It’s the seasonal interregnum in Seattle. King Winter is waning and Princess Spring is itching to begin her reign/rain. This is the period when amber, musk, incense and oud fragrances start to feel passé and weigh heavily on my body and spirit. As the witch-hazels and camellias bloom and wintersweet scents the air, I yearn for lighter “green”, floral and citrus-y colognes, but right now they too seem a bit “strange” to wear…like the shorts I’m beginning to see on many Seattleites!
Perfumer Ralf Schwieger developed Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée — Princess Spring’s ‘regent’ — and it fits my mood, and the current (changeable) weather, perfectly: it’s neither too heavy, nor too light — it’s just right.
I have never been a huge fan of vanilla-centered perfumes. I remember when Coty Vanilla Fields was popular; the legions of women who wore it smelled like they’d emptied a bottle of double-strength vanilla extract on themselves. Vanille Insensée’s “vanilla” is the main note in the perfume*, but it has been “rinsed” by perky lime and citron, “dried” by the addition of vetiver and moss, and fluffed by clean jasmine, musk and coriander. Vanille Insensée contains “fresh” vanilla, in the best sense of “fresh.” Though the notes of Vanille Insensée are sheer (and seem ‘subdued’) the perfume does last on skin all day and has good sillage. I guess I would classify Vanille Insensée as “diet gourmand.” If I had to choose fragrances that match Vanille Insensée’s “vibe,” I’d have to agree with Robin here at Now Smell This who was reminded of Diptyque Eau Duelle and Le Labo Vanille 44 when she sniffed Vanille Insensée (but I like Vanille Insensée better than either of those fragrances).
As further proof of its “affability,” Vanille Insensée layers beautifully with light citrus fragrances (like my Guerlain Eau de Cologne Impériale) and darker, wintry scents such as Eau d’Hermès, adding depth to one, lightness/sweetness to the other.
Who knows if I would have liked Vanille Insensée as much as I do if we had met in a snowstorm or during a heat wave? Vanille Insensée and I met at the right time, and that often makes all the difference when it comes to perfume.
Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée is a unisex fragrance, and it’s available in 30 ($60) or 200 ml ($170) Cologne Absolue (15% concentration).
* Vanille Insensée’s fragrance notes include lime, cedrat, coriander, jasmine, oak moss, vetiver, vanilla, oak and amber.