Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Les Nombres d'Or : Vanille by Mona di Orio

Total Reviews: 25
This is not your typical sweet vanilla scent, not by a long shot. It’s a boozy, spicy rich vanilla with a good dose of smokiness thrown in – it’s like a grown-up, over 18 vanilla. A vanilla with its kick-arse boots on – leather ones – instead of its nice 'lady' shoes. I like it.
02nd January, 2018
An interesting opening for Vanille by Mona di Orio. There's a definite citrus tartness upon spraying this that reminded me just a tiny bit of Sunshine Man by Amouage. I say just a "tiny bit" because Sunshine Man has not only citrus, but vegetal brashness about it. Vanille by Mona di Orio has nothing brash about it. It is as smooth as butter, but with a hint of citrus in the opening. I also picked up some woodiness that developed right after application, and a muted spicy aspect as well. The buttery vibe is probably my favorite note and I'm assuming after reading the note list that it comes from the rum absolute along with the sandalwood, which always strikes me as having a smoothness about it that I feel adds to the rounded, smooth character of this fragrance. This is an enjoyable wear and I'm looking forward to applying in a higher concentration to see if it projects any better. My one negative comment, and it's not really a completely negative comment, but it would be that I'd like better projection from this fragrance. It wears very close to the skin on me, and I'd prefer to pick up more of it coming off my skin. Other than that, I've really enjoyed this fragrance today.
11th February, 2017
A grand floriental, dreamy and lush, is the opening impression of this perfume. A gorgeously nectary ylang (similar to the starring note in Perris’s soliflore) holds the centre ground, ringed with gourmand accents of booze and orange, deepened by heavier notes of clove and smoky guaiac, all soaking though into a woody base which has a creamy sandalwood as its quality turn. A seamless composition, blending bracing, fresh notes with richer, dirtier ones in the manner of classic perfumery. The orange and petitgrain (with its suggestion of citrus leaf) accord is a particular point of interest, always just there, lifting the congregation of other notes with its brightness. It hangs on for a good three or four hours, after which the perfume grows mellower and just a shade sweeter.
And as for the vanilla? Well, as an eager cook I’ve smelled plenty of freshly split pods and, despite what the PR may assert, they ain’t to be found here. What one does get is an abiding vanilla base note that is fine in the mix but hardly the star. The only reason why this may matter is due to the name of this perfume; disregard it and enjoy its many pleasures instead.
24th October, 2016
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This has vanilla, tonka, and amber without being too sweet, with just a touch of typical tonka powderiness, and equal time for some boozy, woody aspects that give it character. There's a savory aspect in the opening I liked, and I also get an impression of cola that works well.
13th October, 2016
Textured as Silk.
Breath of Angels hits Skin.
Cream across the Palate.
Music,Carthasis of Orgasm.

Top Shelf This.
Tolu is an unusual wood note. Sample first.
19th May, 2016 (last edited: 24th December, 2017)
This is a dry, not sweet, woody vanilla with a touch of incense. Petitgrain serves to cut through any sweetness that there might have been, & lends a delicate citrus-floral edge to the opening. As it develops, a leathery undertone becomes apparent, along with rum & clove notes, & the guiac wood rapidly becomes more pronounced, smoky & dark. One hour in, the vanilla fades slightly, blending into a backdrop of smoky, woody, salty, soft leather; thankfully not the barbecued, meaty leather found in Di Orio's Cuir. The projection is good until around five hours in, but the scent lasts a decent twelve hours before fading out altogether.
There are parts of this fragrance that remind me by turns of both Memoirs of a Trespasser; another boozy, woody vanilla, & the smoky-sweet drydown of Habanita. As stated elsewhere, this is not really a vanilla fragrance in the classical sense. There is a lot more going on here than gourmand sweetness, & it is very nice indeed, but if I were to add another vanilla to my collection, it would probably be Memoirs...
28th January, 2016
I really like this! I run away when I sense sweet, gourmand vanilla, but this is something entirely different. This vanilla is bone dry, but it is still a very beautiful vanilla. It is surrounded by spices, probably cloves and cinnamon and a little bit of fruit. But vanilla itself is the star.

It is certainly among my top five masculine/unisex orientals. Good silage and longevity as well.
19th November, 2015
The opening introduces notes of cloves, vanilla, and bitter orange. Together the notes create a spicy and smokey aroma. At least for me the cloves and vanilla reminded me of Frederic Malle's Musc Ravaguer - both have that spicy aroma however this aroma will not last long. The vanilla present in the scent isn't the typical vanilla seen as in many other vanilla based fragrances - sweet and edible. The vanilla is more dark, dry and incense like, I'm thinking of a vanilla present in Creed Angelique Encens. The vanilla will linger throughout the scent but will change slightly overtime. The orange and clove notes will tone down while notes of rum, guaiac wood, sandalwood, and vetiver move towards the front at the heart of the scent. The scent will become a bit boozy with a smokey, woodsy, and earthy tone to it. The notes detected here give off a masculine and slightly animalistic feel to the scent. At the drydown, both the booziness and woods that dominated the heart earlier will become more subdued while notes of tonka been and amber help give a little oriental feel to the scent. The vanilla becomes slightly powdery and becomes a little bit brighter. There should be other notes of ylang ylang, leather, and musk but I didn't pick up on these. The fragrance does really well in terms of longevity and silage. I get good silage for the first 4 hours before the scent started staying closer to the skin while the longevity lingered for a good 8-10 hours. In terms of occasion to wear this scent, I can't think of one that this would work well in. Cooler weather conditions are ideal when wearing this scent as it does project pretty well.

