Does vanilla get any more glorious than this?
Saffron, pineapple, olibanum, tonka bean, vanilla, musks.
Think about vanilla and you would very much be forgiven for conjuring up thoughts of cake batter type scents; sweet, sickly, and sticky. Well, before you sniff Vanagloria by Laboratorio Olfattivo, cast all those thoughts aside and prepare to experience a vanilla which is warm, spicy, resinous and rather intriguing. Yes, there is sweetness here, but it seems almost incidental to the main showcase of fruity, spicy, and woodier facets.
If you’re anything like me, you may have spied that pineapple accord in the notes list and be rather intrigued about it. Well, don’t worry, there isn’t anything too “out there” going on here. Spritz Vanagloria on skin and what rises first is a warm, caramel, toffee-like feel. Sweet, cosy and unctuous, but thankfully not sickly. The saffron adds a leathery touch, and somehow makes the scent feel shiny, perhaps even as far as glossy at times. Under all this is a faint, tart juiciness from the pineapple accord or effect. You won’t smell this fragrance and immediately think pineapple, but there it is, just under the surface and adding a liquidity to the overall composition as well as keeping that sweetness in check.
There’s a spiciness residing in the heart of Vanagloria which is dry and almost dusty, warm and woody too, with hints of smokiness just tickling the edges of the fragrance. What is nice about the scent is the way that different sides and facets of vanilla as an ingredient are showcased in turn. Firstly the fruitiness with the pineapple in the top, then a rich depth and spiciness in the heart, along with elements which are drier and more piquant right through to smoky. If you are wanting to explore all the different elements that this lovely ingredient can exhibit, many of them can be found in this one perfume.
There’s also a point in the middle of Vanagloria where two different tracks start to appear, both still retaining that vanilla-centric quality. The first is quite high and bright. It’s a line which is quivering like the string of a violin. It hits high in the sinuses and hums with energy. The second is lower and seems to flow rather than vibrate. Milky facets start to appear, smoothing the vanilla into a soothing posset. The higher and lower strands eventually meld back together giving us a shining, polished woodiness to take us through into the final iteration of the scent.
A delicious, resins-and-woods tone ends Vanagloria for us. Thick and sticky, it almost feels like a kind of exotic tree sap – the sort which insects would immediately stick to and get encased in. The shiny feel which has been there throughout the fragrance is retained here, and it lingers really nicely on the skin, giving the wearer the feel of glowing, reflecting light somehow. If this scent were represented purely by the woodiness in the base then it would be dark brown rather than blonde, antique rather than new, aged and matured rather than flat packed. There’s a richness here which it is hard to tired of, and the scent wears differently depending on temperature, time of day, and many other factors.
Vanagloria is a rich and multifaceted fragrance which will delight anyone who enjoys good quality vanilla, or fragrances which showcase different facets of this specific ingredient. If you don’t like even good quality vanilla, then this may not be the fragrance for you, but for those of us who enjoy it, there is much to delight here.
The other stuff
The perfumer for Vanagloria was Dominique Ropion.
The longevity of Vanagloria is great, lasting eight hours or more following an application. The sillage – or projection – of the fragrance is also good, going to at least handshake distance fairly easily and trailing nicely.
Vanagloria feels like the sort of fragrance which would be best suited to the cooler months of autumn and winter, and which has the guts to stand up nicely to evening events and functions.
If you enjoyed Vanagloria, you may also like Vanille de Tahiti by Perris Monte Carlo.
Laboratorio Olfattivo are an exceptionally cool but very approachable Italian brand. They offer an immense range of scents at completely reasonable (well, for niche perfume) prices and there is something for everyone in their line up. Their bottles are straightforward and unfussy, but the scents are great quality (and often utilise fantastic perfumers) and full of excitement.
Vanagloria is available from the Laboratorio Olfattivo web boutique where it is priced at €74 for 30ml and €148 for 100ml of EdP.
We were kindly gifted a sample of this fragrance when we visited the brand at Esxence 2022.