Denver get-together? And! L’Artisan Havana Vanille

March’s great post from yesterday about all the fun they had with the D.C. perfumista party has me thinking how great it would be for those in and around Denver to get together to share perfume, drinks, just have a great time.  So if you are in the Denver’ish area, could you either comment or e-mail me (contact us on the left) or both?  I’ll post this on Facebook tomorrow too.  I’m thinking we could do something in February, and I’d have it at my house, I’ll padlock the perfume vault, but bring out lots of things to play with. 🙂  But I’d love to do it like March did hers – everyone bring something to play with, bring your things to swap or sale that you don’t want anymore.  I’ll chase out all the dogs and kids, and it will be a blast.   Oui?  If you know someone that doesn’t read this blog or hasn’t friended me on Facebook that you think would be interested, let them know!

L’Artisan Havana Vanille was something I sniffed briefly in London in July – loved immediately, but couldn’t talk coherently about it because my brain won’t hold much smell data at a time –  and then March reviewed it in August as did Robin in August. I finally have a sample in my hands that I can play with instead of trying to sniff it on the fly.  How come it took me almost three months to get my paws on a real sample, I ask?

Note of rum, clove, dried fruits, narcissus, tonka bean, helichrysum, vanilla, smoked woods, moss and balsamic notes.  The open for me is seriously boozy gourmand, sorta like you woke up face planted in a fruitcake after a long night with a particularly potent bottle of rum.  You all know by now that I mean that IAGW (in a good way).  Then you shake your head a little, splash some water on your face, pick the rum-soaked raisins out of your eyebrows, put the mostly empty rum bottle in the trash and find that mess your life concocted out of some drunken  hours  just turned into this delicious smoky vanilla that’s carrying some hints of the more lurid memories of the night before that you can’t talk about in polite — well, any company around with it, but you’re only seeing it cross-eyed because there is this lovely, silky, vanilla patina on top of it.  Those lurid memorie would be the narcissus’ fault.

What a nice departure for L’Artisan.  I like their Vanillia very much, love a lot of their scents, but this one is something a little different than normal, sorta like Dzing is – another L’Artisan that I adore and can’t live without.  From what I hear, this is one of L’Artisan’s most eagerly anticipated releases.  It won’t be for everyone, but it will be perfect for a lot of someones.  Worth waiting for, y’all, but when do you suppose they’ll actually start shipping bottles?  I’d love to give a sample away, but all I’ve got is this teeny vial that I’ve got locked in my drawer so the cats don’t knock it off the table or steal it outright.  Oh, fine,  I’ll squidge out a partiall sample to one commenter.

  • smy says:

    Hey I was just in Denver for a conference last week! And then over the weekend I tried going to Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s shop, but it was closed (got there at 10 am but didn’t open till 11), so went on to Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park instead. Doubt I’ll be in Denver for February, but it’s a great place!

    If it’s not too late, I’d love to be entered in the draw.

  • eldora says:

    I live in Genesee and would love to pare down my collection. Count me in!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I’m dying to try this, mostly because so many people seem to *not* like it. I am remaining optimistic – your review helps! Please count me in the drawing. 🙂

  • Joe says:

    Yeah, it really does seem like we’re all waiting EAGERLY for this one, doesn’t it?? :-w

    Are perfume connoisseurs that jazzed about vanilla? Or is it this combo of scents? Or Duchafour? I guess I’m surprised a bit — seems like many factors just conspired for a “perfect storm” of anticipation. I’ve already got my dibs in on a split. Now if they would just ship the danged bottles! Because gawd knows I don’t have anything worth sniffing laying around the house… riiiight.

  • maidenbliss says:

    Big thank yo, March, for that much needed advice. I’m sitting w a full bottle of something I’d trade in a minute for the HV. Please toss me in the hat! When I decide to divulge the name of the bottle-one of the last 3 remaining in the world, I might add-I hope I there’s a devotee waiting….

