This is a follow-up to our previous article on Vanille Galante, the upcoming new opus by Jean-Claude Ellena in his Hermessence series.
As stated earlier this vanilla-composition endeavor can be summed up as being paradoxical from the get-go. It is interesting to consider put both in the context of Ellena's personal diaphanous (yet sensual) aesthetics and his own self-confessed reluctance and difficulty in working the vanilla note. It is also meaningful to view it put in perspective with other recent vanilla perfume compositions. In a sense, just like the rose with its multivariegated nuances is the queen of flowers, the vanilla bean can be seen and is to some extent seen as the queen of spices with its hundreds of natural components in addition to vanillin. It is however more common to encounter vanilla as a supporting element than as the focus of a perfumery study stripped off of other distracting associations...
Another clue we got today is that perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena decided to entirely eschew using synthetic vanillin in Vanille Galante. What one finds in the 8th composition in the Hermessence collection - the connoisseur's collection at Hermès - is an attempt to recapture the original aroma of vanilla bypassing this easy-too-easy means apparently. Therefore, although we already knew that vanilla absolute was being used in this fragrance, a very costly ingredient, only part of the creme-de-la-creme perfumes, we now also know that the Illusionist (Ellena's self-description) decided to resort to nature itself this time and to offer thus a personally complex project that seems to go counter-current, to some extent, to his self-professed creative habits.