Parfumerie Generale Felanilla ~ perfume review

Parfumerie Generale Felanilla perfume

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.

* Carmencanada at Grain de Musc compares it to Guerlain's Guet-Apens; Octavian at 1000 Fragrances to Coty Emeraude.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Nope…let's not go there with the name, lol!

    This is a very cozy fragrance and I quite liked it. However, it reminded me too much of Guet-Apens to really capture my interest.


  2. Anonymous says:

    This really seems interesting. If it wasn't for the review I wouldn't have thought of trying (probably because of the name, and also because I already have enough vanilla in my wardrobe). I will have to give it a try.
    I'm still wondering – what is banana wood though? Banana is botanically speaking a grass and the trunk of that huge grass does not smell particularly appealing, but very strange (which could be appealing, I guess, in a very unripe starchy way).

  3. Anonymous says:

    ITA! After the initial slightly industrial blast, I thought 'Aha! A Shalimar that I can actually wear!'. Very nice scent. I don't get the Guet-Apens resemblance at all! I notice it's more expensive than the others according to Les Senteurs?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ok- I know we are not talking about “the name” and that is what everybody else is not doing, too- and frankly I am in the dark! I wish someone would email me and tell me what the hush is about!

    I got a sample of this a few weeks back and have only tested it once. It was interesting but I wasn't sure I wanted to wear it- will give it another test soon.

  5. Anonymous says:

    More $$ saved then — congrats, & hugs to you :-)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Beats me what banana wood is — I sort of assumed they made it up.

  7. Anonymous says:

    At Luckyscent, it's more than some, less than others ($115 for 50 ml).

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think it's supposed to be a mash-up between “feline” and “vanilla”, but it sounds silly to me, and also, as Grain de Musc so nicely phrased it, “suggests lewd oral ministrations performed in Ancient Rome”.

  9. Anonymous says:

    And adding — only said we're not talking about it because there's already been plenty of discussion elsewhere — didn't mean it was verboten or anything :-)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Aren't they talking about banana the fruit (that you know as ananas)?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the link, Robin! Just to clear up the comparison with Guet-Apens, I'd say it's Guet-Apens with all the extra bits shaven off, so it doesn't really smell like it that much, actually. I liken it to a creme brulée eaten off a silver spoon, it's so metallic. Very interesting — I've been overwhelmed too by the sheer number of niche releases, this is one of the few that inspired me to write about it. Now I'll have to pull out all the Parfumerie Générale stuff and give them another try, because this Felanilla is very interesting indeed.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I admit I thought Felanilla sounded like someone who pervs on cats. At least someone who covers them in vanilla frosting.

  13. Anonymous says:

    No thanks necessary, and I shouldn't have really said “compared to” so much as “linked to”, or something more specific — but as always, can barely manage to finish a review much less make it accurate, sorry!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Now I'm confused — ananas is pineapple, isn't it? It isn't an English word. PG uses the term “banana wood”.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mmmm. Spicy wood pudding scents, Robin: tell us more!!! A few names would be lovely. . .

  16. Anonymous says:

    the name is silly…so it just evocative of that to some folks, I guess? I suppose I can see that. I just thought I was missing some vital piece of cultural literacy…

  17. Anonymous says:

    Yes! I agree with Robin above, what are those other “spicy, wood, pudding” scents you mention? No idea. ;-) Maybe I should do a search on “pudding” in NST!? Ha!

    Felanila does sound interesting, though. I hear ya on the niche scent overload. I had to stop ordering samples – I can't keep up. I need to try the ones I have instead of purchase more!!! And there are some that I *should* like, but on first try, just didn't get it. So I figure I need to try them again. Then I try them again, and meh! They just don't do it. Though I have to say, I tried Chinatown 3 times. The first 3 times I didn't care for it at all – boring! Then I tried it again, and suddenly, I experienced it differently.

