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Valentino Uomo Intense Review: Iris Dressed Up

valentino uomo intense review

Table of Contents

If you ask anyone who knows anything about men’s perfume what the modern masterpiece of classy scents is, chances are, Valentino Uomo will make a dashing appearance into the conversation. 

Which makes sense, considering it’s one of the most wonderfully elegant and dusky men’s perfumes around

Think tall, dark, and handsome in a suit a few minutes after sunset. The wind is blowing just slightly, but his hair isn’t moving. In fact, nothing is moving. Perfect posture, perfect jawline. A gentleman in more than manner. 

Valentino Uomo Intense is all about going further: where other perfumes smell classy, there are few that really feel that way too. 

In this Valentino Uomo Intense review, I’ll be giving you my two scents about what this gorgeous fragrance smells like, who I think it’s for, a comprehensive note breakdown, how long it lasts, and whether or not I recommend giving it a buy. Hint: I do, so long as you aren’t a slob and don’t live in a trailer. 

With that quick disclaimer, let’s sniff.

Personal Impressions

I’m a large fan of the entire Dior Homme line (I’m not particularly large; my fandom is), save Dior Homme Sport, and particularly Dior Homme Intense. 

Valentino Uomo Intense is often compared to Dior Homme Intense, which has a similarly dark, jaw-droppingly beautiful feel to it. These are fragrances that belong to a higher category in the fragrance world — that of the masterpiece — and when I bought a bottle of Valentino Uomo Intense (and Dior Homme Intense for that matter), my nose confirmed what my mind already thought it knew. 

Now, I knew from the get-go that Uomo Intense is not a versatile scent; it’s a winter, cold night, special occasion fragrance. It’s dressy both in outfit and occasion, and carries with it a vibe of intense regality. 

I wore it for the first time on a winter night out to a restaurant. 

Upon first spray, there’s a pretty good burst of iris and mandarin orange. Yes, there’s a bit of a lipstick-ey vibe, but it’s fresh and very nice. The orange and sage make it surprisingly fresh without being sharp or medicinal at all. It’s just citrus and lipstick. 

About five minutes in (maybe not exactly, but pretty soon after initial spray), the “chunky chocolate bar” vibe peeks out from the shadows and the iris leaps down from the rafters. 

Ladies and gentlemen, at this stage, the iris truly arrives. From what I smelled, this is a waxy, buttery, velvet-covered iris

At this time, you’re in for some serious warm, delightful beauty. It’s soft yet so attention grabbing as to be almost profound. Seriously, attention from all sides. 

As time passes (like time tends to do), the vanilla and leather start to speak up. They bring even more cozy warmth, smoothness, and class, while adding sweetness and a gourmand-like quality to the fragrance. 

Overall, it’s warm and strikingly classy; you’ll also smell like something worth taking a bite out of. Not to mention, worn at the right time on the right occasion and this perfume is an absolute compliment monster

I love it; not just because of the attention and compliments that it (really) gets me, but because of the overall vibe. There are few scents I’ve worn that fit such an aesthetic as this one. It’s a lonely cottage on a cloudy day just before nightfall. It’s studying late by candlelight. It’s playing classical piano in a rumpled vest at three in the morning because you can’t sleep. 

You can read all you want about the notes, and other people’s wears, but this is a perfume that has to be smelled to be appreciated. 

And now, like the hypocrite I am, I’ll tell you all about the notes that make up Valentino Uomo Intense in the next section. 


While Valentino Uomo Intense stars iris and vanilla as its prominent notes, there are a number of other notes that make it the perfection that it is. Here are the notes that make up Valentino Uomo Intense:

Top Notes:

  • Mandarin Orange
  • Clary Sage

Middle Notes:

Base Notes:

The opening of Valentino Uomo Intense is mandarin orange, clary sage, and lipstick

Yes, I did say lipstick. 

Yes, I did say this is a men’s fragrance. 

Yes, it is a masterpiece. 

Stick with me here — I can understand, as a man, your wariness at smelling like a woman’s made-up lips. 


It’s simply wonderful; particularly as the Uomo Intense begins to dry down and the tonka bean comes to play (hold on, we’re getting there). 

