For over 5000 years people all over the world have been burning incense in order to honour their ancestors, purify the air, symbolize the ascent of a prayer, induce a meditative frame of mind, accompany a ritual, or simply to make one feel positive. The Comme des Garcons Incense Series 3 collection represents dreams of spiritual journeys across the world and imagines incense as an evolution of time and space. Avignon represents Catholicism. Named after the city in the southern region of Provence, Avignon was a Catholic centre of the 14th century.
This fragrance effectively communicates the mysticism of its inspiring faith. The initial sweetness of Roman chamomile deftly sets the scene; a tiny chapel in the middle of a field of overgrown wildflowers generates wafts of cool, hand-hewn rock, soft sunlight, and the dulcet smell of pollen. Tread through the tall flowers and reach the sanctuary; once inside, the smell of dust and old flowers (cistus oil) floats through the air on sword sharp shafts of light emanating from long, stained glass windows. Elemi burns, unattended, in brass censors that hang on the air, suspended without assistants. This silent church holds an inaudible but tangible hum of activity in spite of its emptiness. As incense and cistus mingle in the chapel spire, smoke and cloud yield up a smooth, vanillic gentleness that descends, a nebulous balloon which drifts down and anoints the palisander pews, hung with wreaths of patchouli. A sacred scent that is slightly coniferous, herbal Avignon is like a soothing sermon, a balm for the soul.