The Poule de Luxe collection from Crazylibellule & The Poppies is a series of solid twist-up perfumes centering on vanilla notes. The line, as a whole, is easy to like: the packaging is adorable and convenient, and best of all, they are reasonably priced at $16 for 5 gr. Their Encens Mystic easily qualifies as my best bargain find of 2006.
The Poule de Luxe collection does not have anything that will displace Encens Mystic as my particular favorite, but it is high on the "fun" factor and bound to find fans with vanilla freaks. My favorite of the bunch is the Vanilla Moka (shown), which features notes of dark chocolate, cocoa bean, sandalwood, mocha, coffee liqueur and musk. Years ago, I used to love a particular kind of coffee hard candy, and I've been going crazy the last few days trying to remember what it was called, but at any rate, Vanilla Moka smells exactly like it: dark coffee with just a touch of chocolate, sweet but not overly so. The dry down gets woodier, paler and creamier, and has a nice comfort scent vibe, assuming you love the smell of coffee. The lasting power is not quite so good as the Encens Mystic, but at the price, it is hard to complain, and insofar as you can just throw the tube in your purse or pocket, touch ups are not a problem.
Vanilla Macarons has almond, amaretto, cedarwood, sandalwood, vanilla, musk and amber. The cedar is surprisingly strong in the opening; if you don't like cedar, stay away. If you do, this is an interesting woody fragrance with the almond more bitter than not. It is far less sweet than the name and the notes might imply, in fact, it is not really a gourmand scent at all despite the almond and amaretto. Once it settles, the woods are very nearly bone dry, almost smoky, with just a touch of vanilla to sweeten things up, and after a half an hour it smells like incense faintly scented with almond. Very nice, and although the Vanilla Moka was more immediately attractive, this might be the one I will end up wearing frequently.
If you're looking for a more straightforward foody vanilla, Vanilla Pralines might be the ticket. The notes include caramel, hazelnut, pecan pie and and musks, and it is just what it sounds like: nutty caramel pie, much sweeter and more vanillic than either of the two discussed above, and therefore, less to my personal taste.
I did not get to try the Vanilla Lemon Pie, but it sounded nice so please comment if you have smelled it.
For buying information, see the listing for Crazylibellule & The Poppies under Perfume Houses.
Coming up over the weekend, reviews of Voluspa home fragrances and Ava Luxe body lotion, then next week, more CrazyLibellule & The Poppies plus reviews of the new CK IN2U scents.