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Patchouli Intense – Put it on your list…. - December 15, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

Image - Wikipedia - Helen's Reef, Palau - a classic desert island

By Dr. James P. McVey, June 1971

I love fragrances. I love trying ‘em, buying ‘em, talking about ‘em, writing about ‘em oh, and yes, wearing ‘em. But this obsession does have its moments – like the ‘must-have’ list.  It seems that for every frag I cross off it, I want to add, like, 4,389 more!  New launches, new arrivals new discoveries – the list grows and grows.

That’s not a bad thing. There’s a certain pleasure in imaging which one to buy first and when and where. Still, there’s always some satisfaction when I wear a designated ‘husband’ frag because it’s not on my list and that leaves me room to grow.

Take Patchouli Homme from Nicolaï Createur de Parfum for example. I bought it for my husband when it came out in 2009 because I loved it and so did he. It wasn’t long before it moved from his side of the shared shelf in the bathroom to the middle and then each day it moved closer and closer to my side until it just got put in my cool, dark perfume place.

He doesn’t mind. He knows that for a patchouli lover like me, Patchouli Homme was nirvana. Then, one day when I went to buy another bottle, it wasn’t available. It has been discontinued and replaced with Patchouli Intense. My heart sank – another fave frag discontinued.  A quick Google check and I got the story. Apparently, I wasn’t the only woman who wore Patchouli Homme. So many women were buying it and wearing it that the good people at Nicolaï decided to take the ‘homme’ out of the name. Smart move. They also decided to increase the wattage from EdT to EdP – a very smart move because while I loved Patchouli Homme, Patchouli Intense is better – much, much better. The higher concentration gives it more longevity and more, well, intensity.

Patchouli Intense opens with a note of sweet candied orange peel – a Patricia de Nicolaï signature - followed by aromatic English lavender. It smells fruity, herbal, clean and bright.  Pelargonium, also known as geranium Bourbon, bridges the opening and the heart notes beautifully. It has a lemony/green facet that extends the green, herbal note at the top, and a rose aspect that takes it to a heart of lush Turkish rose gently warmed with spicy cinnamon. Then, the most refined, sophisticated note of patchouli comes forward. It isn’t a dark, dank or heavy patchouli but vibrant and green, its woody aspect strengthened with sandalwood. The rose and patchouli are sublime together, with neither one dominating the other. Frankincense anchors it at the base with whiffs of smoke and leather. Amber adds a warm hum and a little sweetness that is amplified by vanilla.

The drydown is a refined, sophisticated patchouli fragrance that is more vibrant and engaging than dark and dirty.  Patchouli Intense is that rare thing: an original and unconventional fragrance.

You know, smelling Patchouli Intense and reading over this blog, I realise the whole list thing is a boondoggle really and that the only list Patchouli Intense should be on is the one titled ‘Desert Island Frags’.

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