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I collect, and love, vanilla fragrances. I also love Montale, particularly for the unique accords and creative compositions in so many different fragrances. Montale's Boise Vanille is one of my all time favorite vanillas, so I figured how could I go wrong with a blind buy of Vanille Absolu when I saw it for a steal? Oh well.
If you don't like vanilla fragrances it may seem a bit odd to collect them - after all, it's 'just' vanilla, right? Not exactly. Even though every house has a vanilla fragrance of some sort of straight vanilla fragrance, there is generally something that differentiates them from being just plain-old-vanilla. Fragonard Vanille has a slug of sandalwood. L'Artisan's Vanilia has that candyfloss tinge, Parfumerie Generale Felanilla has a banana wood heart. Dior Addict has orange blossom. There's always something.
Well, this Montale offering is just plain old vanilla. It's hardly different than sniffing, say... vanilla extract for cooking. None of the few other notes (cinnamon, clove, woods) are noticeable, and if they're there from keeping the composition from being too boring there isn't enough of them. Even the saving graces - like good sillage - aren't present (though longevity is good as it is an EdP). I forgive Montale because I do so love Boise Vanille, and from the looks of it Vanilla Extasy is more interesting than Vanille Absolu, but I'd caution even vanilla lovers to take a look at any of the fragrances I've mentioned above.
29th December, 2008