Sit back, stay relax and get some popcorn! this is going to be one of those long reviews! :D
This fragrance is by far one of the most complex fragrances that I've tested!
It may look simple for the first time but smell it closely and test it several times, and you will see what I mean! a fragrance with many different notes and really great blending.
There are many others notes standing side by side vanilla that they make this fragrance quite interesting.
At the beginning I can smell lots of notes.
Vanilla, citruses, lots of cloves, some floral notes, some woodsy notes, some incense ...
What is hell going on here?!
But the interesting thing is, all these notes blended together masterfully without making the scent messy and harsh! this is what I'm calling it art in pefumery!
There is sweet vanilla in this fragrance indeed but not one of those extremely sweet or sugary ones. vanilla here is kind of mature with resinous ambery feel, creamy sweetness and warm sensual feeling.
There is a sparkling of citruses in the background that it gives the scent slightly fresh feeling but just for a few seconds and then it's gone!
There is lots of cloves at the opening. a dry, flowery and strange kind of aroma that somehow may remind you of strong clove note in "Serge Lutens Serge Noir"
There is a mellow incense in the background that it gives the scent slightly smoky and slightly powdery feel. there is also some ylang-ylang in the background that it amps up the powdery feeling of the scent a little bit more ...... and this is just the opening!
In the mid the clove note settles down a little bit and at the same time vetiver and woods joining in.
While the scent still is warm, creamy, incensy, powdery and dry flowery because of cloves, vetiver note gives this lovely scent a rooty and earthy feeling that it gets a little stronger as time goes by which makes scent more mature and more masculine.
There are some woods in this part as well that they make the scent a little more mature and at the same time slightly clean (maybe soapy!)
While the opening was slightly smoky because of incense, now you will feel more smoky aura which I believe is because of leather note that keeps picking through the scent. here is mid!
In the base I'm getting almost the same smell as mid, but now I can feel a spicy and kind of peppery aroma beside all these notes plus a faint and hard to detect dirty animalic kind of scent.
Projection is very strong but not in your face while longevity can easily pass 10 hours without any problem. a definite winner in my book!
26th March, 2015 (last edited: 18th April, 2015)
This was love at first sniff which soon turned to dislike the more and more I wore it. The dry-down is fantastic. The vanilla is rich, and strikes the perfect balance between bitter and dry and sweet and warm. I love the way my shirt would smell a couple days after wearing this, a vague spiciness over the most delicious, quality vanilla. However, getting to the dry-down became a chore. The combination of rum and clove doesn't work very well for me. Add petitgrain and orange blossom into that and I was destined to sell this bottle off in attempt to recoup part of the significant amount I spent on it. But I'm not mad, as this is a good fragrance. I just find the clove, rum, and orange blossom too heavy and distracting a combination, and after a while, it wears me out. I would probably prefer a simpler or less taxing start. Overall, Di Orio's Vanille is a bit sumptuous for my taste and quite frankly, I'm not crazy about how it smells for the initial hour or so. Projection is very good and longevity is superb. This is more or less unisex and most suitable for casual or more formal situations in the colder months. Recommendation: Do as I say, not as I do, and sample first.
