Monday, February 9, 2009
Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille: A Review
Back in 2007, Guerlain launched a limited edition fragrance called Spiritueuse Double Vanille. Vanilla is a key ingredient in “Guerlinade,” which is the name for the house’s signature accord. The Guerlainade accord is supposed to be what makes almost all of their fragrances smell especially Guerlain-esque. I like vanilla, and I love almost all Guerlain fragrances, but there was something about the idea of Spiritueuse Double Vanille that simply bored me, I didn’t even care to try it.
Last week I purchased a bottle of Spiritueuse Double Vanille. Again, I was so bored with the idea of it that it took me several days to try it. Yesterday I wore it. Initially, I thought my preconceived notions were true. For the first hour I kept thinking that this was the essence of brand mystique – that everyone was in love with it simply because it’s Guerlain.
Then…Spiritueuse Double Vanille began to work its magic on me. As hard as I fought it…as much as I had logically decided that SDV was no big deal, that it’s simply vanilla, it’s boring…it won me over. Spiritueuse Double Vanille absolutely smells like vanilla, but not that icky sweet artificial vanilla, this is vanilla with earthy, spicy realness and depth.
If you’ve ever bought a high quality organic vanilla extract to use in your baked goods, you’ve come fairly close to smelling SDV. SDV has that boozy quality that real vanilla extract has, and it also contains a fair amount of soft spices, woods and incense, just enough to give it depth and complexity. To say that SDV is stunning would be overly high praise in my mind, but it is perhaps the nicest vanilla fragrance I’ve smelled. While SDV is not too sweet it is still absolutely a gourmand fragrance. SDV is essentially a vanilla fragrance done by the house of Guerlain – which is to say the nicest I’ve come across. As others have said, Guerlain SDV is extremely comforting, soft and soothing. I’ve also read other reviews suggesting that there is a dark animalistic side to SDV – this is not something I smell. SDV is pretty much a straight up boozy vanilla extract, nothing more exciting, more carnal or more edgy than that. Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille is quite simply a very well done vanilla – that smells verrrry good.
Notes are listed as: vanilla, spices, benzoin, frankincense, cedar, pink pepper, bergamot, Bulgarian rose and ylang ylang.
Longevity: excellent 4-5 hours
Sillage: I used a lot – those around me could smell it
Rating: 4 stars