Nevermind the insanity of the name, this is a pleasantly luminous vanilla-inspired scent with a fraction of the richness associated with the bean and none of the heft. A hint of spice, a touch of floral and a toasty paper-like crispness come together for a surprisingly interesting take on the genre.
Vanille Insensée smells to me like an improved albeit sweeter version of DSquared Rocky Mountain Wood with its warm floral incense vibes. Performance may vary with individuals but I can't personally fault its sillage nor projection as I find them excellent.
The opening of this fragrance is a very light and transparent semi sweet vanilla smell with the whisper of citruses mix with it.
The vanilla note smell like vanilla ice cream but it's very transparent with small amount of sweetness.
Projection is crap at the start and you can barely smell the scent.
A few minutes later suddenly the fragrance start to warm up and get stronger and sweeter and at the same time some floral notes came in.
The note breakdown says jasmine, but I can clearly smell rose beside warm and sweet vanilla not jasmine.
This combination smell sensual and interesting but it's quite feminine.
In the base some woods joined in and this is where you will find this fragrance almost unisex.
The base is a warm, sweet and sensual vanilla and rose combo with some woods in the background that give the scent a little smoky and dark masculine feeling which is very nice but still much more feminine than masculine.
Projection was terrible at the start and it's stronger and better in the mid and base but still average.
Longevity is good and it's around 8 hours which surprised me because of that mediocre to weak projection.
Opens with a musky citrus, which smells quite synthetic, although the vanilla is present from the start. After around 30 minutes I get a really weird metallic smell, which persists throughout although becomes less noticeable with time.
Every now and again I get a delicious wisp of vanilla, but on the whole the sillage isn't great on me and it feels like I'm sniffing vanilla through a veil. I don't get the jasmine at all, but rather a clean, musky drydown that seems a little at odds with the promised vanilla.
Might be good for those who want a dryer, lighter vanilla, but this is not potent or rich enough for me. Hats off to Atelier Cologne for selling 7.5 ml samples, however!
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Non-cuddly vanilla. More woody than spicy or dessert-like. Papery, actually. Citrus notes at the top tell you that the vanilla won't be either warm or sweet. Ambery and smoky notes are accents rather than dominant notes and let the vanilla keep its crisp edge.
The Atelier line purports to reinvent the cologne genre. Without much sillage, strength or endurance Vanille Insensee doesn't step far out of the range of dynamics of the eau de cologne, but the composition certainly isn't the classic citrus edc. It has similarities to l'Artisan Parfumeur Vanille Havane, Serge Lutens Bois de Vanille and Parfums de Nicolai Vanille Intense. Atelier's vanilla shares the coolness of the other vanillas, but is airier, less radiant and more matte. It's the unlikely goldilocks between the contemporary woody vanilla and the classic eau de cologne and a successful refashioning of the edc genre.
Vanilla and a Paperback book....
Ok, it sounds weird, but this hits me as a strong dose of vanilla bean, and a supporting note that smells like a hot dry paperback book. It must be the oak and coriander mix, smells kind of like pepper (not listed as a note). Despite this, there is nothing special about it in my opinion.
When I was in the shop I made the mistake of assuming "Insensée" referred to incense (the French for incense is encens). Vanilla incense cologne sounded like a great idea. But, actually, the proper translation of "Insensée" would be "crazy" or "insane." Is "Insane Vanilla" a fitting title? For me not so much. 3 stars for quality. Although I'm not a fan of the scent, I can tell it's high quality.
Aroma: Even though Atelier Cologne advertises vanilla from Madagascar in the formula, I don't get the richness that implies. To me the vanilla note comes off rather flat. It reminds me of the synthetic vanilla the casinos pump into the air in Las Vegas to mask the stink of cigarettes. I get a subtle impression of the wood and oakmoss, but it's overwhelmed by white musk. Atelier cologne doesn't call out a musk note in their copy but it's definitely there. The overall impression I get is dry vanilla. I bought the travel spray on impulse along with some other Atelier Cologne fragrances and I'm glad I didn't get a bigger bottle. I'm going to use this for layering I think, but...
Projection, Sillage and Longevity: I find Vanille Insensée to have rather powerful projection and strong sillage. I layered with Ambre Nue and this one completely overwhelmed the other. I wore a little only on my wrists and even wearing a jacket that covered by arms I could smell Vanille Insensée quite clearly. It's been about 9 hours now that I'm wearing it and the scent is still making its way to my nose.
Value: I appreciate that Vanille Insensée is available in a .25 oz. travel spray. Like all Atelier Cologne fragrances, the big bottle is a great value at less than $1 per ml.. Vanille Insensée is also quite strong and a little will go a long way.
Pros: Strong projection, sillage and longevity
Cons: Flat, overly strong
Like raw vanilla bean and spice. Haven't tried it alone, but it pairs beautifully with LaVanilla "Pure Vanilla," which has some patchouli in it. Together, they're as satisfying as a hot cup of fresh black coffee.
31st March, 2013 (last edited: 13th April, 2013)
It's funny that I'm seeing the scent pyramid and that Vanille Insensée has all of these notes, because when I was smelling it at the Atelier store, all I really smelled was vanilla bean. It's not bad, in fact it's smoother than the pure vanilla madness of Love by Kilian. But honestly, it's not too original and it doesn't really waver from that one note.
l get a refreshing, woody-citrus opening, & then l smell a lot of white musk along with a whiff of jasmine. lt takes a few minutes for the vanilla to appear, & it's not candy-sweet at all, but dry, & laced heavily with amber. The amber becomes more & more dominant over the next few hours, & the base has a warm, woody, slightly honeyed feel.
l would say this fragrance is far more about amber than vanilla, so if you're looking for a straight-up vanilla, this isn't it. lt is a very nice fragrance though, & the sillage & longevity are good, this being labelled as a "cologne absolu". l think this is supposed to mean a "perfume-strength cologne", although l don't know why they don't just call it an EDP...