If there are silver linings to things one of 2021’s was the early months gave me a chance to catch-up. The last few months of 2020 was a whirlwind of perfume activity with new samples arriving every day. It felt like it was a make good on the early part of the year when everyone held their breath to see what would happen. There were a lot of interesting brands which launched which didn’t receive the attention I would have liked to give to them. One of those was Maison Tahite.
Maison Tahite is the first collection from a project called Officine Creative Profumi. The concept is to explore a raw material through a few different perfumers. At the end of last year I received the sample set of the first five releases exploring vanilla under the name Maison Tahite. I reviewed Sel_Vanille soon after because it was fitting what I see as an emerging trend. I returned to spend some time with the others last month. I found them all to be nicely done fragrances living up to the idea they were birthed under. The one which has become my favorite, Maison Tahite Vanillade has found a richer harmony in vanilla than I had experienced previously.
Vanillade is one of two perfumes Marie Duchene composed for Maison Tahite. For this one it seems that her brief was to create a sophisticated version. To achieve this she uses a dark patchouli as the contrasting keynote. Going in seeing this ingredient list I was expecting a chocolate-vanilla gourmand. Mme Duchene changes that expectation in the way she uses these two ingredients.
Befitting the name it opens on an almost tropical accord of sunny citrus infused coconut. This is a light amuse bouche rapidly passed through on our way to the entrée. The greener vanilla orchid type of vanilla is what is used. This keeps it from moving so firmly into gourmand territory. The patchouli also has a restraining bolt keeping it from doing the same in benzoin. What remains are facets which usually don’t get prominence. The vanilla has a more botanical scent while the patchouli is earthier like the floor of the jungle where the vanilla orchid grows. Together there is a resinous harmonic I have not noticed before. A wave of slightly dark musk adds some shading and depth to this over the final stages.
Vanillade has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
If you are a vanilla fan the discovery set of Maison Tahite will be a fun exploration of something you already enjoy. If you stay away from vanilla because of its too sweet reputation both Sel_Vanille and Vanillade might find you seeing it differently. I’m not dressing up at all these days but when the opportunity arises Vanillade will be something I might consider wearing out to an elegant occasion.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample set I purchased.