My "to review" list is now so alarmingly long that I try not to look at it at all for more than a few seconds at a time. Yesterday, in despair, I decided to cross out all of the niche fragrances I wasn't even interested in smelling again and could barely remember from the first try (scents that "fill my head with a deep, profound, Zen-like nothingness", to quote March at Perfume Posse). All of those samples were thrown into the purgatory basket, where they may end up living out the rest of their days unless either a) I get more productive or b) the fragrance industry gets less productive.
Felanilla — and let's not even talk about the name, 'kay? — is one of the latest fragrances from Parfumerie Generale, and it did make an immediate impression. My testing notes from the first trial say simply "Shalimar", not because it's a dupe, mind you, but because it struck me as something like a modern niche meditation on the Shalimar theme*. The opening is saffron, or more accurately, SAFFRON!, over a very cold, billowy iris (the notes: vanilla, saffron, iris, banana wood, hay and amber). The heart is warmer, more creamy-powdery, with just a tiny hint of something like banana. The hay note is strong after 30 minutes or so, and it gets darker, woodier and more vanillic the longer it is on skin, eventually reaching what I think of as the "spicy wood pudding" phase.
It isn't foody, exactly, and the vanilla never reaches anything close to Shalimar-like proportions. It also doesn't get nearly as creamy-sweet as some of my other favorite "spicy wood pudding" scents — it has a restrained quality, and strikes a nice balance between interesting and wearable, elegance and comfort. I'm not sure how Parfumerie Generale is marketing it, but I should think it qualifies as unisex. Highly recommended.
Parfumerie Generale Felanilla is available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum. For buying information, see the listing for Parfumerie Generale under Perfume Houses.