French niche perfume house Nicolaï, Parfumeur-Créateur have announced they are introducing a newly rethought version of their heliotrope-focused composition Kiss Me Intense initially launched in 2014 as a more concentrated follow-up to Kiss Me Tender (2010)...
While perfumes get routinely reformulated, it is not common practice for perfume brands to advertize the changes, although we think it's a best policy to do so since the most loyal wearers will notice even subtle changes.
We asked Nicolaï what was their thinking behind this change.
The formulation is said to remain in essence the same except that some "gourmands" (their emphasis) ingredients have been accentuated, such as bitter almond, but also incense, which the perfumer views as offering a near-edible connotation.
The creative process is very much an empirical one for perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï who likes to reflect back on her compositions simply by wearing them. This "lâcher prise" attitude is incidentally one of the best to get to know a perfume, but requires time and commitment. If the idea strikes her that her composition feels particularly pleasant when perceived from a certain angle, then it is natural for her to try and push it further in that direction.
A more commercial preoccupation for the brand was to polish their Intense collection offerings as it is their best-selling range, especially through export channels.
The floriental has fruity, hesperidic and aromatic top notes of bitter almond essence, lemon essence and anis. The heart is both floral and spicy with heliotrope, jasmine absolute, ylang essence, orange blossom absolute, clove absolute, and cinnamon essence. The base is balmy and animalic with vanilla, opoponax absolute and musk.
The proportion of naturals is high but it does not look like the new evolution of the scent was warranted by a harvest issue, say.
It has really more to do with perfume as an "open work" to reprise Umberto Eco's theoretical outlook. Applied to perfumery, it refers for us to that moment when the perfumer is not just the creator of a fragrance, but also becomes its "reader" and then can go back in this case to the drawing board thanks to the duality of the functions in one person when the perfumer is also the head of an independent fragrance house.