Ah, the house of L’Artisan…
So many fragrances I love come from L’Artisan Parfumeur, a french perfume house that was founded by Jean Laporte in 1976, who later left the company to found Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. It is now backed by a US firm. In 2008 Bertrand Duchaufour was hired, who has since created many wonderful scents for L’Artisan. The house has a devoted following among perfumistas.
A perfect scent for the colder seasons is the recently renamed Vanille Absolument, the perfume formerly known as Havana Vanille. I had a moment of real panic when I couldn’t find Havana Vanille anymore in the line-up, but thankfully the fragrance is the same, only the name has changed (for copyright reasons as far as I could discern).
Developed in 2009 by Bertrand Duchaufour, it is a part of the Travel Series (others in this series are Dzongkha, Fleur de Liane, Bois Farine and Timbuktu, as well as the recently released Traversee du Bosphore). Official notes are: rum, clove, dried fruits, narcissus, tonka bean, helichrysum, vanilla, smoked woods, moss and balsamic notes.
Vanille Absolument is a scrumptious, delicious, gourmand-y festival for the nose and the soul. Rum-heavy, sweet and indulgent from the start it proceeds to develop into a perfect vanilla scent with smoky hints of tobacco leaves on a bed of balsamic and woody-mossy notes. It is an Eau de Parfum, of which I wish there were more in the L’Artisan line up, so it is fairly long lasting and wonderfully soft and cozy. When I wear it, I always get compliments, it is a true feel good scent.
For me, in the beginning it smells like a big bowl of rum-laced, still warm custard, but strangely enough it is not overwhelmingly sweet or too heavy (like other vanilla scents I know, cough-Comptoir Sud Pacifique-cough).
Later it calms down and gets rid of the foody associations to provide a mellow tobacco-vanilla cloud to just lose oneself in, the longer it wears the drier it gets, but that is fine. I love it especially when I encounter it unexpectedly on a scarf or a sweater, it holds a perfect balance between being comforting and still remaining interesting.
That is the stuff truly great relationships are made of…