One Thousand Scents

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sugar Flowers: Vanille Divine des Tropiques

If you're anything like me, there are moments when you try a new scent and formulate an opinion, and then you read what it is you're supposed to be smelling, and the disconnect is so great that you think your nose is malfunctioning.

La Maison de la Vanille's Vanille Divine des Tropiques is supposed to be an intensely floral vanilla scent. The Luckyscent description of the scent includes the phrase "An extravagant bouquet of tuberose, jasmine, heliotrope, hyacinth and gardenia perfectly complemented by luscious, delectable vanilla."

That's not what it smells like to me, though. I don't perceive a lot of floweriness in Vanille Divine des Tropiques; there's quite a bit of jasmine, but, as in Rochas Man (a jasmine-heavy men's scent), it's alchemized by all that vanilla.

I realize I said more or less the same thing about Spellbound a couple of weeks ago: though it has a lot of floral notes in the middle, it simply doesn't smell floral to me. Florid, maybe, but not floral--or at least, it's not a floral scent. I can smell floral scents: it's not some kind of very specific anosmia. If Vanille Divine des Tropiques is meant to be ultra-flowery, if other people interpret it that way--and some clearly do--then I'm willing to accept that this is how my brain interprets floral-oriental scents: the darker, sweeter notes overwhelm and fuse the floral elements.

VDdT does smell like a rich, sweet vanilla scent. It bears a certain resemblance to Aquolina Pink Sugar, though it's not self-consciously girly: the vanilla is quite sweet, and it has a cooked, caramelized-sugar scent which is very attractive. (Near the end, the cooked-sugar scent takes on an almost burnt tinge: at that point, it reminds me of dry toast.)

As nearly all oriental scents do, the La Maison de la Vanille scents last quite a long time on my skin: they don't have the lasting power of a really high-end oriental, but they're good for six or eight hours, and at that price ($32 US for the set, $36 US for a 100-mL bottle), you wouldn't mind reapplying.



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