Friday, April 17, 2009

Vanilla Girls


Is it because blondes are called vanilla girls (or, in French, des filles à la vanille), and that as children my sister and I were blondies, our hair bleached by Kenya's sun?
Or maybe it's because of memories of my mum's wonderful cakes, enhanced with intoxicating vanilla extract she always brought back from Uruguay in her suitcase, claiming it was much better than the French or American equivalents...
Whatever the reason, my sister and I both adore the scent of vanilla - she wears the Body Shop's Vanilla Perfume Oil, while I just bought the Comptoir Sud Pacifique's Vanille Extrême. This is the exact scent my dear Chloé used to wear when we were in high school, so I think of her as I spray it on. It also brings me back to the plump, luscious vanilla beans that someone very special once brought back for me straight from Madagascar.
It is a bit odd, as I usually favor fresh, citrus-y smells with green notes, such as my usual fragrance, Blenheim Bouquet by Penhaligon, rather than sweet scents; but I guess you can't defeat the attachment that comes from an emotionally-tinged aroma.

36 comments:

Laura Neulat said...

I love you both my vanilla girls!

Nessa said...

I wear Vanilla too and it is my favorite flavor.

Chloe Van Paris said...

Vanilla mi amor-
what a lovely child you were......
"you must have been a beautiful baby- you must have been a wonderful child......"
do you know this song ?

Marie said...

You and your sister are so cute! Hey merci for visiting my blog...j'adore yours!
-marie

sealaura said...

could you and your sis be any cuter? How funny, I love vanillas as well and rotate my citrusy clean scents with my vanilla. I use Vanille Ile de Fleurie : http://www.luckyscent.com/shop/detail.asp?itemid=16504

Hope you and Benjy have a great weekend.

Elra said...

Oh both of you are so adorable. I always adore people who have blond hair. My nieces from my husband side , they are all blond, they are so cute. Unfortunately my side of family are all black, dark black hair.

Love vanila too, I've been using this vanila cream from L'occitane, do you know that company. I love it. Smell like heaven. Use all of their product, from soaps, deodorants, and of course the body cream.
Cheers,
elra

The Clever Pup said...

It's nice that your mum dropped in for a visit.

I've been a very light blonde all my life and I wish I had heard the term vanilla girl before today.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Hazel

Mary-Laure said...

LAURA - we love you more than we can say.

CHLOE - no I don't know that song. You're the biggest living jukebox I know!
I miss you tons.

SEALAURA - it's like we're into the same scents; I'll check out the link, thanks!
I wonder what scents Norman likes...

ELRA - actually, I always find dark haired girls more beautiful. I guess we always want what we don't have!
It's true that L'Occitane makes amazing products, I really like their olive creams and their scented candles. And it's all very natural.

CLEVER PUP - vanilla and hazel, yum yum yum...

Anonymous said...

you are your sister were so cute as children...
lovely memory sharing...
nancy

sølvi said...

I always have lots of vanilla candles all over my house. For sure my favorite scent.

Mary-Laure said...

SOLVI - vanilla candles, what a great idea! I must try to find some.

Rebecca said...

I love the smell of vanilla. Homemade vanilla extract (vodka + vanilla bean) is best! :)

Kelly said...

Love this post, especially as I've been searching for a new fragrance. I've always associated you with eau d'hadrien and now vanilla too!

giulia said...

Lovely blog! I shall return....xo Susan

Mary-Laure said...

REBECCA - Thanks for the recipe, I'd love to make my own vanilla extract.

KELLY - ah yes, I have always adored Eau d'Hadrien!

Clare said...

I have a vanilla candle in the guest bathroom that I never light. i never want to lose the glorious smell. I am also partial to just plain ol vanilla icecream.

Kwana said...

Scent and emotion go hand in hand. You too are so cute in that pic.

A World in a PAN said...

I'm rushing to Le Bon Marche to buy Blenheim Bouquet for you (found the name in your blog) ... I think it's good to have several perfumes we love and change according to the season, or the mood, or the time fo the day!

Anonymous said...

Hermosas mininas!

