Versace Versense ~ perfume review

Versace Versense fragrance for women

Versense is the latest fragrance for women from Versace, and as I posted last month, it promises to highlight notes from the Mediterranean and to "perfectly interpret the contrast between freshness and sexiness". Donatella Versace elaborated on the theme:

Versense perfectly represents the Versace woman. I created a fragrance to make her feel incredibly lighter. There’s something very optimistic and confident about being free, and it was that feeling that I tried to capture for Versense. (via Women's Wear Daily, 3/20/2009)

If lighter and fresher is what you're after, Versense might just fit the bill. Like yesterday's Essence by Narciso Rodriguez, Versense was developed by perfumer Alberto Morillas, and like Essence, Versense opens whistling-clean. The early stages are crisp, green, lemon-lime-y and fresh, with the emphasis on the fresh — it's distinctly Glade-ish in the opening (the notes: bergamot, green mandarin, citrus, prickly pear, fig, sea daffodil, cardamom, jasmine, cedar, sandalwood, olive wood and musk). The big fresh note fades somewhat on the dry down, but Versense stays light, fresh and crisp for the duration. The heart is a blended floral over woody musk, with vaguely fruity undertones lending some roundness. The cardamom, while subtle, adds some liveliness; otherwise, it doesn't smell like anything in particular to me other than perfume, and it did not call to mind anything about the Mediterranean (actually, what it called to mind was Bvlgari Omnia Green Jade, another recently released light & fresh & green fragrance by Alberto Morillas).

Versense is likable and wearable, even very likable and wearable — it's easily my favorite Versace scent for women. It's not what I'd call interesting (although it beats out the Omnia Green Jade on that score), and I don't find it particularly sexy (there is a wee touch of earthiness in the far dry down; still, in "interpreting the contrast between freshness and sexiness", freshness mostly won). It would make a great casual, no-thought-required summer cologne for someone who likes fresh notes (i.e., not me).

Versace Versense is available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Toilette and in matching body lotion. The lasting power is pretty good.

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92 Comments

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  1. Katich says:

    This actually sounds fairly appealing to me as a welcome-back warm weather sniff. I’m not sure if I’ll like it, although I liked Green Jade okay and wouldn’t have minded a bit more citrus.

    Also- sea daffodil? I grew up by the beach and never heard of those…

    • Robin says:

      Here you go, sea daffodil:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancratium_maritimum

      I was not a big fan of that Omnia Green Jade — liked this one much better.

    • mals86 says:

      I was wondering about the sea daffodil as well – thanks for the link.

      Am I just at that Stage of Perfume Journey at which the idea of “light and fresh” becomes extremely boring? Is this really sort of a wallpaper scent? Or (my guess) do I just already own plenty of “light and fresh” perfumes?

      • Robin says:

        Well, yes, a wallpaper scent maybe…but everybody needs 1 or 2 of those, right? I just already have plenty of them myself, and my feeling after wearing this one was the same as after wearing the Omnia Green Jade…why not wear TM Cologne, also by Morillas, and way sexier :-)

  2. MissHavisham says:

    Is it just me, or does the name Versense remind anyone of the scene in Showgirls where the stripper from the wrong side of the tracks didn’t know how to pronounce Versace so she said “Ver-sayse.” Anyway, I’m more a fan of Donatella’s cheesier scents (I’m looking at you Crystal Noir) so I don’t think this one would be for me.

    • Robin says:

      I know lots of people loved Crystal Noir & Bright Crystal — they really didn’t suit me at all. In fact, when I say this is my favorite Versace scent for women, it isn’t really like there was any competition for the spot, sadly.

      • MissHavisham says:

        I know, right? The only Versace I truly adore is the Dreamer. The women’s scents in my opinion are rubbish. Crystal Noir is a guilty pleasure that I feel I need to turn in my perfumista card for liking, its so different from my usual tastes (not to mention totally trashy!) Ah well, I guess that’s what makes perfume so much fun, you never know what will strike your fancy.

        • Robin says:

          The Dreamer is a great scent, really unique….nothing like it in the women’s line at all.

          • Joe says:

            Sounds like The Dreamer is worth seeking out and sniffing. Versense, not so much.

          • Robin says:

            Definitely try The Dreamer!

