Perfume Directory

Play Intense (2008)
by Givenchy


Play Intense information

Year of Launch2008
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 267 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerEmilie Coppermann
PerfumerLucas Sieuzac
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

About Play Intense

Play Intense is a masculine fragrance by Givenchy. The scent was launched in 2008 and the fragrance was created by perfumers Lucas Sieuzac and Emilie Coppermann

Play Intense fragrance notes

Reviews of Play Intense

The basic premise of this fragrance is pretty easy to figure out, it's a "playful" sweet youthful masculine scent made for clubbing and parties, but that in and of itself isn't a big deal. The huge problem for me personally, is this really should have been Givenchy Play (2008), but since they decided to launch a thin, deliberately underpowered version of this scent then give you the "real" one as Givenchy Play Intense (2008) with a simultaneous (but more expensive) launch, it comes across like a shameless money grab. When you further factor in the warp speed nature of 2000's Givenchy masculine market releases and flankers, plus the willy-nilly way in which they arbitrarily make some limited, others duty-free only, still others discontinued in short order, and it all adds up to being frustratingly exploitative of trend. Play was horrible, and Play Intense is only made slightly better (becoming tolerable) by actually having an okay base under the rest of the scent.

Emile Coppermann and Lucas Sieuzac speed dial the first Givenchy Play with minimal tweaks and a decent base, which could end the review here, but I'll go through the motions for those not familiar with the standard Play. The opening is a melange of sweet green citruses and pepper, but the rounder pink pepper replaces the original's black pepper. Ethyl maltol sugary notes float into a heart of hedione and geranium, with an added boozy note also not in the original which adds a bit more interest for my nose. Rounded sweet tonka and denatured "fruitchouli" style patchouli are reprised from the original Play, but are both much bolder and more noticeable. The vetiver here is nutty but the heavier dose of sweetened tonka and patchouli buries it, with the woody-amber tones reduced in this version in favor of that tonka. Givenchy Play Intense wears long enough for an evening, but still not really longer than the original, but it does have better projection. Honestly, you can do better, as this DNA found it's way into later scents. Best use is fall through spring at night.

For as plainly average and insipid as this is, at least it's wearable, which is why I don't hate Play Intense, but having to realize that this intense iteration is really the standard one while the standard one is just sub-par garbage is insulting to my intelligence as a potential buyer. Otherwise I can forgive the period "iPod packaging" that many designers were using to attract millennial consumers of the time (right before the economic crash destroyed their hopes of ever having a permanent career or owning anything). I'd call this a good cheap gift for a teen but Givenchy axed it in 2018 and now prices are ridiculous because the usual suspects hyped this up as the next lost masterpiece of the unicorn kind. Anyone believing that nonsense is kidding themselves when Calvin Klein still regularly releases fruity tonka patchouli mishmash like this in various flanker forms and Paco Rabanne 1 Million (2008) is still readily available (and infinitely better). Your best bet is to leave Givenchy Play Intense on pause. Neutral
29th December, 2020
I call this frag Donut Shop. I've had it for awhile. I liked it. I didn't like it. It sat on the shelf for a year. I liked it again. I didn't like it. It sat on the shelf again. I'm on the fence now, but I wear it here and there.
REVIEW: It's a club scent. A sweetie. A little more mature though because it is soooo syrupy. It seems slightly boozy, but because of the aged donut shop thing going on. Put a donut shop in an oak cask and age it for 12 years = Givenchy Play Intense.
01st May, 2018 (last edited: 06th May, 2018)
It opens with a citrus scent then dries down into a gentle spiced coffee scent. I would not say it smells really like coffee. In fact I haven't find something smells like real coffee in perfumes. But Play Intense does evoke an image of bitter coffee. It somehow also has an incense-like smell. I find it not very sweet, and clean. It's a versatile fragrance, not cloying sweet for summer and spicy enough for winter, day and night, unisex as well. That said, it still has its caracter. Its sillage is moderate and the longevity 7h+ on me.

Originally written in 2013.
25th November, 2017
Synthetic - but not excessively so; the unusual quality of PI comes from its choice of notes : red fruits, mandarin orange, powdery brown gourmand (carob flour), pink pepper and a blue steel 'lavender'; set on a conventional oriental base.

Stylistically it's a strange hybrid of gourmand, oriental, and fururist metal fougère. These are deployed in the symphonic-synthetic manner of 24, Faubourg; many narrow-range synthetics packed into a seamless composition. But the difference with PI is that its not at all concerned with the classical blandishments of Faubourg, on the contrary, it employs this synthetic style to make an appropriately avant-garde statement. With its metal skeleton, plastic skin and frizzy brown hair, PI would be ideal scent material for a Bladerunner replicant.

But, despite its artificial quality, by sheer will power it seems, this odd creature overcomes its shortcomings (linear, dominated by synthetics, designed by committee) and flaunts them as though they were assets.

On the other hand, like a replicant, PI seems to adapt to its environment and slowly evolves a more humane side as the natural-feeling oriental base finally asserts itself. The naturality of the base serves to underline just how un-natural the rest of the profile really is.

Instead of trying to disguise its synthetic nature, PI demonstrates that this quality is deliberate. Its artificiality is an artifice; something to be celebrated, not excused.

Unlike Faubourg, PI's style is absolutely in keeping with its substance and this coherence is, in the final reckoning, what makes Play Intense a success.

18th October, 2017 (last edited: 19th October, 2017)
Play with the addition of a lot more character, particularly in the mid to base note area. I started my serious frag journey with play and soon moved beyond to this one. It gets a big boost from a vanilla/tonka/caramel type of vibe while reducing the impact of the citrus notes. Its still quite inoffensive yet I find it quite interesting and sensual.

Average power, lifespan and projection. A modern offering with more appeal than most, IMO. After several years, I still wear this, on a rotational basis. One of the crowd pleasers, which works for me.
17th February, 2017 (last edited: 18th February, 2017)
Not too bad. GPI does grab my attention more so than the original, with a pleasant, understated intensity (like Miles Davis, perhaps ;^>). I admit that initially, I wasn't sure what to make of it; but that could be because it's not quite like the other fragrances out there.
18th December, 2016

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