Perfumes can often evoke memories, experiences, objects, locations. Zagorsk by Comme des Garcons is a location-specific scent, named after a town in Russia (presently called Sergiev Posad) that’s known for its historic Orthodox monastery and churches. It’s part of the Incense series in the Comme des Garcons fragrance line, featuring interpretations of incense scents around the world. Zagorsk is an olfactory experience of being in a Russian Orthodox church in the middle of winter – the warmth of incense inside and the chill of pines and birch trees outside.
In spite of its olfactory promise, it’s not what Zagorsk evokes in me. Perhaps it’s due to the fact I didn’t grow up going to Russian churches. While it doesn’t bring to mind a certain location, it does evoke a certain type of weather – a chilly winter day, with the sky gray and stubbornly overcast, crusty, old snow on the ground, and the wind blowing right through your bones. On a day like this you happen to be walking on a road surrounded by pine trees, taking notice of occasional smoke coming out from banyas (Russian wood-fired saunas). It’s a Saturday, the official banya day, and you’re overcome by a sudden yearning to be in one right this minute.
Zagorsk is probably the most “Russian” scent I’ve ever smelled (although, in my case, it’s also very Baltic). It features the notes of white incense, pine, pimento berries, violet, cedar, iris, hinoki wood, birch wood. Also available as a candle (that I’m dying to possess). It can be purchased from Luckyscent as well as other select stores.
Do you have any scents that evoke winter weather?
24 comments December 18th, 2006