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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Perfume Review: Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille...and a Double Birthday...

From the start, Spiritueuse Double Vanille had one crucial factor working against it: I do not like scents with vanilla playing a title role. The only way to cause me to like a vanilla perfume is to make it about much more than just vanilla. In other words, I don't do Vanilla Monologues. I want a play with lots of strong supporting characters. Guerlain's "exclusive" and Limited Edition new release, Spiritueuse Double Vanille, which features additional notes of benzoin, frankincense, spices, cedar, pink pepper, bergamot, Bulgarian rose and ylang-ylang, is a vanilla I can do.

The beginning of the fragrance has a subtle boozy feel, a quality that I invariably enjoy. It smells like a sweetly spicy alcoholic drink...not quite as strongly aromatic as, say, absinthe, but somewhere in that licoricey olfactory area. I am decidedly not a fan of licorice/anise, but here the undertone is so subtle, it is actually pleasant. As the scent progresses, I begin to smell a note that I can't help but think is immortelle...perhaps a combination of the resinous and vanilic benzoin and spice is what produces the sweet and green and strangely "meaty" immortelle-like effect. In any case, this is the stage of the scent's development I particularly like. As Spiritueuse Double Vanille dries down, it becomes softer than soft, a gentle, fluffy skin scent with just a touch of dry piquancy. All in all, a pretty and pleasant little fragrance, not praticularly Guerlainesque, but none of the last Guerlains have been that anyway. Not sure if I would buy it for myself, but if it somehow appeared in my life, I would wear Spiritueuse Double Vanille with much pleasure this fall and winter.

Spiritueuse Double Vanille should be available in Guerlain's boutique in Bergdorf Goodman by the end of September. The Eau de Parfum, housed in a 75ml "laboratory bottle dressed with a vintage label", will cost $200. For more information and to pre-order, contact Jason Bears, tel.: (212) 872-2734.

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By the way, I've been so busy lately that I forgot about Perfume-Smellin' Things' 2nd Birthday! Thank you so much, everybody, for your continuing readership, friendship and support! Incidentally, today is also Mr. Colombina's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mr. C, my dear reluctant perfumisto.


Blogger lilybp said...

Happy Birthday to PST (has it really been that long?!!) and to Mr. C. Mr. Lily's B-day is Saturday, so we should have a big party.

I found the Spiriteuse DV pretty but--(you can probably see this coming)--too sweet. Oh, well, more money saved!

10:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, Judith, and happy birthday to the wonderful Mr. Lily!! Ah, so your DH is a Virgo too...and you are familiar with all their frustrating, I mean- charming! lovable! little quirks :-)

I would have been shocked if you said you loved SDV. Sweet, definitely, although, as vanillas go, not the sweetest one.

10:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Happy Birthday to PST and lots of champagne to is wonderful writer! Happy Birthday to its wonderful writer's wonderful hubby! Happy wonderful birthdays! Mwah! (Mr C, the "mwah" part is reserved for your wonderful wife solely).

11:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Absinthe, did you actually say ABSINTHE? What then is not to love! This sounds divine to me, although I am surprised. I usually find Vanilla fragrances too cookie-like although my husband really loves them. This one with the pink pepper,ylang-ylang and bergamot sounds as intriguing as it's name..Spiritueuse Double Vanille...Yummm!
Many Happy Birthdays to all!

11:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Stacy said...

All that incensey and base-y part sounded like it could lend some interest to vanille...but you lost me at licorice. Can you name something with an immortelle note that you like? L is too sugary for me to appreciate the other notes.

12:10 AM EDT  
Blogger Gaia said...

Happy double birthday!
This Guerlain may be right up my vanillic alley. I love and wear SL Bois de Vanille. How do they compare?

12:17 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Happy birthdays all around!

Okay, this sounds pretty great. I don't like Vanilla and had this shipped just on Francoise's promise it was "interesting." I'm relieved! I'm not usually a fan of vanilla either.

12:43 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to PST and to Mr. C.
Celebrate the day with a Fluty-Floral and Champagne!

12:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Ducks said...

Well, happy birthday, everyone!

I have long adored vanilla scents but have become very bored by floral vanillas lately. I prefer the boozy-spicy-not bakery aspects just now; I suppose I really ought to give this one a sniff, since me likes spice. All the spicy-liquorice-y notes sound yummy indeed.

12:58 AM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Happy birthday to PST! I haven't gone to Guerlain yet, I'm waiting for them to have their Pierre Hermé gig at the same time (and will bitterly complain if they're out of gold-dusted macarons). Boozy is what you get from pure vanilla extract, isn't it? I'm curious, though not a Vanilla Monologues fan either (thanks for my first morning chuckle), but you never know. Vanilla and benzoin is an interesting combination.

