Felanilla is the second Parfumerie Generale scent I’ve tried. It’s much like Cuir Venenum in that it uses an unpretentious yet cohesive structure to combine notes that are uncommon in perfumery, let alone with each other. Pierre Guillaume, the perfumer for both, has done a great job pulling off olfactory humor.
Felanilla is designed to be a “feline vanilla.” Grain de Musc and Olfactoria’s Travels review that angle well. Perfumes: The Guide focuses on the starchy juxtaposition between banana and iris. My take is in the middle of these: I see Felanilla as a full exercise in starch and sweet, not as a contest but as a great balancing act.
The first time I put it on I smelled vanilla all the way through, with a gourmand finish. I didn’t notice the other notes at first, but I noted that it was more interesting than other vanillas and put it on my list to review later.
The second time I tried it, I noticed the iris coming out from behind the vanilla, as if the vanilla was a translucent covering. The banana is almost as prevalent as the iris, and would be easier to identify on its own without the vanilla accent. Bananas can be sweet or not, and Felanilla plays up their darker angle with wood. They amplified the starch in both iris and banana to further weigh against the sweetness. An abstract saffron note cuts into all this to add a softer texture, taking the position usually taken by a background of white floral notes. The drydown continues to be vanillic and starchy, with a touch of amber. Felanilla smells sweeter on fabric.
Felanilla is aiming more towards intelligence than it is towards beauty, but it smells wonderful. This is composed as well as heavy hitter fragrances. It’s almost harder to do quality light comedy than quality heavy drama, and Felanilla proves that this is the case with perfumery as well as less esoteric forms of art.
Lucky Scent Note List: vanilla absolute, saffron, orris, banana wood, hay absolute, amber
Perfumer: Pierre Guillaume
Price Range: Expensive
Recommended Occasion: Any
Release Year: 2008
My Rating: 9
Also check out Marina’s review at Perfume Smellin’ Things.