The lemon, leather, peppers and vanilla present themselves immediately and are so well balanced that it spells “sophistication” at the outset. I had to look up “armoise” to learn that it is artemisia/mugwort, which provides a dry, reedy note, blending with the peppers in a way that calms them down and prevents any screechiness from occurring.
The lavender and patchouli/cedar combo provide a solid heart and base that are unobtrusive, warm and familiar.
It has been ages since I have smelled a modern scent and found it even basically tolerable, let alone attractive, and New York Intense provides this exception to the rule. Other reviewers’ comparisons to Guerlain’s Derby are right on the money. This is old school, vintage, and a true gentleman’s scent. Assuredly smooth, warm and masculine.
At around $70 for 30 ml. of an eau de parfum concentration, this seems amazingly affordable for its quality and size. A very positive thumbs up.
My husband found it to be soft and complex, a significant beauty, but found it to be too fleeting in its sillage and projection on his skin. This is one you must try before you buy. Luckily, samples are available and very affordable.
A very traditional 80's style that reminds me of Azzaro pour homme, Penhaligons Duro and is extremely close to Bois du Portugal by Creed (I did a side by side), I get a lime and bergamot opening with plenty of black pepper and lavender, immediately I can detect a nostalgic oakmoss vibe running through the whole fragrance, I then start to detect bits of castoreum and leather that gives NYI a slight gasoline twinge, a bit of civet offers a touch of astringency to the bergamot but never goes over the top, the whole fragrance has been blended to absolute perfection, nothing is out of balance yet still manages to be very bold in its execution and initial projection, NYI is a gift to the people that miss the good old days of oakmoss driven fougeres, I could imagine anyone with a bit of style and class suiting this fragrance, it would also make the perfect signature scent for an older gentleman, I get about 5-6 hours performance with the first 2 hours projecting very well, I'm certain due to the naturals a bit of air in the bottle will improve performance further, well done Nicolai and thankyou.
New York Intense by Nicolaï Parfumeur Createur (2014) is both a huge middle finger to the school of thought that older styles of perfumes "can't be done" under IFRA materials restrictions, and also a huge nod to the "boomers" on the male side of the online fragrance community (and those indoctrinated by their scripture) that obsess about oakmoss and the 1970's/1980's being the absolute creative heights of commercial perfumery. Any and everyone else without at least a passing interest in the virile powerhouse masculines of the 80's or completely serious semi-oriental and aromatic fougères of the 70's, 80's, and part of the 90's will see this as "an old man's scent", and they're partially right, but hear me out. This style evolved out of designers looking to take the tried and true fougère in different directions after its revival in the 1960's. Some houses had perfumers use a number of newfangled aromachemical tricks to push into soapier or more shaving cream-like directions (eg. Paco Rabanne or Loris Azzaro), while others grafted sandalwood, spices, artemisia, vanilla, amber, or additional patchouli and musk into the formula to make the fougère closer to an oriental perfume. This latter line of evolution produced fougères that were warm, somewhat powdery, dry, mossy, rich, and redolent, often becoming associated with wealth and later maturity as the guys who discovered them tended not to deviate from their use as they grew older. Meanwhile, soapier, freshier, or sweeter fougère fragrances slowly gave birth to aquatics, ozonics, and the modern "blue" fragrances young men favor. The original New-York (1989) was close to the peak of this semi-oriental style, and competed against Patou pour Homme (1980), Creed Bois du Portugal (1987), Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentrée (1989), Tiffany for Men (1989), Guerlain Héritage (1992), and Lalique pour Homme (1997). This scent is clearly made for lovers of the original dissatisfied with the current formulations of it, but I'll explain how a little later on.
The biggest and most fundamental difference between the original New-York (1989) and its peers was how light and effortless it was to wear, being almost semi-transparent compared to the woody mossy richness of its contemporaries, taking on almost a powdery "sport" tone that remained ever-present throughout the day but never oppressed with a wall of sillage that could linger in a room for minutes after the owner of such scent cloud had left. Over the years with IFRA restrictions in place, the scent became lighter still, and gradually old fans began to complain when they went to replace what were probably by then long-macerated older bottles that had likely grown stronger with age in the process of emptying over time. I feel like New York Intense (2014) really serves that particular crowd: a guy anywhere from his late 40's to late 60's that had been wearing the original New-York faithfully and has grown accustomed to the way his "old juice" smelled, even if it was in fact never that strong when new. Therefore, what is in this bottle is an amped-up version of New-York which emulates the smell of an aged bottle of the original stuff, stronger in every conceivable way except the opening (which is faded like in deep vintages) but barely any different in an artistic sense, a true testament to Patricia de Nicolaï's genius in being able to pull off such a feat in making a perfume smell like this while remaining IFRA compliant. For those who don't know the original, this opens with dry bergamot, lemon, and thyme over petitgrain. The heart is artemisia, lavender, clove, cinnamon, and a tiny bit of orris for that powdery touch. The base is cedar, patchouli, oakmoss, vanilla, amber, olibanum, and a pinch of castoreum. New York Intense wears elegantly, aristocratic albeit a bit stiff, with the transparency and top note bounce of the original gone, replaced with just more of the richness in the base. Sillage is still not obnoxious, but warmer than the older EdT, with wear time being about the same if not a bit longer. Best use is whenever you want to smell like you still drive an optioned-out Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight.
Gordon Gekko types wore this back in the day, so if you were in your prime in 89 and could afford a bottle of New-York, you weren't exactly from a blue collar family and you weren't shopping for Ralph Lauren Polo (1978) in Macy's. For everyone else, the original New-York was likely discovered at the dawn of the online perfume community (late 90's to early 2000's) when sites like Basenotes or Badger & Blade first came online to let guys talk about and discover new fragrances, including old ones they'd never heard of, meaning a lot of "fumies" with their original stash bought off eBay were wanting New-York to be the way they remember it, hence why this exists. Honestly, with so little variation stylistically, I'd have just named this New-York Eau de Parfum (which it quite literally is), because it doesn't feel more intense to me, just a bit thicker and longer lasting. I count myself among fans of this style from a historical and academic standpoint, enjoying its progenitors like Pierre Cardin pour Monsieur (1972) perhaps a little more, although I lack the nostalgia for it to wear anything in this vein regularly. I own bottles of Bois du Portugal, Lalique pour Homme, and the like, but having sampled so many things with the same DNA as the original New-York, I'm just not as wowed by New York Intense as some people in the community are, but it does smell really good despite its redundance. Is this stuff quality? Sure it is. You quite literally won't find a better representation of a classic semi-oriental fougère without forking over several hundred dollars for a vintage bottle of something I named above, and if you're not into hunting down vintage bottles but are willing to spend near the same money, picking up a bottle of New York Intense may just be worth it for the convenience of avoiding eBay (and it's still cheaper than Creed). Outside of that, Nicolaï New York Intense is a "members only" kind of scent for the die-hards who own a collection of a dozen different takes on the same 6 vintage men's styles. Thumbs up
An urbane oriental, it starts with aromatics and runs down to a lightly spiced body.
New York Intense is a fine work, the sort of thing you'd expect from the perfume patriciate; but while I appreciate the quality and skill that went into its slowly moving transitions, the fact is it doesn't work for me.
New York Intense is a robust, beautiful creation, one that leaves me grasping for something other than superlatives.
This seems to have been Nicolaï's intentional tribute to Guerlain, a contemporary recreation of vintage Derby with a dash or two of Héritage. The result is inferior to neither and may be better than both. New York Intense is truly a gentleman's scent par excellence.
New York Intense has a vintage-style green, mossy undercurrent puts the lie to the idea that the endless "reformulation woes" that afflict old classics have as much to do with IFRA compliance as much as they do with cost-cutting. Clearly with enough thoughtfulness and effort and budget, you can make a true "vintage" scent today.
It does have oakmoss, but it's blended in finely with everything else, with incredible balance, and the fragrance is more than the sum of its parts. It's complex, subtle, rich without being heavy, and abstract.
In my books, among the best perfumes released in this decade, and surely the best 'masculine'. It's right up there with Patou pour Homme, vintage Heritage, and all the be-alls and end-alls among perfumes.