Harder, better, faster, stronger? Is that what we want from our fragrances? Well, yes, sometimes we do actually! Everyone likes a scent that lasts, and some of us particularly enjoy a fragrance that has an impact – one that people will notice when you’re in the room, and even after you have left in some cases. Brands know this, and they are regularly tinkering with their most popular fragrances to give them more oomph, whether that be by turning the volume up (and I mean way up) or by pulling out certain facets to make them more prominent.
Intense fragrances are a great way to further explore a scent you love, whether its intense version presents more of the same, or some of the same but with a few extra twists worked into the mix. If you’re like me and you like a bold scent – a scent that is going to feel as complex and intriguing as your personality, then the broad brush strokes of an intense fragrance may just be exactly what you need. Here are four that you need to know about!
GUERLAIN La Petite Robe Noire Intense
When a fragrance gets the ‘intense’ treatment, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it becomes stronger, more powerful, and more, well, intense. It can actually be an opportunity to amplify and intensify certain aspects of the fragrance without amping up the volume overall. La Petite Robe Noire Intense by GUERLAIN is a good example of this and instead of taking the original’s black tea, rose, and cherry signature and applying some Dolby Digital Surround Sound, it brings nuance to the idea of a rebellious fruity floral.
In La Petite Robe Noire Intense the iconic black cherry of the original is switched out for a juicy, fleshy blueberry note and blended with a diffusive candy floss accord. Together, these notes create a giant sense of airiness, almost as if the heart of the fragrance is caught in a blustery breeze of spun sugar and fruit. Hurricane GUERLAIN, perhaps? The rest is much like before – rose, sandalwood, and musk, all working together to keep La Petite Robe Noire Intense feeling sleek and sexy on the skin.
Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Intense
The Jean Paul Gaultier brand knows how to do excess. Everything about the fashion and fragrance is theatrical and abundantly over the top, executed in a cheeky, classical way that brings exceptional craftsmanship and modernity together in an impish way. The most ‘Gaultier’ thing the brand offers is Classique – the debut feminine fragrance inspired by cosmetic powders, nail varnish remover and theatre costumes under hot lights. Nothing else feels more JPG than this beautifully powdery floral.
Amongst all of the silk lingerie and face powder, at the heart of Jean Paul Gaultier’s iconic feminine ‘Classique’ sits a beautiful orange blossom note. In the intense version, Classique gets dipped in gold, with jasmine and tiare flower added to its floral bouquet, creating a waxy, heady heart accented by a transparent tidal wave of vanilla. When I first reviewed Classique Intense for Escentual, I said that its golden, milky florals would not be out of place in Cleopatra’s bathtub and I stand by that this – it’s a royal bath filled with milk, floating tiare flowers and gold lead. What could be more intensely luxurious than that?
GUERLAIN L’Homme Ideal L’Intense
L’Homme Ideal is GUERLAIN’s unofficial masculine counterpart to La Petite Robe Noire, so it seems sensible to include it here for the boys in search of something more powerful and intense. La Petite Robe Noire and L’Homme Ideal share more than just a fondness for almonds (cherry is the recurring theme in both), they’ve both also received the rework treatment a number of times resulting in an entire collection of flankers. As one would expect, L’Homme Ideal L’Intense is the biggest, baddest, and boldest of the bunch.
The intense treatment here has been applied to pull out each of L’Homme Ideal’s many bold facets and make them bigger. Hot pepper is added to the top notes to give a spicy, flashy impact, while leather in the heart wraps the rose in smoky warmth. As it dries down the gourmand signature gets more of a masculine oomph thanks to bold stripes of patchouli wrapped in delicious vanilla in the base. Grrr, it’s quite something!
Emporio Armani Stronger With You Intensely
Armani know how to make a manly fragrance. Throughout every decade, men have flocked to their easy, casual signatures, seeking fragrances that compliment their aesthetic. When it launched last year, Stronger With You very much felt like a modern reworking of the classic Armani fragrances from the ‘80s and ‘90s, blending spices, woods, and herbs to create a contemporary scent that easily flipped between casual and smart.
Stronger With You Intensely feels as if it puts the aromatic woodiness of Stronger With You under an amber light, warming it up and highlighting its many nuances, ultimately making it more suave and sophisticated. This version is a warm, robust, and dare I say quite butch, blending pepper notes with rich-grained woods and velvety vanilla. It’s one of those cases where the Intense version is better than the original, working to highlight its richness