Vanderbilt fragrance notes

  • Head

    • Aldehydes, Pineapple, Bergamot, Green notes, Lavender, Orange blossom
  • Heart

    • Carnation, Jasmine, Rose, Tuberose, Iris, Ylang ylang
  • Base

    • Musk, Opoponax, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Vetiver, Civet, Cinnamon

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Latest Reviews of Vanderbilt

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I'm not sure what this originally smelled like, but I can describe what I currently purchased for $12.99 CAD (100ml EDT).

Gross. This starts off in a strange, mossy, resinous fashion, but soon recedes into a bizarre, spicy, bubblegum soap.

The resinous nature of this really surprised me, and could have been really interesting, but the cheap floral overlay is frankly revolting. I have no clue who would want to smell like this. Even at $12.99 I feel like I got ripped off.

Someone took L'Heure Bleue and made it out of garbage materials.
15th November 2021
I think Aquila's review is spot-on, and it describes me perfectly. I haven't worn this perfume in a long time but it's my new best friend. If you're into seasonal color analysis, Carole Jackson put this on the Winter list. It's especially good if you're one of the bright, clear Winters with Spring influence. The pineapple and Bergamot add that touch of lightness. It also works well if you have Romantic or retro style as I do.
8th May 2021

A dark blue night, you're somewhere in city near the river; moody, recolecting thoughts, rememberings, or dreams of future. Will they come true? Mood is a bit sad, a bit recolecting or nostalgic. Women who has deep retrospective thoughts, feelings. Perfume of intimate spirituality. A scent of seduction, but class and comfort, both wealth and physical just like Gloria Vanderbilt herself.

A strong aldehyde opening. Then everyting melds together into that perfect, flowery, powdery dream. A cloud of powdery iris covers lazy flowers composition on a warm, blue, romantic base of vanilla, sandalwood, musk and opoponax makes it like the memory of a long ago love. It's for the person who loves the smell of vintage cosmetics.

This fragrance sends the wearer into another world. It's a "chilly heat tipped over one eye, a velvet cape, and matching silk undergarments. It is for days when you can get out of bed even at noon, go yourself ready in your boudoir and go out in your beautiful dress. Classy, moody, enchanting and timeless.
3rd February 2021
Found a bottle cheap, at the local flea market. Age, unknown... Light aldehydes. Sweet and green at the same time. Slightly bitter in the background. Orange blossom smells almost candied. This is a very "dated" fragrance, from the old days. I forgot I enjoyed it. I believe the pineapple is what is creating the sweet aspects.

It begins to have a slight powdery edge as the middle notes reveal. Iris hovers above the rest of the notes. The other flower notes come and go in subtle movements. Iris, is the star in the middle, and this definitely becomes even more powdery and dry as h*ll. I don't remember Vanderbilt being so pretty.

Vanilla and opoponax are the first base notes to appear. A lipstick accord begins to arise as musk rises up from beneath. Iris still lingers. It slowly begins to merge with the remaining base notes. The bottom end of this perfume is a light, creamy amber-ish scent. Not overly sweet - just enough. There is a bit of vetiver and animalic civet right on the skin hours later. Nice, for an oldie and a cheapie!
14th June 2019
I saw it at the supermarket so I didn't think much of it. It's actually good, with a lot of tuberose and a vintage feel. Some powdery cleanness. A bargain.
21st June 2018
Orange blossom and tuberose ride on a gentle wave of aldehydes, where they meet fresh green, and citrus - pineapple. A praline accord fills the space underneath with a quite neutral and slightly oily hazelnut paste, and this sits opposite a dry, lightly spiced tobacco leaf. There is a vague hairspray ambience, as though someone has just done their hair ready for an evening out before spraying on the Vanderbilt.

Being a floriental it's a night time scent, more at home in a cosy cuddle than with daily routines. It's soft, very feminine, and may even be cloying when the drier and spicy sides demur to it's pink sweetness.

As the intro unfurls towards the more stable body accords it's a bit uneven from time to time. Then, when it's established, the profile boils down to a sweet pink and light rosy floral with strong orange flower and tuberose accents over a layer of tobacco; set on a dry, woody tinged oriental that lasts and lasts.

Vanderbilt takes a lead from one of the biggest phenomena of seventies perfumery. A construction similar to Charlie's aldehydic head of hyacinth - cyclamen - muguet is used, but in Vanderbilt it's pushed into the background. The melon and plasticky leather heart which dominates Charlie is replaced by a heavier praline note, and Charlie's almost indiscernible spice is boosted up. The same high pitched riff is played by both, but in Vanderbilt it's almost drowned out by the backing band. It's instructive to compare the Vanderbilt note pyramid on Parfumo with the one for Charlie on Wikipedia. Given the similarities in head and base notes, you could be forgiven for being surprised by how different they actually smell.

Vanderbilt also differs in its level of sophistication; it's technically way ahead of the rather cheap pragmatism of Charlie, at least in the samples I have - where Charlie may be a reformulation.
But then, so is this, most likely.

Being an oriental, the bottom half of Vanderbilt's profile can be interpreted as a reference to another game changing seventies smash, one that couldn't be ignored. Vanderbilt uses the spices and opoponax of Opium but tones them right down. What we have is a structure that takes the functional and blasé notes of Charlie, and an Opium-Lite style oriental base, and deploys them in a soft rosy floral which is characteristic of Sophia Grojsman's style.

Perfume is a sign of the times - like any cultural product - and this one reflects the eclectic flux of fashions that that were around in the early eighties. Trainers (sneakers) appeared for the first time, headbands and brightly coloured sports wear; and unisex clothes for women - big jumpers, trench coats, and Gloria Vanderbilt's own pioneering brand of figure hugging jeans - of course. And all this ran parallel to a legacy of flowing, more traditional feminine clothes, made in natural fibres and muted colours.

With its elements of the conservative oriental form, Vanderbilt the perfume reflects this fashion milieu of traditional seventies forms, but it also quotes the new paradigm, Charlie's cool aldehydic floral - which represents the modern styles emerging at the time.

This L'Oreal product is pretty, well crafted and the makers were canny enough to give it the right moves. It was a big hit in its day, but it's now at odds with current taste. By the standard of today's market (ie. what sells on the high street) Vanderbilt is heavy and over mature, its style rather passé. Even so, it remains popular. French supermarkets still sell it in box sets at Christmas, and that's proof of lasting appeal if ever there was one.

30th January 2016
Show all 31 Reviews of Vanderbilt by Gloria Vanderbilt