  3. wildheaven says:

    I’m looking forward to sniff this one, but my guess is they are trying to be the new Light Blue, but anyway a good summer scent is always welcome.

    • Robin says:

      Yes, the new LB is a pretty good way of putting it. Since LB has been around forever and is (overly) widely worn, a new version is fine by me.

      • Bunny says:

        I may be the only one who thought LB smelt bad on them. It reminded me of “Grandpa’s car”: one part hanging air freshener, one part stale wafts of aftershave. I must do something to it lol.

        • Robin says:

          LOL…you must!

          • Bunny says:

            or the tester had turned lol
            but I have purchased some clothing items from the bay of e and they came reeking of the car scent I just described. *shivers*

            I have a burning question, do I need to wash the decant bottles I bought before I stick stuff in them?

          • Robin says:

            Gosh, I don’t wash new decant containers. *worries*

          • Bunny says:

            I asked my dad and he said I should wash them.
            they’re these ones for reference(top ones): http://www.pilotvials.com/glass_vial_with_applicator.html

            If it was just the tiny glass tube sample vials I probably wouldn’t bother.

          • Robin says:

            Ack. I buy those same ones, & have never washed them before use.

          • Bunny says:

            well, I just washed them ( Glass part: dish soap, rinse, vinegar, rinse, distilled water rinse. Cap: dish soap, rinse, distilled water rinse) Hopefully the distilled water will keep the water spots at bay. One hand is all vinegar scented and there’s water everywhere! I’m a mess :D Glad I only had 12 to do lol

        • wildheaven says:

          That’s funny, I don’t like LB, it does nothing for me but friends like it, they say it smells “androgynous”, and I’m like you could do better with Envy by Gucci, that’s a masterpiece, my guess people don’t want to wear a masterpiece everyday

          • sacre bleu says:

            Wildheaven – I do not like LB at all, and I adore Gucci’s Envy – it is one of my favorite summer scents – and whenever I wear it, when I’m outside near others, I often hear “What smells so good?” as they search for the flowering bushes they think they’re smelling. . .it’s my own private joke.

  4. raluca says:

    Maybe it was due to the Sephora too loaded air, but I couldn’t smell anything. Robin, you have said it brilliantly: it doesn’t smell anything in particular, but perfume. No personality. It’s a good match I guess for office and persons for whom perfume is just a generic name.

    • Robin says:

      Wow, it isn’t as bland as all that…maybe try it again? It doesn’t remind me of any particular flowers or plants, but it didn’t smell like nothing at all…

  5. mals86 says:

    Oh, hey – the Kenzo Eau de Fleur de Magnolia from the giveaway arrived yesterday – again, thanks very very much!

    I’m wearing it today, and I would put it squarely into the “light and fresh” category: very pleasant, nearly unnoticeable from five yards away. I found the light citrus on the top to be my favorite part of the whole deal. The magnolia is there doing its creamy-lemony floral thing (with a whisper of mushroom), and I get freesia and lily of the valley too. This fades to a drydown of… nothing. Air. Can there really be no basenotes here (there aren’t any listed, FWIW), or can I just not smell them?

    • Robin says:

      So glad it arrived in one piece!

      I’m sure there are base notes but they obviously aren’t heavy…pale musky woods sort thing, and not terribly long lasting. If you hate it, give it away again — eventually it will find a happy home, LOL…

      • mals86 says:

        It’s now about three hours after I posted my “it disappeared!” comment, and I notice that following a period of NOTHING, there are now some soft woody/musky notes. Weird. Maybe it’s me.

        • Robin says:

          Aha…so maybe something about it induces olfactory fatigue.

        • Daisy says:

          maybe the base musk is one you are unable to smell. Did you have your test committee give your wrist a sniff? See if they can still smell it after an hour or so.

          • mals86 says:

            Will have to check on that. Unfortunately during the “no smell” period of time this afternoon there was no one around to ask… I didn’t think it would be real appropriate to stick my wrist across the counter at the Farm Bureau office and ask Faith to smell it.

