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Vanille 44 initially takes you by surprise because it's not the vanilla you may expect. It's feminine and delicious just like vanilla scents always are, but not so girly and sweet.
I would describe Vanille 44 as being a dusty, smokey and milky vanilla, very subtle and natural smelling on the skin. It's the perfect vanilla for those that don't want to end up smelling like a cupcake or something that belongs in an ice cream cone.
I was drawn to this fragrance due to its incense note, and while this fragrance is smokey to a certain extent, it's not particularly exotic or mysterious. The vanilla is the main note here, however like I mentioned before, the sweetness is absent. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Vanille 44 settled on the skin very much like a natural, musky skin scent. It's rather pretty and oddly sensual.
The subtlety was a shock at first seeming that Le Labo is known for their heavy hitting scents. I also think the lack of lasting power leaves much to be desired, however I am impressed with this little number. The exclusivity and the expensive price tag is a little irritating, however if it had been more available it may have lost much of its mystery.
I'm not willing to buy a full bottle of this, especially at nearly $500 a bottle, however I much prefer this fragrance over other non-sweet vanillas like Annick Goutal's Vanille Exquise. It's certainly worth a try if sweet vanillas give you a headache or generally make you retch.
20th April, 2012