I received samples of the four perfumes in the Art Collection Vanille a few months ago and have tried them on and off for a few weeks. As the name of the collection suggests, vanilla is the main theme, presented in different styles, covering leather, oriental, floral and marine. The four perfumes are Vanille Marine, Vanille Fleur, Vanille Orient and Vanille Cuir.
Of the four, Vanille Orient appealed to me the most. The first thing that struck me when spraying on Vanille Orient was how similar it was to Guerlain's Spiritueuse Double Vanille. The Guerlain includes notes of pink pepper, bergamot, incense, cedarwood, rose, ylang ylang, benzoin and vanilla. Vanille Orient, according to Micallef's marketing material, has notes of vanilla, sandalwood, vanilla flower, musk and amber. Judging from the notes then, there is not much in common between the two other than the vanilla, but unless my nose is playing tricks on me, I feel there must be more in common, as they do smell very similar. Interestingly, the opening of Vanilla Orient has, to me anyway, a subtle oud note. I could be wrong of course, but that is what I detect.
If I'm being honest, while Vanilla Orient is hardly original, and bears more than a passing resemblance to Guerlain's SDV, I actually prefer it to SDV. I've mentioned it on this blog before, that I find SDV to have serious longevity and sillage issues on my skin. I like its smell but struggle to detect it quite often, whereas Vanilla Orient has more presence and longevity on my skin and smells good.