  6. flittersniffer says:

    I tried this several times lately and agree with Robin that it beats Omnia Green Jade – indeed I made just this comment in an email to Lovethescents this morning – how weird!! Vera Wang Bouquet and Miss Dior Cherie L’Eau are also muscling in on this emerging “pale green juice sector”! : – ) The fresh green crispness I found ever so slightly austere, and not remotely sexy, but I wouldn’t mind receiving this as a gift, or stumbling across it in T K Maxx…

    • Robin says:

      Yes — thought last year that “deep woods” was the new thing, but they’re already gone in place of fresh & pale green.

  7. RusticDove says:

    I purchased the True Religion fragrance for my daughter a few weeks ago and received some samples at the time, including Versense. Since I’ve been on the hunt for a lighter Summery scent, I thought this might work – but to no avail. It just isn’t me. So far – the only thing I want for the Summer is the L’Artisan Figuier – but I can wear that dang thing all year – love it. I have hopes for the Writing Lyrical Poetry that I won here, being a mix of white flowers and all. I look forward to trying it.

    • Robin says:

      You’re trying to make me feel guilty for not sending it yet, aren’t you??

      j/k, I know I’m slow. I’ll get to it this weekend.

      • RusticDove says:

        Good golly no – no guilt trip intended!! Just thinking out loud [sort of] is all. ;-)

        • Robin says:

          I really was just kidding. I can *make myself* feel guilty…I’m always behind on mailing!

  8. Dusan says:

    Talk about coinkidink ~ I just tried this today :) and … what you said. I really liked it, except I didn’t mind the fresh bit at all, probably because to me it didn’t translate as cheap/chemical-smelling. Nice for the summer.

    • Robin says:

      I’ve seen several people describe it as feminine — what did you think? Because it struck me as perfectly unisex.

      • Dusan says:

        Oh sure, it could easily pass as unisex. I for one can see myself wearing this ;-) I mean, Versence has more chest hair than, say, Kenzo Power.

        • wildheaven says:

          True, meaning KenzoPower is great but it smells delicate, I admire it but I’m not buying itm I’d stuck with Eau de Rochas pour Homme with its mineral/dirty/ iris combo, it’s an example you can smell like flowers and masculine…

        • boojum says:

          I have to call it Kenzo Lasting Power. Put some on, then pulled on a sweatshirt…two washes later, I could STILL smell it on the sweatshirt. Either that is some heavy duty stuff, or I need to call the Maytag Man, stat!

          • Daisy says:

            LOL —I’m not sure that’ll help…the maytag man that came to my house needed a couple of washes to get the smell out of him! I almost threw a bucket of soapy water on him….had to open windows after he left….ack!

          • Daisy says:

            oh sorry, you were talking about Kenzo Power and it threw me into a horrible scent flashback…

          • boojum says:

            LOL Daisy, just seeing this now….what I meant was maybe my washing machine isn’t working so well.

  9. megank4 says:

    what’s with all the “mediterranean” themed perfumes lately?

  10. asuperlongusername says:

    I loved this on the card but on me, it was very sour green on me. Then it got watery and still more sour. Kinda disappointing, actually. Oh well; the same trip brought true love.

    I think that model (is that Lara Stone AGAIN? Dx ) looks like an alien. That bottle is nice, though.

    • Robin says:

      Well, what was the true love??

      • asuperlongusername says:

        Mitsouko and I finally clicked. I’m trying to smell it in all concentrations now, to see what I like best.

    • Daisy says:

      Goodness, I was thinking the same thing…she looks like an alien….and that light breaking through the clouds? yup , that there’s the mother ship!

  11. Racine says:

    100% agree on the Unisex part, i also feel that way about green jade. But i wouldn´t be able to choose between them

    • Robin says:

      I’d pick this one…neither of them is exactly brimming with personality, but this one has more.

  12. Kess says:

    I tried it in passing — it was pretty ‘meh’ to me: generically fresh. Or maybe freshly generic?

    • Robin says:

      Either one works!

    • Mediterana says:

      I agree with generically fresh.

  13. bergere says:

    “a fragrance to make her feel incredibly lighter”? How light does she have to feel? The model looks about 90 pounds as it is. I agree with Robin, I thought Omnia Crystalline Green Jade was pleasant but not compelling, so I guess this might be worth a try on that score. I think I might still prefer “fresh and green” to “light, fresh and green”, though.

    • Robin says:

      LOL — good point!

      Not sure this is exactly compelling either, just more so (to me, anyway) than BOGJ.

