Another attempt by Comme Des Garcons at catching the attention of the mainstream crowd but, unlike their previous Amazingreen, this time they nailed it. Blue Encens is probably not as artsy as other *edgier* deliveries from this house but it is SO nicely played to result incredibly likable while still skipping dullness. Safe? Yes, probably safer than, say, SKAI! Boring? No.
One of the keys to properly evaluate BE, is to get rid of the prejudices that might come with the *Blue* part of its name and with the overall sporty vibe that comes with the packaging and marketing. THIS IS NOT A SPORT FRAGRANCE. The concept here is to take previous CDGs themes (Hinoki, H&M and Dover Street Market come to mind) and give them a mainstreamish twist by adding, in this case, a solid cinnamon-cardamom combo which seem to be two of the flavors of the day. What comes out is a slightly metallic amber-incense fragrance in the typical CDG's style with a fresh and persistent spicy accord. The cardamom is the real star here and it's the first time that enters the CDG's world. Plenty of it throughout, while cinnamon supports the incense base enhancing the freezing effect together with subtle calone-y undertones. What really makes the difference from most designers, is how at CDG they keep on skipping those massive woodyambers that currently overpopulate the mainstream market. Another interesting aspect is that Blue Encens has no citruses whatsoever (not a good thing per se but definitely something to increase the distance from sporty stuff). The fragrance wears smoothly but it's pretty radiant, feels perfectly sized, safe but not generic. An easy wear just like a basic t-shirt. They apparently all look the same but, depending on fabric, cut and style, they wear incredibly different.
I've seen someone complained somewhere saying we didn't need another incense fragrance by CDG. Well, I think that's somehow a wrong assessment. Incense is to CDG exactly as vanilla is to Guerlain, iris to Chanel and hay to Parfums De Nicolai. It's in their DNA, it's their signature, it's part of their heritage and, most of all, they're very good at using it. With that said, I'd personally classify Blue Encens as a cardamom-driven fragrance built around a spicy-incense base so, if you're ok with a *safe* Comme, go ahead, Blue Encens is probably not groundbreaking but it's delightful nonetheless.
Downline: Blue Encens goes together with Wonderwood, CDG2Man, The Cologne Series and The Sherbet Series. "Intelligent Pop". Safe and honest.