin than just the first 55 or 65 minutes. In fact, the MPG fragrance’s greater nuances make it more interest to me in addition to rendering the scent less linear. Lastly, Ambre Mythique is significantly cheaper for more juice. I bought my huge 4 oz, 120 ml bottle during one of MPG’s frequent sales for about of €185. I believe the regular price is €205 or something thereabouts. (See, MPG page.) Luckyscent sells it for about $215. MPG goes further in the affordability stakes by also offering 30 ml sizes for €65 and 10 ml sizes for €35. Mysore Incenza, on the other hand, is $290 for 48 mls or less than 1.7 oz.
Is my beloved Ambre Mythique identical to Areej’s Mysore Incenza? No.
There are differences I feel you should know. For one thing, there is only labdanum, not a mixed amber accord with benzoin and certainly no trace, however ephemeral, of ambergris. Second, it has at least two types of incense, not one like Mysore Incenza. Third, there are no florals, even of a 40-minute fleeting nature. Fourth, its sandalwood doesn’t smell resinous like the kind Russian Adam has used in this collection. The fifth and perhaps greatest difference is that Ambre Mythique never reads as a gourmand on my skin. Yes, its amber and vanilla can be sweet at times, but it’s in a balanced way that doesn’t push the fragrance into gourmand territory. It certainly never feels excessively sugared.
Differences notwithstanding, I think Ambre Mythique is a better, more interesting, more nuanced, and less linear take on the incense-amber genre. In fact, I firmly believe that MPG does some of the best ambers around. The quality is high, the scent is smooth and devoid of obvious synthetics, and the prices are extremely reasonable for the size and quality.
So, yes, I liked Areej’s Mysore Incenza — perhaps the most of the 7 fragrances in the collection — but I wasn’t blown away, I was occasionally bored by the 12-hour-plus-long middle phase, I wasn’t tempted by the thought of a full bottle at any point, and I actually thought the central idea had been done better elsewhere and for a significantly better price.
None of that means that I think Mysore Incenza isn’t a nice fragrance or that people won’t like it. I think a heck of a lot of people will like it and/or want a bottle, particularly if they have a sweet tooth. In fact, if you are a lover of incense ambers or gourmand smoky incense woody ambers, I really hope you can test Mysore Incenza for yourself. I encourage you to do so since we’re all different in our tastes and skin chemistry.
But I’ll be here wearing Ambre Mythique, spraying without hoarding reservations from my giant bottle, and smelling just as good in my opinion – if not better.
Disclosure: My sample was provided courtesy Russian Adam/Areej Le Doré. That did not impact this review. I do not do paid reviews and my opinions are my own.
Cost & Availability: Mysore Incenza is an eau de parfum that comes in a 48 ml bottle. (That amount is just short of the standard 1.7 oz size.) It costs $290. Once the pre-order period is over, you can buy it individually from Areej Le Dore. It will be listed on the overall Fragrances page. Please note, Mysore Incenza is not available in solo form at the time of this post, October 13th, but it should be in about 3 to 4 weeks once the pre-order period is over. ALD offers a full Set of all 7 EDPS that usually costs $1725 but it is discounted right now during the pre-order period to $1500 with free express/courier shipping. After the pre-order period ends and once the individual bottles are available, the full-set price returns to $1725 with a shipping fee. There is a sample set of all 7 eau de parfums, each in 1.5 ml to 1.7 ml amounts in spray vials, but they tend to sell out very quickly and may not be available when the pre-order period ends in 3 to 4 weeks time. At the time of this post, October 13th, the full bottle set and the sample set are all listed without individual page entries on ALD’s overall Fragrance page.