Total Reviews: 6
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.
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!
Advertisement — Reviews continue below
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
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.