Honoré des Prés Vamp à  NY

As I remarked on here not too long ago, we seem to be in the middle of a Big White Flower Moment in perfumery.  Two recent favorites of mine – Amaranthine and Nuit de Tubereuse – have been built around white flowers (jasmine and tuberose respectively).  Even Kim Kardashian’s gotten into the act, with a mass-market jasmine/gardenia/tuberose that, while I won’t be rushing out to buy it, ain’t half bad in my opinion.  If Kim Kardashian leads the general public away from sugary, mass-market gourmands into a sultry, sophisticated, skanky white flower fandom, I’d be eternally grateful.

So when I heard that Olivia Giacobetti, a perfumer whose work I much admire and usually enjoy, was doing Vamp à  NY for Honoré des Prés, I was all over it.   Giacobetti and tuberose?  Along with some mouthwatering early reviews – Octavian, for instance, called it like a “nectar of gods” on his blog. Uhhhkay… sign me up.  Where do I type in my credit card info online?  Wait, what do you mean, I can’t have it in the U.S. until September?!? Vamp is the first fragrance I really wanted to try from this organic-botanical-perfume house; the previous releases sounded both fleeting and not especially interesting to me.

Accusations of dullness or poor lasting power won’t be leveled at Vamp.  It starts big, with a piercing top that is intensely sweet and syrupy on the skin.  It reminds me of the brown, barrel-shaped root beer candies of my childhood, evoking in a larger sense the candy shelf at the drugstore.  In a botanical scent, this stage has a peculiarly synthetic quality to my nose — it’s just sooo much and so odd, with its root beer, banana Runts and vanilla-caramel Sugar Daddy.  It shifts and becomes more recognizably “rum” – a boozy note that is still intensely sweet and makes me think of a fruity rum drink, something made with coconut.  Eventually the next phase arrives, which is tuberose overlayed with a powerful shellacking of a combination of two smells: specifically, a giant tub of greasy, movie-theater popcorn popped in tropical oils, along with a hint of coconut tanning-oil.   And there the fragrance stays.

I tried Vamp in various situations, hoping for something different.  I tried at 74, 84 and 94 degrees.  I tried it with lotion, without lotion, on alternate Tuesdays, before showers, early, late, after showers, under the quarter-moon, at the solstice, and standing on one foot.   I tried it until Hecate came wandering up to me in my bedroom yesterday, watched me glare at the traitorous atomizer, and said, what’s wrong, mommy?  Ew … what’s that smell?

Honoré des Prés Vamp à  NY will no doubt be a raging, ravishing torrent of tantalizing tuberose to everyone else on the planet.  Here are the links to the original reviews on Grain de Musc, 1000 Fragrances and today’s new review on Perfume-Smellin’ Things.  The first two reviews, written by folks who know more about raw materials than I ever will, are positive bordering on ecstatic.  I wonder what Marla on PST will think.

Note: I got my sample of Vamp from Grain de Musc, along with a bunch of other people who I think are over there giving their mini-reviews in comments on a special blog post on Vamp today.

141 Comments
mals86 June 24, 2010

Well, well. I think Nuit de Tubereuse is fascinating but on-the-edge-of-unwearable Weird (at least until it gets to the drydown, which I like a lot). I get a lotta earthy-mildewy stuff in there, and there's not nearly enough tubey to suit me. But I'm going through my Vamp sample at an alarming rate, and loving it. It's very sweet - a ton of coconut - but I confess I rather like that trashy-fun aspect of it.

minette June 24, 2010

you're somewhat of a scent twin for me, so i will put this one on the back burner. and thanks for trying it under so many conditions - that was funny.

Winifreida June 23, 2010

Heh, being Australian I don't have many of the associations like 'root beer' (which always sounds slightly lewd according to our slang lexicon!!!) or circus peanuts. What struck me about this was (a) how lightly transparent it smells and (b)the same slightly 'artificial' note in there for a while as others have remarked. But I have realised tuberose can simply do no wrong for me...and I also like sweet and coco-tropical, being old enough to have slathered on the tropical tanning oils and thus associating that smell with wonderful hot and steamy holidays! If I didn't already have about ten tuberoses I would definitely buy this, love that it is all natural.I hope it is a smash hit for them. Had to comment to see what gravatar I get!

Shelley June 23, 2010

Ha! Much later checking in than usual, but there is much to be enjoyed here. Love the various takes. Here's the dope from my angle, telegram style, since I already mangled more complex thoughts once in my blog entry: HIGHLY REMINISCENT OF SONGES STOP MUST ADMIT THAT PERSONAL TUBEROSE CONQUERS ALL OTHER OLFACTORY IMPRESSIONS LIKELY AT WORK STOP NO ROOT BEER NO POPCORN JUST INTENSE TUBEROSE CLOUD STOP NEEDED A DOSE OF CHYPRE AND A STIFF GIN AND TONIC WHEN DONE STOP The weird thing is, I like Songes. Plenty like. I guess there's only room for one in that spot of my perfume heart. The good thing is, I respect what Giacobetti has accomplished, and you are right; nobody should be complaining about lasting power here.

sherobin June 23, 2010

I really wish I was getting what some of you are getting. For me, this scent is about 90% overwhelming pink bubblegum, with that buttery note floating in and out. There are a few nice moments...a dark rummy phase, something caramelly and deep for a bit, but no white flowers at all, no resins... I really wanted to like this one. The Love Coco is nice, but not full-bottle nice. On the other hand, I am becoming seriously addicted to both Nuit de Tubereuse and Manoumalia. Win some, lose some.