    • Patty says:

      Hey, I am totally here for you on obscure things with only 3 left i the world. Dying of curiosity! You can e-mail me, you know.:)

  • Connie says:

    It sounds like it would be so much fun … pity I’m in Miami Beach..:( But hey, if you want to move the venue over to my neck of the woods, I’m all for that.:d

  • Christine says:

    I wish I were in Denver for the meet up…but alas, nope.

    I would love a sample though. Sounds right up my alley.

  • Tiara says:

    LOL: “pick the rum-soaked raisins out of your eyebrows”=))

    No need to enter me in the drawing – I have a sample on the way through L’Artisan.

    And SW Ohio isn’t close enough to Denver to join in the fun but love the idea of these get togethers!

  • violetnoir says:

    Denver! What a great town! And, to see you again, Patty? well that’s even better! 😡 I wish I was just a little bit closer, but will keep it in mind.

    Thank you for inviting all of us!


  • Linda says:

    Boo, I’m too far away to come play, but I would love to be in your draw. I’m waiting eagerly for this scent.

  • Tara C says:

    Havana Vanille was really dire on me… vegetal, nothing but the tiniest hint of vanilla and a tiny wisp of smoke. I hated it instantly. I can’t imagine there are people who find it too sweet, I got no sweetness whatsoever. I’m hoping Al Oudh will be better.

  • Disteza says:

    Havana Vanille I have tried, and maybe I’m the only person that is reminded of Idole when she smells it? It’s definitely boozy, but it didn’t go all dark and smoky on me. I’m awaiting L’Artisan’s new Al Oudh with some very heavy panting though–after the unbelievable success of Pure Oudh, I have high hopes for the reportedly skanky Al Oudh. I must admit that throwing the adjective ‘skanky’ at anything created by L’Artisan just seems wrong. 😕

    • Joe says:

      D: I’m SO frickin excited about the Al-Oudh since I first read that it has musk, civet, AND castoreum. I am hoping for heavenly skank, even though (or perhaps especially because) it really does seem sort of unlike L’Artisan.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Here I go, groveling for a little squidge of L’Artisan Havana Vanille ^:)^ The only frag of theirs I own so far is Timbuktu but I love it dearly.
    BTW, “pick the rum-soaked raisins out of your eyebrows”–hilarious! :))
    Wish I lived near Denver now.

  • fleurdelys says:

    Hey, what about us NYC-metro area folks getting together for a perfume party? There are more than a few of us here, I’m sure!

  • allabouteve says:

    Spain’s about 2 miles from Denver, right?? 🙂 Would love to be there! At least I have one fellow perfumista right in my city, so we sometimes through our one little party (for 2,heheh), everyone (she and me that is)brings their new-buys, their new samples,etc..we have some nice tea and something to’s cool!
    The Havana does sound close to Spiritueuse Double right? (half price of course..)I’ve never smelled that one..the only smokey adult vanilla I tried, fell in love with and own is the Lutens one (love to spritz before bed) Havana darker? Smokier? I’m really curious about this one..but so far nobody has it here in Spain.
    Talking about L’Artisan..what about Al Oudh (or however that’s spelled..),when’s that supposed to be out?

    ps: not participating in the draw, of course..:)

  • Marsi says:

    Patty, I’m in the Stapleton neighborhood, just a few miles from you. Count me in; I have a million bottles and samples I would love to swap away to a better home.

    No need to enter me in the draw. I ordered a sample through L’Artisan earlier this week.

  • sybil says:

    You said the magic word, like Dzing! Please enter me in the sample drawing.

  • mals86 says:

    Already bought into a split of HV, without having sniffed it first… yeah yeah, I know that’s bad, but it was inexpensive, and it just sounds so me. Narcissus, clove, AND vanilla? I’m there, baybee. Can’t wait to find out if I get the rum-soaked raisins, yum.

    No need to hat me, with the split coming. But I’m envious of those of you who live in an area sprinkled with fellow perfumeheads. Sigh. (You think the cows would appreciate it if I threw a perfume party?)

