“ Brand: Guerlain / Type: Fragrance / Concentration: Eau de Toilette „
After a week of wearing and testing a couple of heavily aromatic and spicy orientals (Elixir and Rousse) I wanted a change of scenery. Florals aren't a dominant category in my winter rotation; however I was craving for something soft, plush and floral. After a quick look through my collection, I came across a generous 7,5ml unopened miniature of Ylang & Vanille from Guerlain that I thought might foot the bill.
Ylang Vanille is part of the Aqua Allegoria range created around a theme of a high quality aromatic raw material(s) such as florals, fruits and herbs. The line shares a round, dome-shape bottle with a lovely, golden mesh round its neck. The outer packaging features calm, pastel colours of the ylang-ylang flower that describes well the soft and demure juice inside.
Top notes: carnation, ylang-ylang
The fragrance opens up with a generous waft of clove and ylang-ylang with a hint of bitter greenness of unopened buds. The floral essence is very close to my premium ylang-ylang essential oil from Madagascar that's not cloying or indolic but naturally sweet with a rather green and bitter edge to it. The clove aroma from the carnation is getting stronger by the minute and the two intertwine to create a smooth, deep and warm spicy floral accord for the first half an hour or so.
Middle notes: jasmine
As the freshness of the ylang-ylang fades, the clove-carnation affair seem to amplify and dominate the accord and do so for the next 6 - 7 hours. This lends the composition a vintage feel due to the carnation used abundantly in vintage creations. At the same time, the fragrance gradually develops a powdery aspect as well with a touch of vanilla that counteracts the powerful spice and calms the whole composition. The spice and floral notes work together in harmony and create a warm, cosy and dreamy atmosphere like a soft-flowing river you're watching go by under the tropical sunset.
Base notes: vanilla
Ylang & Vanille dries up to a soft veil of discreet, powdery skin-hugging Guerlinade, the signature accord of many Guerlain fragrances composed of an overdose of sensual but non-vulgar and always elegant vanilla and a pinch of spice that gives that elusive character and femininity to it. This calm and dreamy base stays on till the rest of the day close to the skin up to 12 hours that I could still detect on my wrist the following morning.
Not giving too much thought on Aqua Allegorias having only owned Herba Fresca before, I was surprised to note just how beautiful Ylang & Vanille is. , Whilst It cannot boast a frenzy of notes and it's quasi linear as it uses only a few key raw materials, what it thrives on is its simplicity. It does go through its stages calmly without losing the thread and in the end it does hang together very well.
Less is definitely more and the fragrance's forte are elegance and poise. I'm knocking off one star for the price as I think Guerlain just once should have considered a fairer price for these eau de toilettes admittedly not full-blown perfumes but rather fragrant impressions of nature. I would happily invest in a bottle should I manage to find it cheaper: A great gift for lovers of simple, no-fuss, gentle spicy floral all year round who like a bit of vintage glamour with a modern, minimalist and above all natural allure.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Available from Guerlain concessions throughout department stores or online at around the £80 mark / 75ml and £100 / 125ml Eau de Toilette as well as perfume discounters online for slightly less.
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