Vanille Incensee by Atelier Cologne & a prize draw
For the sake of disclosure, I have to preface the review by saying that I won the Vanille Incensee collection of products in a giveaway on facebook. Winning a huge amount of an unsniffed fragrance and especially, for me, a vanilla fragrance, makes one, yes, all atwitter, but also a little anxious. But it might be that there really is no randomness in the Universe, and Vanille Incensee and moi were meant to be. By the power of luck and facebook, we will live happily ever after, dear reader. A modern kind of romance.
From above ramblings, you can gather that Vanille Incensee turned out to be my kind of vanilla. It is a "complicated vanilla", as in, and I quote myself, "vanilla paired with contrasting/unexpected notes to achieve the yin-yang, unisex-ish, oddly attractive, 'not for little girls' effect." The official copy tells us of how He wore it first, and then She stole it, and then He encounters that scent in a crowd (probably in Manhattan, because I spy with my little eye a yellow NYC cab on the image accompanying Vanilla Incensee), and there she is in front of him...it's an open ending, but let's believe they live happily ever after too. What? It might happen! Even in Manhattan. So anyway, the composition is unisex and "yin/yang", thanks to a generous amount of wood and moss, a darker accord which contrasts the creamy vanilla. There is also an incredibly appealing, delicate jasmine note woven into the composition, which, in my opinion, adds another, floral, dimension without stealing the attention away from the vanilla and woods. A citrus dimension is here too, which both gives a nod to the "cologne" concept and lifts the composition, again, without taking over the scent. And finally, the dry spiciness of coriander is yet another layer, which enhances the gently smoky effect of woods.
So yes, it is a complex vanilla, when you start analyzing it layer by layer, but it wears effortlessly and has a spacious, uncluttered, airy feel. It also, despite the presence of fairly heavy notes, seems light. Not in a sense of short staying power, the latter is actually quite formidable, about 8 hours on my skin. It is light in a sense of translucency of the composition; there are many layers, but they seem transparent. For lovers of the woody vanilla genre, in particular a very contemporary take on it, this is a must-sniff and probably a must-have.
Available at ateliercologne.com, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, $60.00-$170.00. It also comes in a soap and a candle. The latter is stronger on jasmine, woods and spice, to my nose, and has a great throw.
With the combined total of 260ml, it really will be forever after for me and VI, so I would love to share. Tell me in your comment what was the most exciting thing you have ever won. Two commenters will be randomly chosen to each receive a 5ml decant of the scent. The draw is now closed.