A much underrated fragrance.
Thread: Givenchy Insense: Fantastic!
My decant of Insense just came in, haven't worn it in a few years so I tried to go in with an unbiased opinion.
Here are the notes:
Top: Blackcurrant, Mandarin, Basil
Middle: Magnolia, Lily of the Valley, Lentiscus
If you didn't know this was a masculine fragrance, you may assume it is feminine based upon the pyramid. This is not the case at all. The scent is floral dominate, however the floral notes are more of the sharp/austere/clean variety, that I associate with mass or gentleman in grey suits than I would with a woman running through a field of flowers. There is barely any sweetness in this fragrance, I think if there was the florals would run wild and this would be challenging for any man to wear.
What's interesting is that I smell things that aren't listed in the pyramid. On my skin the lily is prominent, however I would hesitate to call it dominate. Instead there scent that is a cross between light incense and wicker or thick hemp.
Something might be pricking at the back of your memory right now. You may be thinking white florals, incense in an austere package, where have I heard this before? That's right, Passage D'Enfer. PDE is almost a direct copy of Insense, although it somehow lacks the character of the scent it copies. To me PDE is far less wearable, less masculine, has less longevity and projection, but of course costs far more.
The feeling of dryness in the woods/incense that the dry down yields also reminds me of Querelle by Parfumerie Generale, which had a fantastic wicker/hemp smell in the drydown.
This is a fantastic fragrance for spring. The longevity and projection are moderate to above average, there is nothing to become cloying even in the heat, and unless you are terribly insecure about your masculinity there is nothing that could be construed as feminine with this scent. I think any issues in that regard would come from over applying, which could cause the floral notes to scream instead of harmonize. 2-3 sprays to the chest and you will be good.
I am wearing the reformulation which according to the review directory is,and I quote, "butched up" compared to the vintage. This may be for the best, because why I have no doubt the original was still masculine and wearable by all accounts this one is a little more masculine with the aldehydes dialed way down.
I highly, highly recommend this scent as nothing out there for men smells like it. It's closest cousin is a rip off that costs more and does far less. Even if florals aren't your thing, just for a scent reference point I'd say to sample it.
A much underrated fragrance.
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I love Insense too. Too sad that it has been discontinued, not once but twice - as far as I know, even the reissue in the mithique doesn't exist anymore.
I have the earlier version (in the Amarige bottle) and have not smelled the mithique. I concur with your description, except that I find less incense (perhaps it's the reissue), and it's more green. It is however very dry, with a hay feel which I perceive as narcissus (perhaps your wicker/hemp).
It's been discontinued again? Goddamnit, this is one of the ones I'm going to have to buy two bottles of and ration it out. I've seen in online at very reasonable prices, so it won't hurt the wallet too much to stock up.
This is extremely saddening because let's face it, a mainstream house releasing a dry floral in the early 90s took balls. Hell it would take balls to release this now. If Insense came out today it could easily pass for niche. I love fragrances like Insense because they prove innovation doesn't have to be the sole property of niche designers, but the fact that it's being discontinued again shows where the tastes of the market lie.
Regarding the hay/narcissus...interesting. I grew up in farmland and the hay smell I remember was more sweet and dense, but I'll have to keep that in mind next time I smell it.
Insense is just so amazing to me because the fragrance walks a razor's edge of balance in my mind. A small change in any of the notes would disrupt that harmony profoundly and would render it far less appealing. I appreciate it not just for the smell but for the overall execution.
I liked it my youth and its only drawback/setback is not linked to the scent or its notes, but simply because stores and retailers find it more convenient to stock up on expensive niche (nothing against expensive niche, though), rather than this largely overlooked designer scent
And though my memories about his one are rather blurry, I remember it to be a smooth, classy scent without generic, dull notes
Have always been a fan of this fragrance.
Easily one of my top 5.
I guess you own this one (the first reformulation and the version Luca Turin rated 5 stars)?
I own this one (100ml) and I agree it's a gem! I agree this one is more masculine, less sharp than the original with the huge aldehydes blast!
This one is without that and has to me a darker (floral) more masculine vibe to it and has still way above average sillage and longevity.
I own a 7ml mini of the vintage on which those aldehydes, imo, tone down the floral smell this scent is all about hence I prefer the pictured bottle!
My Top '10' : (In no particular order)
- Dolce & Gabbana: Pour Homme (vintage)
- Annick Goutal: Ambre Fetiche
- Loewe: Esencia/Pour Homme/Solo
- Davidoff: Leather Blend Edp
- Revillon R
- MPG: Santal Noble
- Acqua di Parma: Colonia Intensa Oud
- Knize Ten
- Pal Zileri: Cuoio
- YSL: Kouros (Fraicheur)