The opening blast of bergamot is thankfully not as sharp as in the modern Shalimar EDP, & the scent quickly becomes a little leathery, with the richness of opoponax resin humming along beneath. Fifteen minutes in, the best part of this fragrance begins to show itself: a gorgeously satisfying, smoky, not-too-sweet vanilla, joined further on by a wisp of incense. It reminds me of the much-missed PDT version of Shalimar that I owned in the 90s, & I find myself huffing my arm in blissful longing. This stage lasts & projects for a good long while until, around four hours in, it all softens down into a woody vanilla base & becomes a skin scent. Seven hours in it's almost gone.
I could kick myself for waiting so long to try this one as it's so hard to find now. I can only keep praying to the Perfume Gods that it might return in some form, someday...
The Madagascar version of Ode a la Vanille has been on my try list for a very long time and I was fortunate enough to track down a sample of it. I’ll be making comparisons to the original Shalimar here(not the original 2010 Ode a la Vanille). Madagascar is classified as a woody oriental fragrances. At the opening I got the familiar bergamot opening although not quite as intense and sharp as the original. Noticeably, there was a bit of citrus and lemon notes that contrasted the bergamot which softened up the opening. The opening toned down rather quickly allowing for the rich iris florals in the middle of the scent to present itself along with the vanilla note that is already starting to peak out. Soon after at the base, the vanilla began to intensify taking center stage and quickly dominating the other notes that become present in the scent. Aside from the vanilla, other prominent notes that were noticeable in this scent as well as in the original included leather, balsamic notes from the opoponax, smokey incense, and wood notes. Even though the notes were mentioned in both, many of these notes weren’t nearly pronounced in Madagascar which had an effect on the drydown. The drydown maintained a strong presence of vanilla with both a smokey and woody tinge to it. It’s also worth mentioning that the drydown wasn’t as animalistic as compared to the original. Longevity and silage were decent with 8 hours in longevity while silage was moderate for the first few hours before staying closer to the skin. Cooler weather conditions would be ideal when wearing this as it could be a little overbearing in warmer weather. As for my thoughts on it, I enjoyed this one a lot. I think Ode a la Vanille Madagascar is much more approachable than the original especially if one struggles with the opening and its slight animalistic feel at the base. It has both a comforting and sensual feel to it that just doesn’t disappoint. Sadly this has been discontinued for quite some time and its very difficult to find now. Due to its scarcity, I don’t expect to acquire a bottle of this fragrance but if an opportunity presents itself then I may reconsider.
While I enjoy the fragrance, it gave me an immediate headache.......when that subsided after 2 hours, I actually smelled like a cake cooking in the oven.......while these smells are nice, I dont particularly want to smell like a cake , if I'm honest.
I bought it off Ebay and its going back on there asap. Its not horrible, but it isnt going to work for me.