I tend to favor perfume houses and at the very least, test out everything they've created. In this case, it is Martine Micallef, whose fragrances have by and large captivated and inspired me. I find the quality and creativity of her fragrances to surpass most.
That is why I had to giggle when I tried Vanille Aoud on my skin. All of a sudden, I had this fantasy of a Hello Kitty Aoud fragrance being pushed by Sanrio, one that is sweetened up for a pre-teen and the severe earthiness of aoud is barely detectable. Micallef has another aoud scent that I find to be exceptional, Aoud Gourmet. While also sweet, Aoud Gourmet retains the integrity of the aoud, and it is the scent that made me interested in experimenting with layering. That's pretty huge.
With Vanilla Aoud, there is an odd tropical essence that pervades, a slight pina colada overtone that is pleasant, but not really of my ilk, reminding me more and more of Micallef's very light and fluffy Yellow Sea the longer it sits on my skin. A couple of the notes listed are musk and benzoin (and a surprising prune), but I would be surprised if anything could anchor this scent to your skin.
Not every perfumer's scent can be an absolute slam-dunk; that would mean that they are not human. I am convinced Martine Micallef is wonderfully human, and the wild variety and supreme craftsmanship that her fragrances offer us are well worth wading through a (very) occasional fizzler.