I have to agree with the reviewer who called this "plasticky." This started out nicely on me -- a light, sophisticated vanilla -- but dried down to what I can only describe as Cabbage Patch Doll head.
A sugarfree vanilla, at last!
My love for vanilla started with CSP Vanille Apricot, which I bought about 6 years ago. After that, vanilla started appearing everywhere and expecially hit the cheap fragrance market, so that everyone, girls and boys and mature ladies and sales assistants, started smelling like "bakers' wives" (that's the definition given to vanilla lovers by Serge Lutens just 5 seconds before he came out with his own rendition of Vanilla - the world famous, but not for me, Un bois Vanille).
But back to me. Too much of a good thing can make you sick, especially if the thing is doomed to smell sweet by its own definition, and my Glycemic Index started to rise every time I smelled a vanilla frag. So I just left my haf bottle of CSP in the cabinet and kind of forgot about it.
Then I happened to smell Un Bois Vanille. Yes, the anti-bakery Lutensian Vanilla. I felt it smells a lot like Vanille Fleurie de Tahiti, by Maison de la Vanille, at double the price. Lighter, master-y Vanilla, but Vanilla anyway. And yet, it was somewhat different from the heady gourmandy vanillas I was used to smelling before, and it sort of tickled my curiosity to delve deeper into the vanilla word again.
I can't remember how I came to feel curious about this one. I love Goutal fragrances and I own Petite Cherie, Eau de Charlotte (my favourite), Un Matin d'Orage and Quel Amour, plus a bunch of samples that I really appreciate.
Reading that Vanille Exquise was nothing like all vanilla fragrances, because it was balanced by Angelica, and learning that it had almonds as an added bonus (I've been on an almond diet lately, but I don't like sickening in-your-face, marzipan almonds, I prefer the sheer hint of them in otherwise lighter bouquets) made me itching to buy it... unsniffed. Not only: as it seems that they don't make a 50 ml. bottle, I got the 100 ml. one.
Well it was a leap of faith, but it paid back. This is indeed a gorgeous, vibrant vanilla. It resonates of spring-y, slightly pungent angelica note: I can smell that greenish, earthy, astringent note that keeps many fragrances from Goutal together: the rooty Le Jasmin, then Un Matin d'Orage, then Eau de Camille (which is, by the way, a tad too green for me).
It's an EdT, so it's never overwhelming, yet it has vigorous staying power and I can smell whiffs of it for hours and always fel incredibly soothed and fine and my Glycemic Index is under control.
I love this! it took a bit to get used to it, but now its one of my go to 'mood vanilla's'. I love foody vanillas, but love spiced grown up versions more.
My all time fav is TOM FORDS vanille tobbaco..but this is a nice girlish vanilla. The Goutal is bleanded with more of a essential oil, lavender like smell.
Its not a big investment, i got it from Ebay, a small bottle for around $35...def worth it!
This is my HG scent. It's a delicate and subtle vanilla which doesn't go all cake-like on me. It's got a hint of almond and angelica which gives it a little body without it going for the full "heliotropine/marzipan" kind of direction. I also find it ever so slightly powdery for some reason. I Love that it's not too strong.
I do find it a bit odd just upon application, but it develops very prettily as it dries.
It's the scent I always go to and the one I felt was like "home" when I first tried it on. I sometimes layer it with other scents from AG, most notably Gardenia Passion (edp) and Rose Absolue (edt) in the winter and L'Eau de Charlotte (edt) in the spring. I love the high quality of AG scents.
On me this smells plasticy, like saran wrap fake artificial vanilla. The gaiac wood can't be natural, because I've smelled the real thing and this IS "stabby" as another reviewer described, like wood sitting in alcohol. Altogether it gives a very fake, plastic-wrap scent that smells nothing like vanilla. It's just yucky, the alcohol scent doesn't go away, like I put rubbing alcohol on myself and rubbed some cheap hanging car air freshener on top. Except that would smell more like realistic vanilla than this. This is really disgusting, like I doused myself in rubbing alcohol and saran wrap with some wood chips; I can't believe Annick Goutal would release such low grade stuff. I'd probably rather smell something from Walgreens than this.
Another Goutal-Scent I really wanted to like but again, I didn't. It starts of nicely, like very sweet, soft vanilla, but after a short while it turns to be very edgy and sharp - just too much for me.
A beautiful vanilla, but on me it's absolutely fleeting. I can't smell it more than half an hour. what a pity! I only get the smell of a delicate vanilla - it's a very clean smell - I'd love to smell this way after a shower for instance. I do not smell any gaicwood or anything medicinal at all like some reviewers below. on me it's soft and a bit sweet, and really the only note I can detect is vanilla. it's a lovely skin vanilla though, not like a candle like some vanilla perfumes are.
Vanille Exquise is my main fragrance and I can't get enough of it! I buy 2 bottles at a time because a few years ago, whilst the company was transitioning it from Limited Edition to full time fragrance, there was a dearth of this product in the Northeast and I couldn't find it anywhere.
Rumor had it that Cyndi Lauper was buying up the supply at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus- still, I managed to nab a few bottles and really fell in love with it. I've also worn Mandragore and am finishing my bottle of Mandragore Poupre, which my husband detests. He swears it makes me smell "like an old lady." Nice.
I agree w/tessture on this & unfortunately I am one whose chemistry brings out the gaiac wood, making it smell a bit medicinal. However, I am really liking this regardless. There's something very soft, grounding, and relaxing to this fragrance & it definitely feels like there are more naturals in it (I tend to get a bit jaded re: that but I do think AG's quality is top notch). This smells like nothing else I've worn and it's not perfumey or strong or too sweet or powdery on me (thank God!) and it's a little sexy. I do wonder though if the medicinal vibe, which I strangely enjoy, would be a turn-off to those around me. EDIT: Smelled the wrist of the shirt I wore when I tested this and I def. get the medicinal smell on the fabric too. I have to say it was pretty unappealing. I'll have to test one more time but I do think that the medicinal quality is going to make this NOT fbw for me. Taking off a lippie. It's a shame though because otherwise I love this! UPDATE: Tried again. SO medicinal on paper yet for the first 10 minutes after putting some on I was in heaven. However, then the medicinal quality kicked in and is still there 2 hrs. later. Such a shame! continued >>
Got a decant of this based on the description as follows:
Vanille Exquise by Annick Goutal is a oriental vanilla fragrance for women launched in 2004. The fragrance features angelica, almond, vanilla, musk, sandalwood and guaiac wood. Another website added that it has a benzoin note too. Im a massive vanilla-head, so figured I must try this. I'm not diappointed although its not the best I've tried. From the outset it reminded me of SL Un Bois Vanille's lighter younger sister. I couldn't really stand UBV due to that burnt caramel/strong wood note that stung the inside of my nose. This has similar things going on but it is softer to me and the woods in here are not so burnt and offputting, and the almond and angelica (which reminds me of baby powder) are here in equal measure to temper all those strong wood notes. So ultimately I can wear this one and like it. I'm not sure whether i will buy a FB once my decant runs out...still to decide.