Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Vanille Insensée by Atelier Cologne

Total Reviews: 24
This is a vanilla cologne for the warmer weather. Vanilla perfumes are usually heavy and sweet and more suitable for colder months, but Atelier manages to produce a blend for the warmer months. The citrus and woody notes surround the center staged creamy vanilla. It is a light gourmand, like a fresh chilled vanilla cream desert. It's moderately sweet, mostly linear and with medium performance.
09th May, 2018
Vanilla is a scent I often struggle with, particularly boozy vanillas or anything with even a vaguely cupcakey accord. This is dry, which seems to be a far less common presentation - certainly vanilla isn't something I particularly associate with the cologne genre. As others have said, Insensee means 'insane', rather than 'incense', although I don't find madness or excess in this at all - if anything, it smells rather introverted in character, despite having decent projection; lasts well too, being a Cologne Absolue. I loved it at first sniff and, from the fact that my first sniff was from an amber-coloured, rather ancient-looking sample, I can tell you that it ages well, getting deeper and a little warmer.
It opens with a full and vibrant lime, a juicy opening for a scent which dries down papery, dusty and (as ClaireV so insightfully pointed out) with something of the Communion wafer about it. Maybe it's the lapsed Catholic in me that loves this, maybe it's the bookworm...
It works well as a base under herbal freshies, too - a great way to transition them between seasons. I definitely get a spike of vetiver in the drydown, to my nose it shows as an earthiniess below the papery accord.

Also, am I the only who just loves the Atelier bottles? Like pebbles, there's something really comforting about them in the hand - just the right weight and those rounded corners are lovely.
16th February, 2018
Vanille Insensée is a light and spicy vanilla that leans towards green freshness, unusual for a vanilla fragrance. The drydown becomes less green and fresh, more of the spice and vanilla.

Projection is very good.
10th January, 2018
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One spray of this and I was reminded of a Bruno Acampora oil (Vanyl) which foxed me a couple of months ago as I felt it was a 'green' vanilla in the sense of not sweet. Just read Kotori's review of Vanille Insensée here and she mentions that it smells like the pods rather than baked goods made with vanilla - that is spot on! I had become so used to vanilla being sweet and body lotionish that I'd completely lost the association with the real thing. So VI is a cool rather than cozy vanilla, and I like it. A couple of hours later, it's humming along and exuding a feeling of calm and wellbeing (not cookie scented at all!).
Although it's not something I'd rush out to get for myself, I'm very happy to try it and if I ever wanted a vanilla of this type it'd definitely be a contender.
18th December, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States
Ahhh... it makes a lot of sense to know Ralf Schwieger created this one. The style reminds me of Fils de Dieu or the Merveilles line. "Insane Vanilla" is a vanilla-dominant cologne (as in eau de) with a contrasting orange peel note and some supporting jasmine, moss, and woods. The jasmine blends well and whispers softly, never once attempting to overthrow the vanilla. It is a cold vanilla, based on the pod, not the extractor any baked goods featuring it. In the sense of coldness and darkness, it resembles Eau Duelle EDT by Diptyque, though not in the actual notes (other than the pod-based vanilla). This is one of my favorite ever vanillas, which I've learned after a two-year long vanilla quest. Very intelligently composed and modern.
16th October, 2017
Very nice vanilla that has that old book smell (Not a bad thing). It does have that Memoirs of a Trespasser vibe IMO. MOST is better though IMO.
30th September, 2017
Vanille Insensee by Atelier Cologne is one of the only three vanilla-centered fragrances that I would consider adding to my collection. The list also includes Salimar EDC and L de Lolita Lempicka (sadly discontinued). Lately, it seems like half the beauty and bath products on the market are laced with vanilla, and I can see why—it is universal, comforting, and not “perfume-y”. On the other hand, if I am going to burn a hole in my wallet and purchase a fragrance, I except something more than vanilla extract. Vanille Insensee reminds me of a vintage perfume that developed for several hours on the skin. The top notes are long gone and only a hint of floral accord remains. What is left is a gently humming benzoin-laden vanilla with a dose of subdued “oakmoss”, a touch of vetiver, and airbrushed musk. That being said, VI is far from vintage with its burnt sugar turned up full blast and the civet strategically omitted. Even the moss accord has been declawed and given a bath.

VI is very approachable, yet it provides the wearer with something more than vanilla scented body lotion. My favorite part is the freshly cut hay accord that is screaming for help under the pile of sugar and moss/musk.

06th August, 2017
ION-ONE Show all reviews
United Kingdom
UMMM - Vanille Insensee - a favourite from the house. Sampled over 2 consecutive days, and it has bowled me over both days! The note list doesn't make much sense as I don't really get corriander, lime, vetiver or oakmoss. What I get is a fantastically intoxicating vanilla with a citrussy-floral orange blossom type note, this juxtasposition created a 3-dimensional scent with lots of shadows, brighter areas and hidden corners.

The Vanilla is clearly the star of the show. This is a straight-up vanilla scent. It is a lot like opening a tube of raw black sticky vanilla pods and giving it a good sniff - quite a multifaceted smell, a little dark, a little smokey, slightly powdery, even boozy with a kind of burnt-sugar and plastic that raw vanilla can give , thankfully not over-sweet. The supporting notes keep the mind engaged. One of the best vanilla interpretations I've come across. Probably slightly feminine leaning, but distinct enough for a man to carry off. I got a similar vanilla from Lush Vanillary but that one went a bit too cup-cake, this one is more like a light dusting of vanilla infused icing sugar: quite airy, light and transparent. Above all a sensual-romantic classy scent: reminding us that - when fully ripe - natures vegetation can be just as seductive as animalic displays!