Disteza June 23, 2010

I got the root beer on the opening, but not the popcorn. I also get a massive dose of root beer from PdE Aziyade, shortly before the cumin comes in and rips up the place. I am still firmly enamoured of my 2 fav tuberoses: Manoumalia and TC. I get more vetiver out of Manoumalia than most, it seems, and le Criminelle is the perfection of a finely-cracked whip to the nostrils. I don't see Amaranthine, NdT, or Vamp coming close to replacing either of my top picks, and to be honest, I couldn't see myself wearing out more than 2 bottles of tuberosity in my life, so no FBs for me. [-(

Rappleyea June 23, 2010

Another one here who loved this review. I've learned over the years that you and Angela at NST are probably the closest to me in perfume likes/dislikes. Tuberose (and the other tropical florals excepting jasmine) I love to smell in a vase and THEN WALK AWAY. They are too sweet and cloying to smell all day. I chuckled at your root beer reference... several years ago I did a simple aromatherapy blend for a bath - ylang ylang and maybe lavender and bergamot. I can't really remember the other two, but I'm definite on the ylang ylang. It was dead on root beer! I never did that blend again!

maggiecat June 23, 2010

I'm so enjoying everyone's comments that I wish I could join in! But tuberose is, alas, my "gaaack! wheeze! where's some aspirin? phew! choke!" downfall. I wish it weren't, especially when y'all make it sound so appealing. And Madea, congrats on having been acquired by a kitten (we cat "owners" know how this thing really works). Mine slept nested in my hair when she was little, something of an inconvenience when I had to go to work...

Lee June 23, 2010

She is

Louise June 23, 2010

March-are you the only one the emoticons favor? :o:((>:d<@};-[-o<^:)^

Musette June 23, 2010

I just spent the last of my discretionary simoleans on the Handbag of My Dreams and was terrified I was gonna have to rob a bank to buy Vamp. Thank you March, for saving me from a life of crime! xo >-)

donanicola June 23, 2010

I'm always very grateful when something comes along which most other people rave about then I smell it and go "wha???" Pounds saved for stuff I love. I have sampled this once and agree it is sweet. Being English I don't get the root beer/candies references but I do register buttered popcorn. It made me think of HdP's L'Animale but with more tuberose. Incidentally I don't think Manoumalia has tuberose in it though I could easily be wrong. I'm looking forward to your review of that one, I have a feeling it will be a March special...

Melissa June 23, 2010

I'm no fan of Manoumalia, yet I'm liking Vamp. Where Manoumalia smells like tropical flowers and rubber (not in a good way) on me, Vamp goes green and creamy. But it takes some patience. It starts with a burst of slightly rummy (almost unpleasant) tuberose on my skin and at first I thought that it would be a scent to be admired for its composition, but not worn, at least by me. As it dries down though, I find that it turns into a compelling floral, with that strange green/banana facet and the buttery note that I adore in a good tuberose. Still, Carnal Flower is my go-to FBW tuberose. But I don't mind owning a small decant of this. Maybe I'll wear it to work and see what happens. :d

sweetlife June 23, 2010

HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!!! I'm SO glad I came here to read your review first, because I thought I was going crazy! And then that picture at the top appeared and everything was well again.. So...I kept putting it on and it kept saying, "rootbeer." I sort of turned that note around in my mind thinking, well, what is rootbeer, anyway? Sugar, sasparilla root, spices. Maybe it's some combination of rootiness and spices that reads entirely differently if your didn't grow up with A&W? So I could sort of get past it, to the flowers, thinking that way. But sweet for sure. After the rootbeer it gets much better for me. I don't mind the buttered popcorn note in tuberose (I'm one of the three people on the planet who like it in Guerlain's Mahora) But it's still sweet. Intensely so. In fact, it reminded me of a sugary version of Songes, without the bitterness that Songes has to temper that sweetness (and I know how much you love Songes, *insert green nauseous guy here*). Every now and then I could catch a whiff of something that smelled like the raw tuberose I know and love. And then everything was sweet again. I do like the dry down, and the lasting power is tremendous. It was on my skin the next morning!