1:22 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

happy birthday to the perfume blog who opened a whole new world for me, a world of smells and perfumes and olfactory art without which I cannot imagine living now!
also happy birthday to Mr. C, wishing him all the best and lots of fun PST posts :-D!

5:16 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I love vanilla, and decided long ago that this would be bought unsniffed since I live no where near a Guerlain counter. Every year I make one crazy expensive unsniffed gamble on something. And the anticipation of loving it or not is my favorite part. Wondering "will it be the one?!" Although hearing that Patty is getting it and I could probably sample just about everything if I really wanted makes blowing the load on something unsniffed not as fun as it used to be :-( Lovely service though, that perfumed court thingy.
Anyways, Happy Birthday PST, I can't be you are only 2...look at all those perfume reviews, I still haven't read them all. I like to stretch it out and savour them! Just promise not to wear out your smeller at L'Artisan like I suspect Ina has done, I can't have both of my favorite blogs go all squirely on me! (it's early and my spelling skills are asleep)We love you M!!!!

5:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Divina said...

Happy bday Perfume Smelling Things and happy, happy bday Mr. C :)
I won't hear a word against virgo men btw :)

5:48 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy b-day!
I haven't yet found a Guerlain that's me tho I do like vanilla-y scent(not just b/c my bf finds it erotic.) Licorice is nice counterpoint to vanilla: think SL's Un Bois Vanille. Yum :) And I think I'd like frankincense with vanilla. Too bad this one also has rose & bergamot. Phoo.

7:52 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthdays all!

(and mine's this Friday - I guess I'm part of the gang!)

My vanilla craving has dissipated, so eventually I might sniff this.

8:13 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh, I'm quite thrilled to find out I share a birthday with both PST and the delightful Mr. C! Congratulations on the 2nd year anniversary of your blog, Marina. I read it every day.

I'm not a Vanilla fan either, but have you tried Montale Boise Vanille? It's a cedary, woodsy, very dry vanilla. Heavenly!

8:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Dust Glitter and Vapor said...

Happy Birthday to PST and to Mr. C!

I am so eager to try SDV, the notes sound like something I'd adore.

I feel about rose much the same way you feel about vanillas-- I love rose when it has a supporting cast, not so much as a soliflore diva.

8:33 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. And meant to add that I look forward to trying the Guerlain Spirituese Double Vanille. Sounds like my kind of thing. Great review!

8:35 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Happy Birthday, and thanks for stomping that lemming to death :-)

10:37 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...

Thanks all ... for the birthday wishes.

I stopped celebrating them a long time ago so maybe we'll just get a cake for the blog.

Happy birthday PST.

Way to go Divina... defend the virgo men!

Ina, you can give your mwahs to Colombina only of you wish, so long as hers go to ME!


PS: Guest post coming soon

11:35 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday darlings, sniffing your blog makes my day fragrant.

1:39 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Mwah right back at you! ♥

1:56 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! And no, this one is not cookie-like, not on me at least.

2:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am afraid, SDV did remind me of L de Lempicka, however L wihout that much sweetness and without prominent citrus notes. Another scent with immortelle that I enjoy is Eau Noire by Dior.

2:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! BdV is much, much sweeter on me than SDV.

2:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you!
I think it is interestnig, perhaps not earth-shatteringly so, but interesting nevertheless.

2:03 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! Fluty-floral? :-)

2:03 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you!
I think you might like this one as you like spice. The spiciness is subtle here though.

2:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you!
Gold-dusted macarons? Oh my!!

2:05 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you!
Of course, of course, Virgo men are the best! :-)

2:05 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Rose and bergamot are not obvious really, so do give it a try.

2:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, you are very kind!!

2:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

How are you? Hope all is well!
My smeller is still smelling, and PST will go on...and on... *the sounds of the Titanic theme song are heard in the background* :-)

2:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Happy upcoming birthday!!

2:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Happy Birthday! May it be a wonderful and fragrant day! Best wishes!

Boisee Vanille is gorgeous!

2:10 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Dust Glitter and Vapor,
Thannk you!
I feel the same about rose too.

2:10 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

LOL. What was the most unappealing thing about it? Immortelle?

2:11 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Mr. C,
The written word is considered a binding contract in the state of...whatever, so now you have to submit a guest post :-)
Happy Birthday!!

2:12 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you very much, you are so kind!

2:12 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Happy Birthday PST!

2:39 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mr. C., and may God grant you many years! - minette

4:40 PM EDT  
Blogger donanicola said...

Terribly late with this (another busy spell) but Many Happy Returns! Both to Mr Columbina and to you, Marina, re the blog. May you both have many more. I'm sure this blog has kept me sane (well, kind of) for the last two years even if it took me a year to de lurk. And the Guerlain sounds strangely compelling - I say strange because I'm not usually a big fan of vanilla - but I've learnt to like it if it's not sweet.

9:05 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you!!

9:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! I am so glad you un-lurked.

9:55 AM EDT  

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