I feel like October has continued the mountain of problems from August and September which were mainly car issues, until the last week of September which involved a filling falling out an a wisdom tooth that needs to be removed, and then this last Thursday which involved my computer hitting its death bed (I knew it was coming but still it was sudden and now I am typing on a brand new computer), and best of all to top that Thursday off my satellite dish decided that it would no longer receive a signal (worst part all I had wanted to do Thursday was watch the vice-presidential debates). So here I am spending my Saturday waiting for the technician to come fix my dish. I will say one good thing happened on Thursday my package that both me and my swapper were getting worried about possibly being lost in the mail because it took half a month to arrive, arrived. It contained a much sought after vanilla fragrance (that for many is Holy Grail vanilla): L'Occitane's Vanille Extrait de Parfum.
I wish I could say I was one of those woman who only wore dry leathery green mossy intellectual scents, but the truth is quite frankly I am a vanilla lover. I am a proud to say I have moved beyond the stage of loving vanilla just because it is vanilla and can see the many variations in vanilla from the candy/cupcake vanillas to the woodsy/smoky/resinous vanillas, I tend to be a lover of the latter finding them closer to the vanilla extract scent that so many of us vanilla lovers are obsessed with finding.
Where does L'Occitane's Vanille lay in the spectrum of vanillas? This is a pure vanilla but not dark and smokey enough to be an extract, althought it does hint at extract with notes of dark caramel. It quite frankly reminds me of a really good flan, the creamy custard flecked with vanilla beans, the kind that is never sickeningly sweet but wonderfully perfumed with vanilla so that you can taste that dark bittersweet flavor that comes from using a vanilla bean and really good vanilla extract. Of course topping off the flan is that gorgeous bittersweet caramel sauce, that makes a beautiful contrast to the creamy custard. This is a gourmand no doubt about it and very much vanilla at that, in fact I might call this a vanilla soliflore there is so litte change, but I should say this is really good for it offers exactly what it promises: vanilla. This has great strength and really does bloom on the skin. Perfect on a rainy day waiting for the technician to come.
On a side note, the vanilla that comes closest to this is Molinard's Vanille, but that vanilla is still just a sad shadow of this.
****Update: Wasn't the satellite, turns out it was the receiver box, don't even ask me how, I never once played with receiver. Now watching the most wonderfully anal retentive cooking shows out there: Cook's Illustrated which hosts America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country. Off to cook. Testing out another Mark Bittman recipe.
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image: Naughty Boy by Brandi Milne