Overall, I think this is a good scent: very complex and artistic. I think of Vanille as a piece of artwork that you enjoy for what it is - It may not be an ideal nor appealing fragrance but the overall composition was done really well and for that it deserves a lot of credit.
17th October, 2015
Nice and dusty vanilla with a boozy background. Soon turns just a little green (not a bad thing) and woody. Very nice! Has a mysterious vibe like Memoirs of a Trespasser. The price is a little high, but just may be worth it. 8.5/10
01st April, 2015 (last edited: 28th December, 2017)
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)
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.

12th November, 2014
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.
12th November, 2014
An elegant and rich woody oriental

First off, I have to point out, as others have, that this is not a classic vanilla fragrance. There's nothing gourmand about it, so if you like your vanilla "straight-up" and sweet then you might feel disappointed with this rendition. But if you're looking for something wonderfully rich, complex, and ever-changing, then you must sample Vanille.

The unfolding of the notes is not linear, with the exception of the opening. The opening is greenish and citric, very fresh and somewhat short-lived. The rum doesn't become apparent right away, but instead comes and goes throughout the wearing. I don't like rum in fragrances, but the note is lightly used here and never offensive. The woody notes come into play rather quickly, with a touch of sweetness in the background. At no one point do I say "AHA! Vanilla!" The vanilla is woven into the tapestry of the fragrance very nicely, but is not the star of this show. As the fragrance dries down, you get occasional whiffs of dry vanilla surrounded by the deeper notes of amber, musk, and leather. Although the basenotes suggest heaviness, they are sweetened by the addition of vetiver and Tonka bean, so the fragrance is never without a touch of sweetness.

I think it's an excellent unisex fragrance. I've been sampling during the hot, humid days of late summer here on the East Coast, and though some might think it too heavy for warm weather, I love it. I look forward to wearing when the weather cools off as well, since different facets will probably play out in cooler temps. Sillage is average, longevity over 16 hours. Highly recommended.

Pros: Complex, rich, not sweet like most vanilla fragrances
Cons: none"

19th September, 2013
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This is so similar to Organza indecence to me, even after I compared them wrist to wrist. The Mona is slightly less sweet, but still the closest thing Ive ran across so far.
27th April, 2013
Mona di Orio's Vanille is an astoundingly artistic fragrance that really showcases what the art of perfumery can do. As far as dynamic dry-downs and the subtle in-and-outs of different notes and accords, it is absolutely on par with the Andy Tauers and L'Artisans.

The initial blast is a cool spice packet reminiscent of Serge Luten's Amber Sultan. The notable notes include cinnamon, pepper, amber, cloves, and sandalwood. This lasts for a short time and is followed by an amazingly delicate cigarette smoke accord- patchouli and wood. I swear there's jasmine in there- it smells a lot like Jasmine and Cigarettes by Etat Libre d'Orage. Phase three begins the smooth vanilla and tonka bean, and I confess that this is actually my least favorite part of the fragrance. It's a bit too simple, a bit too similar to cooking vanilla, and yet it's balanced enough by the other accords that I'm not put off all that much. It's a concentrated, dark, and boozy vanilla.

Les Nombres d'Or: Vanille is a showcase of fragrance as a work of art. It is as pleasant and easy to wear as it is easy to admire. It's a scent for the wearer, as opposed to one for an audience. 9/10

26th February, 2013
One of the greatest vanille based fragrances I've ever encountered. Salutes the note from earthy-rooty beginning to a flowering of smooth and warm flavor. Totally justifies the price since it smells great and quite strong. You can have the whole day in your aura with just 2 sprays, it stays and stays, what a performance.
25th February, 2013
Spicy vanilla/tonka. Not overly gourmand because the sandalwood and ylang ylang keep it dry. Don't expect a sweet food vanilla, it is more sophisticated than that.
30th October, 2012
Personally I wouldn't classify this as a vanilla centered composition but more sort of a sweetish sandalwood fragrance. In this context Les Nombres d`Or Vanille is a well balanced woody composition that while being surely satisfying it's probably not among the most original fragrances around. Don't let this disencourage you, Vanille is an incredibly fine fragrance if you're up for a solid, not overly sweet, boisè.

