The first whiff of Vanille Intense by Parfums de Nicolaï always makes me feel as though I'm about to knock on heaven's doors because of my untimely yet pleasurable demise by vanilla. It's intense, for sure, and so wonderfully vanillic. Unlike the other Nicolai vanilla fragrance, Vanille Tonka (often heralded as a vanilla perfume for gourmand haters), this one is all about the sweet, edible, and drinkable.
It might be a bit weird to talk in July about a perfume that essentially smells like a very merry Christmas, but I reached for my bottle today and it made me happy, so why not? We all can use a treat here and there, and Vanille Intense is exactly that. A boozy, spicy, thick vanilla, just on the right side of syrupy; depending on how you personally feel about these type of scents it's also incredibly sensual, especially in the late dry-down when the air around you stops vibrating and shimmering and the party is at skin level. Delicious skin level.
Sometimes I'm having trouble to decide if Vanille Intense is a very simple perfume or a dizzily complex one. This is a Patricia di Nicolai creation, though, so I'm leaning towards the latter. While there's no doubt here that what you smell is what you get: a high quality foody vanilla perfume, this fragrance is anything but linear. It weaves a delicate candied and caramelized floss around the wearer into a cocoon, but from time to time the darker aspects, the orange rind cooked in rum, patchouli and wood poke your side and remind you to pay attention because something beautiful is going around you, and it's even dreamier than a creme brulee.
Vanille Intense lingers for the entire day and remains on my clothes until they are washed. The sillage, as long as I don't go crazy with the bottle, can be reasonably moderate after the first half an hour. It's a compliment getter, and will satisfy and delight both genders as long as they really really like vanilla.
Notes: orange, orange blossom, immortal, cinnamon, rum, patchouli, amber, musk, woody notes and vanilla.
Parfums de Nicolaï - Vanille Intense ($65, 30ml) is available from Luckyscent. Oswwald NYC also stocks it, but apparently only in the larger 100ml bottles and at much higher price ($190. Why? Seriously, why?). Can also be purchased directly from pnicolai.com (and the Nicolai boutiques in Europe).