I’ve mentioned in the past that there are cornerstone ingredients in perfumery. These are widely used keynotes across all sectors of the art. They are beloved by those who wear fragrance. Vanilla is one of these because it imparts a sense of fun when it is on its sweet side. It is also a snuggly warm ingredient made for comfort. I have come to enjoy the opportunity to be reminded of its tropical origin as an orchid. The latter has only come as newer extraction techniques have appeared. Laboratorio Olfattivo Vanagloria displays that.
It has been eleven years since I discovered the brand for the first time. Owner-creative director Roberto Drago has always had an experimental vision for his “olfactive laboratory”. Over the years when it is at its best it uses a keynote in different ways. For Vanagloria he asked perfumer Dominique Ropion to tinker with vanilla.
The core of Vanagloria is a CO2 extraction of vanilla by Laboratoire Monique Remy (LMR). This way of extraction has been around many years now. How it works is you take a raw material and immerse it in liquid carbon dioxide at high pressure. Unlike other extractions using heat and organic solvents this way captures a more nuanced version of the material. In this case there is a leatheriness which you don’t usually encounter with vanilla. This is what M. Ropion uses to design his perfume around.
When I took my first sniff of Vanagloria I thought we were headed towards pina colada territory. M. Ropion uses a pineapple accord which reminds me of pineapple juice. Not sugary and more representative of the fruit itself. The idea of cocktails is swept aside as saffron teases out that leathery facet of this vanilla. It acts as a fleeting paso doble as the saffron and the leather piece move back and forth. What breaks them apart are swirls of incense which finds that sweetness so familiar to vanilla lovers. This combination of resin and vanilla has come to be among my favorite iterations. Here it has a hushed sacred effect. That is transformed through the coumarin of tonka bean. This forms that golden glowing comforting version of vanilla. Now it hugs you like an old acquaintance. A final addition of musk rounds out everything.
Vanagloria has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
What is achieved here is a perfume which finds ways to display all the lovely nuance of this LMR vanilla. It gives anyone who enjoys the ingredient the chance to learn new things about an old friend.
Disclosure: This review is based on a bottle provided by Laboratorio Olfattivo.