Post by Poodle
I went to a Catholic grammar school. Many of my childhood memories are of being in church. Damn, it seems like there was always a reason to have to go to mass. I have to admit I hated it. We’d even be taken to church during school hours to practice singing so that at mass Sr. Carmeline would be happy and convinced that we were loud enough for God to hear. She was a large, scary woman and had this giant bell she would ring to get our attention. The bell meant business, let me tell you, but that’s another story altogether.
During Lent there wasn’t much singing but we had to go to the Stations of the Cross every week. To a kid it was dreadfully boring, but I loved Lent because there was more incense. Incense was my favorite part of church by far. I still love my incense perfumes in times of stress and when I mentioned Cardinal in my last post Portia asked me to tell you more about it.
Avignon was a blind buy for me and I fell hard for it. It was all dark. brooding, churchy incense. It was love. On my quest to acquire more incense fragrances I stumbled upon Cardinal and found another to love.
Cardinal by Heeley 2006
Cardinal by James Heeley
Heeley gives these featured accords:
White Linen . Baie Rose . Black Pepper
Labdanum . Frankincense . Myhr
Vetiver . Grey Amber . Patchouli
Cardinal is a church incense but it’s more like church on a sunny winter’s day. I remember sitting in church and it was usually cold. If you were strategic you’d try to sit near a window. You wanted to be in that ray of sunlight streaming through the stained glass. It would offer some warmth which was hard to come by in those big, old churches. Cardinal is a lot like that. It has dustiness and cold damp stone notes along with the incense but there’s also that visible ray of sunshine.
It’s all about the aldehydes. They tend to brighten and freshen up a perfume and that’s exactly what they do here. Add to that the amber in the base and Cardinal becomes a much warmer, happier take on incense. My only complaint is with the lasting power. On my skin Cardinal isn’t a powerhouse and it doesn’t last very long. Some days I may get a couple hours out of it but not others. It does linger on clothing nicely. Your mileage may vary.
If you love Chanel No 22 as I do but have always wished the incense was a bit more pronounced then I think you might like Cardinal. If Avignon always seemed a bit too masculine to you then Cardinal’s floral notes and brightness might be just perfect. Yes, it’s still contemplative and calming but it’s also hopeful, like going into dimly lit church, lighting a candle, saying a prayer, and walking out into the sunshine.
Have you tried it? Do you like it? What’s your favorite incense?