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INTENSE CAFÉ – Aromatic, warm, and addictive

Scents trigger memories, which trigger emotions. We’ve all experienced this magic trick that our brains play on us, a chemical and psychological sequence that happens in the blink of an eye with a single sniff of the nose. Whether the result is a negative or positive emotion depends on our personal experiences. For me, one scent that always, without fail every day, gives me an immediate rush of anticipation and well-being, is coffee. Here’s how it works:

Morning Coffee - The scent starts my day, the ritual of grinding the beans, filling the coffee maker, waiting for that last drip through the filter into the pot, pouring into a favourite cup and taking that first sip of dark creamy pleasure. It’s a good day already.

Afternoon Coffee - Passing a Starbuck’s, the waft of dark roast, cappuccino and latte, sends a rush of good feeling from my head to my feet, from memories of the warmth of conversation and connection over many coffees with friends.

Evening Coffee - Bitter espressos sipped with liqueurs after big family dinners, ending with noisy card games, lots of laughing, and more coffee in big mugs. The taste, the scent, the ritual is always connected with genuine love and celebration.

Am I a coffee addict? No, more a coffee aficionado who savours and enjoys everything about the little brown beans. Which leads me to perfumes, of course. All those good “coffee” feelings make me love perfumes with the coffee note, and make me buy perfumes with the coffee note. Perfumes such as Intense Café by Montale Parfums, which I want to tell you about now, and New Haarlem by Bond No.9, Milano Caffe by La Via del Profumo, and Noir Exquis by L’Artisan Parfumeur, which are all listed in our Decant Store. 

Intense Café opens with a delicious waft of fresh-ground beans, darkly aromatic, slightly powdery and bitter, but airy and tantalizing. In just moments, the coffee is joined by a vegetal note which adds a dimension of freshness. The opening accord expands, the vegetal note becomes rose, a fresh young rose, leaves sprinkled with raindrops and delicate petals wafting an earthy green-floral sweetness as the accord begins to deepen.  

As Intense Café dries into the heart, the coffee note becomes more roasted and nutty, flecked with dark chocolate which adds a mocha-like nuance, and when paired with vanilla and golden amber, the rose and coffee accord becomes irresistible. Now creamy and golden, the scent is as warm and inviting as candlelight as it settles on the skin. The rose and coffee notes become even lighter as the dry-down deepens, and the base slowly segues into an irresistible cloud of vanillic amber and musks which wafts quietly for hours, rich, warm and subtly sexy. 

Despite its name and the fact that it is a Montale fragrance, known for powerful openings and serious wafts, to my nose Intense Café is not an intense scent, nor is it just a coffee scent. The rose and coffee notes are a superbly matched duo which is surprisingly chic, not too sweet or floral or too feminine, too dark or cloying or overbearing, but is perfectly unique and addictively appealing. Intense Cafe is a gourmand fragrance for women and men that is not really about our everyday experience of coffee, but is more about the romance and power of ordinary smells when experienced within a beautiful fragrance. 

Now that I’ve worn Intense Café for a few days, lived with it and breathed its soft beautiful waft, just thinking about it makes me feel good, in an “afternoon coffee” kind of way. I love that feeling.

Intense Café is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.

Image - Wikimedia Commons - Coffee Art