Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Parfumerie Generale Felanilla

One of the most frequent complains you hear from hard core perfume lovers is the about the lack of character in so many modern perfumes. We kvetch and krechtz about celebrity scents, focus groups gathered from food court patrons at Utah malls, ridiculous IFRA regulations and the evil of LVMH. It's sort of like comparing today's Young Hollywood to the golden age. Neither the Kardashian Sisters nor the thin and pale Twilight star possess even an ounce of real glamor. Brad and Angelina might come close, but let's face it- they are not Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

While it's most likely that nothing can save Nicole Kidman's face, when it comes to perfume I can actually find a glimmer of hope here and there. Some perfumers are still making scents that have a real curvy body, depth and character. Pierre Guillaume, owner and creator of Parfumerie Generale, is one of them.

Felanilla would easily appeal to fans of vintage Shalimar and Magie Noire. While the list of notes as it appears on Luckyscent doesn't say a word about animalics, I could have sworn there's something decidedly civet-like in Felanilla's depths, and not just because of the perfume's name. It starts with a lovely and creamy wood note, something that Guillaume is an expert in weaving. But it's not a modern, cedar-Iso E Super kind of wood. Instead there's sap, bark and layers upon layers of sweet-smelling material that smoothly morphs into incense (another note missing from the list, but it's there on my skin). The vanilla part is there almost from the start, but no matter how rich it is, Felanilla is not a gourmand. I want to bury my nose in it, but not really eat it (which is a very good thing. Licking your own arm or cleavage is not looked upon kindly).

The drydown lasts forever and smells velvety and warm. It's seductive but not vulgar, and despite the animalic, almost fur-like feel (as in fur on a purring live animal) there's no skank in Felanilla. It keeps the sexy lingerie facet under a soft cashmere robe. Modesty is more or less intact, but you're still not wearing any real clothes.

Bottom line: Let's see- felines and vanilla- Mr. Guillaume could have just named it "Gaia".

I've been living on a large decant lately which is quickly being drained. A full bottle is my very near future. Felanilla is sold at Luckyscent ($115, 50 ml) and the Perfume Shoppe in Canada. Someone really needs to bring the line to NYC. Samples and decants are available from The Perfumed Court.

Photos of Ava Gardner:


  1. Ah, sweet Ava.

    Yup, this is Gaia/Chaya stuff.
    It's getting dull, admitting that our loves and collections are so similar.
    We're goin' to JAIL, girl ;-)

    " I hereby declare that Gaia does not pay me to endorse her blog in any way "....., LOL !

  2. Great review thanks. I have recently realised that I like my vanillas on the cool side (Vanille 44 being my favourite) and Felanilla falls smack bang into that category with its metallic saffron edge. The PG website sells 30ml bottles, it could be my first full bottle purchase of the year. Nicola

  3. Great article. I love the pictures!

  4. I love Felanilla! Like you said, it's sexy without being vulgar; it also has just enough kink to keep it interesting.

  5. Mmm. Sounds like a sample in my near future.

    Thanks for helping us keep the faith!

  6. I did like Felanilla very much. At the same time, I was up to my eyelashes in love - LUUUURVE - for vintage Emeraude parfum, and Felanilla was similar enough to it to be a near miss.

  7. Ava Gardner + vanilla + kitty cats: YES. I must sample this fragrance!

  8. Exquisitely sculpted language, Gaia. I am going to try this fragrance immediately. As a cat lover, I don't know how I avoided it this long.

  9. Hiya, I've looked for this at perfumed court but no luck!


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