Overall 82/100. Somehow not doing so well on other reviews, but I'll trust my nose here.Closer to the very best vanillas (Guerlains, Mona di Orio etc) than designer efforts. The real magic is in the first hour, then it may resemble a refined Le Male given an unlimited budget. I'd be delighted to have this smell associated with me.
27th July, 2017
Just another cheap little vanilla. It's that dumb marshmallow frosting vanilla, with isobutavan added for a hint of nuts and creme soda, and a touch of boozy immortelle that's trying its best to class things up but fails.

Right now, in any town in America, you could go to Ross or TJ Maxx and find a candle or a room spray that smells like this for less than $5. This is the dictionary definition of what "cheap" smells like.
11th July, 2017
Oh, i was so happy to finally try this one... it sounded like an interesting vanilla. And then, the disappointment. It smells like Demeter! A lot of alcohol and the same "backscent". I think my mind's tricking me into this because of the coriander. It's quite weak but long-lasting. Try Eau de l’Angelus for something similar but much more qualitative, cheaper and potent. I get many compliments with it.
14th April, 2017 (last edited: 19th March, 2018)
If you want to smell like singed, buttered tonka this stuff will knock you out. The quieter dimensions at work (especially the moss) keep things in check as best they can, but it's a tough sell to make a truly interesting vanilla-centered fragrance. Not at all a bad scent, overall. Fans of VI looking for a little more dimension may have some fun looking for old samples of Scott McClintock.
19th February, 2017
This soft-spoken offering from the typically soft-spoken house of Atelier Cologne made me eat the following words, which I've repeated many times:

"I've never smelled anything similar to any of Imaginary Authors line."

Well, now I have. Vanille Insensée is not as unique overall as Memoirs of a Trespasser is, but the dry and mellow vanilla smells as if it comes from the exact same aroma chemical. Honestly, the whole thing smells a lot like MoaT.

As for what I smell, it opens with the signature citrus/bergamot opening that Atelier is so fond of. The same opening that I can barely detect. About 10 minutes in, I get the type of vanilla I mentioned earlier (dry, mellow) with some nice green/watery notes (not aquatic, though) that come forward as it develops. There is a nondescript floral note that I can't put my finger on, but I don't get any jasmine. It settles down into a woody, dry vanilla base.

This a vanilla I can wear. It's not sicky sweet at all and like MoaT, comes across as gender-less.

Like almost everything I've tried from Atelier Cologne (I bought sample set of the entire line) this is pleasant and unlikely to offend. It doesn't particularly wow me though, and neither does Memoirs of a Trespasser, for reference.

Kind of strange that the name contains the word "Insensée" because I detect no incense here. Although, when I type it into Google Translate, it comes up as "senseless". So harsh Google! It's not that bad.
18th August, 2016
Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee is a creamy vanilla, somewhat gourmand-like, drawing from many different concepts: woody, smoky, and definitely floral.

I didn't get too much citrus in the opening, despite the note listing. The experience started mainly with the vanilla itself, which didn't wait for the dry down. Similarly, I account for the amber's presence throughout the life of the fragrance due to the creaminess of the vanilla. The oak stands in the background throughout, anchoring the fragrance with a dryness that doesn't let it become a fleeting floral nor an overly cake-like gourmand.

To compare to other vanilla-focused fragrances, Vanille Insensee contains some of the booze of Perry Ellis Oud Black Vanilla Absolute, some of the florals of Dame Perfumery Blak Floral, and the darkness of Imaginary Authors Memoirs of a Trespasser, perhaps the insensee (incense?) reminding me of the prominent myrrh note in MOAT.

Now I'm not sure Vanille Insensee is as good as of these fragrances since it doesn't really commit to any one direction all that much, but that might make it all the more agreeable among vanilla lovers and non-lovers alike, the latter since it's relatively easy to wear.

On performance, Vanille Insensee projects more and lasts longer than most of its Atelier Cologne freshie brethren, so it definitely feels more valuable, and at an unusual steal at FragranceX for only $84 for 100ml.

Usage-wise, men and women alike can use this throughout the year. I imagine it can remain under control in warm weather but not disappear in cold weather either, so I'd speculatively regard this is a solid year-round option. Not my favorite vanilla but one I might consider adding.

8 out of 10
08th June, 2016
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I'm really starting to enjoy Atelier Cologne's fragrances. They all seem to be slow burners: I'll spray one on, then think "Hmm, not much to that," and then about an hour later I'll notice a really nice, beautifully balanced fragrance emanating from about an inch from my skin. Vanilla Insensée is no exception. It starts as a sweetish vanilla with a lick of lemony jasmine, and then it ends in a light, woody bit of pie-spice. Quite a polite vanilla, really, in a world full of bombshells, beasts, and layer cakes--but not prim or shy.
09th April, 2016
Light, refreshing Vanilla...

This is a vanilla that is in keeping with the spirit and direction of Atelier Cologne in that it is an eau de cologne with a vanilla aspect to it. That means that it is not a perfume with a heavy vanilla note. Instead it is one which is surrounded with citrus notes.

The lime and oakwood are the main notes, along with the vanilla, are what make this. I also detect the citron backing up the lime, and the subtle jasmine, giving a dirty quality to the mix.

I think this is a vanilla for people who don't like vanilla in perfumes. A very wearable vanilla for men and a unique, refreshing choice for women. Not bad at all!
14th September, 2015
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.
22nd May, 2015
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.
05th April, 2014
Loro Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Metallic vanilla?

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!
08th February, 2014
vanille edc

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.

24th September, 2013
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.

20th July, 2013
Dry Vanilla

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

20th June, 2013
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.
25th February, 2012
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...
21st February, 2012