Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Contemplative Perfume: Memoire Liquide Encens Liquide

A planned post on incense fragrances failed to materialize in the pre-holiday rush but I find I am still very much enjoying wearing one of the perfumes I was going to write about thanks to its calming beautifully scented presence. This one is also getting some buzz on Facebook Fragrance Friends, due to several members scoring a lucky find at TJ Maxx. I was one of those fortunate souls and I eagerly grabbed the box, which looks like a little book with a frilly French label, as this was a brand I'd been interested in investigating. The perfume is Memoire Liquide Encens Liquide from the reserve line.

Contemplative incense perfumes remind me of attending Christmas Eve services, candles glowing, and soaring hymns sung by robed clad choristers. When I traveled in Europe my favorite thing to do was investigate cathedrals, both the well known landmarks and the local ones I stumbled upon. I am fascinated by the impossible flying buttresses, soaring vaulted ceilings, ornate statuary, and magnificent stained glass windows. I know it shouldn't theoretically make a difference where you choose to worship but I can't help but be more inspired when I'm in one of these magnificent edifices, built as a tribute to God but also a huge testament to the skills of the humble craftsmen. Many years ago I enjoyed The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Although he normally pens thrillers, his fascination with the many cathedrals scattered across the landscape of England inspired him to write this book detailing the building of a majestic cathedral and the village of workers that sprang to life to make this happen. If you have any interest in the subject and have never read the book it's well worth the read.

 I didn't grow up Catholic so incense didn't actually play a part in my worship, but I still find that incense scents are evocative of the church experience. I don't really want to smell like strong smokey incense and Encens Liquide gives the aura without the more strident smells of some of the more photo realistic incense fragrances. The perfume starts on my skin with a powdery amber. It is bright and glowing, reminding me of basking in the pool of rainbow sunlight beams filtering through the colorful stained glass windows. Gradually the amber turns more resinous, lending the scent a sparkling warmth. Some scents have the effect of provoking calm attitude and clear thoughts and I find Encens Liquide to have this reaction. The incense in the perfume is hinoki which is used in Japanese ceremonies and it is mellow and sweet. (I have reviewed another scent using hinoki incense here.) The fragrance also has notes of black tea and white musk. I can't say I get the tea note but the musk is pillow soft but understated. As the perfume goes into the third hour I begin to get notes of vanilla even though I don't see it listed as an ingredient. I love the way the vanilla interacts with the incense. In the final hours of wear Encens Liquide has lost that initial amber resinous radiance but it is still a comforting and contemplative scent and I keep sniffing my wrist to get another hit of the addictive scent. I can smell the hinoki drifting in and out all the way to the final curtain.

Memoire Liquide was started in 1984 by two sisters in California, thus making the brand probably one of the earliest created and still surviving niche perfumeries. The sisters initial business was developing personal oil scents for their clients. In 2009 they introduced five of the most popular mixes in an eau de parfum spray formula, each one meant to evoke a memory of time or place. Until recently I saw Memoire Liquide available at several perfumeries but since finding my box at TJ Maxx  it seems to have suddenly disappeared from their websites. They have a Facebook page where you can email and request to buy, but my best advice is if you're near a Marshalls or TJ Maxx go check it out. Hopefully they will find another distributor as I would have paid full price for this perfume, which was reasonably priced. If anyone has more information please let me know in comments.

Top painting of Notre Dame from etsy in Afremov ArtSudio here. Second photo is Google image of Salisbury Cathedral. Perfume is my own.


Undina said...

I think I saw this perfume in one of the discount stores but have never smelled it. I'm glad though that you've got something you liked for a good price (too bad for the brand, but let's hope they'll survive).

I like visiting cathedrals: I'm impressed by the skills that went into their erection. I like how it smells inside churches though I'm not sure I'd like my perfume to smell like that.

Cynthia said...

I don't like the strong incense perfumes. They feel like they're wearing me. This one is very soft. Happy New Year to you, Undina!

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