Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Creed Vanisia: fragrance review

Vanisia by Creed does not smell like pure unadulterated vanilla as the name would lead you to believe, thank heavens. It reminds me more of a lighter Égoïste by Chanel if that one put the sandalwood into the boudoir and puffed it and puffed it with lots of ambery rose-jasmine powder that gives a golden shimmer over mounty breasts. T

The resinous depths of its core, a complex and satisfyingly rich amber accord, recall the play between light and darkness in the paintings of the Spanish masters; dramatic expanses of vivid motion, shadowy corners that hide small details with significance that doesn't pass unnoticed. The double whammy of a misleading name and the wrong company (few houses are more derisive!) just conspired it to make it a very under the radar fragrance. Which is exactly why I decided to get the scalpel and start surgery on this page.

The "barbershop" effect makes its presence known in Vanisia via a faint lavender note (a classic combination, best appreciated in Pour Un Homme by Caron which is almost solely lavender and vanilla) as well as what smells like cedar, which makes it wearable for men as well.

Women will naturally gravitate to it for its sexy factor, best appreciated in the depths of the base notes, although I need to stress that you need to be a lover of ambers to appreciate it. It's quite powdery in a mature, retro way, with hints of soap as well, an oxymoron amidst the sultry tonalities that remind classic references with more than a hint of ambery"skank" such as Bal a Versailles and Tabu. Lovers of Guerlain Samsara might also find a complex beast to like and claim as their own. But they should be warned that it smells unashamedly mature, probably best reserved for those who already have other youth-ammunition under their belt; this is not a "spritz me with grapefruit and let me fool you into believing I'm 7 years younger" gimmicky. It's said by Creed that Cher likes this one and wears it: figures...

I am personally a little bit at odds with Vanisia: On the one hand I like the tempered amber character that doesn't imbue everything with a sticky candy floss note and includes that familiar ambergris Creed base. On the other hand I find there is some incongruence between the after-shave accord on top and the floral oriental core. Lately I have been unlucky into coming across bottles that seemed to be a little off, metallic and more "masculine" than I recall the scent to be. I am not sure if we're facing a reformulation or not (the tester bottles didn't look pristine brand new) or if there is fake stock circulating, which is surely the case for other Creeds. It would be interesting to hear from you in the comments if you have other experiences with that matter.

Vanisia was launched in 1987, supposedly for a Spanish queen, and is mostly unknown/unacknowledged till this day, although one of their more rounded fragrances.

Notes for Creed Vanisia:
Top: bergamot
Heart: jasmine and Bulgarian rose
Base: sandalwood, amber and vanilla

Painting The Parasol by Francisco de Goya.


  1. This is a changeable beast, isn't it ? ;-)
    I'm very fond- but sometimes it can be overbearing...
    Dosage and climate-related, I think .

    MWAH !

  2. Anonymous17:36

    I'm with you and Ida on Vanisia.


  3. Creed is not exactly the brand corresponding to its price. A very ordinary ideas at a price of gold. IMHO, of course.

  4. Hello my dearest Ida!
    MWAH back to you, my sister :-)

    Indeed, I find that although round and contoured, it sometimes can be a bit too much of a good thing. I am perplexed by my most recent revisits, each time something slightly different than before. Hmmm...

  5. Dawn,

    hello darling, nice seeing you.

    Yeah, talk about great minds thinking alike! ;-) :-D

  6. Aromacasa,

    I couldn't agree with you more on the balance of innovation vs. monetary demand. A couple of them are quite good, but there seems to be too much hype surrounding the brand that is unjustified sometimes.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Kiel,

    I'm sorry but we don't advertise commercial businesses in the readers' comments out of courtesy for the readers who come for the content. If you want a clear and above board ad link where it's 100% visible as such, contact me for rates.

  9. I must get out my sample of Vanisia again. it comes across as very powdery and dusty on my skin for some reason. Must try again !


    M XXX

  10. Anonymous03:43

    my first creed purchase! and so little understood, too. haven't played with it for quite a while... will have to dig it out. it has a lot of personality... as ida points out, sometimes too much.


  11. Creed seems to have some quality issues. There are obviously variations between different production batches. I experienced this with Himalaya and Neroli Sauvage. Readers on Basenotes reportet also variations between batches.

    After all Creed offers from my point of view one of the most overrated and overpriced perfumes on the market. (Standoff with Bond No. 9 and Xerjoff)


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