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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Perfume Review: Andy Tauer Incense Extreme

or, You Gotta Have Friends, part two

By Tom

Colombina was nice enough to send me (among other things) the new Andy Tauer scent, the latest to arrive in the states.

For me Incense Extreme is almost a misnomer; I was initially hit with more orris than incense. Usually this would be a bad thing, since orris and I don't really get on that well. This orris is sweet and woody and strong and wholly unexpected; there's nothing churchy or Gothic about it as one is wont to think when presented with something called "Incense Extreme".

Then the sweet strong opening starts to fade and the incense comes in. Not the incense of the church, with its imagined weight of sin and forgiveness, nor the incense of 14th street with its flower-power sprites. This is dry woods, the ghost of burning, like walking through the desert in the cool of the evening and smelling the far-off remains of a fire. I don't know that the rainy, cold Los Angeles day I am testing it in is doing many favors for it; I feel that this needs heat to bloom and play off its cool weightlessness, and I think it might need to be sprayed rather than dabbed from the sample vial as I did.

Like most of Tauer's latest scents, it plays with your expectations of what you are going to be smelling. It also manages that feat he does of seeming to be strong and weightless at the same time: almost as if someone in the other room was wearing it and not you. It also has that identifiable, slightly musky "Tauerade" finish to it that I always find welcome. What I don't know is how it's going to go over with the majority of people who are going to read "Extreme" and think they are going to get Messe de Minuit. I have to admit that I am not racing out to get this one right away. I like it, and if you were a fan of Orris who laments its passing then you would do well to give this one a try. For me I will have to see if spritzing brings the incense out and plants that dreaded bulb a little further down into the earth.

Incense Extreme is available in the US at LuckyScent on January 23rd.


Blogger elle said...

Sounds fascinating! I shall approach it w/out any MdM expectations and trust I will adore it.

10:05 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It is a fascinating scent; iris and I aren't great together, but this is lovely.

11:31 PM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

Tom, I am very excited about winning a sample of this (last month) but because I live in Mexico, I still haven't received it! I also won a sample of Andy's new Incense Rose' today! Yippee. I have heard it also has a lot of similarities to Orris. I will report back later....

11:32 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I was told that Incense Rose is even better...

12:33 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While being fascinated with Incense Extreme for a couple of weeks, I've decided to put it away for a while. I find it somewhat "musty" and "ancient", although not "dirty" like I imagine MdM to be. This fragrance is indeed a play on the Extreme theme of bridging opposites. It's at once airy, cold, dry, and transparent, yet gutsy and forward in it's presentation and strength (I sprayed.) One of the more twisty fragrances I've sampled in a while. As I mentioned, rather fascinating and mind-boggling if the scent is approached intellectually.

Can't wait to try the Incense Rose...sounds right up my alley!


12:36 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


well put! I think I need to spray..

I am looking forward to incense rose..

12:41 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what I'm loving of Andy's right now? That dirty little le Maroc/ Delightfully naughty.

2:05 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now you see I had a feeling the orris note in this might console me for my lack of faith in Orris itself. I bought a sample of the latter and by the time I woke up to the fact that I really really wanted a bottle it had gone. I am glad you highlighted it Tom though I appreciate people all "get" different things out of different scents. If I remember rightly you were more of a fan of RdJ? It didn't work for me but I think this will as I don't have the MdM expectations. Cheers!

7:20 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

Well, I am a big fan of Orris (I have a spare bottle:) but I wasn't blown away by this. Oh, it was likable alright. . .but it didn't move past that for me. Maybe spraying would do it. . .

8:00 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

I still haven't sniffed this yet, harumph! Or that other one. I should start frisking my mailman to see why she's stealing things. :)

8:59 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Maroc is a delight isn't it?

11:08 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Encens anywhere U.S.A.! A big bore.

11:09 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Yes, I did like RduJ a lot. This one I like, but I think might be too much orris for me. That note I think I tend to amplify. But if orris is a love for you , you will I think you will like this one a lot

11:10 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I am getting the feeling that this really needs to be sprayed. I'm certainly going to stop by ScentBar (if they aren't sick of the sight of me) and see...

11:12 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I say frisk away!

That is, if he's cute...

11:13 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...



