This is my first and quite possibly only foray into the Franck Olivier line, and I have to say, I'm reasonably impressed. No, oudVanille is not a mass-appealing scent by any stretch of the imagination, but for the price I paid for this stuff, the juice is well above reproach.
Essentially, what we have here is a standard, non-animalic, rose-oud combo with a gourmand touch. The opening is a somewhat screechy, mildly medicinal, yet understated sweet and synthetic oud (despite the listed notes), with a touch of florals in the background. If you've been in the niche market sampling sweet ouds for any amount of time, you'll recognize the smell immediately.
Within minutes after the initial spray, there is a fruitiness that comes to the forefront, giving the composition a distinctly peachy overtone, but without ever becoming 'jammy'. For many men looking for a more masculine oud, this could be a deal breaker as it brings an additional feminine touch to the already present florals. As the spices settle in, the rose, sandalwood, benzoin and vanilla take over, and the fragrance quickly takes on the garb of an ashy and caramel-ish gourmand, similar in character, but not identical to Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule - one of my all-time favourite rose-based scents.
Unfortunately, the fruits and florals barely hang on as the cedar and spices quickly push through and transform oudVanille within an hour or two into a sweet and spicy cedar-vanilla. And that's about how it stays for the duration. Overall though, the fragrance is nowhere near as overbearing or loud (on my skin) as some people have made it seem. The projection is definitely excellent, especially in the mid, but the longevity is only good. Can't say much about the cheap bottle, plastic cap and crappy atomizer though.
Still, for the price, this is easily the most niche-esque juice I've encountered to date - that is to say, thoroughly underappreciated by the less experienced if you know what I mean... Completely unisex and leaning formal/night out/evening wear, oudVanille could even be a daily staple for someone living in a cool or frosty climate.
The fact of the matter is that if you're someone just getting into the oud game and don't feel like shelling out for a bottle of god-knows-what for god-knows-how much, give this one a go. If you don't like it, go home. Oud is not for you. :P If you love it, consider yourself lucky. It wasn't easy finding this stuff. Caaaause let's be franck - there are FAR stronger, more natural and interesting ouds out there. OudVanille.....is only an introduction.