Monday, January 03, 2011


Vanilla Beans, originally uploaded by Daniel Hurst Photography.

Vanillaville -noun - Metaphor for the ficticious place people that are married live, since where they live there is only 1 flavor, vanilla, which represents their spouse.

Soivohle' Vanillaville is a quirky vanilla that is everything but what the name implies.
It is what I was hoping that Jo Malone’s Vanille Anise would deliver, or what I imagined that Vanille Galante would be before I smelled it and learned it has very little to do with vanilla and more with Easter lily... Of course, coming from Liz Zorn, a true artist and an independent perfumer, it is cutting edge and surprising - and rather than smelling like vanilla caramels (turn to her Pink Praline to satisfy your sweet tooth). More than anything else, it reminds me of Ardbeg Uigeadail scotch, with its salty licorice and vanilla aroma.

Vanillaville does not begin with a love affair – but rather with a quarrel between dry woods and Sambuca (anise liquor) – not unlike chewing on a dry piece of licorice root. The initial sweetness does not seem to have anything to do with vanilla – but rather reminiscent of a Chinese five spice blend dominated by star anise and the hot/cold confusion of Szechuan peppercorns. Absolute vanilla is turned up on its head – revealing its dry woody aspects first, and its vanillin sweetness only later on, which eventually merges with an endless drone of raspberry ketone (which could be the natural isolate) or perhaps it’s from a particularly fruity oud essence – which lasts well beyond 12 hours and only at this point one might remember the humorous name and realizes that the quarreling couple we met in the prologue have made up and decided to live happily ever after.

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At January 04, 2011 10:54 AM, Blogger Liz said...

Surprise, Surprise! I just saw where you posted this to our FB page. You know I was not aware of the Vanillaville metaphor: How interesting of you to go that route. Love it.
To me Vanillaville is a place. Not prim and proper like uptown, but that little blusie place on the outskirts of the big city....
In the South US (where I am from), every other town is a ville, like Nashville, Louisville, that kinda vibe....

At January 04, 2011 1:26 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

That's too funny! I thought that was the intention initially, but with my ESL I had to google it and found it had this extra meaning...
And with your line - "vanilla on the edge of town, lots of attitude" I could actually see that couple quarreling and than making out ;-)
I'm really enjoying your perfumes - they are complex, rich and interesting and very well composed.

At January 05, 2011 6:49 AM, Blogger ScentScelf said...

Loved hearing this from you...put "vanilla" in the name, and I tend to put up shields...too many unhappy experiences with overweetened bad-quality vanilla.

Which, when it comes to Zorn, was not fair. I know. But there was so much else to check out... it's on my next request list. And the Ardbeg is on my liquor wish list.

The metaphor always bugged me, anyway. Happy to bust it open/apart.


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