Designer fragrances are designed to be appealing to the masses and, while all of them are unique and good in their own right, they can be affordable to buy (depending on where you look) and mostly easy to like. This is not the case with niche fragrances. The pure definition of niche is “denoting products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.”. They are fragrances that are crafted by companies who are primarily creating only fragrances as opposed to designer houses who create fragrances as just another facet of their brand.
So, what happens when you get further into your designer collection and you’re wondering if there’s something more out there. Something that smells far and beyond what any other fragrance in your collection smells like. You’re venturing off into niche territory and this is usually where Cedrat Boise comes in from Mancera.
Cedrat (meaning “the citron tree”) Boise (meaning “wooded”) by Mancera was released in 2011 and is currently around $180 full retail. Initially people would doubt this fragrance since it was so affordable; questioning whether they used quality ingredients or not. However, when you first spray on the fragrance, those doubts quickly vanished and Mancera Cedrat Boise became a staple for fragrance collectors for over a decade.
The fragrance world today is all about flankers and dare I say flankers of flankers. In 2021, Mancera jumped on the bandwagon and released it’s own flanker, Intense Cedrat Boise and enthusiasts alike immediately purchased a bottle without hesitation. They all knew that because the original was so successful and so good that an intense version should be even better. But is it?
Let’s break these two down:
The notes on these are very similar in a lot of ways but there are subtle differences between the two. The original has notes of lemon, bergamot, black currant, spicy notes, jasmine, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, white musk, moss, vanilla and leather. The Intense version has removed the bergamot and lemon and replaced it with Sicilian citruses. The cedar has been replaced with Cambodian Oud and they have added Ambergris (animalic musk) to the Intense version in the dry down. On paper, these both have a very eclectic range of notes that one might think couldn’t possibly smell good, but they both work, and both of these fragrances smell fantastic.
Cedrat Boise (2011) has a very harsh opening but is very fresh, bright and citrusy mixed with woods and spices. When it starts to dry down that sharp opening really starts to smooth out and it settles in with all those woods, spices and musk tones. The longevity on this is a good solid 8 to 10 hours and leaves a decent scent trail behind.
Intense Cedrat Boise has an opening that is a bit more toned down than the original. The dry down is similar, but you lose most of those fruity notes that the original had and instead you’re met with woodsy and musk notes. Both the Intense and original both are better summertime fragrances and really shine with you go out into the sun. For some reason both become brighter and the scent bubble around you intensifies.
While the Intense version does have its similarities and differences, it’s close to towing the line of being too overly redundant to the average nose. For longevity, that 45% perfume extract really keeps the Cedrat Boise party going late into the night. At around 9 to 10 hours I could still smell it on my skin and the woods and musk tones were just as prominent as they were hours earlier.
So, which should you choose?
Well, I think my opinion runs in line with what Mancera says on their website; “The one to choose when you can only choose one”, and that’s the Intense Cedrat Boise. The subtle differences between the opening, mid and dry down on the Intense version is more refined over its older sibling. The minute changes in the original formula mixed with the staying-power of an intense concentration makes this one the better choice between the two. If you already own the original bottle, save the $200 and pass on this one for now. If you’re just getting that niche itch and you’re wanting to dip your toes in the water, definitely go for the Intense version to start your journey. Or if you’re a completionist like me…go for both! Either way, you can’t go wrong with either of the two.