a journey of the senses by FLACONNEUR
PATCHOULI INTENSE – 2009 – ♂
Top: Orange, Lavender, Pelargonium, Cinnamon
Heart: Rose, Patchouli, Sandalwood
Base: Amber, Leather
Perfumer: Patricia de Nicolaï
Price: $165 for 100ml bottle
Patchouli Homme’s popularity among men remains quite solid. This fragrance gained increasing interest with women shortly after its introduction in 2009. Women’s discovery of Patchouli Homme’s unisex nature, and the subsequent popularity it generated, has caused Parfum de Nicolaï to rename the fragrance Patchouli Intense. Removing “Homme” from the name will allow the marketing of the fragrance to both genders without exclusion. I’m giving you fair warning: Patchouli Homme, now Patchouli Intense, is not your typical heady patchouli.
Patchouli Intense has Patricia de Nicolaï’s widely recognized signature opening of candied orange – sweet, yet sophisticated. This creation benefits from Nicolaï being a member of the famous Guerlain perfumer family. A sharp, proper, Victorian-styled lavender fraternizes with the sweet, candied orange, creating a satisfying fruity herbal blend. The balance of this opening is sprinkled with spicy cinnamon, generating the illusion of a mild masculine demeanor. Pelargonium is cleverly used as an intermediary between the top and heart notes. This highly scented plant has a rose-like nature and occasional citrus overtones. It is the perfect introduction to a vibrant, yet understated rose heart. This rose is Turkish, fresh, subtly green, spicy and ever so softly sweet. Finally, patchouli makes its stage debut, alongside its collaborators rose and sandalwood. This sometimes dangerous trio can result in the typical heady aroma negatively associated with patchouli-based fragrances. The patchouli in Patchouli Intense is alive and energetic without the usual dank and depressing sentiment. This lively energy is what really drew me in when first catching a whiff of Patchouli Intense. The intrinsic fresh and green nature of this patchouli makes the heart of Patchouli Intense shine. Just a touch of warming amber and a light smoky leatheriness give this fragrance just the right amount of character without spoiling its energetic nature. “Where is the patchouli?” has been a frequently asked question by others sampling Patchouli Intense. Rest assured, the patchouli is there and cleverly concealed behind a sheer veil of rose, fused with a woody Oriental base. I know that for some, it’s incredibly hard to recognize patchouli when it doesn’t smell like a dungeon.
I have been searching for a patchouli fragrance that was distinct and unconventional. The satisfaction that Patchouli Intense brings makes me believe that my search is over. (That is until the next great patchouli creation comes along.) Patchouli Intense has filled the chasm in a valley of hippy dippy, run-of-the-mill, mucky patchouli fragrances. This is a satisfying daytime fragrance but also just as adaptable for a casual evening situation. The longevity of Patchouli Intense is amazing, lasting over 12 hours without giving up on it freshness or bright character. Patchouli Intense remains a favorite with patchouli lovers, both men and women alike, and will probably remain just as popular regardless of its new identity.