Welcome back to another perfume review post. This month I dived deep into niche perfumes and decided to test out the Mancera perfumery, based in Paris. If you want to know more about Mancera and the Velvet Vanilla perfume, keep reading.
Mancera House was established in 2008 by Pierre Montale, the perfume expert. Before starting his own company, he worked in Qatar and Dubai, where he made personal perfumes for royal family, nobleman, celebrities etc. Because of his stay in Arabia his perfumes still have an oriental touch to them. Many of them have oriental and woody aromas and are made with ingredients that are signature for arabic perfumes such as agarwood, cedar, amber, balsam and musk.
He released his first perfume collection in 2005 with 10 perfumes. He divided them into unisex, female and male perfumes and they were quickly sold out. The customers loved the Arabic notes and were impressed by the incredible quality and longevity of the scents due to the use of only high-quality ingredients.
Some of the Montale’s most famous perfumes are Black Aoud, Aoud Leather, Dark Aoud, Black Musk, Aoud Musk and Attar. Each of them has an enchanting aroma and long-lasting scent that can’t be forgotten.
I decided to try out the sweet, gentle scent with the name Velvet Vanilla. When I look for new perfumes I always check out the website Fragrantica. It’s my holy bible for perfumes where you can see everything from the notes, longevity, popularity and you can even read other people’s reviews. I came across this perfume after looking for a similar perfume to Love by Kilian. I found that the notes were similar, although people in the comments agreed that the difference is obvious.
As always, let’s start with notes. The most important part to check when you’re buying perfume. You can read my Perfume 101 post if you’re interested to learn more. By simply comparing your favorite perfumes you can easily find a perfect perfume for your taste even when shopping online. It’s also worth noting that although the perfume may contain your favorite ingredients, the smell might still surprise you as some other notes may be more prominent than the ones you hope for. So always check for “ingredient votes” to see which notes are stronger than the others.
Top notes of this perfume are Pear, Angelica, Black Currant, Mandarin Orange, Pink Pepper and Clove. I find that perfumes with Pink Pepper as a top note always work great for me because of that soft spiciness they add. This mixture of ingredients gives this perfume a “natural bubble gum” scent.
Middle notes are mainly white florals – Tuberose, Jasmine, Neroli and Rose. It adds a softness and a “natural” vibe to it.
Base notes are, as expected, Vanilla and White Musk. They add a smooth base, that feels velvety and really brings this scent together.
The most prominent notes for me are definitely Vanilla, because of that soft, warm and sweet smell; next I’d say is the Tuberouse (which is described the “flower version of creme brulee”). Next is the Pear and the Angelica – pear adds the sweet fruitiness and angelica adds the earthy, herbal vibes. Musk is not as prominent, but you can definitely still smell it, especially when the perfume dries down completely. The rest of the ingredients are not as noticable, but they’re like a mix of everything together that makes this perfume smell so bubblegum like.
It’s a really familiar scent, bringing me back to my childhood. At first, I couldn’t really put a finger on it, so I read the reviews and I found one that said it reminds them of the 90s erasers and dolls that had a really distinct, sweet smell. It’s hard to describe to someone that never smelt it before, but it’s definitely not tacky or weird. I agree with the comments saying it’s like a natural version of a bubblegum smell. It’s an incredibly different, unique smell, and even though I normally go for stronger, spicy fragrances, this one is very dear to my heart.
Another thing to note is the incredibly beautiful packaging. The bottle comes in a gold pouch to store it in when traveling, and the box itself is gold and looks really luxurious. The big, glass bottle is an incredible color – a soft yellow to pink ombre is the most perfect color combo for this scent. It looks incredible on your vanity or perfume display as it really stands out.
When I first smelt the Mancera Velvet Vanilla, I was really surprised. It’s nothing like I imagined it would be like so it took me few minutes to decide how I feel about it. It has a really strong, fruity smell at the beginning, followed by sweet vanilla and velvety musk. I sprayed it on before going on a walk through the city by myself and I really fell in love with it then.
When it dried down and settled into my skin it really started to smell like a soft, sweet bubblegum. I continued wearing it for the rest of the week to work which is very unlike me – I change perfumes everyday, depending on how I feel and dress that day. But this perfume left a big impression on me and I found myself reaching for it everyday. The longevity of it is also amazing, the scent is still very much present even by the end of the day. It must be due to the high quality ingredients.
Mancera is a niche perfumery, meaning it focuses solely on the production and development of perfumes. That brings much higher quality, longevity and a unique story behind the perfume as well. The price is higher too, because high-quality ingredients come with a higher price tag. The Mancera Velvet Vanilla 60 ml perfume goes for 95 eur, or the full size of 120 ml for 150 eur on their official website, but I managed to purchase it for 100 eur on the Notino website due to a special sale. The normal price for 120 ml on Notino is 140 eur.
Thank you for reading yet another post on my love for perfumes and don’t forget to read more from my perfume category here. See you next time x