Bentley Infinite Intense opens with a huge blast of black pepper with hints of underlying aromatic lavender and green geranium before moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the pepper only slightly softens but remains the focus, as the earlier supporting aromatics are replaced by warm, dry nutmeg spice, piney, peppery elemi with just a hint of salty faux ambergris, and significant sharp, woody vetiver and dry cedarwood rising from the base. During the late dry-down the actual black pepper mainly vacates, as the peppery elemi remains now in support, melding with the focal remnants of the sharp vetiver and dry cedar through the finish. Projection is excellent and longevity outstanding at over 15 hours on skin.
When Bentley for Men Intense came out in 2013 by the same perfumer (Nathalie Lorson) I lauded that it was one of the best designer releases in recent memory and years later that statement still holds. As such, it was with great anticipation and seemingly little risk that when Bentley Infinite Intense was released a couple years later a blind buy was in order. It has taken me about 5 years to get around to reviewing the result of the buy, and I wish I can say that it was even close to the winner of its earlier relative, but alas I cannot. Bentley Infinite Intense is really a completely different composition than its superb smelling predecessor, with this one more in the Terre d'Hermes and Tzora vein. Anyone who has read my reviews over the years knows that I hold both in very high regard but unfortunately, while showcasing some of the same components like the Iso E Super enhanced cedar, sharp vetiver and pepper that Tzora in particular focuses on, the skillful balance and proportions of that masterpiece seem missing here. In particular the black pepper, enhanced by peppery elemi comes off so strong it had me sneezing at times (something that rarely happens). I suppose that anyone who hasn't sniffed Tzora by Anat Fritz might be at least somewhat impressed by Bentley Infinite Intense but once you have sniffed the best, relatively inferior alternatives just can't cut it and this one, while decent smelling, just doesn't even come close to measuring up. On the positive side, the bottle, like its predecessor, is superb, as are the overall performance metrics. The bottom line is the $27 per 100 ml bottle Bentley Infinite Intense may be a pretty good offering if one didn't sniff others that came earlier and smelled better in the same space, but the "above average" 2.5 to 3 stars out of 5 rated release comes up a bit short, earning a neutral recommendation.