Thursday, July 19, 2007

Montale Chypre Vanille

I thought I was going to remain Montale-less after my skin rejected and made some of them (and me) cry. I had big expectations, but the Aouds turned sour and Blue Amber just sat there mocking my skin. Then I went digging in my sample stash and found Chypre Vanille, which made everything better.

I shouldn't be surprised. I'm one of the freaks who wear vanilla notes really well. My skin plays up the dark part of it and not the sweet. The combination of a chypre with a woody vanilla is one that promises and delivers.

I loved the opening. It has the chypre-y kick of a real diva, only a bit more tame. This diva is wearing black velvet opera gloves that cover her red talons. Soon enough it softens and draws the nose (literally. I had it stuck to my wrist, inhaling deeply) into the folds of amber and sandalwood laced with a beautiful non-foody vanilla.

(As a point for comparison, Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens, which isn't really a gourmand since it's quite heavy on the bois part, also has that very candied benzoin that keeps it on the almost edible side. Chypre Vanille has nothing of the sort)

Oakmoss isn't listed among the official notes, but I could swear that I detect it early on. as it develops, I don't get any of the florals, except maybe a hint of rose which is quickly gone. What I'm left with is a skin scent that settles on me naturally, like it's always been there. It happens to me with many vanillas. They just make themselves at home while I'm looking at them fondly.

This one is probably a full bottle worthy. My only hesitation is the mediocre lasting power. It's not fleeting, just folding itself into my skin, if that makes sense.

Chypre Vanille, like all the Montales are also available from Aedes in the bigger 3.4 oz bottle.

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