Vanderbilt (Eau de Toilette) by Gloria Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt 1982 Eau de Toilette

26.09.2020 - 10:20 AM
Helpful Review

The Best Cheap Dusty Atmosphere Ever

I have often seen this perfume on sale in department stores, and have always been through it. After reading the reviews, and listening to the advice of a dear friend of the essences, I bought it. They label the classic Gloria Vanderbilt as a floral-oriental, but it’s not the opulent oriental flavouring trend of Middle Eastern perfumes. Instead, it’s a sweet, woody, soft, powdery, spicy, surprising and pleasantly floral. The master perfumer Sophia Grojsman (YSL Paris, Lancome Tresor, Estee Lauder White Linen, etc. are just a few creations) created the original formula who crafted several scents that people around the world treasure. The package features a shy, light pink cameo box with an embossed white swan and contains a pretty bottle, circular and flat like Chanel’s Chance, with a bas-relief swan on the back and visible from the front. The golden plastic cap has the brand printed vertically. Although the packaging lends itself to being judged as coarse, what interests me most is the golden juice inside. I'm so glad I got it on a local store during a sale because they sold out so quickly! Who would’ve thought such a budget-friendly fragrance would end up on my top favourite shelf along with Guerlain Shalimar and CH Good Girl? What can I say, the more I smell it the more it becomes an addiction, literally speaking it is a drug that slowly gets under your skin and you can no longer do without it.

The batch I have starts off easygoing, light and fresh, including aldehydes, tons of them that almost tear up my nose. However, that blast only seems to last the first few minutes, and then you get to indulge in warm and delicious unripe pineapple notes. It is tropical and sour pineapple, not the sweetest one as in contemporary colognes. Let me tell you an important thing. Don’t make the same mistake as me of thinking of Gloria Vanderbilt as an old aunt’s perfume while trying it in the air or on the paper strip. Doing that way, you can merely feel the initial part of the fragrance, which is rich in aldehydes and akin to hairspray as if you just entered a hairdresser for ladies. Still, you do not perceive the more floral, makeup, and talc notes that come to life when the perfume caresses and grows up on the warmer skin. I catch a smidgen of the citrus bergamot and the honeyed neroli, yet not much of the mentioned green notes. Slightly bitter in the background, I discern the orange blossom that smells almost candied and the lavender that holds on its crisp temperament throughout the evolution.

After about fifteen minutes, the bouquet transforms into a sweeter, powdery, and silky makeup atmosphere combined with cinnamon and a rather large spoonful of vanilla from the base. Suppose you are no longer a teenager like me, and you were born in the 60s or 70s. In that case, you should remember the attractive, sweet, deep and adorable smell of your mom and grandmother’s beauty case, filled with scented creamy scarlet lipsticks and compact velvety powder. Gloria Vanderbilt’s heart keeps exactly that delicious scent. Resinous and decadent blossoms pop up here and there, we have indolic jasmine and tuberose, none of them too prominent or defeating the other notes, a tad of rose, but mostly the buttery orris root that blends with sweetish ylang-ylang. Still, a nostalgic and old-fashioned carnation stands up, giving its contribution to the ‘80s feeling of the overall redolence. Gloria Vanderbilt avoids being too ideal even in this recent formulation, showing no restraint in using tuberose. There is a brief taste of a spicier direction, but the carnation seems unable to tame the White Queen.

When the dry down comes a few hours later, an oriental base of spicy, woody, and brute accords appears in all its beauty. The cinnamon cortices here pushed in the tail notes, dances with the animal civet, tidy musk, balmy opoponax, a big punch of vetiver, creamy sandalwood and luscious vanilla. It never gets too mossy or woodsy as it stays soft and powdery and gentle. It isn’t too sweet like I thought it would be. It dries down to a faint, cuddling powder scent. Under some aspects, it reminds me of Guerlain’s Insolence, not a clone, just similar shades. I didn’t expect me to like this perfume, but I do. There have been many like it, but insignificant details emerge from the structure in a forget-me-not gesture of brilliant subtlety. The pineapple in the opening is among them, and the base is delightfully appealing and somewhat sooty. I bet if you removed the floral heart notes, this would be a killer masculine.

Vanderbilt offers excellent durability with a moderate projection. I like that the smell lingers, unlike most other perfumes, this cheap. If sprayed in the evening, the fragrance lingers on the skin even when you wake up the next day. The composition is incredible: bright and clean in an almost soapy way, warm and sensual, a little balsamic and delicious. I love wearing it at work because it gives me focus, but I also love spraying it at home to beautify my space and to do housework. My one and only concern is the sillage, and I wish the scent could come off somewhat stronger on my skin. It looks like I’ll run out of the perfume quickly because it’s something I really want to use every single day. I think this is the rare kind of fragrance that works during the day and for evening occasions, both formal and informal settings, from the early Fall to the late Spring, perhaps even on cooler Summer nights.

This is a big and beautiful flowery smell, an expensive but very cheap scent, the definition of affordable luxury. I bought a 100 ml bottle here in Italy for 9,90 EUR, for a few euros, you take home an EDT that behaves like and more than an EDP. In this era of extreme sweetness, of amber and gourmand accords, Vanderbilt presents herself as something clean and unisex with still a long queue of fans. The wearer, younger, older, male or female, perceives the fabulous trail, and the current formula seems to have kept the original spirit. The recent formulation I own is a fluid genre, like Dior Homme, which with its characteristic lipstick vibration makes it a perfume with very feminine touches. Men or women, or anything else, can wear it. I don’t find it as dated as some reviewers have said, but it is definitely different from traditional perfumes these days. I’m not an old lady, nor an elderly, but the middle 50s. Eventually, it’s addictive, once it satisfies your taste, you won’t be able to get enough.

This review bases upon a 100ml (3.38 Fl. oz) bottle I own since September 2020.

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