Suzanne's Perfume Journal

October 24, 2012:

Regina Harris Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc perfume oil is available from LuckyScent.com, where a 15-ml bottle is $125 (and currently on back order!). My review is based on a sample I received from another perfumista.

Photo (top of page) of autumn bike ride is available all over the Internet (photographer unknown by me).


Bottle image is from LuckyScent.com.


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Monday was a day of beautiful autumn weather—the sky an endless expanse of sheer and glassy blue; the trees glowing in jewel-like shades of russet, garnet and citrine. There was work I should have done, but having spent seven hours on Sunday blowing and raking leaves, when I woke up Monday morning and found that a hard frost was quickly being melted by clear-streaming sunlight, I decided that all other projects could wait. I put aside the booklet I’m working on for a woman who was my 4th grade teacher and instead made another mug of coffee, ate breakfast for a change, read and left comments at several of my favorite blogs, then headed out my door for both a run and a bike ride. On my return, not yet ready to go indoors, I dragged a lawn chair to a corner of the yard where autumn’s long shadows couldn’t reach and sat in the sun eating an apple, admiring my tidy piles of leaves and wondering if I ought to mow the grass one more time. And then my mind floated out into the azure atmosphere and the better part of an hour passed away.


By the time I had to pick my husband up from work, I’d managed to do some laundry, concoct a proper supper that was ready for the oven, and shower and freshen myself up, but as far as accomplishments go, that was it.

“So, what are you thinking about?” my husband asked in a curious and quiet voice as we drove west into the setting sun. When I shrugged and told him the weather had me feeling happy, he said, “Mm, I wondered. You’ve been smiling.”  I knew what he meant: a smile is hardly rare for me, but when I smile off into space and seem to be on some kind of Cloud Nine autopilot, it looks like I’m keeping a delicious secret, and he wants to know what it is. In this case, though, there was no secret, apart from the secret world that I am swept away to on the currents of truly fine weather.

October is a month where I could get swept away often—and not just during the daylight hours. When bright and streaming autumn days turn into crisp autumn nights, there is something enchanting about this new air. On Monday evening, sated and drowsy from my day of outdoor leisure, I felt as warm and glowing as a candle, and with that thought I broke out my sample of Regina Harris Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc perfume oil. This is a scent I normally reserve for the winter holidays—it reminds me of both Solstice and Christmas, because within it I find a strange or maybe not-so-strange intersection, where it’s almost like two religions are meeting up: one with a reverence for the natural world, the other for the ecclesiastical realm. If I didn’t know that Regina Harris was a real, modern-day person (a make-up artist, from what I gather), I could easily imagine this oil as a relic of sorts: a mystical potion handed down by an ancient order of Pagans who resisted conversion by the Catholic Church while making off with the Church’s finer articles. It’s a perfume oil that smells like church incense for the first half-hour of wear—incense wrested from the pulpit of a thousand-year-old cathedral, with dust-motes dancing on its surface. Incense that smells, on one hand, musty, heavy and weighted by myrrh’s medicinally sweet and spicy tones, while on the other, a dry and austere whiff of frankincense weaves in and out of the heavy myrrh. How does one even begin to describe this combination, which marries earth with ether and makes you feel like there might be a hidden dimension to the Universe—a secret passageway you could slip off to (and maybe the place you disappeared to earlier in the day when you thought you were staring beyond the trees into sky)?

Yet when this incense is shortly joined by the honeyed sweetness of Moroccan Otto of Rose, you suddenly don’t want to go anywhere, because this feminine element introduces the realm of the sensual into the mix and the overall effect is bewitching—particularly as the incense quiets down and the fragrance begins to smell more and more like beeswax candles. Whether the honeyed rose steers the fragrance in that direction, or whether there is actually a true beeswax note in the base, I don’t know (there is no listing of notes for this oil, other than those in its name). Sometimes I think I detect the creamy scent of sandalwood mixing with the rose and wonder if that could be responsible for the effect. However it is achieved, this perfume oil spends the rest of its long duration on my skin smelling like beeswax candles that are lit and dripping their soft wax on a table set with a garland of herbs, rose petals and pine boughs. It’s almost as if, when the smoke of incense has parted, you discover yourself at a clearing in the woods where a Pagan feast is about to be laid … and the church you thought you were in has completely disappeared.

This is a perfume that makes me want to bust out the all-natural bayberry candles sent to me by a fragrance friend—because they smell herbal and beautiful and full of the good earth, yet are ceremonial too.

It’s a perfume that reminds me of everything that holds me to the here and now—that says, here is all the beauty you could ever want.

And it’s a perfume that inspires me to dream of other realms and to understand why other people do the same. Because I like to believe that anything’s possible … and sometimes I simply like to slip away.


Regina Harris Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc:

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