    • pigoletto says:

      Begere, the Versace Woman needs to feel lighter because she’s so weighted down with all her expensive tasteless jewellery and too much makeup ;-D

  14. brooe1 says:

    Versene is an interesting name. Especially when Dow Chemical has a trademark on Versene for their EDTA products. I know because I loaded the chemical when I worked at Dow Texas Operations. Does Dow know about this?

    • Robin says:

      But this is Versense, not Versene.

  15. alotofscents says:

    I thought it was a typo at first. I hate to say it, but I love, and/or have become addicted to Versace Versace-the signature Versace for women. I love the fruit smell opening that I thought was black current but is really guava. Of which I have never smelled, but smells delicious. It’s is weird because I don’t really like fruity scents.
    To change gears, I finally got my exchange completed from Sephora, the Envy instead of the Envy Me they originally sent.
    Quick review of Envy: It smells exactly like a big armful of just cut daffodils and irises. Natural green, not any strong florals. I don’t understand the *metallic* floral reviews it has been given, so what does metallic mean anyway? anyone?
    -Joy,
    Becca

    • Robin says:

      Metallic is really hard to explain. Has a cold, metal smell? That probably doesn’t help, sorry.

    • pigoletto says:

      A great example of a true metallic scent is Paco Rabanne’s Metal (duh). I think it’s iris, aldehydes, something, something. Anyway, it smells exactly like cold metal. You’d be amazed how wearable the smell of metal is!

      • asuperlongusername says:

        I always thought Paprika Brasil smelled something like hot metal and I love it. =P

  16. alotofscents says:

    Wow, if Envy is metallic, I got a bad bottle-but such is the nose, unique to the owner.

  17. Nile Goddess says:

    YESSSS!!! Finally to be able to sample a fragrance while the topic is still fresh and not three months afterwards … :-)

    The initial notes reminded me of Light Blue + Lanvin + I Love Love + all the similar citrusy fragrances that emerged after Light Blue’s success.

    Middle notes were, as you say, perfume-y in a very nondescript way.

    The end reminded me a lttle of Lalique White, some kind of “white woods for women” note actually I can still smell it now 16 hours and 2 showers later. It may be the bracelet though as I was wearing it yesterday too. It is more lively than Omnia Jade and if a bottle were to rain from heaven and land on my lap I’d wear it happily. However I’d much rather spend on the amazingly fresh Citrus Verbena – or is it Verbena Citrus? – from L’Occitane.

    • Robin says:

      Perfect description!

    • Diorissimo says:

      Very true about the wrist. I don’t know what it is. The bit that I spritzed on my wrist lasted through a shower and a day. After my first shower, the scent was enlivened as well. I was had gotten so excited. I mean seriously. I thought I was in heaven. But it won’t stick to my neck…. Frustrated I am!

  18. Diorissimo says:

    I got a sample of this at Bloomingdale’s on 59th a few weeks ago the day they peaked it. I absolutely love it! The first time I put it on, there was a moment where it seemed to vanish with out a trace, like evaporated water. But after that, I started wearing it on my scarf as it seems to be more detectable on fabric than on my neck. I can smell it on my wrist but it becomes faint soon.

    It truly is a fantastic smell in my opinion, It’s the perfect summer lushness that doesn’t remind one of squeezing the juices of a fresh fruit on ones neck but fades way too quickly. I was gearing up to use this as a replacement for my Thierry Mugler, Mugler Cologne upon first use. Hopefully they’ll introduce a “Versense Intense”. I’ll stick to the wonderful Dior Homme Sport as my main man.

    • Robin says:

      Interesting…it really doesn’t get faint on me at all — I mean, it isn’t a heavy scent, but the lasting power is good.

    • boojum says:

      I had the same experience with the fade-out. Oh well, I wasn’t in love with it anyway. Nice enough on paper, but meh.

  19. eminere says:

    This smells so overwhelmingly <> to me all I can imagine is the raw ice power of citron. I can smell almost no “classically” feminine notes in this; all I can conjure up is some man’s after-sport cologne splash.

    • eminere says:

      Fresh is what was meant to appear between those brackets.

    • Robin says:

      It doesn’t stay that fresh to me throughout the drydown, but agree…nothing really feminine about it, & wouldn’t be out of place on a men’s counter.

