Ylang & Vanille is one of the few Aqua Allegoria perfumes that actually feels like a true Guerlain. It's heavier than the average Aqua, denser, and probably doesn't appeal to the young as much as was expected. The first word that came to my mind to describe Ylang & Vanille was "pillowy". What I mean is a heavy comforting softness, almost down-filled.
All of the above makes Ylang & Vanille to be a little weird. Add to that the extreme creaminess that comes from heavy use of Ylang-Ylang, a hint of something dirty and a not very harmonious floral note. There's jasmine there, but on some days I could swear I'm smelling full blooming white lilies in the heart of the perfume, and I can't say it makes me too happy. It's a temperamental scent, for sure. I usually enjoy wearing this Aqua Allegoria more than all of the other ones I've tried, but when it doesn't work I find myself scrubbing by mid-day, because something about the flowers there annoy me too much.
As for the vanilla promise, this ain't Shalimar. It's also not a foody vanilla in any way, so those who avoid pastry shop notes shouldn't skip Ylang & Vanille out of cupcake trauma. Instead, it's smoky and quite grownup, and you can kind of trace the connection between this vanilla and some of what you get in Spiritueuse Double Vanille, only without the extra booze and the other trimmings that make SDV into the vanilla orgy that it is.
Bottom line: On a good day I can sniff this forever.
Guerlain, as they often do, have discontinued Aqua Allegoria Ylang & Vanille. I got my bottle (4.2 oz EDT) online where they can still be found, though the prices have been steadily creeping up.