Anonymous said...

oh forgive i shall add something ong yet seemingly fitting:

E.M.
J. Peterman Perfume

"She was an Englishwoman of independent mind and means.

Beginning in 1911, she traveled through Europe, Africa, India, and China, keeping remarkable diaries; a few survive.

The pages are filled with close observations of nature and society, insights, and curious notations that appear, at first glance, to be recipes.

They are recipes. For perfumes.

It was still the custom, then, for women of a certain standing to have perfumers create fragrances especially for them. A signature scent. Or a perfume for an important occasion.

"E.M." (to use her initials) was not unusual in commissioning perfumes. But she was unique in keeping detailed notes about them.

Those notes have made the J. Peterman E.M. Collection possible."

Based on diary notes for a fragrance reflecting E.M.'s feelings of freedom on a trip to the western isles of Greece. Clean and fresh; you can still smell salt air on wild beach roses. 1-oz. eau-de-toilette spray bottle in silk drawstring pouch. Price: $40.
:via J. Peterman

nancyxx

Alya said...

I LOOOOOVE Vanilla! In everything, from sweets to perfumes!

LENORENEVERMORE said...

Adore Vanilla taste & SCENTs! I also want to smell like cotton candy!

Mary-Laure said...

CLARE - I know the feeling, sometimes I keep scented candles forever...

KWANA - I agree, I think that smell is our most intense sense when it comes to emotions.

NANCY - I'll check it out, thanks!

ALYA - yes, the taste of vanilla is delicious too, so subtle.

The traveler's soul said...

Ces gousses de vanilles de Madagascar je les avais ramene avec ce regret secret de n'avoir pu faire ce voyage avec toi.

kendalee said...

Oh my favourite fragrance is vanilla too! I surround myself with it and it never fails to make me feel happy. I wear the Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Passion in Summer and the Extreme in Winter. I used to have a friend send it to me from France but I was so excited when I discovered that it's now available for delivery in the UK online so it comes right to my door. Oh the wonders of Internet shopping!

miss cavendish said...

I love vanilla in cooking, but I have to admit, I don't like it as a fragrance at all. Once a student came to class wearing it and it took all my strength to stay in the room! Funny . . .

raining sheep said...

Scents are so powerful. The invoke memories. I love the scent of orange blossoms...something about that scent relaxes me immediately.

Mary-Laure said...

TRAVELER - j'aurais tant aimé faire ce voyage avec toi. Tu aurais dû m'y inviter.

KENDALEE - I have to try that Vanille Passion perfume.

MISS CAVENDISH - I can understand; it's a very heady smell. I know my great grandmother used to get headaches from strong scents such as jasmine.

RAINING SHEEP - I agree, the smell of orange blossom is very soothing and delicate.

louise said...

I agree with you, vanilla is a most intoxicating and deliciously beautiful scent. Oh and plump, luscious vanilla beans from Madagascar sound so very exotic.

Angora said...

Oh!! vous êtes trop "chouittes" toutes les deux!!
Cela me fait penser immédiatement à la chanson de Bobby La Pointe: A vanille et framboise..."
Très joli pied ma chère, avec ce orange couleur de l'année et le dicton du mois dans la tasse de café turc: "tourne la tête vers le soleil et laisse les ombres derrière toi"...

Mary-Laure said...

LOUISE - yes, Madagascar is one of the best places on earth for vanilla.

ANGORA - merci pour ce rigolo dicton turc, je vais essayer de m'en souvenir...

Joanna said...

The vanilla fragrance sounds yummy. There's something about vanilla that evokes a feeling of home and comfort to me. I adore those fragrances that after an hour or so settle into a wonderful soft vanilla base. Just divine!

[Tara] said...

Vanilla is my weakness as well...if a perfume has vanilla in it, I have to try it!

mansuetude said...

i'm more citrus and spice...

why does vanilla, the word make me want a maple walnut ice cream cone from some back road stand in New England? Now i am troubled.

Millie said...

Love this post Mary-Laure! A big icy cold vanilla milkshake is one of the finest treats in life!
Millie ^_^

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