One Thousand Scents

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Monkey's Uncle: CSP Vanille Banane

A while back I wrote about how Angel made me laugh out loud--in public! repeatedly!--and I said I'd only ever had that response once. And now it's happened again.

Last month I ordered some stuff from Luckyscent and got a bunch of samples: I bought a sample of CSP Vanille Coco, since I love coconut, and they sent me gratis a sample of Vanille Banane, which I never would have thought of even trying because it sounds so crazy on the surface; who wants to smell like a chimpanzee's fingers?

Yesterday I was in the mood for something new so I swiped on a little Vanille Banane and spontaneously burst into laughter, which I hadn't expected at all. The thing is ludicrous, and yet so delicious and inviting at the same time, that my brain was pulled in two directions at once: "This is stupid!" and "This is wonderful!" That taffylike stretching of the brain trigged the only response it was capable of; hilarity.

I put some more on just now, with the same result. The top note is simply a burst of amyl acetate, that instantly recognizable banana note. (Some people compare it to that artificially-flavoured banana candy you used to get at Hallowe'en; it doesn't, it's true, smell quite like a fresh banana--the complexity isn't there.) A hint of spicy clove and a little orange peel keep it from being cloying, but there's very little there except for that slightly synthetic banana-ness. A creamy-rich vanilla note soon wells up underneath it, and the overall effect is of a banana cream pie and nothing more. There's nothing wrong with smelling like a pie, of course: Demeter has proven that, and I'm surprised they don't market a Banana Cream Pie to go with Apple and Pumpkin.

I can't imagine ever buying this stuff, but the fact is that I'm glad it exists. The world could always use more unexpected laughter.



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