This started as a joke: The husband suggested that in honor of the Super Bowl I should write about smoky perfumes. In case you wondered, I have zero interest in football (except for a personal grudge against the Jets), and even less than that in tailgate parties and celebratory barbecue. But smoky notes in fragrance are a completely different matter. Smoke in scent is related to tobacco notes, incense, oud, and vetiver; I didn't want to fully cross into these categories, which all deserve their own Top Ten lists, but it's pretty hard to completely avoid it. I concentrated on fragrances that are distinctively smoky and some honorable mentions. In no particular order:
- Tauer Perfumes- Lonestar Memories. Lapsang Souchong in the burning prairie with a side of mint.
- Serge Lutens- Fumerie Turque. Taking a walk on a cool fall day when your neighbors just lit their fireplace for the first time in the season.
- Alan Cumming/CB I Hate Perfume- Second Cumming (and its predecessor, Cumming). Scotch, smoke, and a wicked sense of humor.
- Vero Profumo- Onda (extrait). From the fiery vetiver and animalic leather department. Incredibly complex and elegant.
- Le Labo- Patchouli 24. A sweeter variation of the idea presented in Lonestar Memories.
- Annick Goutal- Eau de Fier. Smoky orange juice.
- Nasomatto- Black Afgano. Thick, sweet, and rather polarizing.
- D.S. & Durga- Burning Barbershop. Lavender burnt to a crisp, the smoke carried into an urban night sky.
- Parfumerie Generale- 02 Coze. A beautiful smoky gourmand that I absolutely can't wear but really really want to.
- Comme de Garcons- Zagorsk (Incense Series). I'm cheating a little, because Zagorsk is technically an incense fragrance, but the smoke is such a dominant aspect of it, that takes over the churches, iris and pine trees in the chilly Russian air.
Honorable Mention: CB I Hate Perfume- Burning Leaves (conceptual and evocative), Sonoma Scent Studio- Fireside/Fireside Intense (a very realistic campfire), Profumum Roma- Fumidus (a more intense take on the idea of Cumming. I'm not sure it's wearable, but it's interesting).