From the Latin incensum, this term originally referred to any plant material that could be burned as a sacrificial offering. It was only around the 14th century that the expression frankum incensum - the frank incense - came to be used to differentiate the resin of the Boswellia tree, also known as olibanum, from the others, thus signifying its exceptional rarity, cost and quality.
Used since at least the 2nd millennium B.C., as attested by the Ebers Papyrus, frankincense is at the very origin of perfume. The etymology of the word, from the Latin perfumum, "by smoke", reflects the fumigation process to which incense was subjected in order to scent halls and peoples alike.
A sacred link between the profane and the divine, between visible and invisible realities, an exudation of the gods for the Egyptians and the tears of Helios for the Greeks, frankincense has never ceased to fascinate, by its lactescent appearance; by the multitude of its colours, which vary according to the altitude, origin and humidity of the cultures; by the complexity of its fragrance, which depends on the subspecies, but above all by its now proven therapeutic benefits.
Rich in boswellic acids and aldehydes, frankincense has shown promise in the treatment of depressive syndromes and brain tumours. Beyond the sweetness of its scent, its liturgical success might be due to its inherent capacity to arouse a form of feverish joy in those who smell it, to make pilgrims' fatigue pass and to soothe the distress of believers in prayer.
With this new creation, Histoires de Parfums pays tribute to this multi-millennial and cross-cultural history.
Drawing on Mesopotamian and Judeo-Christian legendaria, Encens Roi brings together balsamic and leathery notes, reminiscent of the long-forgotten Incense Road that winds from oasis to oasis across the Arabian desert, with a range of cold materials that weave the portrait of a cathedral incense set in a reliquary of precious balsams.
The opening is mineral, salty, pulled in this direction by a chord of Schinus Molle and a Roman Chamomile, aromatic and slightly fruity. The original incense, brushed with discreet aldehydes, takes on body, crosses over to distant Arabia and is adorned with a supple, leathery Saffron and the burning, generous note of Piment Baie. Dense black touches of Wood Moss, the smoky vibration of Oud and the greedy, creamy effusion of an original White Cocoa extract, the incense is anchored in a deep, solid yet contemporary and powerful base thanks to the dry, taut breath of a bouquet of amber woods.
Between sun and smoke, wet stone and sweet skin, Encens Roi is a charm where the mother resin, nourished by its rich past of aromatic and fragrant woods, is sublimated by the incenses of the present time.