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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Vanille Incensee by Atelier Cologne & a prize draw

By Marina

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'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, 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.

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Blogger Tasha said...

I have never ever won anything in a contest. So it will be my most exciting thing if i end up being finally lucky! :) Not a fan of vanilla and want to challenge that fact.

12:33 AM EST  
Blogger Irina said...

haven't had the luck yet of winning a contest- still trying
strange vanilla scents are so interesting, I would love the chance to try this
thanks for sharring

12:54 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me it was Balsamo di Mecca, full bottle. Many thanks for entering me in the drawing. Alica -

1:22 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never won anything...probably this time?

Kisses Persefone

1:23 AM EST  
Anonymous jms said...

When I was in the first grade, I won a jar of gumballs in my local library guessing contest. That was very, very exciting. Gumballs for life! Unfortunately, my mom took custody of my prize and doled them out to me one at a time. Also, I had to share with my siblings.

I would love to be entered in the draw, thank you!

1:23 AM EST  
Anonymous Lessa said...

I have been dying to try this fragrance. :)

I racked my brains trying to remember if I'd ever won anything, and then it hit me - when I was 8 or 9 I won a little plastic radio in a bingo game. I think it only got 2 stations but I used to carry it everywhere...

1:27 AM EST  
Blogger Ms. Wood said...

I think the only thing I have ever won was a gift certificate to a yoga class. Boooring.

1:35 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL, about two minutes ago I discovered that I won the most exciting thing in the universe: Puresdistance Antonia!

I tried the Ateliers for the first time this weekend, and was surprised by how much I liked them, especially Vanielle Incensee! Of all the fragrances I tested, it was only one of two that made it onto my person :)

1:55 AM EST  
Blogger Khanh said...

I won a tube of sunscreen a few years back, completely unexpected and a wonderful surprise.

Please enter me in the drawing.

2:26 AM EST  
Blogger Balutakat said...

I won a sample a while ago from Marina, wore it, and my guy loved it. Two wins from one draw. I can't afford to buy it yet, but I have kept the sample for special occasions.

2:35 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my last unsniffed Atelier frontier, but hopfully not for much longer! The most exiting thing I ever won? Two Xerjoff samples on Sorcery of Scent. :)

3:12 AM EST  
Blogger Ines said...

The most exciting thing I ever won...
Thinking, thinking... As I seemed to always win sample sizes, I'll go with 10ml of Hilda Soliani's Conaffetto which I just recently won (so recently it still hasn't arrived). :)

3:19 AM EST  
Anonymous Gisela said...

As a kid a won camera, a big edgy plasticky thing (these were the seventies..), but I loved it, for a while, I think.
I have yet to find a vanilla for me. Vanilla Insensee sounds good indeed!

3:29 AM EST  
Blogger womo531 said...

The most exciting thing I've ever won was from memory & desire, a collection of scents focused around the poem "In a Station of the Metro". Come to speak of it I have yet to properly wear them and compare it to the blog pieces written by the perfumers...

4:09 AM EST  
Blogger Isa said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:19 AM EST  
Blogger Melian said...

The most exciting thing I have won is a full bottle from Andy Tauer, which included a nice hand-written note from him and an extra sample. I love vanilla if it's not too sweet. Transparent, woody vanilla sounds like just the thing

5:21 AM EST  
Blogger Isa said...

I'm looking forward to trying any Atelier Cologne, and this one sounds really interesting.
Some years ago I couldn't stand vanilla in perfumes, but now I feel attracted to that note and I wear it on cold days.
Vanille Incensee, being light, could be perfect for spring.

Oh, the most excited thing I have ever won was a Full Bottle of Sarah Horowitz Perfect Veil! Lovely musky and sweet scent.

I would love to be entered in the draw. Thanks!

5:21 AM EST  
Blogger queen_cupcake said...

About 10 years ago, I won a $200 gift certificate to an art supply store. I had such a great time choosing paints, pastel crayons, high quality paper. The money went fast, but it was fun! Please enter me in the draw. I really like the sound of complicated vanilla.

6:41 AM EST  
Anonymous waftbyCarol said...

I rarely win things . Once , on my birthday I went and played Bingo with my boyfriend and won $50 , which immediately went toward new tires on my beater car .
Most recently though , I won a FULL BOTTLE of Andy Tauer Un Rose Chypree when it was released .
I have really been wanting to sniff Vanille Incensee - Still looking for an HG vanilla and this could be IT !!
Carol, kafa at aug dot com

7:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a very young, and still living in Eastern Europe, my father entered the entire family in a lottery to win US green cards. Years later, when communism fell in Eastern Europe - voila - we won them and got to move to America! I consider myself beyond lucky :)

8:26 AM EST  
Anonymous Connie said...

