If you’ve read my review of the Garçonnes Collection by Crazy Libellule and the Poppies, then you probably already know how I feel about this brand. I’m not gonna reiterate everything I’ve said before since it’s just a click away with the link above, but for those not in the mood to go back and look, suffice to say that in my opinion this is a super-innovative, super-fun brand that makes me happy. Each collection the brand releases seems to offer a coffret containing three popular solids of the collection, each dubbed “The Classic Set” followed by the collection’s name. At the height of my vanilla obsession last year, I got the Classic Set from the Poule de Luxe Collection, a series devoted to vanilla. Each perfume focuses on vanilla as the main theme, combining the delicious note with various gourmandise delights. The coffret in the Poule de Luxe Collection contains Vanilla Lemon Pie, Vanilla Pom d’Amour and Vanilla Fruit Sorbet. I am not sure if the company uses the same box as they did when I got them, but mine looks amazing: The darling box is decorated simply in black and soft pastel pink and looks utterly boudoir-appropriate - in fact it looks as delightful and sexy as an Agent Provocateur balm coffret. The sticks themselves feature the unabashedly pretty striped pattern that all Poule de Luxe sticks come in. I love this pattern - it makes me think of the awning of a small, treasure-like gelato shop on a sparkling, sunny promenade, which is of course utterly fitting with the gourmand theme of this collection.
But I bet you’re rather more interested in the scents themselves, aren’t you? Well, I have good news and bad news, although I fear the bad outweigh the good. The smell fabulous... In the box. That is, they smell amazing when you sniff the stick itself, but after a short while on the skin, disaster strikes. Let’s check them out one by one.
Vanilla Fruit Sorbet: This one features notes of Vanilla, Rose, Iris, Raspberry and Musk and is my least favorite of the three. Sniffing the stick itself, I get an innocent, soft floral scent (barely-there powdery soft rose, peony) tinged with vanilla. Once on the skin, as if by magic the scent changes completely and becomes full on raspberry on a bed of dry, dusky rose petals. Still not unpleasant, although certainly not me. Half an hour later and I want to scrub the tiny patch where I’d applied this “perfume caress” (as the company likes to call the sticks) raw: Unexpectedly the scent has turned utterly synthetic smelling and any tenderness and innocence is long gone. Despite careful application, it always turns bad and always, always seems penetrating and harsh. Unbelievable, as you wouldn’t expect a perfume solid to have such power!
Pom d’ Amour: The official notes for this one are Red Fruits, Hawthorn, Musk, Rhum, Peach, Tangerine, Vanilla and Liquorice. Smelling the stick the vanilla is almost unapparent: Instead, I get clean, citrusy-crisp apple and plenty of white musk. The scent is very spring-like and calm. On the skin the apple loses its crispness, becoming rounder, while the vanilla intensifies, gaining in warmth. Despite the abundance of notes I can’t say I smell much else other than that, nor do I find it very complex. As time wears on the peach becomes more apparent, but I wouldn’t consider that a good thing (it’s very Body Shop type of peach, if you know what I mean). The longer it stays on the skin the more candy-like it becomes - I can’t imagine wearing this myself unless I was feeling particularly coy and playful (ugh, that is, never): it is the smell of a little girl gorging on candy. It soon suffers almost the same fate as sister Vanilla Fruit Sorbet: the intensity and the chemical, synthetic smell kills all pleasantness.
Vanilla Lemon Pie: This is my favorite of the three, which is not hard, considering the other two turn so bad in the end. The good news is, this one doesn’t. Official notes are: Neroli, Lemon, Orange, Vanilla, Heliotrope, Almond and Caramel. I’ve been lusting after Laura Mercier’s Tarte au Citron for AGES, but it is impossible to get here and I haven’t had much luck trying to swap a bottle for it either. While this is not a perfect substitute by any stretch of the imagination, it does serve to satisfy my sweet gourmand-lemon cravings from time to time. The stick itself smells absolutely delicious, exactly like lemon cookies, complete with the buttery sweet smell that accompanies them. It makes me want to eat it! Just like the other two perfumes, this one loses part of its charm once on the skin, but unlike the other two, this one remains delightful throughout. The smell doesn’t significantly change - it just becomes slightly less ‘edible’ in terms of smell when on the skin. The only drawback is its longevity: Vanilla Lemon Pie quiets down pretty fast, unlike the other two.
So can one out of three still be considered a success story? You be the judge. The Poule de Luxe collection has two relatively new offerings as well: Vanilla Ganache and Vanilla Orangette. On the flip side however, they seem to have discontinued Vanilla Moka, Vanilla Macarons and Vanilla Pralines - just the ones I wanted to try next. It figures huh? Vanilla Pralines especially with its notes of hazelnuts and pecans sounded very, very interesting. Well, for those of you that got them while they still were around: enjoy them in good health! For the rest of you wanting to have a little vanilla on a stick, I heartily recommend Vanilla Lemon Pie.
And… If you have a bottle of Laura Mercier’s Tarte au Citron you’re interested in swapping or selling, do let me know! That was a desperate plea up there, in case it wasn’t clear! Hahahah!