Photo By Robert H. Milan 2018 ©️
Originally Published On http://www.cafleurebon.com 3 August, 2018
“Vanilla (like Musk) is one of my favorite ingredients, and I wanted to give it the treatment that would make it more elegant because sometimes it’s so sweet and heavy with caramel notes. So now (this collection) is all about vanilla as elegance.” –Sylvaine Delacourte, Esxence 2018
Sylvaine Delacourte La Collection Vanille is the stuff that fragrant dreams are made of. As a perfumista who is decidedly ambivalent about vanilla in general (walking through the Target candle dept. is nothing short of torture for me), discovering five new vanilla perfumes as beautiful as can be, thrills me to no end. I had occasion to try Mme. Delacourte’s new line at Esxence 2018 Milan, and fell in love with them then, and in the current warmer weather, they positively bloom! Madagascar vanilla is the star of each of these perfumes, but used with such a deft and deliberate touch that it simply creates a solid base for the other notes to rest and draw upon. Vanilla is always present throughout each scent, but this isn’t the pastry-sweet vanilla so prevalent in perfumes today. It is an aromatic vanilla rife with notes of leather, spice, wood, and a beautiful soft milkiness.
I am obsessing over the complete collection, each one of which treats vanilla in a very grown-up and sophisticated manner and the results are completely enchanting and perfectly realized; exactly what you would expect from a Creative Director (formerly of Guerlain) and Perfumer of Mme. Delacourte’s skill and stature.
Here are thumbnail snapshots of the five new scents.
Sylvaine Delacourte La Collection Vanille Vahina (Floral Vanilla)
Working with Randa Hammami the perfumer responsible for Van Cleef & Arpel’s iconic Orchidée Vanille, Amouage Epic Man, Guerlain’s Cruel Gardénia & L’Instant Magic (with Sylvaine Delacourte), Vahina wears like a Tahitian tropical dream. The mandarin and orange blossom are sprightly and creamy, before the Osmanthus absolue lends its gentle powdery floral heart to the mix. If like me, you are a fan of the Floriental genre, I suspect Vahina will speak to your heart. It certainly does so with mine. Notes: Italian mandarin, Tunisian Orange Blossom, Chinese Osmanthus Absolue, Brazilian tonka, Almond, Madagascar Vanilla Absolue
Sylvaine Delacourte La Collection Vanille Virgile (Aromatic Vanilla)
Virgile, composed with co-perfumer Irène Fadachidi of French company TechnoFlor is a truly unforgettable aromatic vanilla full of sage, rosemary, and thyme softened with furry pine needle absolue and sweetened with hints of geranium and fresh cedar and of course that wonderful vanilla. In Virgile I felt the lingering traces of Mme Delacourte’s years as Creative director of Maison Guerlain, nothing I could put my finger on, just a feeling that nudged my senses. Virgile may very well be my favorite of the collection. Notes: Tunisian Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, French Pine Needle Absolue, Egyptian Geranium Leaf, Virginia Cedar, Canadian Cedar leaves, Madagascar Vanilla Absolue
Sylvaine Delacourte La Collection Vanille Vanori (Solar Vanilla)
Collaborating once again with Irène Fadachidi, Vanori is a textbook perfect example of how to build a Solar Vanilla that lasts all day yet feels as sheer as silk. Infused with a sense of spaciousness and warm honey, with an opening of bitter-ish pithy grapefruit, all the while honoring the deep vanilla, Vanori is another favorite for me. Notes: Calabrian Grapefruit, Paraguayan Frangipani, Honduran Styrax, French Honeycomb Absolue, Cashmeran, Madagascar Vanilla Absolue
Sylvaine Delacourte La Collection Vanille Vangelis (Spicy Vanilla)
When I asked Sylvaine the genesis of the name “Vangelis” her answer was threefold; it starts with “Van” (VANilla), ends with “elis” (which approximates the french word for spice; epicé), and also the Greek composer Vangelis, et voila! Vangelis which was also created with Iréne Farmachidi, puts the beautiful Madagascar vanilla firmly adrift amongst the fresh spices of the souk and spice markets of India and beyond. Black pepper and carnation provide a nose-tingling sensation while the nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom bring deep and slightly musty/powdery notes with a slight misting of smoke. Through it all the vanilla weaves its aromatic spell creating a thoroughly engaging and sublime scent. If you love spice Vangelis is also the strongest of the five. Notes: Italian Clementine, Madagascar Black Pepper, Eastern European Juniper, Carnation, Spanish Nutmeg & Almond, French Cardamom & Cinnamon, French Myrrh, Madagascar Vanilla Absolue
Sylvaine Delacourte La Collection Vanille Valkyrie (Hesperidic Vanilla)
Created in collaboration with Perfume legend Maurice Roucel, (who named Mme. Delacourte as one of the best Creative Directors he has ever worked with in his interview with Editor-in-Chief Michelyn Camen) Valkyrie is a sublime riff on classic French perfumery injected with an ultra-contemporary sensibility. Valkyrie is all about the contrast of cool vs. warm with the mint, lime, and bracing galbanum creating a dichotomous zing against the creamy smooth Sandalwood and vanilla. I sprayed this superb concoction at 10 a.m. and could smell the last vestiges of the vanilla the next morning. Notes: Brazilian Lime, Calabrian Bitter Orange, Comorian Basil, American Curly Mint, Iranian Galbanum, Indian Sandalwood, Madagascar Vanilla Absolue
And there you have it. If I had to choose just one from the Sylvaine Delacourte Perfumes Vanilla Collection, I couldn’t. I would choose three; Virgile, Vanori, and Valkyrie; all of which just knocked my socks off with their complexity, sheer beauty, and vanillic veracity (but I would start saving to purchase the other two tout suite).
Sylvaine Delacourte Perfumes are available worldwide, in the USA at Indigo Perfumery. Online at www.delacourte.com
Disclosure: Thank you Sylvaine for the samples! The opinions are my own.
–Robert Herrmann, Senior Editor
-Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief; I named Sylvaine Delacourte as the recipient of CaFleureBon Best Buzz of 2016
All bottle images from Mme. Delacourte; art by Paul Jacoulet ©
Photo from Ann of Indigo Perfumery©
Thanks to Sylvaine Delacourte, we have one sample pack of all five Sylvaine Delacourte Perfumes Vanilla Collection scents for one registered reader anywhere in the world, so be sure to register if you have not done so. To be eligible please let us know if you are familiar with Sylvaine Delacourte Paris, which Sylvaine Delacourte La Collection Vanille perfume(s) speaks to you from Robert’s reviews and where you live. Draw closes 8/7/2018