New York has been, to me, always a constant and always elusive. When I was younger, I thought I might live there when I was older. Now, I think the best time I could have lived there has passed. Who knows what the future holds?
Fortunately, I’ve had many opportunities over the years to visit the Big Apple, and there would always be something new and inspiring. A vibrant backdrop to different chapters of my life. Energy, which enables chaos, which leads to possibility.
I haven’t smelled the original New York by Parfums de Nicolaï, but I’ve been enjoying New York Intense from the discovery kit I bought. On first sniff, I found it “old fashioned,” but in a good way—it reminded me of perfumes I might have encountered as a child. The bright bergamot and lemon petitgrain anchored by black pepper and the beginnings of oakmoss. My nose wants to anchor to the oakmoss, too, although for several hours the scent is that of a pleasant, ambery fougère. I had to reapply it in the early afternoon to keep it going, as it’s not very strong despite the “intense” moniker.
On the drydown (on my sweater), my nose feels as though it’s on the bottom of a spice cabinet, with listed spice notes cloves, thyme, cinnamon, and pimento. Also listed is vetiver, which I have a hard time perceiving over the dominant amber and oakmoss timbers. If I inhale the acrylic fibers intently, I also get a hint of cherry syrup, with the implied dynamic of heavy sweetness being the reward for suffering through the medicinal components for (your own) greater good.
On skin, though, it’s powdery spice, harkening to a subdued masculinity from another era. The amber could just as well be feminine, and indeed at first I thought this perfume was.
What surprised me is that no flowers were listed. I was so sure there was a dense, abstract floral in the heart, in a manner similar to the rose and iris–led bouquet of Chanel No 19, but this effect must come from the interplay of other ingredients.
New York Intense doesn’t represent my experiences of New York, and it doesn’t smell “vintage” by any means, but it certainly provides a retro fix that I find satisfying from time to time. Even on a regular, working Monday.