I won a $500.00 gift card a few years ago at Banana Republic. Weee!

I have been dying to try this vanilla scent. Please enter me in the draw and thank you for sharing. :-)

8:40 AM EST  
Blogger Karin said...

No need to include me in the draw, M, but wanted to comment on this. I have a decant of the Vanille Insensee, and I've decided it smells just like SweeTarts + cardboard!! Sometimes I miss all of the nuances of a fragrance, and it seems I somehow miss out! I don't dislike it, though. It reminds me a bit of Diptyque's Eau Duelle, which was just so-so.

As to the best thing I've won recently - a signed bottle of Coup de Foudre from Yann Vasnier, courtesy of CaFleureBon. That was really cool!

8:52 AM EST  
Anonymous RusticDove said...

I won a bottle of Soivohle Writing Lyrical Poetry, a bottle of Balsama della Mecca,assorted samples of vintage LeLong scents and a sample of Parfum de Therese that I'm anxiously awaiting. Hopefully my good perfume kharma will continue as the more I read about Vanille Incensee, the more I believe it would be perfect for me! Thanks Marina!

9:03 AM EST  
Blogger Prettywitty504 said...

I won $150 in the Florida state lottery once, and it would have been more if there hadn't been so many winners that week. It was very exciting, nonetheless. This fragrance sounds really enticing, and I would love to try it, so please enter me in the draw. Thanks so much!

9:26 AM EST  
Anonymous Moe said...

I don't usually enter many contests, but I entered one on a whim last year, and won $500 worth of shoes.

9:41 AM EST  
Blogger Janet said...

Lucky you! I won tickets to a 49er game about 10 years ago.

Vanille Incensee sounds interesting.

9:47 AM EST  
Anonymous Bellatrix said...

When I was 8 (2nd grade) i got a annual free subscription to the children's magazine. I was so proud. :)

9:56 AM EST  
Blogger fey said...

How fun! Another Drawing.
I am a big fan of Atelier Colognes.
They have fabulous fragrances and wonderful ethics...and this is one I haven't tried yet.
Let's favorite win was from a drawing a few years ago. I won two tickets to 12 show a month for a year at the Showbox in Seattle. Unbelievable score!
Thanks Marina. :-)

10:00 AM EST  
Blogger Ashley said...

I won a 19 inch television in first grade! It was very exciting for me at the time.

10:14 AM EST  
Blogger Gretchen said...

In the fifth grade, I won a drawing at Old Navy where I got to go out on the Norfolk Tides baseball field and receive a "prize pack" from their mascot RipTide. The prize pack was a t-shirt and a water bottle and RipTide broke the box holding it in the middle of the field. I was horrified. Plus to make it worse, my current crush at the time was at the game and I saw him after the game. So I won a contest and was humiliated all at the same time!

10:18 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"By the power of luck and facebook, we will live happily ever after, dear reader." A true modern romance indeed! :)

10:19 AM EST  
Anonymous hotlanta linda said...

Andy Tauer`s Incense Rose!! This is, like his creations are, rich, smooth, N-I-C-E!!! & unique to the nth degree! My love of vanilla is calling loudly after reading your post, so thank you for putting my name in th hat!

10:32 AM EST  
Anonymous london said...

This will be the best thing I ever won - if I win!

10:54 AM EST  
Anonymous *jen said...

I used to win Bingo games A LOT when I was a kid. Every time, it was a thrill!

11:14 AM EST  
Blogger Janet said...

I won a $100 gift certificate to a local restaurant recently! Please enter me in your drawing...vanilla & incense? YUM!

11:14 AM EST  
Blogger Proximity said...

Exciting in one sense - I won a palette of eyeshadow in a blog giveaway - the much desired Urban Decay Naked Palette. It was like ... the only thing I have ever won based on luck rather than merit. Everything else I've ever won required at least a bit of effort!

Exciting in a completely different sense - I won a writing contest as a child, and was given $100. It was more money than I really understood, so my parents stuck it in my bank account for me, and bought me ice cream and a toy ... but at the time, winning $100 for my writing was like telling me I'd won a mysterious cavern full of jewels, but I wasn't allowed to look at them. I think I was about 10. I think 10 year olds are more worldly now ... and I'm not even very old - I grew up in the 80's.

11:15 AM EST  
Anonymous grizzlesnort said...