After a couple of minutes (say, between five and 20), the tonka bean comes out and warms up the iris and subtle, sparkling (slightly bitter) orange. At this point, a hint of lux chocolate comes in, the shot going off letting the sexiness know it’s time to begin. 

As time keeps crawling by, the vanilla and leather begin to kick in. This is where the class and intimate warmth get taken up a notch, with the iris still going strong. 

At this point, it smells — and I can’t say this enough — supremely classy and hot. Almost edible. 

It’s also dark and hazily mysterious, like a dark cloud of intrigue

The best part about this classy cologne is how addicting it smells, and how deep and rich it is. It’s one of those things that you’ll just want to smell again and again; as will those around you. 

It surpasses the typical “serious, up-dressed” scent by pushing further into the moodiness and exploring its bounds. 

Overall, the scent is 10/10, and I can’t recommend it enough. 


Performance is just another area where Valentino Uomo Intense shines. Are you seeing a pattern yet?

Valentino Uomo Intense performs very well on both skin and clothes, easily lasting 10+ hours on skin and 12+ hours on clothes. You’ll sometimes get whiffs from weeks ago on your clothing, or in your closet. 

It’s wonderful. 

Sillage, in kahoots with the pattern, is excellent. It projects powerfully (not too powerfully of cours; just right) for around 6-7 hours before it begins to settle down into a more subtle skin scent. Still attention grabbing, and still potent. Just a more intimate variety.

Overall, performance is phenomenal.

Who Is This Scent Good For?

Most obviously, Valentino Uomo Intense is for you if you enjoy the iris note in perfume, or want to experience it in its loveliest form. You’ll also love Valentino Uomo Intense if you like vanilla done well without so much of that sickly sweetness you often encounter. 

If you’re the kind of man who likes getting dressed up, if you lie on your back at night listening to music and thinking of her, if you’re a romantic who looks at the world in shades of melancholy, you’ll love this scent. 

This scent is for you if you consciously value elegance, both in yourself and in the world around you. It’s for you if you like warm, cozy perfumes that smell striking. 

I can even see some women pulling this beauty off. While not technically unisex, its softness and sweetness make it an intriguing option. 

It’s so beautiful that, if you wear it and you’re a slob or some unwashed, detestable wag, I will be personally offended. 

On the right person

When To Wear It

Date nights, cold winter days and nights, formal occasions, intimate encounters, and pretty much anything in that same vein. 

I once heard someone say that you don’t need to wear Valentino Uomo Intense on special occasions — wearing it is the occasion. 

However, do not (let’s say that again: DO NOT) wear Valentino Uomo Intense in the heat, to the gym, or just cuz. 

It’s a masterpiece and should be treated as such. 

The best wears will be in the cold, but that doesn’t mean it should be shelved most of the year; date nights in the fall and things of that ilk are very much within the realm of possibility here. Just don’t overdo it. 

Overall, Valentino Uomo Intense is not a versatile men’s scent. But that’s part of its inherent charm: if it was an anytime, anywhere perfume, it would lose a lot of what makes it unique, and a lot of what makes it so wonderful. 

Similar Men’s Fragrances

If you’re looking for a men’s scent similar to Valentino Uomo Intense, we have a few options for you to choose from:

