Vaniglia Del Madagascar – Famacia SS. Annunziata & Memoirs Of A Trespasser – Imaginary Authors

Madagascan Vanilla.

I have trouble with vanilla fragrances, often finding that they fall flat on my skin in a neutral layer of sweetness that is both boring and unappetizing. The thing is, I do love the scent of vanilla, so struggle to find one that works. Although they’re not always to my taste, here are two solid vanilla’s :)

Vaniglia Del Madagascar opens up with a recognizable, sweet vanilla. I struggle to use the word “rich”, as I said, I just don’t get that plush feeling I crave from most vanilla fragrances. However, there is some slight depth to this, and also a bizarre citric, salty accord that rests over the vanilla in a translucent layer. The ever-so-slightly candied lemon and some quiet, almost unidentifiable floral notes (orchid?) sit on the vanilla adding a minimalistic but necessary alternate dimension.

The vanilla from start to finish is the leading player without a doubt, and it’s all down to whether you like the simple aroma of Madagascan vanilla as to whether you’ll like this. There is a subtle amber in the background adding a tiny bit of depth – but Vaniglia Del Madagascar goes on light as air, but gradually gets denser and more potent as time goes on – which is an unusual development. On the skin, the vanilla gets better and better which is one thing I find really appealing about this fragrance.

It is undoubtably comfortable to wear which is surprising for me finding most vanillas turn cloying and clammy on my skin – they gain a dense, almost clotted texture with a dirty, breathy note that I so often bring up when discussing amber and myrrh – here however, that turn never happens. Instead it keeps its light and its translucency, whilst still remaining potent with a beautiful sillage – throwing back to my nose an almost almond-biscotti aroma, so maybe there’s some heliotrope in here giving off a subtle almond vibe?
Anyway – it’s a straightforward, lovely soft vanilla that still won’t make it on my full bottle list but is nice enough to sniff.


Memoirs Of A Trespasser opens a little more bitter, a far more interesting beginning of almost soiled citrus, and a slightly diluted boozy accord. It smells like the sticky residue of a shot glass of whisky – the alcohol has evaporated but left behind is a slightly acrid but sweet vanillic liquer.

Underneath, the madagascan vanilla gets more and more prominent, showing a similar translucency to that of the Vaniglia Del Madagascar – only with a greater complexity underneath. There’s a smooth, sweet wood listed as guaiacwood (a note I have little experience with) – but it comes across as a lovely, delicately smoked support. A lightly-handled bundle of resins is grouped underneath, a slightly smoky and smooth myrrh and vanillic benzoin with an amber-y base, holds the still leading vanilla. It sounds dense, but Memoirs Of A Trespasser is completely translucent – these additional notes an extremely subtle edge.

Thanks to the resinous base notes, the vanilla is a little less sweet than Vaniglia Del Madagascar, but still – completely smooth and it doesn’t clot and congeal on my skin. The subtle trail of incense smoke throughout keeps the vanilla interesting and three-dimensional.
The vanilla that stays till the end results in the late drydown smelling extremely similar to the Farmacia fragrance, only a little de-sweetened and a little more subtle. Still, I find it the most interesting of the two, but preferring the sweeter drydown of the other (and appreciating it’s gain in strength as time goes on). However, Memoirs Of A Trespasser gets drier and dirtier as time goes on – resurrecting the slightly soiled opening of the beginning – that charred quality with a hint of smoke which I like – at this point I find it hard to decide which vanilla I prefer, and am understanding how a vanilla soliflore can have different personalities.

In honesty, I have sampled Memoirs Of A Trespasser numerous times and never thoroughly enjoyed it – or understood it. As a result, I ordered some samples of other vanilla fragrances – and as proves in this review – it made me appreciate the fragrance a lot more. The perfumer (in recent conversations) suggested I may be anosmic to the ambrette seed musk in this, and I can totally appreciate that, as I don’t detect a note-worthy muskiness in this, at least not until the late drydown. If it is a prominent accord, then it’s likely I can’t smell it – but there we go, that’s what makes these things so much more interesting!

Both vanillas I find easily wearable and comfortable, which is a rare find for me – still, I haven’t yet found the vanilla for me… Mona Di Orio’s came close – that was before it started to smell like egg shells :|

Vaniglia Del Madagascar 100ml Parfum Farmacia SS. Annunziata – $160 Luckyscent
Memoirs Of A Trespasser 60ml EDP Imaginary Authors – $85 Imaginary Authors

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20 thoughts on “Vaniglia Del Madagascar – Famacia SS. Annunziata & Memoirs Of A Trespasser – Imaginary Authors

  1. lucasai says:

    I love vanilla! Especially in autumn/winter season. Will have to smell these two one day. Is far as I know I have no easy access to these two brands your vanillas come from

    • Imaginary Authors only sell on their website right now I think – I’ll be holding a draw of samples of their line soon so keep your eyes peeled!
      Farmacia SS. Annunziata have reasonably solid line up – I fell in love with Ambra Nera after The Scented Hound scent me a sample and I bought the bottle off him!
      I know you love Un Bois Vanille – I have to try that one again, I found it a little too much first time round.

      • lucasai says:

        Will definitely participate in your draw then ;)
        I got a sample of Ambra Nera from The Scented Hound too, and I liked it, but not to have a bottle.
        Un Bois Vanille is rich and dense, I imagine people might not like it.

