Resinous fragrances appeal to me in a manner like no other. Perhaps my inherent appreciation for frankincense and other tree stones has emerged from a childhood immersed in orthodoxy; where the perfume of frankincense was enjoyed at numerous ecclesiastical celebrations throughout the year. There is nothing I like more than to burn the stones over coal discs and enjoy the aroma, or to source scents in which resinous accords are executed masterfully.
Comme des Garcons 2 Man has been on the market for 5 or 6 years, but in my book, still remains a top contender for my "Best Frankincense" accolade. Whilst it reveals a sharp orange metallic accord when first applied, 2 Man swiftly evolves into a deliciously warm frankincense / incense scent, which surprisingly remains somewhat transparent throughout the course of its life. Often, I find incense fragrances have a husky or dry quality, but this eau de toilette remains crisp and unclouded; boasting a sense of stark purity that is very much in keeping with other Comme des Garcons releases.
Whilst many have been hasty to compare this to Gucci Pour Homme, I find the likeness rather superficial. Whilst both scents engage the nose with lovely resinous hearts, Gucci hones in more on pepper and woods, whilst Comme des Garcons explores sheer white smoke and spices. Much in the same way Andy Tauer's L'Air du Desért Marocain manages to masterfully evoke sensations from the shifting desert sands, so too does 2 Man.2 Man lingers on my skin for a very generous 8-9 hours, and whilst marketed to men, has an equally strong female following.
Cumin and nutmeg suggest an interesting marriage between bitter and sweet accords, however the shining star of all spices used here is awarded to a slightly acerbic (almost plasticky) saffron. Saffron in itself is a difficult scent to describe, however 2 Man rather successfully interprets the aroma of these blazing red stamens. (Washington Tremlett's Black Tie is the only other perfume I have encountered in which the saffron notes used possibly best resemble the actual foodstuff). The sum of these individual components make for one of the more beautiful incense fragrances on the modern market.
Comme des Garcons 2 Man is available at www.essenza-nobile.de in 100ml flacons for €69.