  • Dior Homme Intense is the easiest choice to put here — a supremely classy, distinguished perfume for men, it draws lots of comparisons to Uomo Intense because of the creamy iris and astounding class. Dark and mysterious, pair this with a suit and you’ll look (and feel) pretty much unstoppable. It’s also excellent in romantic settings, operating as a lean-in, cozy up kind of scent. Like Uomo Intense, it lasts ages and draws compliments.
  • La Nuit de L’Homme is a compliment-drawing men’s perfume that is similarly attention grabbing. Starring cardamom and offering a far more versatile, playful feel, it’s worth looking at if you like the warmth and attention factor of Valentino Uomo intense but want something a little more wearable. Read our full La Nuit de L’Homme review for a full breakdown. 
  • Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille is a warm, classy scent for men — just like Valentino Uomo Intense. However, Tobacco Vanille is spicier, giving it more of an edge and a hint more playfulness. It’s similarly long lasting, and is sweet and sexy. If you’re looking for one of the best cold weather scents in existence, or are a diehard tobacco fan, give Tobacco Vanille a try. Read our Tobacco Vanille review here. 
  • Spicebomb by Viktor&Rolf is, well, spicy. Just like Valentino Uomo Intense, it’s a fantastic cold weather scent. Unlike Valentino Uomo Intense, it’s spicier and much more of a loud, youthful scent, more apt to clubbing or a night on the town. It doesn’t have the same outright beauty and class, but it’s more versatile and, I think, a better buy for those in their teens and twenties. Overall, I highly recommend it.
  • Prada L’Homme EDP offers the same iris-y vibe and is a very upscale scent. It’s classy, elegant, and pulls people in with its charisma. However, Valentino Uomo Intense is deeper and more intoxicating, with more of an attention draw. If you find Valentino Uomo Intense to be too sweet, too intense, or too specialized, L’Homme EDP offers a more laid back take on a very similar vibe. 
  • Givenchy Gentlemen EDP is a must-mention when talking about similar scents. Like Valentino Uomo Intense, it’s creamy iris and chocolate, with vanilla, and smells like it was blended by some otherworldly perfume creature. Sexy, luxurious, and gentlemanly are words that immediately come to mind upon smelling. Definitely, definitely give Givenchy Gentlemen EDP a look if you like men’s fragrances in this genre. 


Similar Women’s Fragrances

If you’re looking for a women’s scent similar to Valentino Uomo Intense, we have a few options for you to choose from:

  • Tom Ford Black Orchid is a women’s perfume like Valentino Uomo Intense that is similarly warm and deep. It has the same darkness and air of intrigue, and plays a similarly classy role. Black Orchid is feminine and damp-earthy, giving it a sort of decay-like quality. The dry down, however, is sweet and has a similar elegance. Much like Valentino Uomo Intense, Black Orchid is fascinatingly polarizing and very attention grabbing. 
  • Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium offers a refined creamy and alluring feminine perfume. — with a smooth elegance similar to Valentino Uomo Intense. Leaning heavily into vanilla, you also get creamy almond, licorice, and coffee. Like Valentino Uomo Intense, there’s a lovely warmth to the perfume that pulls people in, making it a great get closer-contact scent.
  • YSL Libre is a women’s perfume that smells soft and smooth. Like Valentino Uomo Intense, Libre is warm and inviting. Unlike Valentino Uomo Intense (about as unlike as it gets), Libre is very floral, with notes of jasmine, lavender, and orange blossom. I’d recommend Libre if you’re looking for a more floral, musky vanilla scent with the same elegant, upscale vibe.
  • Dior Hypnotic Poison is a great female scent similar to Valentino Uomo Intense. It’s heavy, dark, and similarly mysterious, without leaning too far into spice. Hypnotic Poison presents a very realistic, upscale vanilla; it’s not loud, but done extremely well. If you’re looking for a similarly dark, mysterious women’s perfume for the cold weather, give Hypnotic Poison a shot. 

If This Was A Color…

It would be the color of fresh ink spilled on creamy parchment. Classic, but high quality.  


Overall, Valentino Uomo Intense is an astoundingly beautiful men’s perfume for the winter. Smelling of buttery iris paired with chocolate, vanilla, and leather, it’s supremely sexy and attention grabbing. If you’re a perfume lover, an iris lover, or want to impress even the previously unimpressible, Valentino Uomo Intense is a must-have and a perfume for the ages.

Thanks for reading this Valentino Uomo Intense review, and we wish you the happiest of smells.

Isaac Marks

Isaac Marks

Isaac is a fragrance expert from Chicago, Illinois, specializing in smelling good at all times. When he isn't sniffing things, Isaac likes to read, write, run, bake, and play the guitar.

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Jack Harbor

Full Time Fragranista

Jack Harbor is an expert in all things scent – from wearing, to mixing, to making perfumes, his expertise is varied and robust. He loves to smell good, and loves helping other’s smell good – for the good of us all!

Jack Harbor

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