a journey of the senses by FLACONNEUR
CARDINAL – 2006 – ♂♀
Top: Baie Rose, Black Pepper, Aldehyde
Heart: Labdanum, Ciste, Frankincense
Base: Vetiver, Gray Amber, Patchouli
Perfumer: James Heeley
Price: 100 ml bottle $150
Cardinal, created by British designer James Heeley, is loaded with a churchy incense vibe and a touch of modern gothic. It conjures up visions of grey stone cathedrals, a bit of dank gloom that’s swaddled in white linen. If you love that type of fragrance concept, you’ll love Cardinal. It’s warm powdery labdanum and light smokiness make it an interesting choice for the cooler months.
The opening of Cardinal is very bright and sharp. Baie rose is sprinkled with a spicy black pepper and aldehyde gives this spicy confection strange cleanness. Once the labdanum, ciste, frankincense and myrrh make an appearance, it’s a little like a fresh cut christmas tree decorated with ornaments coated in pepper, very spicy and very mystical. There is a smooth smoky incense that rises between a subtle herbal note. Cardinal is rounded out with a strong patchouli base, which combined with a veil of vetiver and sweet amber, prevents the patchouli from being too earthy.
Cardinal is most commonly compared to Comme des Garçons’ Incense series Kyoto and Avignon. If you are a fan of either of these fragrances, you will enjoy Cardinal’s smoothness. I will warn you, Cardinal does not seem to have the longevity of Avignon from Comme des Garçons. In fact, Cardinal is probably one of the weakest in this scent classification. It is a tamed version of Avignon with a little more sweetness. Cardinal has a mild sillage, it wears close to the skin and the longevity is average.
Cardinal is a great fragrance for those who don’t like overpowering incense fragrances. It’s easy on the nose and give just a hint of churchiness. Overall, Cardinal is a well behaved incense fragrance that leans a bit more towards modern in its interpretation of gothic.