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: stirredstraightup.blogspot.com