I won my sweetie's heart 28 years ago. It's still exciting.

11:21 AM EST  
Anonymous Olivia A said...

Hmm... In high school I won an autographed boxed set of Aerosmith CDs, which was pretty awesome! Like someone else said - I think it might have been the first time I won something based on luck, rather than merit... And it's nice to feel lucky like that! :-D

11:26 AM EST  
Blogger Tara said...

Oh dear, feeling rather deprived, I never win anything! Hopefully my luck will change soon :)Congrats on the Facebook win Marina.

11:36 AM EST  
Anonymous dleep said...

I won a parakeet (yes, a blue parakeet) at a street festival in New York. I loved that little bird! I would love to be entered into the drawing. Thank you.

12:10 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

When I was 9, I won a short story contest. The prize was a ticket to see the Tutenkhamen exhibit, which was then installed at the Art Galley downtown. I was so exicited!

12:23 PM EST  
Anonymous Karen G said...

I think I won $50 on a pull-tab at a bar once. Sort of exciting. Also a $100 gift certificate to a local drug-store. Now, that WAS exciting because, hellooo!!...Make-up and Perfume!! This was a million years ago, so maybe I'm due for another win :) Thanks for putting me in the draw.

12:39 PM EST  
Blogger Lauren said...

I won the heart of my dear love! I think that is about it. I so want to try this vanilla! I don't live near a N.M. or a B.G. so I'd love to win this!

12:46 PM EST  
Blogger Elisa said...

I won a full bottle of Eau d'Epices last year. Very exciting! Would love to win a decant of this too.

1:07 PM EST  
Blogger Doc Elly said...

I'm not lucky at winning drawings, so haven't won much that way. I have to depend on skill or speed. The first most exciting thing I won was a doll as first prize in a coloring contest when I was a kid. As an adult, the most exciting thing I won was a huge red trophy for overall winner in a 1-mile road race. It was exciting to finish ahead of all the males!

1:26 PM EST  
Anonymous rosiegreen62 said...

I never win contests, but I would love
to try this. Please enter me in the drawing.

1:33 PM EST  
Blogger Stacey said...

The most exciting thing I won was from the Perfume Shoppe about 4 years ago. I won a 15ml bottle of Serge Lutens Datura Noir, which was my first SL ever. It really opened the niche world up for me to dive into!

1:33 PM EST  
Blogger Nina Zolotow said...

Oh, I've been wanting to try this one!

My most exciting win was when I was a kid. In those days at the Sat. afternoon movie showings, they used to do drawings from the ticket numbers and give away a surprise to the lucky winner. One time they chose my number. I still remember my astonishment and excitement, but the funny thing is that though I remember being handed some kind of box with a toy in it, I can no longer remember what the toy was.

1:43 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

I won an art contest in the 8th grade. The prize was $20! Please enter me in the draw, thanks!

1:46 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once won a weekend at a hotel on Salt Spring Island, which was pretty grand. That same year I won a jewellery box at a raffle, but then my lucky streak ran out...AnnnieA

1:56 PM EST  
Blogger ~elise said...

I won a sample pack from Soivohle...I can't remember ever winning anything else other than $2 on a lotto ticket! :)

1:57 PM EST  
Blogger Alyssa said...

I love it when you quote yourself, M.

No need to enter me, just wanted to say I enjoyed the post. Will definitely have to try this soon, though!

1:57 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

I never win anything! Without giving away my age (I'm old enough to care), I won a raffle in the fifth grade. It was a green candle in a white ceramic bowl. I still remember it. No kidding. The only thing I've EVER won. Now I'm thinking I should join facebook and troll for giveaways - but, nah.

2:33 PM EST  
Blogger rosarita said...

I've been reading lots of love for this scent in the perfume blogosphere. Congratulations on your big win, and thanks for letting others share your good fortune!

3:16 PM EST  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

Would love to be entered in the draw!

I've won a couple of blog giveaways that were exciting for me..very early in my 'perfume sniffing days', I won six Caron samples on Perfume Posse..

I'm curious to smell this..

4:12 PM EST  
Blogger odonata9 said...

I have been dying to try this, and the entire Atelier line. I have won a few samples and such on perfume blogs, but some time ago I won free concert tickets from a radio station, for someone I actually really wanted to see!

4:33 PM EST  
Blogger Katherine said...

For me it was a five pack of Tauer perfume samples, I can't remember on which blog... I love Andy! :)

5:03 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not entering the contest as I own the 30ml bottle. I did have to comment, though, as I couldn't agree with you more! It's a gorgeous, "complex" vanilla that is equally interesting, unisex, and definitely has that never-been-done-before quality.

