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


Guerlain Apres L’Ondee Eau de Toilette Sparkle of Joy


Some weeks ago I had the opportunity to swap for the classic Guerlain Apres L’Ondee eau de toilette. The eau de toilette is a recent version which can still be bought in perfumeries and department stores.   Originally Apres L’Ondee was made in 1906 by Jacques Guerlain. It means after the rainshower in French and is meant to captivate the light and fresh atmosphere after the rain in Springtime or Summer when it is a bit warmer outside.

What surprised me most about Apres L’Ondee was its radiance and youthfullness when I scented it for the first time. After about a minute, it was as if its radiance was restrained, like a child who is not allowed to walk in the rain and enjoy it fully, wanting to play with her boots in the mud.

On my skin Apres L’Ondee has a slightly medicinal scent at the beginning, I call it medicinal but others have referred to it as herbes de Provence. Dissappearing to leave a light violet scent on the skin, like it has been powdered.

The fact that Apres L’Ondee  is referred to as a real classic fragrance had deterred me a bit. Jean Claude Elenna  paid homage to the sillage of Apres L’Ondee with Frederic Malle L’Eau d’Hiver*. Maurice Roucel made Guerlain Insolence edt as a modern version of Apres L’Ondee. It had left me with the impression of an old and musty fragrance. But none of these were the case. Not only does Apres L’Ondee not give the impression that it was created more then a century ago. When I scented it I started wondering why I had been looking for a holy violet vintage grail while it was right before my eyes to be found.

What did I like about Apres L’Ondee ? It takes me to the beginning of  joy. You start to see a sparkle of light as a new era is about to start but still do not experience it fully and feel a bit restrained by your environment or circumstances.  It feels very different to the Italian fragrance Luce made by Hilde Soliani where you can experience the joy fully and openly.

Try Apres L’Ondee especially if you like violets and do not be put off by the fact it was created more than a century ago. Have you been looking for a holy grail or perfect fragrance when it was right before your eyes to be found ?

Notes according to Guerlain (read more on the website of Monsieur Guerlain ) : bergamot, lemon, anise, neroli, hawthorn, rosemary, lavender, lily, orchid, violet, rose, jasmine, heliotrope, orris, sandalwood, vanilla, musk.

Fragrance family: floral spicy amber by the French Committee of Perfume / floral oriental fresh by Michael Edwards

When to wear: at a job interview, when meeting your Mother in law for the first time, at an occasion where you want to wear a subtle and refined fragrance or when you want you start feeling joy over a new beginning of a job or new period in your life.

Painting Courtesy of Mary-Clare Cornwallis

Read more about experiencing joy while wearing a perfume in my review of Hilde Soliani Luce

* More to be read in the article New Yorker The Scent of the Nile