Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens

Year: 2003

Notes: liquorice, coconut milk, black vanilla, caramelised benzoin, tonka bean, marzipan, beeswax, guaiac wood, sandalwood
Being an ardent fan of vanilla-dominant fragrances, Un Bois Vanille isn't the straightforward creamy vanilla that one had originally been led to believe. Instead, it's more of a caramelised vanilla offering.

Unfortunately, it consists of various constituents that one finds too onerous to warm-up to: an unpleasant burnt sugar note, plenty of vile liquorice, coconut (yet another personal no-no accord) and a calorie-inducing overdose of creamy vanilla (so much that it smells as if the composition's in danger of curdling). As a result, it sadly fails to appeal to one's insatiable vanillic sensibilities.

Supported by a rich woody base, it remains rather linear throughout. While its sillage is satisfactory, it's not as tenacious as one had hoped. With that said, the quality is certainly there but it touches on too many personal olfactory aversions for one to fully enjoy (hence a charitable extra star).