One Thousand Scents

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Wrapped Up: Vanille Sauvage du Madagascar


Of the five Toutes Les Vanilles Du Monde scents, my favourite by a considerable margin is Vanille Sauvage du Madagascar, a liquid version of a chenille blanket.

There's no chocolate listed in the notes (mandarin, bergamot, geranium, vanilla, lavender, coriander, thyme, incense, sandalwood, and vetiver), and it doesn't smell like chocolate, exactly, but there's an almost fudgy warmth in the top notes, a prelude to the the herbs and spices that dominate in the middle. Those herbs and spices have had all their edges taken off; no one note stands out, and none of them is harsh or edgy. The vanilla, and there's a lot of it, is somewhat sweetened but not sugary, and the scent is edible--lickable, almost. It's a marvelous composition, food-oriented without being cheap or obvious. There's not much complexity to it, though it develops with time, but it has depth and character.

Scents are hard to describe in general, but this one is particularly tough after I've been doing vanilla for the last two weeks. What it boils down to is that Vanille Sauvage du Madagascar is not a seduction nor a burst of joy. It's warm and relaxing, uncomplicated, cozy. It's comforting.

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