Italian perfumer Laura Tonatto has been creating fragrances since the early 1980s. In addition to the scents marketed under her own name, she has developed fragrances for Carthusia and Kerastase, among others. Her own line, which includes Plaisir, has recently been streamlined and repackaged. The notes for Plaisir are orange, pink grapefruit, rose, cinnamon, patchouli, vanilla, amber and musk.
The first few minutes of Plaisir are dominated by sharp citrus notes. After that it smells like vanilla pudding accented with citrus and a light dusting of spice. It stays sweet through the dry down, but loses all of the citrus and most of the spice; what remains is a vanilla skin musk, no longer particularly dessert-like, with just enough amber and patchouli to provide some warmth.
I have been vacillating about Plaisir since I first tried the perfume oil over a year ago. At that time, I thought it was a nice vanilla-based comfort scent. Later I tried the Eau de Parfum version and decided it was probably too sweet for me. Since then, I've tried the oil and the Eau de Parfum again, and I still can't make up my mind about it. It is nicely done, and if you love sweet vanilla musks, you will probably adore it. My lack of enthusiasm is probably due to the fact that I just don't want to wear a sweet vanilla musk very often.
On those rare occasions when I do, I am more likely to reach for Pearl by Sage Machado, a simple blend of vanilla, musk and sandalwood. It is sweet, but less so than the Plaisir, and it is extremely light. Even in the Eau de Toilette form (it also comes in a perfume oil), it has virtually no sillage — it is one of those perfumes that you can pull off even in situations where you shouldn't, strictly speaking, be wearing perfume at all. You could probably even get away with it in Halifax. It is my first choice to wear to the movies, where the choices made by other people sometimes make me sympathize with the anti-perfume contingent in Nova Scotia. I saw Shopgirl this weekend, and someone else seated in my row was wearing a few sprays too many of something unfortunate.
Plaisir is available as Eau de Parfum, perfume oil, body oil, body cream, and as a room fragrance. For buying information, see the listing for Laura Tonatto under Perfume Houses or the listing for the Sage Machado line.