    I really think there's a lot of variation in how we experience scents – different day, different weather, different mood, different body temperature, etc. Some days I try scents and love them and detect certain notes in them. Other times I try the same scent, and it can be a completely different experience! Not TOTALLY different, but I can detect different nuances each time. Sometimes notes disappear that I thought were glaringly present another time, and sometimes notes appear that I never noticed before. It's very strange. So this is why it's difficult to make a judgment on just one try. BUT as you say, if you don't LOVE it on the first try, there's no time to keep trying it. Too many scents out there waiting in the wings…

  18. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the review. I got a sample and wasn't too crazy about it. Firstly, I don't like saffron on my skin, so that would be problem a. Secondly, the hay was very obvious and as 'vanessa' put it, rotting hay, I totally agree with. I guess it's just my chemistry. I couldn't detect any banana, mind you, try as I did. It didn't take long for me to swap away…many were interested!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Doesn't “banana wood” relate to the name of the perfume then? ;-)

  20. Anonymous says:

    I remember a loonnng time ago, R, I was quite beside myself when I discovered the PGs, and you were on the meh side about the line. It is really nice to see you warming up to some of them.

    Now, about those wood pudding scents. . .

    (for me, btw, biehl pc02 has got to be the ultimate wood pudding scent. I could eat that stuff with a spoon!)

  21. Anonymous says:

    Aw, c'mon, you know it ain't so!

  22. Anonymous says:

    I am SO not with it. When I pronounced it to myself, I though it sounded like a female felon–although I guess that would be felonista.

    OK, there's the next perfume name. Show your guns!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Hay is just about my favorite smell and woods, well, woods! Actually, if I could get a fragrance that was just about hay, I'd be beside myself.

    Too bad these are quite expensive. I can save if absolutely necessary but it seems like sampling this right now would be taking too much on my plate.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Ack, should have seen that one coming!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Covers them in vanilla frosting, HA! Good one.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Felonista — nice, I like!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Nope, you're not missing nuthin ;-)

  28. Anonymous says:

    Just tried what someone below suggested — did a search on wood pudding (search box in right sidebar) then limited results to NST — try it!

  29. Anonymous says:

    See comment above — a search on wood pudding turns up quite a few options!

    It is entirely true that sometimes, things don't seem right on the first few times, then suddenly you're in love — but, gosh, there just isn't time for that! My “to try” list is even worse than my “to review” list. I just can't keep up!

  30. Anonymous says:

    lovethescents, there is a lot of “hay” – my guess is that anyone who doesn't love coumarin will not like Felanilla.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Have to sort of quibble about that — I reviewed some of the early ones (and even some of the later ones) very favorably, just am maybe not ranking the line as a whole quite as highly as you do, perhaps?

  32. Anonymous says:

    There must be a scent that's just (or mostly) hay, isn't there? I mean, I don't know of one, but it *must* exist!

  33. Anonymous says:

    if not you can compensate with Diptyque's candle “foin coupée”

  34. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, I confused the fruits rsrs

  35. Anonymous says:

    Guet Apens? Did somebody say Guet Apens? How I love GA and Attrape Coeur so I look forward very much to sampling this, thanks for the review.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I agree. The thing is, I love the smell of hay…or coumarin, in the countryside, just not on my person :-)

  37. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the link! I wish I got more wood-pudding from this. I'm going to try again, it was very indistinct on me.
    On another note … I kind of liked that new Ed Hardy, and so did you. This scares me.

  38. Anonymous says:

    AS much as I was trying to love PG scents, I just can't. I wonder if this one would work for me?

    Since I love iris scents, I was so excited to get a sample of Iris Taizo… it was horrible on me. The only iris that I strongly dislike!

    It was bitter, not a hint of powdery, comforting iris.

    Same with their rare matale…. I love tea scents, this is the only one that didn't catch my attention so far.

    There were other scents by PG and I don't even remember what were their names… I guess that's not a good sign either.

    I wonder if Felanilla would be any better for me? Robin made it sound sooo good!

  39. Anonymous says:

    No big deal :-)

  40. Anonymous says:

    LOL — no, I know it *is* so — esp. in December. Like a chicken with my head cut off, basically :-)

  41. Anonymous says:

    Do go read the review at Grain de Musc! She isn't really saying they're the same at all — just that she sees a link.

