OK, full disclosure time! I don’t think I have covered that many D&G fragrances on The Candy Perfume Boy in my seven years in blogging. Why? Well, being completely honest, I don’t think much of their offering cuts the mustard, and whilst I am here for celebrating the great in both the mainstream and niche arenas, D&G fragrances have seldom fallen into the good parts of either of these spheres. But, I am not one to deny a good fragrance its moment in the sun and today I shall be sharing with you a scent that is officially the very best Dolce & Gabbana fragrance I have tried to date. How’s that for a build up?
The scent in questions is Velvet Incenso from D&G’s exclusive Velvet Collection – their answer to Tom Ford’s Private Blend line and Chanel’s Les Exclusifs de Chanel collection, because let’s face it, you are nobody these days if you don’t have a separate niche line under your umbrella. Velvet Incenso is described as a fusion of the Mediterranean and the Orient that celebrates the historical ingredient of incense and transforms it “into a glittering mosaic of sizzling resins”. It sounds goooooooood.
Top: Black Pepper and Elemi
Heart: Incense and Labdanum
Base: Benzoin, Patchouli, Amberwood, Cashmere Wood and Vanilla
How Does it Smell?
Velvet Incenso opens up with a big blast of black pepper which brings a silvery air to the top notes. There’s also a bright coolness that is like mint without any of the sweetness or greenery, just the menthol aspects. Elemi intensifies this coolness, adding a resinous, pine-like quality that adds a natural, forest feel – well just a mere hint of one anyway. The top notes are punchy and satisfying, setting the scene for an enjoyable olfactory journey.
At the heart of Velvet Incenso their sits a rather traditional incense note. No surprised there, folks! It has that sweet, oily, golden, cool, smoky, mineral vibe that one expects from incense however, the treatment feels a lot softer than some of the more classic frankincense fragrance, like Avignon, for example. Velvet Incenso lives up to its name by boasting a plush incense with a smooth texture – one that is deep and rich with a sumptuous touch.
That plushness continues right into the base and I would say that Velvet Incenso is a fragrance that feels bottom-loaded, meaning that it has more weight and heft in the base than up top. What starts as a fluid incense quickly shakes off all of the glitter and sheen, disintegrating into auburn plumes of smoke. Benzoin brings both sweetness and softness, whilst patchouli adds a touch of earth and a sharpness that ties itself to the silvery edge of the incense. Then a duo of cashmere wood and vanilla soften Velvet Incenso until it completely melts away into a hint of sweet incense.
There’s a real sense of balance to Velvet Incenso and I think that’s why I like it so much – there’s perfect equilibrium. It has just the right amount of richness, tempered by an equally perfect level of transparency and buoyancy. It really does shimmer, as it promises, creating the impression of incense spun into golden threads – fibres that weave a lustrous fabric filled with intriguing folds and contrasts. So, if like me, you have turned your nose up at D&G fragrances then perhaps you should cast your nose downwards and give this one a sniff, it really is very good indeed. My only complaint? The price is utterly ridiculous.
Velvet Incenso is available in 50ml (£200) and 150ml (£325)
Sample, notes and quotes via D&G. Images are my own.