      • Ahhh that’s cool – I loved it so much, I am so picky with my ambers and the pure animalic power of the opening along with the intense smokiness just made me swoooooon.
        Rich and dense is just what I love, and I’m a huge Lutens’ fan, but the overwhelming sweetness of it put me off, but having explored more vanillas recently I’ll have to try it once more.

      • lucasai says:

        At least one of us loved it. I like the diversity in perfumistas wardrobes.
        You know I prefer subtle and more natural things but some powerful ones also got some positive vibes from me.
        Not a big Lutens fan in me. I find these scents rather educative, but less wearable on my skin.

  2. Madagascarsounds lovely. I’m with you, I’m typically not a huge fan of vanillas due to the strength and sweetness, but am always willing to try something new. As this is lighter, I may have to give it a try. I just wish Farmacia would sell 50ml bottles instead of just 100ml.

    • 100ml is a lottttt of juice – but if like me you like light vanillas, this is definitelyyyy one to try out. No cloying sweetness, nothing foody in here – just clear, sweet vanilla with a decent throw and long life on the skin, perfect. Still, I struggle with vanilla soliflores as I find them boring after a while – Musc Maori is my favourite vanilla, closely followed by Tea by Comme Des Garcons (although I don’t even know if it has vanilla in it :| – it feels like it to me… you know, after the burning smells of medical waste begins to evapourate). Thanks for commenting Houndy! I miss you on this side of WordPress :P

  3. This is different to Vaniglia Del Madagascar from i Profumi di Firenze? That’s naughty, I was all, oh yeah I know it but no.
    I really like an interesting vanilla, thanks
    Portia x

    • It is different yep! So bad when they have the same name :’) haha.
      I haven’t tried the i Profumi di Firenze one myself.
      But yeh, this Vaniglia del Madagascar just scrapes by as being interesting, but is more just comfortable and cosy – a nicely rounded balanced vanilla.
      I used to find Memoirs of a Trespasser had the same qualities, but trying them side by side brought out all these more interesting dimensions to MoaT and for the two hour at least it was my favourite – before the vanilla took the lead on both and they were relatively similar. What’s your fav vanilla? I’m not that up to scratch on them! D:

  4. Jules says:

    After sampling many dozens, I too had a hard time finding my perfect vanilla, … until … I came across M.Micallef’s ‘Note Vanillee’. It’s absolutely hands-down the most delicious & addictive vanilla that’s so far passed my nose. – If you’ve not tried it yet, seriously, do yourself a favour. (Since I too luv ‘Ambra Nera’, (& Musc Maori) just maybe our tastes in vanilla will be equally in-sync. – Plus, from your ‘smelly thoughts’ I think you’ll like it.) :)
    It’s a gorgeous boozy vanilla, ‘wrist-stuck-to-nose’ swoon-worthy stuff ! … However there is a small caveat – if possible try hunt down the 1st original release (the one packaged with a music CD), as I’ve heard the much later (& far more expensive !) second release (tho’ in a more attractive art-deco ‘black swarovski spot’ bottle) is not quite up to the gorgeousness of the original. (Tho’ I imagine that even this one must still be better than most.)

    • Sounds FAB Jules :D Another reason for me to explore the Micallef line (which I haven’t at all!) – I’m off to London at the end of the month and I think they sell them in Fortnum & Mason? I’ll see if they have it :D Thanks for reading and the recommendation – it seems we have a similar nose so stay in touch :P I could learn lots from you!

      • Jules says:

        Thanx for the kind words F’ … Unfortunately, F&M only stock a very limited range of Micallefs usually, & I’ve never seen it there before. :( – So’ I suspect yer gonna need to hunt for it further afield as it’s become quite a rare discontinued gem. (It’ll be well worth it tho’, trust me !) :) … Still, there’s quite a few others in the line worth exploring meanwhile.

      • Ahhh gutted! Ah well, I’ll be sure to sample this – it’s at the top of my list now ;) haha.
        I’ll still sniff what is at F&M, as I’ve never even visited the shop before and I quite fancy checking out the rest of the Farmacia SS Annunziata line.
        Anyway, thanks for the heads up, keep in touch! :)

      • Jules says:

        Yeah, I’ve been searching for a damn bottle myself now for well over a year – otherwise I’d send u a sample. :)

  5. MonkeyBars says:

    The smokiness in Trespasser would most likely be from the guaiac wood. That stuff is rich, fatty, and smoky.

    • I’ll try to get myeslf a sample of the pure oil – it’s a note I know I enjoy… but don’t really know what it smells like. You know when you can recognize something’s presence but it’s always combined with something to distract you.
      Thanks for the info as always MonkeyBars :)

  6. womo531 says:

    Have you tried Le Labo Vanille 44? I see that you like Annick Goutal Myrrhe Ardente and enjoy Mona di Orio’s, I’d say Vanille 44 is like a marriage of these two, best of both worlds~

    • Sounds fabulous, I’ll be sure to sniff it next time I’m in Liberty’s, thanks for the heads up (and for reading) :)

    • Jules says:

      Personally, I don’t think ‘Vanille 44′ is anywhere near worth it’s over-bloated asking price. In fact it’s probably one of my least liked vanilla-centric ‘fumes to date. Found it disappointing, far too ‘soapy’ & the vanilla too ‘wishy-washy’ for my tastes. (Tho’ I actually like both Myrrhe Ardente & MdO’s Vanille – both far superior to V’44, IMO.) – Sorry, just my 2¢. :)

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