La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense is evidence that the marketing department at YSL doesn't smell the fragrances before they name them. This is the only logical explanation why they would call La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense intense. They must not have smelled it. Otherwise, they would have picked a more apt name, such as light, or mist, or airy.
The folks at YSL Marketing, however, don't stop there. They play along and produce a copy for the advertising campaign that reads:
"In a captivating outburst, the iris mingles with the vanilla and tonka bean to create a composition pushed to the extreme: intensely masculine, carnal and sophisticated. La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense or an unfathomable and sensual night."
Captivating outburst? Pushed to the extreme? Intensely masculine? It almost sounds ironic. I had to sniff my wrist twice and double-check I applied the right fragrance. Nothing in what I smelled on my hand was remotely outbursting, intensely masculine, or pushed to the extreme. The only way to explain how one could write such a copy for this fragrance was that one never smelled it.
On one hand, I find it appalling that one can describe a fragrance without smelling it. Imagine I wrote a review just based on the name and maybe a glance at the notes. I would be the most prolific reviewer on the internet, but probably no one would read me.
On the other hand, however, I understand the predicament the copywriters were likely facing. The marketing head honcho told them that the idea behind La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense was a daring, masculine scent that pushes the limits of masculinity. So, they did their job and put together an ad copy that conveys this image, no matter how divorced from reality it is.
I don't want to give you the wrong impression of how much I care about this issue. I don't care that much, to be honest. I do find it amusing, however, that the timidest of the whole L'Homme line is called L'Intense.
Apparently, I am not alone in my befuddlement with the name of this perfume. Carlos with Brooklyn Fragrance Lovers pointed out that he had observed a trend of companies calling their fragrances intense even when there is no intensity to be had. La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense is a perfect example.
See Carlos's review below:
I agree with Carlos that La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense is a nice fragrance, but it is not an intense one.
But without further ado, let's get to the review.
What It Smells Like
Leaving the mislabeling aside, I found La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense to be a very pleasant scent. It opens with a fresh iris-leather accord, which reminded me of Dior Homme without the make-up bag accord. For a second, I thought that the perfumer was trying to recreate Dior Homme but was pleasantly surprised when La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense moved into a different direction.
This middle part of the perfume's structure is my favourite one. For one, I am glad that the iris did not take the soapy route as in Prada Amber pour Homme. Instead, the violet and vanilla created an atmosphere, which reminded me of the violet-flavoured candy I used to eat as a kid.
Aside from my personal reminiscence on violet-flavoured candy, I think using violets in a modern masculine perfume is a bold move for two reasons:
First, even though the violet accord is very typical for classic men's fragrances, it can give a modern perfume a dated smell. Just like iris, violet can turn powdery and very dandyish - an adjective not associated with modern virile masculinity.
Second, violet scents are often associated with grandmas. I'm not sure why but it is a description I've come across often. Therefore, successfully creating a modern masculine fragrance featuring violet requires the perfumer to avoid the traps of overly powdery
Once La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense reached the point of the full-bloomed violet, the development seemed to have stopped. At this point, someone started turning the volume down, and the violet accords quieted and the vanilla and tonka bean base took central stage.
In the last hours of its life La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense turned into a whisper. It had been three hours since the first spray, and I could barely detect the scent wafting around me. I buried my nose in the back of my hand, and I could detect soft floral/vanilla accords but nothing more.
Where to Rock It
La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense is a decidedly warm fragrance. Therefore, it is best worn in a weather where wrapping yourself in a warm blanket feels right. A cold winter night would probably be the best time to wear this perfume, even though you may not be able to smell it under a thick sweater and a scarf.
I find La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense pretty versatile when it comes to occasions it will be appropriate for. Anything from a brunch with your grandmother to a night of debauchery, La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense would probably work fine. I do find it most appropriate, however, on a quiet evening by the fireplace, while sipping whiskey and reading Tolstoy.
What The Frag Heads Think About It
As I mentioned above, Carlos from Brooklyn Fragrance Lovers finds La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense "nice" but not good enough to splurge on.
Dave from the Fragrance Bros finds La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense rather generic and puts it into the category of the "baloney-
The Bottom Line
Overall, La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense is a decent fragrance, which suffers from the brevity of life. It makes for an appropriate work scent, which is not likely to offend or impress anyone. In other words, if you want to join the grey masses trudging to work while still smelling good, La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense would do the job.
- Would you buy La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense?
I find no compelling reason to buy it. I can recreate the same fragrant ambiance with body wash and lotion.
- Would I get compliments wearing La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense?
Not likely. La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense smells somewhat generic, and it's hard to get people excited enough to chase you down the street for a whiff. Carlos's market research (see his video above) shows that his female coworkers are split 50/50 when it comes to this juice.
- What rating would you give La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense?
I think it earns an honest 3 out of 5 stars. It is a well-composed fragrance, but it doesn't stand out from the crowd. Other perfumes in the same genre do it much better.
Patchouli, Tonka Bean
What do you think of La Nuit de L'Homme L'Intense? Share your thoughts in the comments below.