Perfume Review: Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain
Review by Tom
Thanks to the incredible generosity of Robin, I now have a quite large decant of this fragrance. This is not a fragrance that I should love at all- I pretty much dislike vanilla in scents as a rule, perhaps because they usually smell to me like Vanillin (that god-awful stuff that substitutes for real vanilla in commercial baked goods). Foody snob that I am, I only like the real stuff; one year a good friend of mine hooked me up with home-made vanilla extract, which apparently is the easiest thing in the world to make.
Split vanilla pods lengthwise
Put in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid
Pour on good vodka to cover.
Put on lid and walk away for a couple months
The opening of Spiritueuse Double Vanille is just that smell: sweet, slightly earthy vanilla pods and that slightly cold slap of spikey booze. There's a touch of the fenugreek here that deepens it from being totally cocktail, then I start to smell immortelle (I know, so did Colombina) as the scent loses the boozy edge and becomes more rounded, very full and, well, cushy is the word that comes to mind.
Colombina described it as "softer than soft, a gentle, fluffy skin scent with just a touch of dry piquancy" and it is: there's an pillowy quality to it's drydown that borders on being almost doughy. I do smell a touch of the Guerlinade in there, or perhaps I am just imagining it. There's also a touch of incense, and a bare whiff of uncured tobacco. I have a feeling that there's also some pretty fierce sillage going on there; I put one teensy spritz on my chest before going to work and I was smelling it strongly throughout the day. While this is a very soft scent that would be divine on a woman, there's really nothing in there that would make it something a man could not easily wear. Just go steadily in the application, boys.
Double Vanille is apparently going to be a limited edition, which is too bad. It's lovely, and deserves to be kept around far more than some of the snoozes that have come out of that venerated house recently (cough) Aqua Allegoria (cough). It's a perfect comfort scent for fall/winter: the gourmand thrice-risenness of the vanilla is cashmere-blankie level comforting, while not being overpoweringly foody or too literal in Cinnabon sweetness. It's a perfect midnight snack of a perfume, and if you'll excuse me I am going to go bury my nose in my chest for a while and enjoy. Ahhhh, my happy place....
$200 for 75ml, at Bergdorf Goodman