Series 3 Incense: Zagorsk by Evelyne Boulanger for Comme des Garcons 2002




Hey APJ,

Today I’m using up the last of my decant. It wasn’t a big one but I really liked the idea of smelling spacious today and emptying anything around here is cause for quiet rejoicing.

Series 3 Incense: Zagorsk by Comme des Garcons 2002

Series 3 Incense: Zagorsk by Evelyne Boulanger

Series 3 Incense Zagorsk Comme des Garcons FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Frankincense, pine tree, chilli pepper, violet, cedar, iris, Hinoki cypress, birch

Cold, woods, wax, emptiness. It’s like you can feel yourself transported to a huge cathedral empty of humanity in the dark of night. There is something completely spacious about Zagorsk, so much room that the scents become thin, as if they are memories.

Zagorsk Comme des Garcons WikiMediaWikiMedia

Isn’t it interesting what comes to mind to write about. I was at a funeral yesterday for the father of a girlfriend I’d had in our mid teen years. I arrived about 40 minutes early and the Anglican church was quiet, cold and smelled a little like Zagorsk. There was the scent of incense burnings long past, candles burning, wooden pews waxed brightly by a century of cloth covered bottoms and the scratchy crackle in my nostrils of decades old dust. I spent about 10 minutes wandering through the two adjoining chapels and reminisced about my friend, our group, the amazingly fun times we had in their lavish old sandstone mansion in the best street in our suburb (by far). We were all so fearless, funny and beautiful.

Zagorsk is not a big scent. Most of the notes in it are blended way beyond my ability to parse for you. What I get more than a fragrance is a memory scent. Memories of getting to Catholic churches as a child/teen an hour before to sing in the schoolboys choir for mass, weddings, christenings and anything else they needed us for. It’s a feeling of expectation for me. The hurry up and wait, often in poorly warmed old buildings , and having time to reflect on stuff while looking at poor old Jesus stuck eternally on the crucifix.

Zagorsk Comme des Garcons WikiMedia St_Etheldreda's_Church_Interior,_London,_UK_-_DiliffWikiMedia

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Now Smell This
Harold’s in Australia has the Incense range in store
LuckyScent has $95/50ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $6/ml

What do you wear that feels cool, airy and reflective?
Portia xx

9 thoughts on “Series 3 Incense: Zagorsk by Evelyne Boulanger for Comme des Garcons 2002

    • Hey Marzipan,
      How glamorous. I’ve smelled the rocks but never the oil. Are they much alike?
      Portia xx


      • I use the oil but never came across the rocks so I cannot say-LOL! I would guess similar? I like Somalian frankincense as there is a citrus quality up top and a lightness to it…it is what Heeley Cardinal smells like to my nose (which is an amazing incense fragrance to me because it is so ethereal and diaphanous).


    • Ooooh an “ethereal and diaphanous incense fragrance”! I adore the airy ones, and Cardinal sounds gorgeous. I want to sniff it and Incense Gazork too – thank you Marzipan.


  1. Hello Portia,

    To me Penhaligon’s Elixir is a masterful study in exactly those words you used: “cool, airy and reflective”. But it’s at the same time woodsy, smoky and spicy. And sheer, but not “lite”. And somehow contemplative, yet expansive. All quite a feat to successfully pull off! It’s a gem, I reckon. (But discontinued, sadly.)



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