One Thousand Scents

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Old Gold: CSP Vanille Amande

That's the new bottle. Couldn't find a picture of the old one. Sorry.

One more vanilla scent to finish off the month, and then we'll move on. Promise.

Comptoir Sud Pacifique's Vanille Amande was launched in 1994, discontinued, and then re-launched under a new formulation. Why do companies do this? I know that sometimes the original ingredients become unavailable due to shortages or health concerns, but there wouldn't seem to be anything in Vanille Amande that would demand a reconstructed, "improved" version. I have a feeling that the comapny was trying to muscle the scent into the endless parade of fresh scents: the new Vanille Amande contains "top notes of fresh tropical almond" which certainly aren't present in the original.

Having smelled fresh (green) almonds, I can say I don't want to smell like them, because yuck. I haven't tried the resuscitated version, but a lot of the reviews aren't so kind: "syrupy sweet", "artificial", "cloying", "synthetic". I'll take their word for it. The original, though. Mmmm. I have a big ol' bottle of the stuff. How big? I will never, ever run out, that's how big, which is a good thing, because I love it.

There's a chord of three notes: bitter almond (no sugary amaretto, no cherry-extract scent), voluptuous and slightly sweetened vanilla, and a dark, mocha-like scent which could well be mocha. That's it. It's a monolithic block of a scent. It's absolutely linear: there's no development whatever (except that the almond note fades before the others do). It's wonderful.

The lasting power is very good, at least on me; many people have noted that the new CSP scents don't last at all, but the old ones sure do. Of course, I find that's true of pretty much everything with vanilla in it.

If you've tried the newer version and didn't like it, it might be worth it to hunt down the original. Maybe it's available on eBay. Isn't everything?

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  • I don't pretend to have a particularly excellent nose, but I have a phenomenal memory for scents, if I may say so. I remember more or less every scent I've ever spent any time with, and I can call them to mind; just by thinking about them I can smell them as if they're right there under my nose, in the way that you can envision some celebrity's face when you hear their name. (I almost never write about a scent unless I'm actually wearing it at the time, though.)

    I have probably a hundred full-sized scents, which is insane, and at least another hundred and fifty miniatures and samples. Not a day goes by that I don't wear at least one.

    Thanks for writing!

    By Blogger pyramus, at 11:35 PM  

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