Felanilla is basically a sort of balsamic-powdery gourmand, if that category ever existed; it opens with a resinous-leafy green note on vanilla, spices, a bold balsamic-balmy accord which reminds me of eucalyptus that creates a general and slightly haunting feel of Vicks Vaporub, and that sort of invigorating, balsamic-woody yet kind of sweet type of medicines. Initially I do not smell any iris at all, which starts to emerge and ďblossomĒ soon after the opening. The iris note is, sadly, without any praise or blame; itís a clean, plain, conventional, artificial, trendy iris note without any depth or interesting substance - synthetic does not mean unpleasant, though: itís nice, just dull. Thatís it, no particular transaction occurs and Felanilla remains this sort of linear, resinous-powdery-balsamic iris-vanilla scent with a heavy medicinal feel. Honestly, the only thing I appreciate is how the iris note is elaborated here (or well, the idea at least), as itís well conceived and blended behind the resinous-balsamic notes, so ďnow you see it, now you donítĒ, like in a hall of mirrors. I think itís a clever idea which I wished was developed a bit better. Sadly all the rest is fairly disappointing to me: the substance smells plastic and plain, the notes smell to me quite generic and synthetically thin, the persistence is short and the drydown, occurring quite soon, is pale, faint and in my opinion, terribly boring (why so many niche scents are so ridicoulously short-lived?).
A wonderful, sensual surprise. Iris and vanilla - hardly natural bedfellows, but somehow it works. Sexy vanilla wanders over to the cool, rooty Iris, who is typing a letter for her boss, leans over, pulls out the pencil from her bun and takes off her glasses, murmuring, "Why, Miss Jones....you are beautiful."
The opening is a fiercely rooty iris, made into a cool, silky powder that kind of feels like cornstarch in texture - it's light and aerated, but you also feel the back tug of something stiff and starchy, like rubbing your fingers the wrong way against a piece of silk. Although I don't know what banana wood is, there is something of the woody end of a banana stalk to this - not in terms of smell, but texture, because this smells kind of like when you get a bit of banana skin in your mouth by mistake. If you've ever done that, then you know what I mean - it sucks all the moisture out of your mouth.
The vanilla immediately starts to warm the iris from below, rolling it around its tongue until it is a sensual, buttery thing purring with contentment. Watching this happen is like when the black and white of the Wizard of Oz bleed into super-saturated color. I don't pick up any of the hay or saffron, which is disappointing because those are two of my favorite notes. In general, this is all about the vanilla and iris for me. The iris is warmed and made sensual by the vanilla, while the vanilla is given some intellectual backbone by the iris. It is both beautiful and unusual.
That Felanilla's smoky vanilla and astringent saffron top notes donít smell at all foody is an ongoing (and welcome) source of wonderment for me. Thereís a woody edge to these notes that renders them inedible, and the intensely rooty iris that joins them after a few minutes only drives Felanilla further from the dessert cart. Never mind the name or the listed notes Ė this isnít vanilla custard and it isnít rice pudding. It isnít even Bananas Foster. In fact, to my nose itís more of a rich, sweetened iris scent with lots of wood and bitter saffron over a vanillic amber foundation. A trace of gamy labdanum adds a welcome animalic tang to the drydown.
The weird, dark complexity of hay absolute is played very subtly in Felanilla, so anyone expecting it to dominate the scent to the degree it does in Serge Lutensís Chergui may wind up disappointed. While it offers plenty of depth, Felanilla is not the kind of cloying, syrupy fragrance the note pyramid might suggest. Itís greatest liability to my mind is its endurance Ė or should I say its lack thereof. It may be that Iím partly anosmic to the drydown, or that I habituate to Felanilla rapidly, but whatever the case I find it hard to detect after just a couple of hoursí wear. Even so, I enjoy it enough to want to wear it and to reapply it as necessary.
Parfumerie Generale - Felanilla
What an absolute dreadfull experience to do a review on this one. Waste of time for the making of the thing, waste of time for reviewing it and waste of natural materials, if they had been used... It starts with a bitter, gritty vanillin-note that smells a bit like myrrh, very unattractive, and it gets worse. It leads to a very bold and crude rubbery smell, a bit like the inside of a plastic bag, together with a dusty, old carpet-note and a rancid buttery/oily one. Very alienating- overall this part smells like the fear you feel when your memory is being triggered by a scent that smells like ''a house with bad memories''.
It radiates a very sad mood- something like a very old graveyard after the rain, when the smell of the decayed bodies comes out of the humid ground- the smell of death. It also reminds me of cheap shoestore that sells sportclothing, and the smell of gunny-bags. Felanilla doesnít show any joy- just sadness and the feel of someone who is in mourning. The flower-note that it may have reminds me of African marigold with a hint of sprouted beans. The vanilla-note grows stronger and gets pumped up, with a thick pastry edible 'bottom', and a hard, dirty plasticy side to it- which doesnít smell that bad... But then, its pretty difficult to go wrong with vanilla or vanillin, its too save in here to use it as the main dryout.
As a whole Felanilla would make a great aroma for latex-paint or something similar. But on the positive side, what a great name Felanilla is for a perfume- its the one thing that I do like about it. I think its a very old word in a very old, forgotten language, and probably means: 'fresh decayed human flesh....'
Custard in a plastic bowl, with someone irresistibly chic serving up the first spoonful.
What a gorgeous iris this is, vegetal yet tinged with sweetness, smooth as silk and new plastic. Itís bounded by perfectly judged vanilla Ė dry as a husk, almost tobacco-like, a tad bitter and warm. The iris-vanilla heart accord is the main show here for me. Other aspects that count are a touch of hay for air and openness, and a tiny drop of amber to bed it down. Has an altogether effortless loveliness about it, let down somewhat by its refusal to rise much above oneís skin.
Over time the vanilla steals the dance with the amber amping up, so we are left with something in the Shalimar mould with shades of Tauerade. This late stage is less original, but still pleasant to wear.