Soft oriental

BOIS 1920 La Vaniglia Rapturous Labdanum, Le Voluttuose part 2

Julio Romero

La Vaniglia is part of the Le Voluttuose (the Voluptuous) series from the Italian perfume brand BOIS 1920. The Voluptuous line consists of three scents: Notturno Fiorentino (reviewed before), Rosa di Filare and La Vaniglia. The line is dedicated to the mysterious and enigmatic world of women.

Unlike what its name might suggest La Vaniglia is all about Labdanum (Cistus Labdaniferus). Cistus Labdaniferus is obtained from the Cistus plant around The Mediterranean. It comes in absolute and oil. Cistus essential oil is obtained from the twigs and leaves of C. Labdaniferus. The Labdanum absolute comes from extraction from the resin.

I am quite in rapture about La Vaniglia. After applying the perfume it changes from liquid warm butter and some rum to dusty labdanum. In the beginning a pinch of spicy pepper can be scented, after which a mentholic mint becomes more prominent. Traces of labdanum are already present with some added dryness from vanilla. The vanilla is not prominent more a slightly bitter addition to the labdanum. There is an air of dryness and powderiness through the whole wear of La Vaniglia. The powderiness reminds me of the dustiness of small woolen carpets on tables in Catholic Churches.

My favorite part of La Vaniglia is the dry down, the dry and powdery labdanum mixed with some bitter vanilla which lasts for hours.

According to Susanne Fischer-Rizzi in her book Complete Aromatherapy Handbook Labdanum (Cistus Labdaniferus in latin) works erotisizing on a mental psychic level. I can imagine it does. It is a fragrance very suited to get into a sensual mood. La Vaniglia is a scent about seduction which can work at quite a deep level while wearing it.

Amazingly La Vaniglia has gotten little attention. It deserves much better !

Which fragrance brings you in a sensual mood ? What is your favorite seductive fragrance ?

Fragrance family: soft oriental

Official notes:

Top: Mandarin, Bergamot, Mint, Pepper

Head: Incense, Patchouli, Woods, Ginger

Base: Vanilla

Sillage: stays very close to the skin

Longevity: quite good, 6-8 hours

Origin of sample set: I bought a Le Voluttuose sample set online and now own a very pink bottle

Sources: Jennifer Peace Rhind, Listening to scent

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi Complete Aromatherapy Handbook

Side note about Labdanum and Cistus, Kafkaesque interestingly mentions  in her latest perfume blog both Cistus Absolute and Labdanum Absolute. She says “many people and sites call Cistus “Labdanum” but AbdesSalaam finds a difference in aroma. Arctander has pages on the two, noting very technical differences in the type of plant species, geographic location, olfactory forms, and types of extraction.”

Painting made by Spanish and Andalucian painter Julio Romero de Torres, La Chiquita Piconera/The coal little girl, 1930


Ramon Monegal Cuirelle My first leather perfume

Ramon Monegal 1

Searching for Spanish perfumes I came across the Spanish perfume house Ramon Monegal. Ramon Monegal is the perfumer of Ramon Monegal perfumes. He is fourth generation of the family that founded the company Myrurgia in 1919. Myrurgia is best known for its old fashioned Maja soap with the Spanish dancing lady and perfumes like Alada. After years of working for other famous designer brands like Adolfo Dominquez and Massimo Dutti, Ramon Monegal makes his perfumes since 2009 in artistic freedom. This has always been his dream. He wrote an interesting fictional novel this year called La Perfumista.

Ramon Monegal 4

Fortunately I was able to smell most of the collection of the 16 Ramon Monegal (RM) fragrances. Three perfumes are only available in their beautiful luxury store in Barcelona. The line includes leathers, roses, vetiver, patchouli, iris, ambers, musks, woods, tuberose and a light orange flower. It is a very wide range. As if Ramon Monegal sampled ideas for his perfumes for years in his Moleskine booklet and took them out some years ago to develop for his own perfume house.

Personally I prefer his oriental perfumes like Ambra di Luna, Mon Patchouly and Cuirelle. The white floral Cotton Musk got my attention as well.

Ramon Monegals perfumes are developed in a classic artisanal masculine way. My personal impression is that the perfumer Ramon Monegal knows very well what he is doing and how to make perfumes. When I smelled Ambra di Luna I was reminded a bit of the classic Guerlain perfumes Mitsouko and Shalimar. It is as if Ramon Monegal made it winking to both the ladies Mitsouko and Shalimar adding some honey smoothness.


Other Ramon Monegal perfumes gave me this classic and smooth feeling as well. His perfumes might appeal both to men and women over forty who prefer more classical artisanal well made perfumes. I can even imagine the former Spanish King Juan Carlos or Queen Sofia wearing his perfumes. Especially Entre los Naranjos (between the orange trees) might be an excellent eau de toilette for former King Juan Carlos, very Spanish, spicy and strong, like a strong cologne. My father really liked Entre los Naranjos.

Some of the Ramon Monegal perfume names are surprising as they are a bit different than their name might suggest like their Cuirelle. Personally I am not a fan of leather perfumes and I was put off a bit by the perfume Cuirelle, because of its name. But when I tested the perfume I was a totally surprised. This was not a leather perfume but a very smooth soft oriental perfume. The official Ramon Monegal website says that it is not a leather perfume but an interpretation of it with cat like flexibility.

Ramon Monegal made Cuirelle and Mon Cuir because of his love of the real leather. Personally I do not smell the leather note but it reminded me more of liquid caramel. It reminded me especially of the perfume Musc by Mona di Orio . Mona di Orio´s Musc is not the typical musc perfume as you would expect but a much more accessible musc perfume as Cuirelle is a more accessible leather perfume. Cuirelle is now one of my favorites of Ramon Monegal and my first ‘leather’ perfume. I enjoy wearing it especially when it is a rainy cold day. It is like putting on a nice smooth leather coat on your shoulders.

Try Ramon Monegal when you prefer perfume houses like Mona di Orio, Ormonde Jayne, Teo Cabanel or the classic Guerlain perfumes. If you are more into modern perfumes and modern perfumers this might not be something for you although it certainly is worth a try.

I like the fact that Ramon Monegal is a Spanish perfumer and his Spanish heritage is noticeable in his perfumes. This makes his fragrances special compared to other perfume houses.

Have you tried a Ramon Monegal fragrance ? If so which one ? Or which one would you like to try ?

Cuirelle eau de parfum:

Longevity: about 4 hours

Sillage: it becomes part of your skin

Perfume group: soft oriental

Notes: Somali incense, Indonesian Patchouli, Vetiver Bourbon, Green Cedar Wood, Cinnamon, Extract of beeswax.

Photographs : courtesy of Ramon Monegal projects,

Origin of sample: pr sample

Originally published: August 2012

Re edited: August 3, 2015