Red is the color of passion, of warning, of danger. And what can we say? We hate to be all ??matchy-matchy’, but Red Square sure lives up to its name! It scoops up some of the fieriest ??red’ notes in perfumery, like red pepper, red musk, clove or cinnamon, and padauk wood, an African rosewood, and whips them up into a hot blaze, cooling them down again with ash and aromatics for a never-ending dance of hot and cold that holds the wearer’s attention throughout.
Key to Red Square’s exciting aroma is nar (meaning ??fire’ in Arabic), a rare red Boswellia sacra frankincense from Oman that has a fresh, spicy pine-like aroma pitched halfway between elemi and cinnamon bark. The opening is a column of white smoke billowing from a censer where elemi resin burns over eucalyptus branches, liquid tar, and cloves, its trail purified by an antiseptic ginger note. We love the minty, camphoraceous aspect of the incense, because it injects a leafy bitterness. Before we get too comfortable, however, Red Square plunges everything into a bath of hot pitch, like Eau Lente poured into the La Brea tar pits. This gutsy move is what transforms what could have been just a nice incense scent into something mesmerizingly different. The scent continues on in this spiced, musky tar-like track for a while before smoothing out into a peppery incense accord that reminds us of the aldehydic coldness of Avignon (Comme des Garcons) or LAVS (UNUM). We recommend Red Square to anyone who thinks that incense no longer holds any surprises. Although it riffs off the bone structure of some of the greats, Red Square takes us in some new and surprising directions.