Incense gets a bad rap.
Blame it on stereotyping stoner flicks or neo-hippies with a penchant for patchouli scented anything, but the sight of spiraling smoke sends the fragrant-savvy running in the opposite direction.
But while you’d never catch Rei Kawakubo in a pair of Dorito cheese-stained hemp pants, Comme des Garcons’ head designer is giving incense a second chance.
The Tokyo-based label just released Series 3: Incense, with five different scents inspired by various global locales. Ouarzazate is both sweet and spicy, Kyoto is clean but earthy, and Zagorsk is crisp and woody. And while some of the ingredients—like the Indian ebony in Jaisalmer—will smell new to unseasoned noses, there are some familiar notes in Avignon; the smoky, mysterious scent comes from dry vanilla, Roman Chamomile, and, yes, patchouli. Because you can take the girl out of a Woodstock-inspired haze, but you can’t take the Woodstock-inspired haze out of the girl.
As for whether the haute incense will lead to avant-garde vibes and visions? You’ll have to smoke out to see.
REBECCA WILLA DAVIS
$53 for a box of 40 sticks at doverstreetmarket.com
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