Les Nombres d’Or Vanille by Mona di Orio 100ml EDP for $230 USD from Luckyscent
Notes: Top notes are petitgrain, clove, rum and bitter orange; middle notes are vetiver, sandalwood, guaiac wood and ylang-ylang; base notes are amber, tonka bean, vanille, tolu balsam, leather and musk.
This opens on me as very woody with an emphasis on clove and bitter orange. After about half an hour in it settles into a rum dipped sandalwood and guaiac wood perfume with a hint of tonka bean. I think it’s the vetiver which is giving it an almost fresh and sharp grassy wood scent.
I finally get something resembling Vanilla about an hour in with the amber – it’s subtle and blended with the woods. The noticeable hints of tolu balsam and leather blend with the perfume perfectly. It reminds me ever so slightly of Memoirs of a Trespasser by Imaginary Authors but more expensive and executed differently. Memoirs has a lighter smoked wood campfire feel whilst this is deeper, woodier and smells like being trapped in a sauna-room or cargo-hold for too long.
I think this is indeed artfully blended and well worth it’s popularity but it’s slightly too masculine and woody for me. It’s dark and deep. Bitter and smoky. There is a rich story in this, a cargo hold of a merchant ship on the high seas. Pirates and cigars sitting on barrels drinking rum.
I’m currently reading a book called S by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst and this perfume reminds me of it and what I imagine the Ship of Theseus to smell like. I was expecting to love this but it doesn’t really suit me – I think I’d like it on a guy. I like the story Mona’s Vanille tells, sniffing it like a decoration – a ship in a glass bottle if you will, but it’s not something I’d actively wear. 7.5/10.