  42. Anonymous says:

    LOL — if we both like it, even “kind of” like it, I think it ought to scare Ed Hardy!

  43. Anonymous says:

    I did not like Iris Taizo even one little bit, although I know many people did.

    My quarrel w/ the PG line, I think, is that it's just too big. Like many indie houses, they need an editor — there are some real gems there, but too many scents that just aren't quite what they might be.

  44. Anonymous says:

    The PG line is waaaay too big
    Like I don't really care about all of the new releases in general, but it does bother me when a line has too many releases, and Parfumerie Generale is definitely one of those lines
    There are a few I want to try, but the only one I've tried to far is Psychotrope, and I swear that smells exactly like my sister's “ocean” scented candles
    Next time I order samples I want to get Cuir d'Iris, I might get Felanilla too

  45. Anonymous says:

    I find PG's Bois Blond to have a very strong hay note – in fact it doesn't even smell woody to me at all.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Eureka!!! “Wood pudding” on NST got me SSS Bois Epice, Costume National 21, Tan Guidicelli Annam, Kenzo Amour and Indian Holi, Givenchy Organza Indecence. . .thanks so much for the computer ed, R.

  47. Anonymous says:

    I didn't even think of that! If we like it, it'll flop, we cannot possibly be the target market…

    and it DOES remind me of something. Driving me nuts. I didn't have time to compare-spray. I get something gourmandy? A Ralph? D&G The One? But it's nicer than that…

  48. Anonymous says:

    It gets crazy when you've as “young” a brand as PG and you already have more product than brands that have been around for years…

  49. Anonymous says:

    And they're all very different scents…

  50. Anonymous says:

    Yep, there's one in every crowd. ;-)

  51. Anonymous says:

    Well, the name is pretty silly. If it's about cats and vanilla, I think a better spelling would have been Felinilla. And if it's about crime and vanilla, it should be Felonilla. And if it's about something else, we weren't going there.

    Whew! Got that off my chest. I really want to try this fragrance, because I'd love to have an interesting vanilla-based fragrance that doesn't smell like baked goods. And I'm liking the PG line a lot! Thank you for the review, Robin, and for putting up with our comments. :-)

  52. Anonymous says:

    I think that one is still in my basket waiting for another try…I can't remember it!

  53. Anonymous says:

    You would think it was a goner! But in the comments to the L&L review, someone who works in a store that's selling it says it's doing very well. So we shall see!

    If you ever figure out what it smells like, come back and tell me! I thought it might be Ma Dame, but no, and after that I gave up. I promised myself I'd stop wasting so much time identifying fragrance cousins…

  54. Anonymous says:

    Maybe we need to hold a naming contest for PG? They clearly need our help ;-)

  55. Anonymous says:

    That would be fun. :-)

  56. Anonymous says:

    Which is what is so endlessly fascinating about this little out-of-control hobby of ours, R. You can pin 'em down with words, and then they still refuse to be entirely defined. I want them ALL — and then some!!! In Vancouver it is SO COLD; there's an Arctic front that's settled, and it's absolutely frigid here. Wood pudding scents are THE way to stay cozy!!!

  57. Anonymous says:

    Freezing cold, to me, calls for Givenchy Organza Indecence. Or DK Black Cashmere. Something strong & spicy!

  58. mals86 says:

    Just tried this and was a little disappointed because the notes were calling my name. However, I think the disappointment is because my nose keeps thinking, “this is Emeraude but wrong,” and I’m trying to yank it over into Emeraude territory when really it’s just a few houses down the street. (I recently bought some 70’s vintage Emeraude pdt which is so gorgeous that I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever wear anything else I love as much.)

    I like the saffron and hay; I like the not-foody vanilla; I even like the unripe-banana note. It’s only in the far drydown that it smells even remotely like Guet-Apens/Attrape-Coeur to me — it’s that sweet amber. I like this, but I don’t love it. (more $ saved!)

    • Robin says:

      More $ saved is exactly the way to look at it…PG is NOT cheap!

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