Best Incense Perfumes

In perfume, Incense, Olibanum and Frankincense mean the same thing. Because it is burned to produce a fragrance, incense is also referred to as a smokey note. If you grew up christian orthodox, incense must have left a strong impression on you. There is no way you would forget the smell of frankincense smoke over the church or remember it once you get a whiff of it somewhere else. Oftentimes incense perfumes are described based on how much they remind us of church- that is, how “churchy” they are.

Best Incense Perfumes


Incense Wood by Rosendo Mateu Olfactive Expressions

Incense Wood is a woody incense fragrance. This incense perfume has incense and smoky notes that are wonderfully complemented with some spicy and sweet notes like Tonka Bean and Labdanum. In the end, this perfume doesn't really scream “church!” because of how the sweet notes play out.

  • Top notes: Opens with Citruses, Bergamot, Madagascar Cloves, Cardamom, and Ceylon Cinnamon
  • Middle notes: At the heart of the fragrance lies Patchouli Leaf, Palisander Rosewood, Sandalwood, and Incense
  • Base notes: At the base, White Musk, Musk, Labdanum, Amber, Tonka Bean and Vanilla
  • Perfume Gender: Unisex
  • Scent Accord: Amber Woody 
  • Longevity: 9 Hours plus
  • Sillage: Strong
  • Projection : Wide


A Midnight Stroll by Gucci

A Midnight Stroll is one of Gucci's 2020 fragrances from their Alchemist Garden collection. Although it comes highly recommended, it smells unfinished. Out of all other Incense perfumes on the list, this one smells the most raw. It has a something-rough-around-the-edges kind of a smell. At the end of the day, it is all about Juniper, Incense, and Cypress. A Midnight Stroll is a very woody, very dark- a rough take on Incense. It is not really reminiscent of a church, but it hints at it.

  • Top notes: Opens with Incense
  • Middle notes: At the heart of the fragrance lies Cade Oil
  • Base notes: At the base, Cypress
  • Perfume Gender: Uisex
  • Scent Accord: Woody
  • Longevity: 7 Hours
  • Sillage: Strong
  • Projection : Wide


Cardinal by James Heeley

Cardinal is literally a church, nothing less. It doesn't sweeten up, it doesn't dry down to something sweet, so it stays cold from the top to base. The perfume owes its cold character to Olibanum which is a very cold note in comparison to something like Benzoin and Myrrh that are sweet and warm. Cardinal smells like walking into an old European church, maybe in France or Italy, that is really cold inside and slightly damp. This fragrance revolves around Olibanum and would appeal to you if you like the idea of churchy incense. 

  • Top notes: Opens with Baie Rose, Linen, and Black Pepper
  • Middle notes: At the heart of the fragrance lies Olibanum, French Labdanum, and Myrrh
  • Base notes: At the base, Vetiver, Patchouli, and Amber
  • Perfume Gender: Unisex
  • Scent Accord: Amber
  • Longevity: 8 hours
  • Sillage: Heavy
  • Projection : Weak


Sacreste by Laboratorio Olfattivo

Sacreste has a strong take on church incense with lots of black peppery touches. There are a lot of woody touches in here as well, accompanied with some spices. It is not as cold or dark and as church-like as Cardinal by James Heeley. At first, it pretty much gives you the church experience, but it sweetens up to something sweet. It is what you would imagine it would smell like if you sneak in a little sweet dessert into church.

  • Top notes: Opens with Saffron, Cardamom, Labdanum, and Elemi
  • Middle notes: At the heart of the fragrance lies Nagarmotha, Resins, Black Pepper, and Frankincense
  • Base notes: At the base, Musk, Cashmeran, Amber, Guaiac Wood, and Virginia Cedar


Encens Flamboyant by Goutal Paris

Encens Flamboyant is an incense perfume that smells like wood shavings. Imagine you're in a church  and you're about to start a fire, before you actually start the fire, there’s lots of wood chips and there is the smell of freshly cut wood that kind of gives off the aroma of pencil shavings. In the end, incense blossoms through and that's where that wood shavings smell comes from. It is a very cold fragrance with not a lot of warm touches, but the cardamom adds a slight sweetness. The entire experience is very cold.

  • Top notes: Opens with Red Berries, Pink Pepper, Pepper and Incense
  • Middle notes: At the heart of the fragrance lies Sage, Cardamom, Nutmeg, and Incense
  • Base notes: At the base, Balsam Fir, Incense, and Lentisque


05 Incense Extreme by Tauer Perfumes

05 Incense Extreme is a duo of fragrances  from one house. It has a pretty dominant incense note. Though the incense is amplified here, this fragrance is not not truly about incense, but more about the combination of incense with the aldehydes and leather. The leather in here is slightly animallic, so you get an animalic fragrance. Incense Extreme makes it to the list because of the overdose of Incense, but it really is an animalic perfume. Aldehydes always opens up fragrances and make them brighter, so it is brightening up things here, but not  a lot because it has an overload of incense and leather.

