Paris, France – Review: Le Labo Vanille 44

I expected Vanille 44 to be my favorite out of the bunch of city-exclusive samples I ordered from Le Labo. Let us see how we got on…

Vanille 44 was created by Alberto Morillas and includes notes of bergamot, incense, mandarine, gaiac, vanille bourbon, muscenone, pipol and hedione.

Vanille 44 is light, airy, sheer and weightless. While there is a definite whiff of vanilla clearly present throughout the development of this perfume, it is not a dessert vanilla, but a soft, unsweet, raw pod that I smell, carried on a cloud of incense and wood.

In character it is similar to its Japanese colleague, Gaiac 10, both are streamlined and clean, almost minimalistic. Vanille 44 also gives off a very relaxed, cool vibe. It is as far as possible from opulent, rich and oversaturated as can be.

The perfume that immediately begs comparison here is of course Atelier Cologne’s Vanille Insensée. Both are sheer transparent vanilla scents with an incense-y zen-like aura.

After testing the two side by side, I ended up preferring the Le Labo, since it is more feminine, softer, warmer and creamier than Vanille Insensée.

I like wearing Vanille 44, it is well made, warm and fuzzy, cozy and comfy and belongs to my favorite group of “strange vanillas”. It is comforting and comfortable.

I guess what would happen soon though, is that I would get bored. Just a little at first, but eventually I see myself inexorably sliding into “Oh my Gawds, I’m bored to tears!” territory eventually.

And we don’t want that to happen, do we?

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32 Responses to Paris, France – Review: Le Labo Vanille 44

  1. Undina says:

    OMG, what is this animal?.. Is it a kitten?

    Vanille Insensée is the only perfume from the line which I cannot wear at all. Since I liked all others – as in “bought two full-priced FB and will at least finish samples for other three” – I tried Vanille Insensée several times hoping to change my mind. I can’t wear it. My problem with it wasn’t it not being feminine enough… I will give Vanille 44 a try when I go to test the rest of exclusives but if even you (a person who is much more open and kind towards all kinds of perfumes – as long as they don’t have a BS story accompanying them 😉 ) aren’t completely smitten by it I doubt I will. But I will try. Thanks for the review (and for the heads-up about the possible attack of that little furry cat-ball)!

  2. andrea says:

    I must admit that the Vanilla appealed to me the most out of them all, now I am not so sure, I don’t want to be bored by a fragrance, (there are plenty on the market to do that already) I may still purchase the sample to try out of curiosity though. 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Don’t mind me, try it if you get the chance in London next month.

      • andrea says:

        I can;t believe I missed all of the hulla balloo, with the owner no less, you were very eloquent in your responses and did the right thing in standing up for your opinion which as a blogger, you are entitled to, the reason I read blogs it to get an honest, independant opinion on a perfume.
        I am not suprised you had a sleepless night, I think I would have done too but I bet his PR people had a worse one when they saw the backlash from what was, quite frankly, a childish outburst.
        Keep smiling, not many things in life are worth a sleepless night. 🙂
        As for the Vanilla, I don’t get to London very often but I will order a sample.

  3. lady jane grey says:

    Hm, I like strange vanillas (what makes me really interested it’s your ” it is not a dessert vanilla, but a soft, unsweet, raw pod” – oh yes, yes please ! ).

    I might know how you feel, because conflicts make me desperate and I hate them – but hey, a conflict with the owner of Lubin ?! Not bad Birgit, not bad at all. We can’t love everybody, and cannot be loved by everybody. So it goes …
    Have a lovely day, have a brioche or two, they are brillaint mood enhancer as well 😉

    • Olfactoria says:

      Did you ever try Vanille Insensée? They are similar, but the Le Labo is richer and softer, and even more longlasting than the Atelier.

      Thanks for your kind words, Lady Jane! Will think about the brioche! 😉

  4. Tara says:

    I really like Vanille Insensée so I think I’d like Vanille 44, but “like” isn’t enough at Le Labo prices! I often find vanilla perfumes rather dull and sweet so they need an oddball element to make them interesting. This still sounds worth investigating but I’m glad you have toned down my expectations B, because it was also the City Exclusive I was most excited about.

    That fluffy, oddball kitten is a perfect fit!

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is exactly the point, like is not enough at Le Labo prices. (But it is enough for a small decant, I think.) 😉

    • deeHowe says:

      Tara, that was my first thought too— Insensée is almost cheap in comparison! Even if the Le Labo is better, I think if I were going to go for one, it would be the Atelier 🙂 Unless, of course, V44 was to vanilla what P23 was to pepper… in which case, sign me up!!

  5. Suzanne says:

    I have to admit, this sounds very appealing because I like the idea of it being in the same style as Gaiac 10 but with the addition of a non-foody vanilla. A small decant of this might be in my future.

    Birgit, I wasn’t aware of the brouhaha that errupted over your Lubin post until I read this post and the comments here, but I’m sorry you had to endure such an attack. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows how thoughtfully you gather information and weigh your opinions. It’s too bad the owner didn’t either 1) contact you privately and explain that the fragrance wasn’t created by Giacobetti and clear up what he felt were misconceptions about the fragrance, or 2) leave a thoughtful and explanatory comment on your post, identifying himself as the owner from the start, providing the relevant information *without* making vitriolic accusations. In your review, you raised fair and valid questions without being snarky — it’s unfortunate that he couldn’t respond in a similar fashion.

    • Olfactoria says:

      A small decant can’t ever hurt. 😉

      Thank you for adding your opinion to yesterday’s fray, Suz. I’m glad to hear supportive words, because the whole thing has somewhat rattled me, especially when talk of law suits and libel were added to the discussion (on FB). But as Tara said – onwards and upwards! 🙂

  6. That Kitten manages to be womb-achingly adorable and gut-wrenchingly terrifying at the same time!

    As for Vanille 44 – me likey the sound of this one!

  7. deeHowe says:

    My main concern with these city exclusives is that I’ll find another one to like as much as Poivre 23, one of my Holy Grails. I can’t ask my best friend to travel to all the major cities of the world and shop for me, now can I? 😉

    Another lovely review!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Well, if you ask nicely… 😉

      Honestly, though I don’t think you need to be afraid, the only one I think you’d love a lot would be Aldehyde, although that might have slipped by you had I not pointed it out again just now. Despite the aldehydic beginning, you’d adore the long drydown in all its dark and wooden glory. Okay, I’ll better shut up now…

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