If you tried it bet you liked it. I do. Everyone does. Visa enjoys her status of everyone`s darling. Not only women but men too find Visa appealing, as it posses the perfect balance between bold and tender to please both crowds, thanks to Aurelian Guichard the talented perfumer who modernised in 2007 Germaine Cellier`s original work from 1945. The scent is playing on a dangerous field mined with fruity notes and it plays damn good avoiding any cliché, proudly standing its ground against the trend of boring fruity themes with gourmands tendencies. Visa is also talented in showing a different approach of leather AND patchouli, picking just the beautiful sides from both.
The composition includes fruits, resins, flowers, leather, patchouli, wood and vanilla, but is not solely defined by any of them. The opening shows a summer fruits basket brightened by the freshness of a bitter green bergamote, then it transitions almost imperceptible to a warm central section dominated by leather accords mixed with a fuzzy, golden peach that somehow escaped from the top-notes and become more pronounced over time.
In order to achieve the perfect illusion of a smooth and tangible leather, the spicy immortelles along the roses have been called to infuse the animalic note with a powdery floral scent making it more refined, so that it never errs harsh or too pungent. The smooth leather and peach combo finally melts on a base that belongs to a velvety mixture of resins with some vanillic aspects and touched by an earthy, sweet patchouli that gives a bit of oomph. The drydown is dense, plush, comfortable and effortlessly sexy.
On skin I tend to perceive it differently depending on my mood as sometimes I get the impression it smells classic almost, like some glowy elegant scent from the past, but other times Visa seems to me so modern and edgy! So it`s one of those multifaceted perfumes that can absolutely fulfill many needs and for that I like to think of it as my signature fragrance.
Imagine a glamorous rooftop party in Manhattan. Noise, live music, cigarette smoke floating in the air, the clinking glasses…She`s a redhead beauty with a modelesque figure wearing a slim-fit blazer and leather pants, all black. She`s holding a glass of fine Cognac and looks you straight in the eyes. She embodies Visa for me.
As for the Perfume…is less powerful as you`d think, being more like an acoustic version of the EdP`s tune revealing its delicate, angelic sides and is one of the most beautiful scents I have ever smelled – pure perfection. It keeps the same notes from EdP but plays them a little different, decreasing a bit their volume and smoothing them even more. Each small part of it seems to be deeply considered and flawless presented. It goes just briefly through the same vibrant, effervescent opening allowing that balmy mixture to pop-out sooner. The bergamote lends an evanescent shine to the opening here too, but is quite subdued and disappears in short time as a comet crossing the sky of a warm august night. The composition then dives directly into those smooth accords of dusty flowers melted together with fuzzy peach, resins and some suede like leather. This versions seems to pay more attention to the fruits and flowers who seem to flash out from a delicate painting and cares less for leather, as I don`t detect it here very much – is like a faint echo of its appearance in EdP. If Visa is a “take me out” type of scent, the Perfume edition is made for indoor due to its short sillage, but in turn it cuddles-up longer of skin.
Official notes for both EdP and Perfume are: peach, pear, violet leaves, Italian bergamot, yellow mandarin essences, ylang essence, rose, immortelle and orange flower absolutes, essence of Indonesian Patchouli and sandalwood, vetiver, moss and vanilla beans.
Now, imagine Visa taken to the next level. Tempted? Let me tell you, it`s sequel V. Intense launched last year is spot on. While the Perfume is the tousled-haired version of the classic, V. Intense on the other side is a big-screen diva wearing makeup with an emphasis on standout lips, look-at-me-lashes and side-swept hair. Despite its richness and extravaganza it has a breathtakingly simple structure compared to the glorious pyramid of Visa. The key notes of V. Intense are tenacious and stick together forming a solid, compressed structure.
Although the smell of Visa is entirely recognisable, major changes have been done. We say goodbye to patchouli and bergamote; the fuzzy peach has switched places with a dark and almost waxy note of plum in the fruit territory and that soft leather accord from the classic was replaced by a saffron accent that adds a spicy haziness. A veil of fumigating incense takes over the resins creating an elusive, fascinating depth towards the base. The rose remains but has been transfered in the background to play the shadow ot the flower role and the sandalwood is amped-up giving a strong woody performance with a delicious milky vibe. Therefore V. Intense becomes less sweet compared to Visa and has a flamboyant, spicy va-va-voom. One long squirt disperses a great amount of fragrance with a long, captivating sillage. This new interpretation shows a good evolution of Visa and has all neccesary features to become (another) star in this house collection.
Official notes for V.Intense are: saffron, rose, plum, frankincense, sandalwood
In each version Visa is pure glamour and sophistication and on my perfume journey I have never found anything else to top this scent.