Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Providence Perfume Company- Provanilla

Photograph by  Nick Knight for W Magazine, model: Karlie Kloss 
Vanilla perfumes are usually labeled as cold weather staples. It's a generalization, of course, with several notable exceptions (the discontinued L'Artisan Vanilia was a good example, but the light Eau Duelle by Diptyque is an easily available option). Joining them now is Provanilla from Providence Perfume Company, an all-natural perfume which to me is a perfect choice for day the temperatures climb and climb (and climb).

Provanilla is a deceivingly light vanilla fragrance that goes from a sheer floral to an airy gourmand. Floral vanillas are usually based on the relationship between  vanilla bean and the vanilla orchid. The aforementioned classic Vanilia came to my mind the first time I sprayed Providence's Provanilla because of this connection. But this new perfume took a surprising turn into an almost watery, cucumbery territory, which I usually deeply dislike. But something about this composition grabbed me and didn't let go. I was reminded of a favorite refreshing summer drink: ice cold almond water laced with a whiff of vanilla. This Middle Eastern treat that takes what you usually think of "comfort" ingredients and gives them a summer spin.

Eventually the watery notes disappear in favor of a deeper vanilla. This time the gourmand aspect is more pronounced, yet the sheerness of the perfume brings to mind a delicate embroidery on a silk chiffon fabric that moves around you in the light summer breeze. The dry-down is absolutely beautiful. It walks the line of "yummy" very carefully: yes, the temptation is there, but vanilla ( a good vanilla, that is) is more interesting than that and has an inherent complexity that includes smokiness, booze, fantasy orchid, and creamy desserts. Vanilla-centric perfumes are not too common in natural perfumery, making Provanilla an even bigger standout. Perfume Charna Ethier managed to use all the facets and create a vanilla fragrance that expresses all the most skilled  perfumers who restrict themselves to natural ingredients.

Provanilla by Providence Perfume Company ($35 7.5ml eau de parfum, also in other sizes as well as samples) is available at Twisted Lily and directly from providenceperfume.com. Samples for this review were supplied by the perfumer.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a gorgeous and essential new vanilla. I actually most associate vanilla with summer, since I always think of it as one of the ultimate tropical scents - not sure exactly why I associate it so strongly with the tropics, but I do. Anyway, am very glad to have read your review and am off to order a sample (which is probably just a waste of time, since I'm fairly certain I'll be wanting a bottle).
    Oh, and how interesting that there aren't more vanilla dominant perfumes in the natural perfumery world. I hadn't thought of that before and now I'm wondering why there aren't.


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