La Maison de la Vanille is a French “vanilla” perfume house that really channels French colonialism, trying to make that aspect of history glamorous. They have a few different blends of vanilla. And with a name like “La Maison de la Vanille”, it’s pretty obvious that they are members of the cult of vanilla.  I’m not a vanilla fan but I am not a vanilla hater. I think vanilla has a time and a place and sometimes I really crave it during cool, wet, gloomy weather. I live in the PNW, so there are 9 months out of the year that I can potentially crave vanilla based scents.

Vanille Noir de Mexique is described as a “mysterious, dark, and seductive” vanilla fragrance. I don’t know if it is all of these things but it is a nice vanilla scent. This fragrance knows how to do vanilla without doing “cupcake” or cheap. Vanilla is sniffed throughout the entire wear of this EDT. Vanilla is always present. I love the top note and first 15-20 minutes wear of this scent. It is a rich and raw vanilla with a heavy dose of bergamot. This makes for an interesting vanilla fragrance. I imagine vanilla as round and smooth and bergamot as a bit rough. These two notes together compliment each other without being too complicated. And it isn’t “orange cream”. It’s bitter and sweet, not desserty. The mid notes are a bit “powdery” vanilla, like an updated and less complicated and “modern” Guerlain Shalimar EDP. It is powdery in an old-fashioned rose and iris way with lots and lots of vanilla making it “new”. The dry-down is “sexy”. It is pretty much just a generic tonka bean, patchouli, woods that is heavy on vanilla. It reminds me of many dry-downs of many mainstream fragrance. From start to finish, this is a vanilla heavy scent. I love to picture myself wearing this and wearing a cashmere sweater dress, sipping rich, dark Mexican hot cocoa in front of our fireplace in the dead of a snowy winter. It’s a comforting vanilla that is interesting enough to purchase.

The company and the packaging remind me so much of Comptoir Sud Pacifique but I like La Maison de la Vanille much better. Their blends smell more expensive and less foody. Many people complain that this scent isn’t long-lasting. It is an EDT, duh. But, I find that it wears on me all day, at least 12 hours. I think vanilla based scents have a tendency to “stick” on me. Perhaps I am freak, don’t comment. Notes listed include: vanilla, rose, jasmine, iris, tonka bean, and bergamot. I would say that you would like this if you love rich vanilla scents, Guerlain Shalimar EDP, Solange Stoned,  Montale Chypre Vanille, Parfums de Nicolai Vanille Tonka, Profumum Dulcis in Fundo, Creative Scentualizations Perfect Vanilla, and fragrance by Comptoir Sud Pacifique  and LaVanila.  It retails for $60 for 1.7 oz and is available on luckyscent.com.

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L’Aromarine Opopanaux is a very rich scent in a very rich medium. It is a long wearing perfume oil. It can be diluted into alcohol for a lighter scent or mixed into other things such as epsom salt as a bath salt. It wears all day, but after the first few hours very closely to the skin. It is a rich, resin scent. It is both powdery in an amber way or myrrh and almost citrusy at times, like a mix of lemongrass and lavender. So what I guess I am trying to say that it is almost pine-y and coniferous while being boldly sweet and ambery. So, yep, a resin or a balsam: opopanox. This is a scent that I like but rarely wear except for in the winter months when I wear amber and frankincense based fragrances. You can pull off heavier scents then.

I would guess that you would like this fragrance if you like warm and rich amber, opopanox, myrrh, and frankinsense based fragrances, smoky incense scents, headshop fragrance oils, “oriental” scents,  Demeter Incense, Annik Goutal Encens Flampoyant EDP, Serge Lutens Chergui or Ambre Sultan (Serge loves to put opopanox in stuff), Regina Harris Amber Vanilla, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist (if you watered the L’Aromarine down), and/or Guerlain Shalimar. This scent is nice alone or mixed. You can mix it with vanilla oil for a sweeter take or with a rose oil for an elegant oriental perfume blend. I would say that it could very easily be unisex and very nice on a man if mixed with a woodsy oil like cedar or patchouli. It retails for under $10 and can be purchased on beautyhabit.com.