  • Top notes: Opens with Petitgrain and Coriander
  • Middle notes: At the heart of the fragrance lies Orris Root and Incense
  • Base notes: At the base, Amber, Woody Notes and Cedar
  • Perfume Gender: Unisex
  • Scent Accord: Amber Woody
  • Longevity: Eternal
  • Sillage: Moderate
  • Projection : Moderate

  • Casbah by Robert Piguet


Casbah by Robert Piguet

Casbah revolves around Incense, Angellica, Black Pepper and Nutmeg. It is the type of perfume that would get you bored if you wear too much of it. It is kind of a churchy incense, but they added some notes that sweeten things up, woods it up, and powders it up a little bit.

  • Top notes: Opens with Nutmeg, Black Pepper and Angelica
  • Middle notes: At the heart of the fragrance lies Orris Root, TObacco, and Incense
  • Base notes: At the base, Cedar and Vetiver
  • Perfume Gender: Unisex
  • Scent Accord: Amber Spicy
  • Longevity: 
  • Sillage: Moderate
  • Projection : Moderate

  • Interlude Man by Amouage


Interlude Man by Amouage

Interlude Man is a very smoky incense perfume, but goes into a different direction than church incense. There is Opoponax- it is a sweeter resin, kind of in the direction of Benzoin and Myrrh.  The unique thing about Interlude Manis is the addition of Oregano. Oregano is an aromatic herb that takes you into an Italian pizzeria. Interlude Man is one of the best, if not the best seller from Amouage. 

  • Top notes: Opens with Bergamot, Pepper, and Oregano
  • Middle notes: At the heart of the fragrance lies Labdanum, Amber, Opoponax, and Incense
  • Base notes: At the base, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Agarwood, and Leathe
  • Perfume Gender: Masculine
  • Scent Accord: Amber Woody
  • Longevity: 10 hours plus
  • Sillage: Enormous
  • Projection : Wide

  • Ecstasy by Tiziana Terenzi


Ecstasy by Tiziana Terenzi

Ecstasy is a very unique scent with bright incense. It has lots of piny notes, fur, and spruce woody notes along with rose. The rose really brightens things up here. Ecstasy is one of the best creations from terenzi. In the end, it is rosy but it doesn't smell like a rose perfume. You can smell it in the background, but it is mostly a spruce smoky incense perfume.

  • Top notes: Opens with Pebbles, Pine Tree Bark, and Spruce
  • Middle notes: At the heart of the fragrance lies Violet, Patchouli, Rose, and Incense
  • Base notes: At the base, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Labdanum, Woody Notes, Soil Tincture, and Amber


Larmes Du Désert by Atelier des Ors

The smoky fragrance is contrasted with  sweeter notes in this beautiful golden incense perfume. The Benzoin touches contrast nicely with the intense, cypress and darker woodsy notes. Larmes Du Desert is a bright iconic fragrance that has contrasting essences that balance each other out perfectly. It is cold and dark and smells like church, so you might have a challenge figuring out how to wear this.

  • Top notes: Opens with Cypress and Incense
  • Middle notes: At the heart of the fragrance lies Patchouli, Cedar, and Guaiac Wood
  • Base notes: At the base, Citruses, Amber, Benzoin, and Woodsy Notes
  • Perfume Gender: Unisex
  • Scent Accord: Amber Woody
  • Longevity: 10hours
  • Sillage: Light
  • Projection : Weak


Whoever thought about turning a fragrant smoke into a bottle of perfume is nothing but genius. Nowadays you can find almost anything in perfume form, and incense is no exception.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is incense perfume?

Incense perfume is the fragrance released by the burning of scented woods and plant-derived gums and resins. This is one of the oldest forms of perfumery.

What does patchouli incense smell like?

Patchouli incense smells earthy and musky with a wrap of smoke. It is generally a dry dusty smoke scent.

How long will the incense smell last?

Incense smell would last for as long as it burns. After the incense stops burning, the smell would last between one to twenty-four hours.

What does sandalwood smell like? 

Sandalwood smells woody. It is in the family of wood but the floral and sweet scents it has distinguishes it from other woody scents.

What does Jasmine incense do?

Jasmine incense promotes relaxation and happiness so it is often used in aromatherapy. This all-natural incense is said to calm the nerves and balance the emotions.

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