Frankincense and myrrh: Non-basic festive fragrances to shop for the holiday season

Subversive season


By Redzhanna Jazmin

Image: Tom Ford Beauty
Frankincense and myrrh: Non-basic festive fragrances to shop for the holiday season

Looking for a festive scent for the holidays that isn’t overdone? These myrrh-based fragrances are the subversive scent you’re after.

What makes for the perfect festive scent? As we transition from fall into winter, the tides shift from the earthy, nutty flavour of pumpkins and sweet cider to warm, woody accords, spicy cinnamon and clove notes and juicy blends of citrus, pear and berry.

That said, festive fatigue is real, especially in the fragrance world. One can only take in the scent of peppermint, chocolate and fresh pine so much before it starts to get sickly. That’s why our festive fragrance edit is a little different. Rather than taking the season’s most popular scent motifs at face value, we’ve added a twist—a curation of new and classic fragrances that flip the festive trope on its head.

For our holiday scent edit, we’re focusing on myrrh in all its glory—the most sacred oil of the holiday season. These myrrh-based scents incorporate modern Christmas notes like frankincense, vanilla, and woods but with a more elevated and subversive finish—the perfect companions for snowy landscapes, intimate celebrations, or holiday blow-outs alike. Shop the full edit ahead:


Tom Ford Beauty

Myrrh Mystere, RM1,750


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The latest addition to the House’s iconic Private Blend collection, Myrrhe Mystere puts the spotlight on this rare and ancient oil. Blending myrrh essence and myrrh resinoid absolute with smooth sandalwood and creamy vanilla notes, it’s a warm, sweet and woody blend; a stunning celebration of the precious material.




Ouranon, RM715


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If you’re partial to bright, earthy scents, Aesop’s Ouranon is the one for you. Headed by a woody, spicy and resinous blend of frankincense, hay, and myrrh, this fragrance is unlike anything you’ve ever come across before. Its top notes of lavender, petitgrain and elemi and base notes of tonka bean and patchouli come together beautifully with the fragrance’s key ingredients, creating an intoxicating scent that’s perfect on its own or layered.





Bois d’Argent 125ml, RM1,250


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Myrrh takes a supporting role in this woody unisex scent. This fragrance opens with top notes of iris, cypress and juniper berries—an elegant, bright blend that draws one in. Then, it settles into heart notes of myrrh and patchouli and base notes of woods, honey, vanilla, amber, leather and musk; balancing out the bright top notes with a touch of smoke and sweetness. All in all, it’s a sensual scent that is guaranteed to turn heads.



Jo Malone London 

Myrrh and Tonka Cologne Intense, RM900

Inspired by the golden dunes of the Namib desert, the home of distinctive myrrh trees, this resinous scent from Jo Malone London blends the precious sap with top notes of fragrant lavender, an intense heart of myrrh and a base of warm almond and rich tonka bean. Needless to say, it’s a best-seller for a reason.



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