  • Silviafunkly says:

    I unsuccessfully tried to post yesterday that I’d be willing to host a London perfume party in the new year if anyone is interested. I live quite central and close to a tube station.

    A few years ago I had a perfume dinner at mine with some friends from the 1st Basenotes sniffa and it was great: Rose the Nose (are you there?) brought the most amazing vintage collection ever and Mark had us smell raw materials.

    If anyone is keen, let me know ! Posse parties are the new Tupperware :d

    • Fiordiligi says:

      Oooh yes!! I live in Central London too. That would be wonderful. I could bring my Guerlain treasures…..

    • March says:

      Crap, could you not get on the Posse? I know it was down for awhile, then really slow. Or did your comment get eaten? I’ll go look in the spam filter.

      • Silviafunkly says:

        The comment was stuck for a long time pending acceptance (in that dotted line box) and was finally rejected. Then I tried to get back on the website several times and could not access the it at all. All fine today though.

        • March says:

          Thanks. If it makes you feel any better, the same thing happened to me, and I’m logged in as an administrator! At first I thought it was the number of photos I’d used, but that wasn’t it, because most of the time it worked fine. I dunno. You weren’t in the spam filter, at any rate.

    • Louise says:

      Oooh, could you aim for Late March/Early April ?…I’ll be in London, possible with a very well-known sidekick 😉

      • Silviafunkly says:

        Wow, that’s great news !>:d< Of course we'll do it while you are here, let us know your dates. This day is improving by the minute...

  • Melissa says:

    Haha! Boozy raisins stuck to eyebrows. I’ll never be able to sniff this fragrance without the mental image.

    I generally don’t wear vanillas unless they have a good smattering of other notes. Sounds like HV does. Don’t enter me in the drawing though. I’m sure that a friend or two will share a sample with me eventually.

  • karin says:

    Anyone interested in a Boston area perfume party???

    I’ve heard so much about Havana Vanille that I’m tempted to purchase it unsniffed! I know that would be WRONG, though, so please include me in the draw, Patty. Either way, I’ll certainly have to get my hands on a sample. I have both Vanilia and Dzing! and love both. Very curious about HV…

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Patty I’m afraid Denver is a bit too far from London…..but what a lovely idea.

    I remember we all loved the Artisan in London; I haven’t sniffed it since but many people who have find it sickeningly sweet, so as Louise says, it might be a bit of a tricky customer. Think I’ll stick with the SDV.

    BTW I got my green Chanel mascara yesterday and the celadon lame (that’s lah-may; I can’t do the acute accent on the “e”)eyeliner yesterday. Fabulous and highly recommended.

    • allabouteve says:

      celadon lame??From Chanel? From the new collection? Green mascara..suits what kind of eyes?

  • Louise says:

    Is Denver near DC? I would love to play with some fellow Western perfumistas <:-p I must retry the Havana-when I tried it in London, it was fabulous-and lasted all day, surprising me with a new nuance just when I thought it was all gone. The samp I got back home was completely which is it 😕 Friend or feh?

    • Jillie says:

      You’ve mentioned something that has been brewing in my mind as a sort of conspiracy theory – I am utterly convinced that some samples smell different from the stuff inside the bottles we actually buy, and I am wondering if it is my recollection/nose’s fault, or if in fact they DO vary. And on the whole I find the samples/testers smell better than the real thing. What does everyone else think? Is this the companies’ way of sucking us in and then fobbing us off with something of a lesser quality, or am I being very silly/wrong-nosed?

      • Louise says:

        It seems to vary for me-sometimes a samp is better than the bottle-or teh other way ’round. One things clear to me-spraying and dabbing produce very different results for me /:)

        • Melissa says:

          I keep telling myself to stop buying little samples. I just can’t get a sense of many fragrances when I dab them. Some exceptions-parfums and strong fragrances, such as many Serges.

          Speaking of which, a friend of mine had two samples of Fourreau Noir and they were completely different. One was just a shadow of the other. Frustrating.