Klara June 23, 2010

I was one of the lucky sample giveaway winners and I already commented on Graindemusc blog but I have to say it here as well: Vamp a NY smells like: MDCI's Peche Cardinal meets Fracas throws in some sugar and sets the whole thing on fire. The Vamp smells very "ripe" to me - maybe the combination of peaches and booze and even thoguh it is too sweet for me I love the cozy warm drydown.

karin June 23, 2010

Oh March!!! So happy you said this cause I was beginning to think I was off my rocker. You say root beer barrels, I somehow associated VaNY with those fluffy, orange-colored, marshmallowy, super sweet circus peanuts! I haven't had one of those since I was a child, but the sweetness in VaNY suddenly popped the image into my head. Now I need to go search out those peanuts. Peanuts, popcorn, sounds like a circus. And I also totally got that synthetic thing you mention. I was thinking, wait a minute, this is supposed to be a "natural" perfume. Why am I getting synthetic? Well, I admit my nose might be tainted cause I happened to test it out at the same time I was testing NdT. And NdT turned out to be instant LOVE, have to have it, want to be doused in it. Comparing the two, VaNY seemed stomach churningly sweetish, while the NdT was sweetish with a big dose of vamp.

Louise June 23, 2010

Well you make it sound so nasty, I must give it a try... :o I am playing in the tuberoses-ordered Tubereuse Couture to split, wore Cedre yesterday-and still come back to my One True Tubey Love-Carnal Flower. A dear friend gave me some of the body butter-oooh, ha!

dinazad June 23, 2010

What is this with tuberose and bananas? Amaranthine smells like Banana Split on me - bananas, milk/cream and chocolate..... I think I'll stick to Fracas for the five seconds every other year when I feel like donning tuberose....

Joe June 23, 2010

Uh. That third paragraph of yours is something they surely wish they had had marketing concoct for the press packet, no doubt. b-( Tell us how you reeeeeeeeally feel! LOL. I love it! Hey, isn't there someone on one of these blogs who's always getting "buttered popcorn accord" from Carnal Flower or Fracas or some other big tubey? (actually, I just did a search on buttered popcorn on NST and the results are pretty funny and wide-ranging) I should send you a dab of my favorite Eau de Root Biere: AdP Blu Med Mandorlo di Sicilia. I actually kind of like the stuff, but I always scratch my head and say, "Bitter almond, eh? Whatev..." So I'm not salivating over this, but my dang decant of NdT better get here soon! I wants me some Mango Luvvvv!

carmencanada (Grain de Musc) June 23, 2010

I guess my synthetic candy experiences were too few, or go too far back, for me to get any of those impressions. Experience always informs connotations! But maybe Olivia *was* playing with those ideas, who knows? As you said, my personal experience with the Vamp was indeed ecstatic, and clearly the sillage has that effect as well because I've seldom gotten so many spontaneous compliments on a fragrance.

dissed June 23, 2010

Due to my Manoumalia fiasco, I'm giving up on tuberose. I smelled a really great earthy something which was almost immediately overpowered by the scent of white flowers in dirty hair. Thankfully, it was all over within five minutes, and I smelled nothing at all. The carrot one does sound nice. I've always liked Fleur de Carotte.

furriner June 23, 2010

I really like it a lot, find it gorgeous, although, truth be told, I am not an expert on tuberose. The first thing I thought when I sprayed it on was MDCI Péché Cardinal. Upon closer inspection they aren't all that close, really, aside from the tuberose. I think I like Vamp à NY better. I'll have to spray it on after work tomorrow to be able to write a coherent description. I don't get the popcorn in tropical oils, but then, Péché Cardinal always reminded me of cling peaches on corn tortillas.

Eric June 23, 2010

I was shocked when I found the sweet smell of bubblegum. Oh my. To be fair, every third time or so, I get the very distinct smell of jasmine tea. But still. Lots o' bubblegum. I can't say I hate it, or even that I dislike it. Early on, I looked into a bottle (hot damn, that's not bad of organic!) but, though I know I'll finish my sample, I'm not sure I need to own the smell of bubblegum. I still cannot wait to smell the carrot one, though

Masha June 23, 2010

Wow, so what happened to me with Nuit de Tubereuse (everyone loves it except me), happened to you with Vamp! I'm so sorry, isn't that just rotten when that happens? Everyone's having a great time at the new perfume party except...you. I know that feeling! I really love Vamp, though, and I got a lot more Asian spiciness and less sugar than you did. My skin just sucks all the sugar out of fragrances, Lolita Lempicka smells like dry, austere spice and woods on me. Well, you can send your sample of Vamp on to me, I'll sure use it!

carter June 23, 2010

No, you won't get an argument from me, for once :o I do not like the opening. Once it settles into the tubey-popcorn-pina colada phase, I start feeling a bit more friendly-like toward it, but I keep hoping for something a bit more along the lines of Manoumalia (I can see you making that face, missy:*oh yes I can) and wishing they'd hold the Jiffy Pop :-<

Madea June 23, 2010

Isn't it awful when something everybody else loves smells vile to/on you? I used to be very into BPAL, and the ones everybody loved were always hideous on me. I'm typing one handed, as I somehow aquired a kitten yesterday, and she's decided the only place to sleep is my arm, curled into my chest. Not that I mind much... :d