He (and a Special Guest She) Who Smelt It – Episode 7: Send Me No Flowers

Mae West

The first of the M. Micallef vanilla based fragrances I spent time with was Vanilla Flower.

Even the sound of this one made me quiver. Vanilla Flower? Gardens and Sugar? Pansies and honey? Sounds like my worst nightmare. Maybe it’s self-fulfilling prophecy, but it turned out I was right. This one really overwhelmed me. I gave it up after a day, which I admit, is a pretty cowardly thing to do. I honestly didn’t have the heart for it. One day – that’s not enough time to give any scent its just due. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it… at least for a few days… right scentophiles? I have no excuse, and I humbly apologize for my lack of effort here, but I simply couldn’t summon the desire to see this sample through to the last drop. The Vanilla Flower and I weren’t meant to be. I can’t explain it any other way.

I knew any review I posted with so little effort (and thus, insight) wouldn’t be fit for print. Jeers and pejorative comments would rule the day. So what was I to do? I languished over the question a bit before the answer presented itself. I’d give someone else a shot, and, at the same time, allow the Vanilla Flower its fair shake. I knew there was only one person I could trust with this endeavor. She’s wonderful. She’s talented. She’s one of a kind – my good friend, Alix.

I passed the reigns over to her, and she finished off the sample for me. Here’s what she had to say:

My first whiff of this fragrance reminded me of classical music. My first impression was that I was lost between the notes of Chopin’s Nocturne. The fragrance notes initially take me to a magical place in the clouds but then the low notes bring me back down to an earthy and lush garden with mysterious corners. I could feel the fragrance enveloping me in an embrace of warmth and intimacy. It seems simple at first but it is very sophisticated. This fragrance should not be worn for light occasions or people who are timid. In a way it reminded me of my grandmother who, despite her small stature, had a commanding presence.

Overall, I felt very comfortable in this fragrance. It was strong at first then it tapered off nicely and became more subtle which was good because I was afraid I would get a raging headache from smelling it for hours on end. I would definitely wear this fragrance because I love the sweetness of it. For me, it was a wonderful pairing of something feminine: Floral but anchored in something so strong and comforting, the Vanilla.

We decided to play the “If this was a…” game with the Vanilla Flower just for fun, so I figured I’d close with that. Here are our answers:

687073-nicole-kidman-moulin-rougeIf this was a celebrity it would be – Alix says Mae West. I say Paris Hilton (and that Mae West is the perfect answer. Ahhh! That should have been mine).

If this was a song it would be – Alix says “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. I say “On the Good Ship Lollipop” by Shirley Temple.

If this was a movie it would be – Alix says “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.” I say “Moulin Rouge.”

If this was a book it would be – Alix says “Gigi” by Colette. I say anything by Nicholas Sparks.

If this was a dessert it would be – Alix says Belgian dark chocolate cake. I say Cream puffs with vanilla filling, and maybe a scoop of blue bell vanilla bean ice cream on the side for good measure.

That’s all folks! I’d like to send out a great big thank you to Alix, without whom this would not have been possible. I hope somehow we pulled this episode off.

Hope to see you next time!

11 thoughts on “He (and a Special Guest She) Who Smelt It – Episode 7: Send Me No Flowers

  1. Vanilla perfumes and I aren’t the best friends but today, as I read this post, I just happen to have Mona di Orio’s Les Nombres d’Or Vanille on one wrist and Guerlein’s Spiritueuse Double Vanille on the other. These two are all the vanilla that I need. Vanille Fleur when I tested it was alright, I didn’t dislike it but I didn’t love it either.

    Are you going to give a try to Vanille Marine next?

    • Undina,

      These are a little out of order. I tried Vanilla Flower first, but am posting the review last.

      Actually, Vanilla Marine was the last review I did. You read it, but you didn’t like it.

      We did, however, both have similar negative feelings about the scent. I found this collection, for the most part, to just be too sweet for me. I thoroughly dislike three of them, but absolutely loved Vanilla Orient. It is one of my favs.

      I don’t know how that can happen, but it did.

      • Wait… Was it the one with the rant about Greek yogurt? :) Right, I didn’t like it (both the perfume and your blanket statement about the product that I like based on some random tasting). You see: I didn’t even remember it was a perfume review ;)

        • Ahhh, I see.

          I feel like I’ve given the yogurt a fair shot. Believe me, it wasn’t just a bite or two. It was at least three. It just really turns my stomach. All I can say is… bleh.

          To each his own, I guess.

          • Yeah, right… And I tried once a perfume/wine/read a book/saw a painting… Greek Yogurt isn’t a proper noun, it’s a type of yogurt, there are probably dozens of different brands and variations of it. Not everybody likes what other people drink, eat or consume in any other way. But it sounds kind of arrogant to go on a bashing rant about something generic a single specific sample of which you’ve encountered. “I took just a sip from my glass and I want to tell you that French wine is something just a step away from a vinegar” – this type of arrogance.

            But as far as perfumes go we’re in a better agreement. So probably we should stay on that subject.

            • Undina,

              You’re right. We should keep to talking about anything but Greek Yogurt, but I have to address this a bit further.

              Obviously, I don’t like Greek Yogurt. That’s my opinion. It is not a personal attack on you, or your preferences. If you like it, that’s perfectly acceptable. This world would be a boring place if we all liked the same thing… if we all agreed about everything. You’re right, there are probably dozens of brands and variations. I’ve tried about three. Is that fair to the brands and variations I did not try? Probably not, however, I assure you it is enough for me to tell if I will like something or not. I don’t have to try every kind/variation/brand of something before I come to the conclusion that I don’t like ____________ (insert proper noun). How many Nicolas Sparks books do I have to read before I decide his stuff’s not for me? All of them? How many episodes of Jersey Shore must I submit myself to before I take it out of my netflix queue? An entire (God forbid) season? I’m a big fan of wine. I would probably disagree with anyone who said it was a step away from vinegar, but if they said that, that’s fine with me. They are entitled to their opinion, however harsh or wrong it may be to me or you or anyone else. This does not make them arrogant. My opinion does not make me arrogant.

              This forum is not the place for something like this, but I don’t appreciate being called arrogant or being told that it was a pity that I chose to use my writing abilities to produce “that” review… the piece that I clearly did not see any faults in (paraphrased). There were other people who left comments on the review as well, including another who, like you, really loves Greek Yogurt. They found my description “very funny.” That is exactly what I was going for. A bland description of something that you dislike is probably not very interesting to read. One that goes all out, even to the point of being ridiculous, is what makes it worthwhile. Of course, this is only my opinion.

              Please feel free to disagree with my (or anyone else’s) point of view anytime. Feel free to speak open and honestly. It keeps things interesting, and makes for thought-provoking discourse, but please be careful about the way you do it.

  2. Nice review. I’m not a greatest fan of M.Micallef as a brand but I remember for sure that my mum liked Vanille Fleur and Vanille Cuir from the vanilla collection from that house.

    • Thanks! I appreciate you reading.

      I wasn’t crazy about the Fleur or the Cuir. I did, however love the Vanilla Orient.

      How does she feel about that one?

  3. The Vanilla Cuir sounds interesting…I may have to test that one on my own! I agree with lucasai that M. Micallef as a brand, so far, has not become my go-to but I’m willing to try any fragrance in the pursuit of finding a new ‘favorite’.

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