Monday, March 9, 2009

A Week of Vanillas: L'Artisan Vanilia

I meant to post this early this morning but the internet was out in my house and the day got away from me. The first of five reviews in anticipation of my being gone all of next week.
This week I will be reviewing five fine vanilla scents. As I previously mentioned, I wore vanilla for years. A cheap vanilla but in my opinion entirely lovely vanilla, The Body Shop's Vanilla Spice.
L’Artisan Vanilia

First up, L’Artisan Vanilia, described as follows:
A magnificent vanilla. This L’Artisan classic blends the vanilla flower with the more familiar bean and adds a hint of amber to create a gloriously rich fragrance with warmth and depth. Sophisticated, slightly spicy, and not at all sugary. Very different from any other vanilla scent we have ever encountered. Gorgeous and complex.
Notes: vanilla flower, vanilla bean, amber
Complex is right! My first thought on application was “Is this even vanilla!?!” Vanilla, in my head, is a sweet, foody, baking smell. So the first time I sniffed this along with several other, more foody vanillas in an effort to better discern the differences, my initial reaction was to be very displeased. I actually thought it might have gone bad. (I'd bought a decant.) But on second sniff, after reading the descriptions and sniffing it entirely on its own, I liked it a bit better. Then I gave it a couple of full sprays and wore it for the day; that's when I grew to love it.
Vanilia is not foody to me at all. This is a vanilla made of the greenness in the world, of earthy stalks and shoots. While a sweetness peeks through well into the middle, it is a close, clean kind of sweetness, like the slightly sweet smell of wet white cotton sheets drying in the sun on a clothesline. The sweet reminds of very faintly of an orchid, but not in an overly flowery way. It remains so strangely natural smelling. On dry down, throughout the day, occasionally a bit of sweetness would waft up at me, but mostly all I could think when I smelled it was the chorus of that Mountain Goats song, "pale green things."
Now I really enjoy it because I accept it for what it is, not what I expect it to be. L’Artisan Vanilia is definitely the weirdest of all the vanillas I’ve ever smelled but I mean that entirely in a good way. If you think you hate vanilla, this is worth a try. L’Artisan Vanilia is available all over the place: Beautyhabit, Luckyscent, etc.
Casting your gaze way out to no man's land.
Sometimes I'll meet you out there,
lonely and frightened,
flicking my tongue out at the wet leaves.
Pale green things.
Pale green things.

~The Mountain Goats, "Pale Green Things"

Want more reviews?
~ Review by Robin from Now Smell This! here
~ Review from One Thousand Scents here.

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