By far one of the nicest and most creative vanilla scents on the market. Vanille opens with an intriguing clash of notes, with vanilla standing just halfway a citrus top note, a boozy note and a base accord with both “creamy” sweet woods (sandalwood), spices and darker notes which to me smell like a sort of “roasted” leather/birch note, smoked and dry, with a hint of vetiver. Really subtle, yet providing and enjoyable, thin “black” base layer. That’s it initially, a martial and quite “angular” blend with a rather sharp and simple composition style, yet fascinating, ghastly in a way but also romantic: finally the Neoclassic inspiration behind many Mona di Orio scents finds a meaning here, and it’s well developed (instead of going completely wrong, like in several other scents by her). The mood and the atmosphere here are really charming and peculiar, a sort of decadent, odd, skeletal ambiance with dark, dry powdery notes, gloomy and smoky in a way, but also deceptively “white” and soapy. This dry note of vanilla smells like the smell of old books and papers – which is no news, as I recall having read somewhere a chemical similarity between “aged paper” and vanilla. If they had mummies during Renaissance, I guess this may have been their smell. Or, the smell of an antique closet stuffed with your great-grandma’s toiletries and books. In a way, and only for its first stages, it reminded me a bit of La troisième heure by Cartier (for its vanillic-dark structure, although here is all more dry, dusty, woody and less leathery), plus with a touch of clean, gray-ish musky-soapy-aldehydic notes. As minutes pass, say within the first hour, Vanille “warms” up becoming less dry and less smoked and letting resins and sandalwood emerge better, becoming overall softer, sweeter and more Oriental. Despite its name I wouldn’t really consider this a gourmand, but a solid, unisex, classy and really compelling creative take on vanilla, of which here Mona di Orio enhanced the dusty, dry and darker nuances. It’s still fun for me to realise how she was able to accomplish only either great scents or total disasters, but still, this one is really good.
This is possibly one of the best-smelling vanilla fragrances I have ever laid my nose on, and it solves one of my personal dilemmas of being reluctant to spend a lot of money on a vanilla fragrance by being not very much focused on vanilla at all. Which kind of defeats the purpose, I know. Funnily enough, the lack of vanilla in this caused me to despise this fragrance when I first tested it a month or two into this hobby – I even kept my notes from that testing, which read: “1. Cloves, 2. Rum, 3. Orange, 4. Dark Woods, 5. Where is the bloody vanilla???”. Back then, it almost made me angry, thinking that somebody hated vanilla so much that they made a vanilla fragrance that avoided the note altogether.
Perhaps my nose is different now, or maybe experience has simply pushed my taste beyond its initial starting position. Testing it now, I appreciate a few things I wasn't able or experienced enough to pick up on back then. First of all, there IS vanilla in this, but it is more an abstract representation of what a vanilla pod smells like, with all its rummy, dark, almost animalic flavors, rather than vanilla extract or a cupcake kind of vanilla. Second, this fragrance crosses several of my favorite types of fragrance categories with each other, and does it in an elegant, confident manner. Specifically, it crosses a Christmas-style pomander spice opening (reminiscent of Fendi’s Theorema and Frederic Malle’s Noir Epices) with a boozy, dark woods done “Pirate style” a la Lubin’s Idole, and follows it up with a long, creamy vanillic sandalwood dry down that recalls the gingerbread delights of Chanel’s Bois des Iles pure parfum. In fact, this fragrance strikes me as being far more about sandalwood than vanilla itself.
But at least from a technical standpoint, this is clearly a stab at suggesting vanilla in an abstract manner rather than a direct paint-by-numbers job. The booziness and the dark, almost licorice-inflected woods are supposed to suggest the dark, sticky, almost alcoholic smell of the vanilla pod itself, whereas the creamy sandalwood stands in for the scads of vanilla cream we have come to expect of the very word “vanilla”. The drydown does come extremely close to the smell and feel of Bois des Iles pure parfum, but lasts for a much longer time, so I may be forgiven for thinking that Mona di Orio’s Vanille gives you the best of both worlds. Actually, it comes close to Holy Grail status for me, except (paradoxically) for the fact that I am hesitant to buy a fragrance that smells so much like three or four of my other favorite scents. I go back and forth on whether it’s redundant or not. I’ll probably buy it eventually, though, because it’s just beautiful and satisfying from every angle, and also because it’s the one vanilla that I keep thinking about long after I've emptied my sample.
I percieve this scent as a dark vanilla scent without much development during the day. It is quite present and also I detect some woody and smoky notes I find a bit annoying (vetiver?) it's probably something in the base of this line. At first the scent gives a good impression but becomes a little irritating. I find this scent also lacking in complexity and depth. Its okay but not great.