Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Insense by Givenchy
I assume the male buying public 18 years ago wasn't exactly ready to accept a fragrance such as this. My opinion is that it would fare much better today since buyers have been indoctrinated with enough niche releases to ease the shock value of a scent like Insense. This smells niche, but since it's not, I shall call it a "nichigner".
A friend and terrific reviewer by the name of foetidus would use the word "distaff" to describe Insense. I love that word, but won't use it since I would be stealing it from him. I usually go with "leans feminine", but in either case, it is a true assessment. Insense does lean feminine, but still retains masculinity. Is that even possible? I believe somehow it is when referring to this Givenchy.
Do you like aldehydes? Well now.....this opening is borderline WOW factor. It's perfume-like blast of aldehyde and citrus may startle someone not expecting topnotes like this in a masculine release. It lasts only a few minutes before settling down to a transparency of citric green . The floral array is ambiguous to me and blended in such a way as no one note takes over the composition. I believe I smell Lily of the Valley and violet merged with some grittiness. Black currant is also listed, but it doesn't smell like other implementations of the note that I'm familiar with. No matter, the heart accord, while simple, is elegant and noticeable.
The base and drydown of Insense is uneventful, but in a good way. On me, all it seems to add is a subtle woodiness to a still beating floral heart. The green aura persists into the base as well so the wearer ends up with one of the better masculine floral releases I have stumbled across. It's noticeable, substantial yet sheer and extremely wearable. I really like vintage Caron 3rd Man, but it may have to move down one notch for this one. Big thumbs up from Aromi.