          • allabouteve says:

            Know exactly what you mean with the dabbing business of samples! I feel your pain! I love spritzable samples! Especially those which have caps that you can take off and actually use the last drops left..
            And btw, the one perfume I own which I just cant stand spritzed is Encens et Lavande..if I spritz all I get the first minutes is this harsh incense..when dabbed, it’s a delight.
            Others I’d wish were dabbable…most of the strong ones(many Tauers are easily over-spritzable..)

      • March says:

        I’m going to butt in here as a sample whore. I’m sure quality control is good overall, but it varies from company to company and etc., and if you’ve done as much sampling as some of us have, there’s definitely a difference on occasion.

        First off, if you’re doing a sample spritz, I’d pour it on before buying (or not buying) a bottle. I think a common problem is under-applying a sample that you’re going to spritz later.

        Second, I like to graduate from a sample to a decant where possible, particularly if it’s expensive. If I ever work through a decant, then I think about a bottle, although I know lots of folks hate decants and want the bottle.

        • Masha says:

          I agree with March. Sample, decant, FB is a good way to go. Especially with smaller companies, samples can be made from a different batch than the bottle you buy. Samples from earlier formulations can also be hanging around long after the bottles made from that “vintage” have sold out. There definitely can be big differences, it’s an interesting topic. And I have wondered if the strengh sometimes differs between sample and bottle, too….

          • Musette says:

            Ditto! That’s how I got smacked by the Drama What is Nuui. I’d dabbed and dabbed and never got The Dreaded Musk. Then that honkin’ bottle showed up and I spritzed like a rabid weasel. And that musk reared up and slapped me right in the nose:o

            So def go through a spritz/decant before you buy. I ran through a whole lotta Lelong before I declared love. And that was both the EdP and the body creme.

            No need to enter me in the draw – sample awaits via my beloved Bradley @ Barney’s. Lydia (late of L’Artisan – lawd, the alliteration is thick today!) doesn’t think I will like it but we shall see – half the fun is in the Finding Out, eh?:-?

            Denver sounds delightful! We should consider something in Chicago as well – I’m not up to another Scentsation but the idea of having some perfumistas get together is a delightful one! For those of you in the area, click on my name and let’s holla!

            xoxoxo >-)

  • zeram1 says:

    How would you say that it compares with Guerlain’s SDV? I’d love to be in the draw as well!

  • Scent Hive says:

    Count me in Patty! The Perfume House is taking for-eh-verrrr in getting their stock.


  • bryan says:

    I would totally fly in for the weekend. I have a few friends I can stay with (or one of Denver’s fab hotels)! I’d make a romantic weekend out of it and ditch the man for the evening. Wow, this could be totally fun. I would just love to finally meet you in person.
    I have to say that I’m kind of meh on trying this one. I just got the Le Labo Vanille, but that was mostly because the decant I got from The Court was so much better than I expected. I’m just not a vanilla chaser. The Hermes is gorgeous, but I’m a floral lover. This just sounds so sweet….literally sweet. Not a lemming for me…for now.
    Keep me posted on next years’ get together….or is this a girls only event?

  • tmp00 says:

    Damn- I might have to try this one..

    I sadly can’t get to Denver, but do have a friend who lives there that I might pass the info onto. She’s a sybarite just waiting to be inducted (and boy did I just correct a Freudian typo..) who I think you would enjoy knowing.

  • Debby H says:

    I also replied via “contact us” (can you tell I’m excited?) I do live near Denver and would love to participate. I have lots of scents to bring! Oh – and you don’t have to chase out any kids or dogs for me – w/3 boys and a golden retriever, I’ll fit right in 🙂 Thanks!!

  • tammy says:

    I’m not anywhere near Denver, and you don’t need to enter me in the draw, but must you chase out the kids? I’d love to meet them….I especially remember your posts about taking them through Europe and all the castle love.

  • ScentRed says:

    I guess north of Toronto doesn’t exactly qualify as Denverish:((

    Both the evening and the Havana Vanille sound like a lot of fun to me. **sigh**