  20. I received a huge bottle and sprayed it one. Nothing… after I have seen at the package the stamp factice I was no longer wondering! Why the heck do they send a blogger a factice? What do you do with perfume-lookalikes? I do not know how it smells like still, how can I reviewe it?

    • Robin says:

      That is funny! Nobody has ever sent me a factice, but for that matter, Versace has never sent me anything at all :-)

  21. mel says:

    I bought this over the weekend from Macys and I luv it!! It seems to hold its citrusy notes through out on me and is very fresh. A nice addition to my fragrance collection. I got the large bottle in a gift set and also a bonus small sized travel set. If you like fresh and citrus with a touch of flower, then this is perfect.

  22. sabsoob says:

    totally not me, i imagine an old man wearing it and he would totally pull it off! since the only versace perfume i rmember is BLOND and since i passd the phase of sweet perfumes couple of years ago, obviously am not a versace fan… or i’ll decide after trying crystal noir.

    • Robin says:

      Ah well, plenty of other fish in the sea, right?

  23. Magnolia says:

    Visited Versace in Bev Hills this weekend and stumbled upon this scent. I am a Dioressence follower and it is no longer available through Christian Dior so I have been looking for a new signature scent. I believe I have found it. This is feminine with warmth not too flowery or overwhelming. Not too old, not too young. I also found it to have good staying power and enjoyed it more the longer it was with me..

    • Robin says:

      So glad you found a replacement for your Dioressence!

  24. mandashell says:

    I absolutely love this one it is a signature scent for me as well. This is my Light Blue, LOL! Although it smells so much better than LB. This was another love at first sniff perfume purchase. The scent smells like the sweetest most delicious lemonade you can imagine. Sure, that may seem funny but it works. It really does have a great staying power for an Edt. Versense is sweet, lemony, woodsy, energizing and refreshing. It is simply beautiful and the notes are elegantly combined. I recommend it! ;’)

    • Robin says:

      “My Light Blue” could be interpreted either way, LOL…but glad you’re liking Versense :-)

  25. alexandrakwan says:

    I just take a sniff of this today, tho it was released some while ago. And I found the list of note provided by the beauty chain store here to include fressia, and I think the dry-down is more fressia-musky like, and smell nearly exactly the same as the New Ms. Dior (the green juice), but the lasting power is way much better than Dior, it’s now in my wish list, as I’ve already splurge quite some money for this year’s perfume lol what do u think?

    • Robin says:

      Can you find it at a discount? It’s at many of the online discounters in the US, although not at huge bargain prices so far.

  26. sabaedra says:

    too bad that i get to smell the fragrances so late..in my country seems like it takes forever for them to arrive. and the testing policy is not helpful at all. if they have a tester bottle you can give it a sniff, if not, you just may have to buy it blind…

    anyway, i bought versense (after testing it :) ). i was impressed by its forever lasting brightness. sugar free lemonade that spices up a bit thanks to the cardamom and after an hour or so i feel like it gets..salty!

    ..i don’t know if it’s the right description but it blends surprisingly well with my chemistry and i really like the salty-lemony-cedary finish of it

    and it lasts. i felt it on my wrist 8 hours later..and also a fun fact..i kept the paper tester and left it near my notebook..and the next morning i felt waves of ‘something good-smelling’ coming from the paper strip which was heated by my computer’s cpu source :))

    • Robin says:

      So glad you like it, sounds like you’ve found a favorite!

  27. promiseevans says:

    I just pulled out an old sample vial of this today and for some reason it reminds me of CK One… but I don’t have a sample of that to compare it to… maybe it’s just the clean/crisp/freshness off it…it really could be uni-sex I think…at least the way it smells on my skin. Would be a nice addition to the list of “good in the summer heat” frags..

  28. Qwerty098765 says:

    I bought it recently on discount and I quite like the scent. It’s light and not in-the-way.

    On another note I just noticed another review on this perfume that was exactly the same: word for word. I’m wondering whether it is the same person or not. You might want to have a look at it yourself. This review seems to be the earlier one. (I apologise for digging up quite an old review but I do detest plagiarism. ^-^)

    http://www.fragrancex.ee/new-perfume/versense-by-versace.html

    • Robin says:

      Thanks so much — I hate plagiarism too, but boy is there a lot of it. I’ve sent them a complaint.

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