The original Yellow Diamond from Versace was launched about three years ago. It's a standard light musky floral with one saving grace: a very pretty mimosa note that manages to survive for about ten minutes and makes it slightly more memorable than dozens of similar perfumes. The little bit of sunshine is eventually overtaken by a creamy shampoo, a generic musk, and the thing that passes for a "wood" base these days. Yellow Diamond is still pleasant enough and not obnoxiously fruity- the ubiquitous pear note is sheer and not particularly dominant, making it a rather restrained fruity floral. The press and marketing babble for this fragrance talks about Donatella Versace's love of yellow diamonds, but the perfume is more sheer than luminous or sparkling and is completely free of the designer's vulgarity.
Yellow Diamond Intense (already available in Europe, coming to the US next month) kicks it up a notch, towards what someone at Versace probably considers more sexy. I guess we should be thankful they didn't name it "Yellow Diamond Noir" . What they did is inject Yellow Diamond with a double dose of sticky amber, making it sweeter and completely drowning the mimosa and most of the other floral notes. It's not an improvement, if you ask me. Intense is even more generic than Yellow Diamond, and feels like an afterthought. Just like the reuse of the same ad campaign, where they simply added the word "Intense" to original photo (why hire Mario Testino again when they can recycle?).
Yellow Diamond Intense is an eau de parfum (the original is an eau de toilette), and has a more pronounced sillage. On my skin it also lasts longer, though not quite as much as I expected from the more syrupy concoction (not complaining. It's not like I had a blast wearing it). Both perfumes were created by Alberto Morillas, a man who created a mind-boggling number of mainstream bestsellers, and to whom I've forgiven everything because he's also the nose behind the original Panthere de Cartier, YSL M7, Rochas Byzance, Le Labo Vanille 44 and Tubereuse 40, and several other good ones.
Versace- Yellow Diamond is available at Sephora and most department stores. Yellow Diamond Intense will join it soon.
Photo from Versace's 2012 haute couture show via The Guardian.