Sunday, 7 July 2013

Review: Vanille & Narcisse by L'Occitane

Vanille & Narcisse is one of the four fragrances which make up L'Occitane's recently released La Collection de Grasse.  According to L'Occitane, it takes you on a journey from East to West, and offers mellow warmth and richness.  Sounds right up my street.

It spritzes with intense sweetness from the vanilla, but it's a brief explosion and soon subsides.  Just before it settles down, it has an interesting mix of vanilla, backed up with the warmth of tonka bean, and narcissus.  Once it does settle, it loses a little of the obvious vanilla scent, retaining a residual warmth but smelling primarily of a muted narcissus.  After ten minutes or so, the scent is barely detectable on me - a mere whisper of narcissus, a gentle mellowness, is all that remains.  Apparently there are blackcurrant and bergamot top notes in there, but I can't smell them at all.

I don't find that it wears particularly well - it's subtle within fifteen minutes, and barely detectable to my nose within an hour.  If you like your fragrances subtle, this might work for you - but I prefer mine to last ages and whack me round the face with smoky scent, so this isn't entirely for me.  If it could retain the balance of vanilla and narcissus it gets shortly before it dries down, I'd like it more, but I can't help feeling it's a little thin and one dimensional after the dry down.

Find it at L'Occitane stores and online, where a 75ml EDT will cost you £49.  If you're a fan of the scent, there's a body milk, shower gel and soap available which can be used to do the whole scent layering thing, which might help it last a bit longer.  The gift set is particularly good value:  for £16 more than the cost of the EDT alone, you get a full size EDT and 175ml each of shower gel and body milk.

Disclosure: PR sample

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