Perfume, Perfume and Money to Buy More Perfume- No 1 Frankincense Neal’s Yard Remedies

Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.


I’ve had all the best of intentions and even loads of ideas, but it seems my head has been too crowded to get any of those down on virtual paper.

To get a sense of calm and focus there is nothing quite like the scent of incense. After I worked out that I am actually allergic to the smoked version of frankincense, I’ve kept a little distance from incense perfumes, but of course incense perfume need not smell smoky at all. In fact incense has that wonderful cool, clean property and can be anything but smoky and indeed very soothing.

As today is Three Kings Day (Epiphany) it gives me another good reason to get out my incense perfumes; Frankincense, gold and myrrh, and gives me the chance to share one of my favourite perfume picture captions.

three kings caption

Before Christmas I did some rehearsals out in a somewhat alternative space, meant for independent theatres as rehearsal space. Now, of all places where I might encounter perfumes I did not think to do so there, least of all perfumes of quality which I hadn’t even heard about; Pure Essence Eau de Parfum No.1 Frankincense by a company which I only knew for its skin care, Neal’s Yard Remedies.

Obviously, I had to test it.

The perfume is natural and 97% organic, and it struck me that a lot of the (soli-) incense perfumes that agree with me are natural. I already wrote about the cosy Winter Kitty and the enlightened Calling all Angels, and I’m sure there are many more which I have forgotten at the moment. In the mixed category I especially admire the ascetic Armani Privé Bois d’Encense and the swirly smoke of IUNX’s L’Ether, however I feel that in natural perfumery incense tends to smell less smoky and have a more zen-like quality.neals yard

On to Pure Essence Eau de Parfum No.1 Frankincense* which opens on notes of neroli, bergamot and pepper. It’s a pleasant, albeit familiar, start which quickly gives way to the crisp incense. Incense with its dry tartness should perhaps come across as distant or overly sharp, but something about it here is mild and forgiving. Perhaps it’s the lavender which makes it so, even if I wasn’t overly aware of the lavender in the fragrance itself. Reading the notes I was surprise to find a simple recipe yielding a graceful composition. The base notes are patchouli, vetiver, myrrh and balsam copaiba, but neither patch nor vetiver are very pronounced. Rather, the base is a mild soapy myrrh reminding me a little of the soapiness of Serge Lutens’ La Myrrhe. The resins are balmy enough to give the base depth, warmth and perhaps even a golden hue to the lightness of the myrrh. Overall there is a perfumeness and light which incense perfumes often lack. I was not only surprised at finding this little gem, but even more so at how it found its way into my perfume heart; Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold all in one modest little perfume.

As it is the last day of Christmas you can listen to the recitative about the presents from the Three Magi and the following Choral from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio here.

Happy New Year!


*My review is based on the bottle in the picture found in the bath room at the studio. I don’t know if it has changed over time, or of course when the bottle was bought and donated to the light and humidity exposed bath room ;-). I do think I will get myself a bottle sometime in the future, and will update if the new bottle is in any way different.

As always feature picture and photo by me.

17 thoughts on “Perfume, Perfume and Money to Buy More Perfume- No 1 Frankincense Neal’s Yard Remedies

  1. That is the best perfume picture caption ever!

    I had no idea about this perfume but it sounds great. Most incense fragrances are on the chilly side. Bet you don’t need a gold bar to afford it either 🙂
    What a nice, unexpected discovery.

    This post was perfect timing as I’ve been hitting the incense to soothe my transition back into work. I wore Passage d’Enfer on Monday and L’Eau Froide today. The latter a friend was giving away and it threw me a bit with an opening off mint/ozone. It’s so quiet though which is how I like my incense.

    Too bad about you being allergic to frankincense smoke.

    • Isn’t it just, I’m glad you liked it too.
      And you’re right it’s only £40, which in todays perfume economy has to be basically free, I think it’s about what a sample from Krigler costs actually. I saw that Neal’s Yard second perfume is arose perfume, perhaps a future ‘a bottled rose’-reveiw… 😉 Passage d’Enfer is lovely too

      • Ha! If I can get a sample I will! Should be cheaper than £40 – sheesh.

        • Perhaps I exaggerated a tiny bit, I think maybe it’s 20 a piece, still…

  2. I happened to try this in my friend’s bathroom. 😀 I liked it. I’ve been a big fan of their massage oils and essential oils but never knew about the fragrance till I visited my friend. There’s always something new to discover every day. 🙂
    Talking about money to but perfume…. I was eating a piece of traditional cake for the Three King’s Day and I found a tiny figurine of one of the kings with gold in my cake. I’m hoping that it is a good omen!

    • How funny, you tried it too and equally unexpected 🙂
      I wish we had more of a tradition for twelft night/ Three kings, but here really Christmas is over by New Year, which I find too abrupt. Is it a traditional Spanish cake? And I wish for you that the king will be your lucky charm and bring you a wonderful 2016.

      • Yes. 🙂 This traditional cake is called Roscón de Reyes here and it has a ring shape. I’m kind of glad that it’s finally over though. 😉

  3. Love the picture caption – excellent!

    Interested to learn of this lighter, more perfume-y take on an incense perfume as so many can be a bit austere and church-y. I was wearing Bois d’Encens the other day and it felt more like straight up church incense than a perfume if I am honest.

    I had a Frankincense body lotion by Neal’s Yard which I really liked and am wondering if this scent might be loosely based on their incense-themed skincare…

    • Yes, whoever came up with that caption saw things very clearly, and is without a doubt a perfumaholic 🙂
      I’m with you that Bois d’Encens really is rather austere, although I do care for it a lot, the NYR Frankincense is not like that at all. Frankincense no 1 really is a ‘perfumy’ incense, and I could absolutely imagine that it’s based on their incense skin care. As I mentioned to Tara, for you rose lovers there’s a rose perfume too, that I’d like to hear more about 😉

  4. Until I read your reply to Vanessa’s comment I thought it was your caption! Still, a great find, it made my laugh – thank you!

    I’m not familiar with the brand, so no comments on it or perfume itself, though I find it amusing that a couple of perfumistas found it in unexpected places. And I like incense – both in perfumes and in the traditional form – but I never actively seek this note (unlike, for example, amber or gardenia). I liked Bois d’Encens but not enough to buy. And now I think that I want to wear tomorrow Annick Goutal’s Encens Flamboyant… and should probably find some incense to burn…

    • You’re welcome 🙂 A true perfumista outlook that caption, and it made me laugh too.
      I’m glad I inspired you to wear and burn incense, I need to give the Goutal a re-snif I think. The great thing with the Neal’s Yard one though is that it truly is an incense, but at the same time it’s also really wearable.

  5. I’m glad to learn about this frankincense scent by a company I love! I’ve recently done a lot of research on frankincense, and the plant is extraordinary in a number of ways..

    • Yes in deed. I haven’t tried many of Neal’s Yards products but now I have become even more curious to test further.

      • I used to have a lavender lip balm of theirs which was gorgeous 🙂

        • Thanks for the tip, I was also thinking of the moisturiser that Vanessa talked about.

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