Sheer, sweet and subtle.
I really like this one! Sheer, sweet and subtle.
I get a lot of ylang-ylang in here (along with that characteristic faint, yet creamy hint of a banana like note). But what I especially like here is Jean-Claude Ellena's transparent use of vanilla. Forget the heavy, boozy, almost animalic vanilla of Guerlain, etc. Here the Vanilla is wrapped in very light spices and cognac. It's still quite light, but by no means fleeting. I would best describe it as "transparent". Neither too light, nor too heavy and cloying.
His inspiration was the origin of Vanilla as a trading spice, being brought across oceans in long voyages on sailing ships; along with other spices such as cloves and cinnamon, all tightly packed next to wooden barrels of cognac etc. All these ingredients can be detected in this fragrance, and they are all balanced beautifully.
I think Vanille Gallante is actually a really beautiful one. I know other people get rotten banana out of this, and that's a shame. But to me it's smells like hints of spices, Indian chai tea, and a creamy vanilla extract. I find it quite intoxicating. I think this is my favourite use of vanilla outside of a Guerlain perfume. Very different though, but I appreciate his take on it. Not bad Ellena!