It opens with a boozy accord of citruses and rum to quickly evolve into a sweeter tonka/vanilla middle phase where spices and amber provide some body. Sandalwood start remarking its presence to gradually take over during the moderately sweet, woody drydown supported by a slight musky quality and some vetiver. Nice progression, smooth evolution, great balance but, in the end, we've seen this iteration of the woody/vanilla too many times. I can't say I dont like it but, considering the price tag, this is something I won't get antious to purchase...

Downline: A nice vanilla for people who don't like straight forward vanillas.

18th April, 2012
On application I'm getting a blast of orange and cloves with woods quickly arriving behind it. After a while I start to notice tonka bean with vetiver underpinning it.

It stays unsweetened for a good few hours and it's like your smelling the tonka bean directly but its giving you a slight hint of what is to come.

In the basenotes the vanilla and a touch of ambre come to the forefront and it starts to get sweeter but not too much.

This fragrance is complex and smells good but it is a unusual take on vanille. If you like your vanilla full on you may be underwhelmed and unsatisfied. Though if you find vanille to cloying and sickly then this is what you may be looking for.

A good complex vanille fragrance that is restrained but still a delight too smell.
24th March, 2012
Mona di Orio Vanille is a complicated ambery boise  with  an undeniable orangy-boozy and rooty soul and with a final leather tone. The creamy and musky dust starts hesperidic, herbal, slightly laundry and sweetly alcoholic. Rum, spices and tasty fruits boast the scent out definitely lush and exotic. Some hint of shadowy smokyness is present in the blend till the end that is "yellow-green" by balsams and musk, slightly floral and suede veined. Pleasant, averagely resinous and exotic. There is some "corporeal dirtiness" in the middle of the trip that makes the fragrance to be captivating.
23rd February, 2012 (last edited: 09th December, 2014)
Very surprising scent. I ordered a decant unsniffed. I am not sorry. I put it on just a little while ago. I smell boozy, the clove, leather, amber and wood.
Not at all just a vanilla scent. I believe I LOVE this!
09th February, 2012
I don't normally like vanilla all that much, but I very juch love this one, particularly going into winter. I wouldn't wear it every day because it's on the heavy side, but sometimes I'm in the mood for this when I need some sofa time - think good book and chunky sweater. It's rather leathery and balsamy with none of the cloying vanillin sweetness encountered in other perfumes.
Somebody mentioned boozy, never thought of that, but now that it's mentioned, a bit of that too.
19th October, 2011
drseid Show all reviews
United States
Vanille was definitely different from what I expected... The top notes were just a hair boozy, but then the scent quickly transitions to a very dry vanilla bean heart with a hint of clove to support it. This is quite different from just about any vanilla based gourmand I can remember. I tend to not like vanilla based scents, but this dry vanilla bean heart really is sublime and can appeal to gourmand fans and haters alike, a rare feat indeed. It takes a bit of time to get used to, as it is dissimilar to what one initially expects, but it captivates by its individuality and clarity. Sandalwood dominates the base with even a hint of cinnamon, adding a nice support to the dry vanilla bean. It looks like I have found my reference vanilla scent. Projection and sillage are both average, but longevity is excellent. Vanille is my second favorite offering in the extremely strong Les Nombres d’Or lineup. This 4.5 out of 5 star offering is quite impressive, and easily worthy of full bottle purchase.
04th October, 2011 (last edited: 02nd June, 2012)
Jermel Show all reviews
United States
This is my most favorite vanilla scent so far. The best part is the dry down. The top notes of bitter orange and rum are super yummy. However, the top notes disappear very quickly revealing a luscious vanilla, vetiver, and amber scent. About 2 hours later, there is just a gorgeous vanilla scent left. I would sample from lucky scents first but I think it's the most sexy unisex vanilla on the market.
30th August, 2011
It starts very citrusy, fresh but gentle, warm - I sense this "warm" feeling in all Mona's perfumes. Then vanilla scent starts to appear, still with citrus scent - that' why so not as usual vanilla. It let's me imagine a couple - man and a woman, dressed all in white at their sea shore house. This smell is very light, positive, careless. But it's also luxurious. Nothing dramatic, nothing fatal or mystic about this smell - it's just like slowly and tender making love on the beach. Very slow, but you enjoy it.
After a couple of hours it turns into something too sweet for me. You are just drowning in sweetness.
After 7 hours it's a sweet cinnamon smell, though there is no such note mentioned. Sweetness is not overwhelming anymore, it's warm, calm, still sweet.
It lasts long, just wished the opening and middle took more time :) Not my scent, I prefer perfume that has more mystery in it, but Vanilla is a very good perfume, luxurious and different. So if I was more of that couple I imagined on the beach I would definetly wear it.

Interesting note - when sprayed on my son - while vanilla was opening it also gave an interesting rusty metal smell on the skin. Nothing like that on me.
30th August, 2011