Norma Kamali Incense EDP by Norma Kamali

Year: 2012
Nose: Unknown

Incense by Norma Kamali opens with a buckload of black, sticky, warm oil pouring straight out of a reservoir, pungent and ultra dense, the Holy Grail of biomechanicism fetishists. I have a friend who is crazy for Ballard and his "Crash" and all that human-machine eroticism, I instantly thought of him. Tobacco notes, wet and humid, a slight fruity vibe and obviously an incense cloud, so black, dusty, dense, organic and cloying you won't even recognize it at first. A beautiful chorus of nuances, from dusty to rancid, to even floral and balsamic, but most of all, a tar-like industrial heaviness. Black and sticky like some of the blacker, stickier Slumberhouse scents, just less experimental and less "de-structured": more of a simple buckload of this ultra-dense decaying blackness. The mood is again that same post-atomic urban decay, with a mechanic/industrial feel, as this is more close to the smell of oils, tar, production wastes. Some notes I get from this epitome-of-gloominess: woods, green poisonous notes, some "heavy" floral notes like perhaps narcissus, frankincense, labdanum, ambroxan... that's what I smell, but I may be completely wrong, it's like rescuing birds from contaminated sea – they're all black and sticky. It does not evolve much, it just kind of gets drier and denser, like a piece of black wood drying under the sun. To be really honest, as far as I admire the composition, I can not come to get excited for this an to really "love" this (as I expected). I love incense, but here is so (brilliantly!) turned into a gigantic, heavy industrial fog, with an oily, indolic materic density and a touch of decadent rancid notes, that it's just a bit too much for me, I mean to make me want to actually wear it. It's utterly fascinating and well-done, one of the purest black compositions I have ever tried, with an unforgiving dry cedar-birch drydown which persists for ages, but I like this more as a "smell", as a creation to smell it per se, without wearing it. Not for everyone and sadly not for me either, but apart from this, superb.


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