Thanks for the review!

5:16 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was surprised and delighted to win in one of Andy Tauer's advent draws in December -- a full bottle of Le Cologne du Maghreb with one of his charming personal notes. I'm really looking forward to the warm weather to give its herbal glory true justice.

Enjoyed the review. Please enter me into the draw.

-- Lindaloo

5:51 PM EST  
Blogger RH said...

I've never won anything through my entire life- I wonder if that accounts for some part of my cynicism... that said, I never stop trying! Please enter me in the draw- I've been reading about this everywhere and am so curious!

6:46 PM EST  
Blogger a.k.a. Warum said...

Would love to try a sophisticated vanilla! Thanks!

7:14 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does winning a bottle of farouche for $6.25 count? i was pretty excited as farouche is a longtime favorite. a dream win for me would be two tickets to NYC or PARIS plus accommodations!

will have to try this one, because you call it complex. i don't care for the rest of the line, because they are all too simple for me.

thanks for the heads up on it - will mosey over to NM soon.


7:16 PM EST  
Blogger Gail S said...

I'm going to date myself here, but the most exciting thing I've won was a copy of Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album way back in the early 1970's. Those were the days when I saved my allowance for weeks to buy record albums so it was a really big deal :)

Would love to try Vanille Insensee!

9:51 PM EST  
Anonymous Natalie said...

Several years ago at a small-town country fair, not only did I snag two first prizes in the exhibit hall (for best flower arrangement and best blueberry-themed anything!), but I also won a 50-50 raffle (about $80) AND a bottle of the best maple syrup I've ever had. With that run of good luck, I should have entered the tractor pull, too!

11:33 PM EST  
Blogger taffynfontana said...

The most exciting non fragrance related thing I won was a seven day cruise to Mexico for two. It was sent from up above just before I married my hubby. Fortunate because finances were so tight we wouldn't have been able to take a honeymoon trip. The most exciting fragrance was Ineke's Evening Edged in Gold. It is such a lovely scent, feminine and delicate.

1:30 AM EST  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

I won a book once. But it wasn't a very good book! I really like vanilla scents, but was disappointed to not like l'artisan's havana vanilla release. This one sounds interesting. I would say my favorite vanilla's to date are the SL Vanilla (vanilla heavy) and Vanilla Grapefruit (vanilla light).

2:44 AM EST  
Blogger Netto said...

Hope it's not too late to enter. The most exciting thing I ever won was 2 tickets to see the North Mississippi All Stars, and I couldn't even go. Please enter me in the draw

8:31 AM EST  
Blogger KathyT said...

I won a giveaway for some cosmetics on Twitter which was exciting for the amount that I got. I wish that I could say that I'd won a trip or a house or something like that - I keep trying though!

Thanks for the drawing.

9:07 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was in grad school a wind-up travel alarm clock came in the mail, with an uninformative congratulations note. I couldn't figure out what contest I'd entered. Later I wondered if the clock had come from my excruciatingly tactful employer. Years later, I gave the alarm clock to a homeless guy who slept in the bushes and had coffee at my coffee house. He'd just gotten an early morning job and was afraid of oversleeping. The job went so well that he was able to move out of the bushes and into a room, and the move saved his life, he believes. So, that alarm clock win, long ago, was an extremely exciting one!

10:40 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

sadly, I have never won anything of note. However, my partner did win a trip to St. Croix which I got to take advantage of!

12:07 PM EST  
Anonymous ElizabethC said...

I won a small sample of a custom made fragrance by Mandy Aftel for the blogger Nathan Branch. Beautiful scent!
Please enter me in your drawing!

4:48 PM EST  
Anonymous CC said...

When I was in 4th grade, I won a contest in which you had to guess how many jelly beans were in a huge jar. My guess was off by only two, and I got to take home the whole jar!

9:12 AM EST  
Anonymous maggiecat said...

I haven't won much, actually, other than the joy of haivng a great life. I did get a sample of this from Luckyscent and absolutely love it - it's one vanilla scent that i think will be good for all year wear. So if I win a decant, maybe that will be the best thing I've actaully "won"!

2:33 PM EST  
Blogger Vanessa said...

The best prize I ever won was a touring holiday of Europe when I was 17. The best scented prize was a set of all the other Atelier cologne samples c/o Olfactarama. Vanilla is my favourite note, so this one sounds right up my street if the draw isn't closed now!

7:10 AM EST  

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