11:13 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I really like Incense Extreme, and have a feeling that you will find it quite different sprayed -- I thought it was a huge rush of incense. Just not dark or heavy incense, if that makes any sense. Perhaps it helps that I don't like MdM anyway :-)

11:35 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I think I will like it better sprayed as well. I like the idea that there's a rush of incense to it- and I still have to try MdeM

1:03 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel so lucky to have won Columbina's draw so that I can follow the notes & sing along with you, as it were. On me it was both austere & loud. I loved the opening but as it wore on it got overwhelming. After an hour I felt like it was wearing me, not the other way around.
Ordinarily I don't do well with cold incenses but it didn't go sour & dank on me the way Messe & other churchy/cold incenses do. I'm guessing the woodiness kept it from souring on me. Not sure what orris smells like, is that orris?
At any rate, it wasn't weightless. It felt like I wasn't just wearing it, I was surrounded by it. It turned into the loudest, biggest thing in the apt, frightened the cats & took over - in an austere woody smoky way. I'd like to retry this but I'm just a bit afraid.

1:52 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got a little green-peppery something at the top (which I really liked), but after the first few seconds it was just frankincense on me(which I also liked but I probably wanted more of something else). Maybe, it *does* need to be worn in summer to be fully appreciated. I would want a smokier, warmer incense for the winter. Incense Extreme was too cold and clean (to use Maria B.'s words), so I think I should wait till summer to form an opinion on this one.(and I sprayed my sample..:)).
Can't wait to sample Incense rose which sounds perfect, from the descriptions that I have read.

2:01 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Btw, I smelled MDM a while back and I remember liking it.

2:04 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm also looking forward to tryingIncense Rose rather more than Incense Extreme; I don't do well with orris either. It does sound interesting, though!

Sorry for the mini-hijack but I don't know anyone in meatspace who can sympathize with this: I wore Fracas to work today, my manager thought it was "wonderful and fresh-smelling", but my friends on the other side of the office were horrified ("It's just..too much"). I didn't expect anyone to be able to smell it from that far away. Oops.

2:11 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think the woodiness is cedar- orris I think accounts for the "big" part of the scent.

Now I don't know if I want to spray..

2:48 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Tom, I definitely feel that link between Extreme and Orris. And I liked it -- a lot -- but like you probably won't be rushing out to buy. Now, oddly, I did like the Rose better. You are right, I wonder whether "extreme" is going to lead some people to disappointment.ic

2:49 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think it's cool aspects will seem better when it's warmer out.

Of course, if I lived in New York, the land of the overheated apartment, I could test it just fine...

2:50 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

K, I am going to the Etro store on Saturday- hopefully the rain will keep the tourists to a minimum

2:51 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


hijack away!

I turned on my ex-boss to Fracas and she was under the impression that she could wear just a dab to work. i found it marvelous, but there were people who (ahem) did not. Even in tiny doses it can reach out and gob-smack you..

But I look at that as a positive...

2:53 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I'll be really interested to smell the rose; rose is a note that I usually find is done reeeeeealllly poorly, and I want to see what Andy does to it.

But I don't know that I'd buy that either- I am less apt to wear a rose-heavy scent than I am apt to wear an orris one. Just my own personal prejudice.

2:57 PM EST  
Blogger Divina said...

I love iris but I can't help but wonder if I am already.....tired with it? It seems every second thing I read about has to do with iris 'lately' (make that the last half a year). Yawn?

However, I have heard so many good things about Andy's fragrances, I'd love to try all of them...

6:46 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How interesting the different reactions to fragrance! I never get over it. To me, there is nothing cold about IE. The opposite, in fact. Someone described it as like a fine filigree and I agree - white hot filigree. There's no smoke and very little sweetness, which is a nice change from your typical incense. It manages to be both hot and fresh. It clears the sinuses. For reference, I'm not a fan of MdM, which to me is musty and damp, cold and sweet. IE is unlike anything I've smelled. It's not like Orris at all, to me. Orris (I'm collecting it) is totally, totally different: orris and rose, rich and full and wild and complex, both warm and cool at different times in development.

IE is a simpler fragrance on me --all about frankincense. I'm no good at picking out the components. If there is orris in there, it seems to exist to illuminate the frankincense. I was not swept off my feet by IE as I was by Orris. However, when I smell this on my clothes, I think, what is that wonderful smell? Mmm. Very dry, sharp frankincense. This is a focusing fragrance! It is growing on me and I may have to get a bottle... and I buy extremely few bottles. I cannot wait to try the Rose!!!

2:26 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


IMO Andy has beautiful stuff. This one wasn't me, but it's a worthy scent.

5:53 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


that's the weird thing about skin chemistry; I got a lot of orris and a very cold scent. Not by any stretch of the imagination bad, but perhaps not me.

5:56 PM EST  
Blogger Sophia said...

It seems very similar to Noir Epices by FM to me... Orange, lush rose just like NE, plus the incense. Greetings from a faithful reader-Z.

10:40 AM EDT  

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