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Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Festive Post At Last. Perfume Review: Vaniglia, Bourbon & Mandarino di Sicilia by Antica Farmacista


Trying to come up with thematic posts for pre-Christmas week, I realized that I don’t have many olfactory Christmas associations. Having been born and raised in the Soviet Union, that is perhaps quite understandable. When I was growing up, Christmas was not celebrated there. New Year however was a huge deal, with all the paraphernalia my Western readers would typically associate with Christmas: the tree, decorations, Santa Claus (Ded Moroz or Grandfather Frost), presents, big (very big) holiday dinner…

When I was a child, it was our family tradition to always have lots of mandarins in the house during winter holidays; I believe the same would be true for most people in Russia and former republics. I don’t know how that started, but the fact remains that for me the smell of mandarins is forever a festive smell of happy childhood days of winter. It is not surprising then that Vaniglia, Bourbon & Mandarino di Sicilia by Antica Farmacista, a pretty straightforward and extremely enjoyable vanilla and mandarin blend, is associated for me with New Year celebrations. There is isn't much to describe here, the scent is exactly what the title promises it would be, vanilla and mandarin and not much else. I like the way mandarin note is able to stand up for itself and not disappear for quite some time, unlike so many other Something & Vanilla blends out there. The delicious vanilla note here makes me nostalgic for my mum’s incredible pastries, cakes, and tarts. Whenever I smell Vaniglia, Bourbon & Mandarino, I have to fight back tears; it makes me long to be a child again, to rip the bright wrapping paper off the presents and to greedily consume mandarins and cakes and candies and not have a single concern in the whole wide world.

You can buy this Italian-made scent of Soviet New Years Eves at Nordstrom, where a lovely set including Vaniglia, Bourbon & Mandarino di Sicilia and Vanilla Home Ambiance perfume retails for $60.00.

13 Comments:

Blogger risa said...

this is one of my three favorite vanillas, and i also find it very wintry despite not having the mandarin association with christmas. thank you for your lovely review!

1:06 AM EST  
Blogger shifts said...

Lovely review, again. This is my number one perfume review site of all.

I must add to that mandarin association thing. I do the same thing and I live in Sweden. Haven't really though of why, but I guess we just eat a lot of mandarins during the winters here. But it is one smell that I very closely connect with christmas too.

8:00 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Risa,
Thank you very much! I know what you mean about VBM being wintry, even without the mindarin thing it definitely is. Even though it is not one of the sweetest and heaviest vanillas and would be fine in summer.

9:19 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Dear Shifts,
Thank you for your kind words. I wish I knew Swedish. Whenever I look at your blog, I can actually recognize the names of the perfumes, but obviously I can't read the rest of the text. Frustrating! :-)

9:21 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

M, this is my son's absolute favorite, and in fact, the only perfume that he doesn't call "yuck" or "stinky". He does not like the orange top note, but once that disappears, it smells an awful lot like cookie dough to me so I can see why he loves it.

1:32 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

R, I can see how a child would like this one, it smells of ...well, desserts and cakes, and is thus very comforting and a "happy scent".
My little one demands "to smell" everytime she sees me with a bottle or sample (which is often). She seems to like everything, poor thing, from Montale's Aoudhs to Demeter's foodie scents :-)

1:55 PM EST  
Blogger boisdejasmin said...

I am smiling over your daughter liking everything! My cousin (who is 5 now) also demands me to give everythinhg I test to her. She is very professional about how sprays perfume and how she sniffs it (not right away, but rather after a few minutes giving alcohol a chance to evaporate). She is adorable, albeit setting on a dangerous road! :)

VB&M is one of my favourite for winter, although these days I use it more as room spray, and it works wonderfully. On the skin, it is a bit too much of a straight up vanilla/cookie dough for me.

3:37 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Dangerous, dangerous road! :-) But very enjoyable.

Sometimes I pretend to put some perfume on T's wrist and she puts her wrist to her nose with such a serious face and always, invariably says Smells Nice.I am sure it is only a matter of time till she starts critisizing :-)

4:30 PM EST  
Blogger Cait Shortell said...

Yum! I want to gobble sweets and have not a care in the world too! I must try this one.

5:07 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Cait,
You and me, both! *sigh*

5:39 PM EST  
Blogger Patty said...

This sounds yummy, very comforting. IT is hard to do mandarin to where I like it, even though I like it just as a general smell.

6:56 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Patty,
I am really not a big fan of mandarine-tangerine-orange notes in perfume, but this one is lovely.

7:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fresh and sparkling mandarines with barely a touch of vanilla. For me this is a fun summer scent that's a bit more distinctive than all the in-your-face fruity fragrances. At the same time, sort of like a summer fling -- loved it while I had it, but won't miss it when it's gone.

11:54 PM EST  

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