Alright, so Ode a la Vanille finally arrived here. I had been keeping an eye peeled for it and finally spotted it a couple of days ago. I was inexplicably filled with childish excitement. I sprayed myself fairly liberally that first visit, and I tested it again today – but only one spritz this time because the SA was guarding the juice: "Please, sir, just one, it is a limited edition…"
First impression: Lovely lime opening, more bitter than the classic edp. Nice floral heart. Nice indoles on paper, even a little civet, but they fail to linger on my skin. Good vanilla dry-down. Fleeting.
Second impression, worn side-by-side with the classic edp: Definite grapefruit note in the opening that is a little harsh. Florals not as soapy as the classic edp.
I don't think I'll go for a third try. Ode a la Vanille simply doesn't push the right buttons for me. But Wasser still deserves kudos for coming up with a nice modern rendition. For me, though, that's the operative word: "nice". It's a good formula for people who go to Shalimar for its vanilla. And for people who dream of Shalimar with a face-lift. Personally, I go to Shalimar for the whole kit and kaboodle: the bergamot, tonka, and the other bells and whistles that have been stripped down in Ode.
I have to sadly admit that I don't need this redux. Sadly, because I was hyped about it, and because the presentation truly is beautiful. I really dig the bottle, so I've decided to buy a new Jagger bottle of the classic edp with the money I was expecting to spend on Ode…
Kinda off-topic: This last visit to the Guerlain counter was a perfect opportunity to do side-by-side comparisons on paper. I brought my own blotters: one sprayed with my 2004 edp, one sprayed with the defunct Eau Legere, one for the new edp, and one for Ode. Random observations:
1) The 2 classic edps are quite close. The new edp has a slightly more bitter opening, like there is some noticeable lime in there. It is also airier and waxier - but still very good. No fears for those who like the early 2000's reboot.
2) I'm noticing a fleeting cigarette ash note in Ode. Maybe this is how my nose is interpreting the leather?
3) The comparisons confirmed an inkling that Ode, though quite nice, doesn't hold a candle to the Eau Legere (which I hadn't worn in a while).