As far as I know this is the only vanilla+oud fragrance now available, and once you smell it you'll wonder why every house isn't doing one. There are countless rose+oud accords and nearly every other oud combo is represented, but this is it for vanilla. The accord makes a lot of sense because the two notes balance and contrast so very well. The sweetness of vanilla tapered by the pungency of oud, and the sharpness of oud balanced by the creaminess of vanilla.
As with all the Micallef ouds, Vanille Aoud is NOT *just* oud plus <enter note here> as many Montales seem to be. This is a composition that is thought out and executed flawlessly. As with the best Montales, vanilla and oud come together and lose their individual identity to become a new, unified "vanilloud" note. As with other vanillas, there are discrete florals in the background giving breadth to the accord. The vanilla part of the accord is very rich and creamy - dense with a distinct hint of caramel adding sweetness. The oud part is not overbearing, and in fact if you didn't know it was oud you may think it was a tabac or other woody note.
Nearly a year after first sampling Vanille Aoud I am now the proud owner of my own bottle. The opportunity to give it a full wear instead of just hand sampling has increased my appreciation for this scent. It comes alive in depth and richness of texture when worn.
There's nothing else out there that really compares to Vanille Aoud. Montale's Red Aoud comes close in that it's also a gourmand/oud (cocoa, not vanilla), but Micallef's own Aoud Gourmet outclasses the Montale.
Utterly fantastic and highly, highly recommended.
Notes: bergamot, ylang-ylang, prune, oud, caramel, musk, vanilla, benzoin
30th November, 2009 (last edited: 28th December, 2009)