vanilla: 8 posts

Vanilla and Nutmeg Scented Plum Jam

Judging by the variety of gourmand fragrances, the kitchen is a terrific source of inspiration for perfumers, and the exchange happens the other way too. A perfumer turns to vanilla to round out a composition, and if you’re in doubt how to jazz up your dessert, try this familiar sweet note. Vanilla is versatile enough to play along side many different ingredients, but it pairs especially well with stone fruit. This was my thinking as I simmered plums with sugar and a generous dose of vanilla in an impromptu jam I had to devise with a surfeit of damsons. I splashed it over the bubbling jam so liberally that the kitchen was filled with vanilla scented steam within seconds.

plum jam2

The jam was very good, and my husband pronounced it the best plum jam he has tried, but I felt that something was missing. The sweetness of vanilla and plums was rich and deep, but I wished there was more bite and sparkle. When I returned to the kitchen for one more experiment, I added lemon zest and nutmeg towards the end, and the spicy-citrusy twist completed the picture. Now, this jam was not only perfumed as well as something from Serge Lutens, but it was also richly flavored.

Continue reading →

Chopard Casmir : Perfume Review

44444

If you feel that minimalism is overrated or you’ve  had enough of well-mannered, chic to the point of annoyance perfumes, I have one answer for you: Chopard Casmir. You have it all in this amber tinted liquid–the richness of vanilla, the earthy heft of patchouli, and the creamy sweetness of sandalwood. Also, let me not forget the piña colada like fruit and jammy jasmine. It may sound scary, but Casmir works surprisingly well as a blend of woods with a bold gourmand note. It’s a Bollywood film in a perfume bottle.

casmir

Chopard is famous for its jewel encrusted finery and watches, but its fragrance collection is comprised of such over the top scents that even diamonds pale in comparison. Most of the perfumes were flops–Mira Bai, Madness, Infiniment, and Casmir didn’t exactly rake in the profits with its drama queen personality. Created in 1991 by perfumer Michel Almairac, Casmir looks to the 1980s with its glitzy composition.

Continue reading →

Viennese Vanilla Crescents with Tonka Bean (Vanillekipferln)

Tonka beans look like dusty, wrinkled pods, but they smell like smoky cherries, sugared almonds and sun warmed hay. Many fragrance raw materials have heady aromas that are as complex as those of a finished perfume, but few rival tonka bean for its luscious seduction. Gourmand doesn’t even begin to describe it. It’s decadent, sultry, and addictive.

The best way to experience the complexity of tonka bean is not just to smell it, but to eat it. Tonka bean is the flavor of the moment in Europe, where I’ve encountered it in cakes, ice cream, chocolates, and even savory dishes. The sweetness of tonka lends itself perfectly to desserts, especially anything that contains almonds, vanilla, or cherries. These ingredients explore natural affinities, and you can’t go wrong by adding a pinch of tonka to cherry compotes, almond cakes or vanilla custard. The best way to imbue as much tonka flavor as possible into a dessert is to grate it finely and either infuse it in warm liquid, or as I do in the recipe for Viennese Vanilla Crescents (Vanillekipferln), cream it with butter.

Continue reading →

Le Labo Vanille 44 : Perfume Review

44444

It’s vanilla! It’s expensive! Strike that; it’s very expensive! And it’s very, very good.  Bad news: It’s only occasionally sold in America.  Occasionally means three times in five years*. It’s Le Labo Vanille 44, an ultra-smooth vanilla pod with woody kick from the trendy Le Labo line whose price ($290 for 50 ml; $440 for 100 ml) jumps out because, well, I can’t afford it and neither can any of my friends.  On second thought, maybe one friend can, but he’s a movie producer and can also afford a five-bedroom home in the Malibu Colony.

Le Labo is the dual-citizenship Grasse-New York house that in addition its regular line of perfumes has a set of City Exclusives whose number supposedly mirrors the number of ingredients that enter into the composition and whose fragrances are only available in the cities that bear their name.  These cost more than the regular line. First-class travel always does. To that end, they issued Tubéreuse 40 (New York); Aldehyde 44 (Dallas); Poivre 23 (London); Gaiac 10 (Tokyo); Musc 25 (Los Angeles); Baie Rose 26 (Chicago); and Vanille 44 (Paris).  To celebrate the recent opening of their Paris boutique, Le Labo made Vanille 44 available in the US for one month via their website and Luckyscent, which gave me a chance to sample this perfume.

Continue reading →

Micallef Art Collection Vanille : Perfume Reviews

33333

Parfums M. Micallef is a line of French perfumes that bills itself as “a brand of love” and which has recently issued a quartet of vanilla-themed fragrances it calls “Art Collection Vanille.”  Vanilla aficionados may remember Micallef’s excellent Note Vanillee, a cult vanilla that disappeared from production only to make a brief reappearance before disappearing again. Don’t go looking to replace Note Vanillee in the new Art Collection; the house strikes out in new directions with this “four movement symphony…written to fulfill individual desires.”

Individual desires aside, one cannot escape the hard fact that vanilla collections are so Nineties.  Three words: Comptoir Sud Pacifique.  In quick succession, Molinard had one, Victoria’s Secret had one, Bath and Body Works had one, Henri Bendel had one.  Micallef’s range of olfactory expression extends no further than these earlier linesVanilla Flower, Vanilla Leather, Vanilla Orient, and Vanilla Marine are upscale, more complex variants of their mall-housed predecessors, priced accordingly.

Continue reading →

From the Archives

Latest Comments

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2017 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved.