17 Best Vanilla Perfume That Smell AMAZING (2021)

Vanilla Scented Perfume For Grown-Ups


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cup of white chocolate vanilla

This is a list of the 17 best vanilla perfume in 2021.

In fact, we just had the pleasure spending the last few weeks researching and testing 73 amazing vanilla based perfumes.

We looked at how good they smelled.

We looked at the performance and lasting power.

We looked at what season and situation each scent worked best in.

And:

We even looked at the price and compliment factor.

And in this post I’ll reveal the world’s best vanilla perfumes…

…and help you choose the best one for you.

Sound good? Let’s dive right in…

In a hurry?

Our Top 3 Picks:

#17 Mancera Velvet Vanilla


Sweet Fruity Floral Vanilla

In case you don’t know…

Mancera are a French niche perfume house – known for their affordable long-lasting luxurious gourmand fragrances. And Velvet Vanilla does not disappoint. 🙂

Let’s take a look…

Velvet Vanilla opens up with a blast of fresh fruity spicy sweetness… mixed with white florals and a hint of vanilla in the background. And to be honest…

The opening is quite harsh (to my nose) …So give it a few minutes to calm down… and let the magic begin.

Stay with me… 🙂

Juicy Pear

…When it dries down, a nice blend of juicy pear, tuberose and vanilla shine through – giving off a thick, sweet, sexy bubble-gum creamy vanilla vibe.

And eventually…

A hint of soft white musk joins the party – to balance the fragrance out and stop it from becoming overly sweet… And you’re left with hours and hours of delicious smooth creamy velvety vanilla sweetness. Nice.

It’s super addictive and garners a LOT of compliments.

Dressed Up, Dressed Down

Suitable for the fall, winter and cooler spring days… but do not apply this in the high summer heat – as it becomes sickly sweet.

Can be worn dressed up, dressed down, for dates, casual, nights out, clubbing, etc…

Super Long Lasting

The best part… this is super long lasting ; Up to 10 plus hours. Great.

Now, a quick word of warning:

This is a strong fragrance and projects like crazy for the first few hours… so be careful with the sprayer; 1 – 2 sprays MAX …and you’re set. 🙂

Side note: The bottle is gorgeous and comes with a handy travelling pouch.

Check Price at Amazon

#16 Profumum Roma Dulcis in Fundo


Creamy Orange Vanilla Deliciousness

A gourmand lover’s dream. This is super unique and extremely addictive.

By the way… Profumum Roma are a family run Italian luxury niche house – that use super high-quality ingredients. They also come with prices to match.

Let’s break it down:

Dulcis In Fundo opens with a blast of orange citrus and sweet vanilla… giving off a yummy orange creamsicle vibe. Nice. But it gets better…

Juicy Orange Vanilla Cake

…After a few hours this morphs into a juicy orange creamy vanilla cake with whispers of cinnamon.

And it smells DELICIOUS. This fragrance starts conversations – people will want to know what you are wearing.

But be careful… They may want to eat you. 🙂

Orange vanilla dessert on a plate

This is unisex, for all ages and suitable fall, winter and cooler spring days. Days or nights, dressed up, dressed down, casual, dates, nights out, special occasions, cozy nights in.

Now, to be clear:

This is not a projection monster that fills a room, it has above average projection that will get you noticed and leaves a beautiful scent trail.

The best part?

Extract

This is super long lasting – as it’s an extract concentration with a very high oil percentage.

In fact:

Profumum Roma suggest when you spray the fragrance on your skin to wait 10 to 15 seconds, then massage the area in order to permit the essence to blend with your skin.

Now, a quick word of warning:

A high concentration of oil will still remain on your skin so pay attention to your clothing.

Needless to say:

Go easy with the trigger. 1 or 2 sprays MAX …and your set. 🙂

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#15 Tauerville Vanilla Flash


Sweet Tobacco, Rose & Boozy Vanilla

Now, in case you don’t know…

Tauerville are an affordable collection of fragrances from Tauer perfumes – an indie niche perfume house based in Switzerland… owned and run by world renowned perfumer Andy Tauer.

The very same man who created the masterpiece L`Air du Desert Marocain – a highly regarded creation in the fragrance community.

But listen to this…

Hand Crafted

The fragrances are all hand crafted in Switzerland in small batches, using high quality ingredients.

They come in minimalist bottles and boxes so they are priced very affordable, for such high-quality perfumes.

In fact:

Andy Tauer uses a high-tech CO2 natural extract of Vanilla Planifolia to create Vanilla Flash.

Vanilla CO2 Extract is premium quality and possesses the deep, rich, creamy aroma of vanilla and is far superior to synthetic vanilla fragrance oils.

'You need absolute freedom to create beautiful fragrances. And you need time. And the best ingredients you can get. That is the true mystery how to create thrilling fragrances.' – Andy Tauer.Click To Tweet

Anyway… Let me break it down for you:

Vanilla Flash opens with a blast of florals, rose and vanilla – with spices and whispers of tobacco in the background.

When it starts to dry down… the spicy pink pepper starts to fade, and you get a floral, slightly powdery, sweet boozy vanilla soft tobacco vibe with a hint of patchouli in the background.

Smells sexy and sophisticated – a vanilla fragrance for grown-ups. 🙂

(By the way, if you love rose scents… be sure to check out our best rose perfumes list.)

Super Versatile

Super versatile: This is unisex and more suited to the mature 25-up crowd. Best for fall, winter and cool spring days for any occasion – days or nights.

The good news…

This is an EDP and projects well for the first few hours… then starts to get more subtle but has great long-lasting performance.

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#14 House of Matriarch Coco Blanc


100% Natural White Chocolate Vanilla Deliciousness

Here’s the scoop:

The House of Matriarch are the rockstars of the natural fragrance world. In fact, the indie brand from the USA, have built up a loyal celebrity client following and amassed numerous awards and press mentions…

…And even get some love from the world’s best known fragrance critic, Luca Turin – biophysicist and co-author of the book Perfumes: The A-Z Guide.

Pretty cool, right? But here’s the beautiful part…

Hand Blended

The fragrance is hand blended in small batches, by the creator and perfumer Christi Meshell – and she selects and uses only the highest quality 100% natural ingredients available.

Unlike mainstream perfumes, which average 2 – 5% of natural ingredients.

In fact:

Many of the raw materials used are rare and highly valued – in the world of perfumery, these are known as “noble materials.”

'Nature is the ultimate luxury.' – House Of Matriarch.Click To Tweet

Needless to say:

They also come with prices to match (understandable). Artisan perfumes are aimed at those of you that want to smell super unique… and stand out from the crowd. Here’s the thing…

Organic

Mainstream mass-market perfumes are made from industrial grade SD40 denatured corn alcohol (to avoid paying beverage taxes). The real culprit behind most perfume allergies

But on the other hand:

The House of Matriarch use the highest quality natural fruit-based ethanol to create their fragrances.

Distilled in Washington USA and made from organic grapes. (you don’t smell the grapes in the perfume).

It contains no SD40 – so you don’t get the harsh alcohol opening, like when you first spray a mass-market perfume.

Even better…

This also allows the perfume to continue to smell better and better with time – just like a fine wine ages.

That’s why the House of Matriarch perfumes are the only brand marked with the vintage year on the bottle.

Anyway… you’re probably wondering:

How does it smell?

Sweet Creamy White Chocolate

Coco Blanc opens up with a blast of sweet creamy white chocolate mixed with rich smoky vanilla and hints of nutmeg and warm chai spices.

Delicious. 😍

When it stars to dry down… some milky sandalwood and musk join the party: to balance it out and stop it from becoming overly sweet – this also gives the fragrance some depth and complexity.

It’s smooth, sexy, warm and seductive.

And… eventually, the white chocolate vibe fades and it becomes more of a musky milky vanilla with a hint of nutmeg.

And hats off to the House of Matriarch…

This smells SUPER authentic.

Apparently, they use a Tahitian variant of vanilla… grown on a small family farm in Maui, Hawaii – that’s been aged for 3 years before going into the fragrance. This is considerably more expensive than Bourbon vanilla.

vanilla pods

Intimate

This is unisex and best suited for fall, winter and cooler spring days. Great for any occasion days or nights. Perfect for dates, romantic nights in.

Now, to be perfectly clear:

This is a soft intimate scent. So if you’re looking for a vanilla powerhouse, this is NOT it.

It has about 1 hour of good projection… then sits close to the skin — and draws people in. 🙂

But here’s the kicker:

Because this is 100% natural… with no synthetic fixatives –  it’s not long lasting (to be expected).

During testing, we got a mixed bag of between 3 – 6 hours of lasting power. So please keep that in mind.

But with that said… the smell is a 10 out of 10 …it smells SO good! 😍

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#13 Guerlain Angélique Noire


Green Vanilla Heaven

This is magical. 🙂

Now, in case you don’t know… Angélique is French and translates to Angelica – a discreet plant with small flowers, that has a sweet biting green herbal vibe.

Let me break it down for you…

Angélique Noire opens up with a blast of a bitter-sweet green herbal note with hints of pear and some powdery vanilla sitting in the background.

Now, to be clear:

Don’t judge the fragrance just yet… give it time to develop on your skin –  it transforms into something MUCH more enjoyable. 🙂

As it dries down… The vanilla creeps in and gets sweeter and smooths everything out – joined with some woody notes and spices in the background.

Luxurious

It never becomes overly sweet ; it’s the perfect blend of green and sweet powdery vanilla. Nice.

Smells luxurious, sexy and super unique. It doesn’t smell like other mass-produced department store perfumes – and you will stand out in the crowd.

The best part?

Super Versatile

Angélique Noire is super versatile: can be worn all year round except in the high summer heat.

All ages, all occasions, days or nights. Perfect for special occasions, dates, nights out, formal and is work safe.

Even better…

This is an EDP and jumps off your skin for the first few hours… then becomes quite subtle – but is super long lasting. 2 sprays MAX …and your set.

Side note: the bottle looks classy and has a golden metal label on the side with the name of the scent – like the spine of a precious book.

It also comes in a gorgeous “leather feel” case, which you could transform into a jewellery box. 🙂

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#12 Indult Tihota


The Gold Standard of Vanillas

This is for true vanilla lovers. Now, I will make it super easy for you…

If you don’t want anything complex and want to smell of a straight-up authentic warm cozy delicious vanilla… with no other interfering notes.

Get this. 🙂

Natural

Indult are a French luxury niche perfume house, who use natural and extremely rare extracts to create their fragrances – and they do not contain any colorants or additives.

Indult commissioned world renowned master perfumer Francis Kurkdjian to create Tihota… and he did not disappoint.

This smells super delicious! 🙂

'Perfume as a work of art is a transmitted expression on intimacy.'— Francis Kurkdjian.Click To Tweet

To be clear:

Tihota is not a complex scent and has only 2 notes – pure vanilla bean and soft white musk.

Luxurious Thick, Rich, Sweet Vanilla

What you get is a straight-up thick, rich, sweet vanilla – with a hint of booziness and whispers of spices.

It’s yummy sweet (but not overly sweet)… and smells luxurious, warm and sexy. And (unsurprisingly) garners a LOT of compliments.

This is unisex and for all ages, days or nights and best for the fall and winter.

Warm & Cozy

Perfect for dates, romantic nights, nights out or simply as a warm cozy comforting scent.

Now, I should point something out:

Tihota is not a powerhouse fragrance; it has average projection for the first few hours then becomes more subtle and sits close to the skin.

The good news…

This is an EDP and is super long lasting – up to 10 hours plus.

Can you say jackpot? 🙂

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#11 Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille


A Spicy Smoky Boozy Rum Vanilla

This is the Holy Grail of vanilla perfumes for a lot of vanilla lovers… and for good reason!

Guerlain are a French luxury perfume house and Spiritueuse Double Vanille is from their Exclusive L’Art et la Matière Collection…

…A range of fragrances for aficionados of rare scents and those who appreciate noble raw materials. These are not cheap.

In fact:

This masterpiece was created by world renowned master perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain himself. Let’s take a look…

Boozy Rum

Spiritueuse Double Vanille opens up with a sweet-spicy creamy vanilla mixed with a splash of boozy rum.

When it dries down… it starts to get sweeter and you get hints of smokiness and woods buried underneath.

And it smells DELICIOUS.

It’s sexy, intoxicating and addictive. Watch heads turn. 🙂

Now, to be clear…

Complex

This doesn’t smell like a teenager sugary sweet mass-marketed vanilla perfume – it’s complex, masterfully blended and screams high quality.

And best for fall and winter (this gets cloying in the high heat).

Perfect for dates, special occasions, romantic evenings, nights-out and even casual. This is more for the mature crowd – suggest 20-up.

Scent Trail

This has good projection… but it’s not one of those room-filler fragrances. Leaves a beautiful scent trail… and as it’s an EDP, this is super long lasting – hangs about for up to 12 hours.

Can you say jackpot? 🙂

Side note: the bottle looks classy and has a golden metal label on the side with the name of the scent – like the spine of a precious book.

It also comes in a gorgeous “leather feel” case, which you could transform into a jewellery box.

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#10 Carner Barcelona El Born


Sweet Spicy Boozy Creamy Vanilla & Honey

This is super unique. Now, in case you don’t know…

Carner are a Spanish luxury niche perfume house based in Barcelona.

They use super high-quality ingredients and master perfumers to create their fragrances – but come with prices to match (no surprise).

Anyway…

El Born is one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Barcelona, that has lots of coffee shops, liquor stores, bakeries, museums and wine bars.

Carner wanted to encapsulate the vibrant spirit of El Born in a bottle. Did they succeed? Let’s find out…

Dark Boozy Vanilla & Honey

El Born opens up with a blast of dark boozy vanilla and honey – with a hint of some bright citruses.

The citruses quickly fade, and as it starts to dry down… some whispers of spice and white florals join the party – along with some sandalwood, to give it some sweet smooth creaminess. Nice.

It’s sweet… but not overly sweet. This is not a typical teenybopper sweet vanilla fragrance – this is a vanilla for grown-ups. 🙂

It’s perfectly blended and balanced… and has a high-quality upscale vibe.

In fact…

High-Quality

Carner use a high-quality Madagascan Vanilla Absolute – which is super expensive.

This is unisex for all ages and suitable for fall, winter, cooler spring days. It’s too sweet for the high summer heat – but maybe wearable on cool summer nights.

Perfect for dates, nights out, special occasions, romantic cozy nights in and even casual use.

Now, to be clear…

Subtle

El Born is not a powerful projection monster, it’s a subtle scent that sits closer to the skin (but projects well for the first few hours).

The good news…

This is an EDP and is super long lasting – up to 10-plus hours of deliciousness.

Good stuff! 🙂

Side note: The bottle and presentation are gorgeous.

The elegant glass bottle comes with an individually handcrafted wood cap engraved in Barcelona. (sourced from sustainably managed European forests 🌲)

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#9 Imaginary Authors Memoirs of a Trespasser


Smoky Woody Boozy Vanilla

If you are bored of all the other vanilla fragrances…

Try this.

Imaginary Authors are a small indie house that handcraft unique high-quality fragrances in the USA.

And they have quite a unique and interesting concept with their fragrances.

Listen to this…

Intriguing Twists

Each fragrance follows a compelling storyline, peppered with intriguing twists written by an imaginary author… and each fragrance has an imaginary note.

Like a good book – these scents are meant to inspire you.

The fragrance comes in a box that looks like a book and opens up to reveal the bottle. Also, the side of the bottle looks like the spine of a book with the name of the scent.

Pretty cool, right?

Let me break this one down for you…

Thick Dark Vanilla

Memoirs of a Trespasser opens up slightly smoky, with a sweet boozy vanilla vibe and some woods.

The vanilla is not sugary sweet, it’s a thick dark vanilla.

The resinous woods and vanilla continue into the dry down and you get a deep earthy note with whispers of incense. It’s like a creamy vanilla mixed with a burning wood vibe.

Unique

This is beautiful, warm and comforting. Unique – but so easy to wear.

Unisex and best for the fall, winter and cooler spring days. Days or nights, dates, nights out, cozy nights in, casual use.

Now:

This is an EDP and projects good for the first few hours… then dies down to become close to the skin – but it lingers on for up to 10 hours.

Great. 🙂

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#8 Xerjoff Lira


Sweet Spicy Orange Caramel Vanilla Cake

Lira is a gourmand lover’s dream come true. A simple fragrance – with an enormous impact.

Xerjoff (pronounced Serj-off) are an Italian niche fragrance house, who create luxury fragrances using super high-quality materials and use premium presentation. They also come with prices to match.

Lira is part of their Casamorati collection, which are inspired by the ancient art of Italian perfumery.

Let’s take a look…

Blood Orange

Lira opens up with a sweet creamy sparkling orange citrus vibe – from a blood orange and vanilla/caramel combo… with hints of liquorice and cinnamon.

When it starts to dry-down… it gets warmer and sweeter and you get a spicy orange, creamy vanilla caramel cake vibe – with whispers of florals and woody notes.

Delicious!

The blood orange balances it out and stops it from becoming overly sweet.

Super unique, intoxicating and screams high quality. People will want to know what you are wearing.

Dates

Suitable for all ages and best for the cooler spring days, fall and winter.

Perfect for dates, casual, romantic evenings, nights out or simply as a comfort scent.

Now, to be clear:

This is not a room-filler – it has above average projection… but you will get noticed. HUGE compliment getter.

The best part?

This is an EDP and is super long lasting, 10-plus hours of deliciousness. 🙂

Side note: the presentation is outstanding. The box and bottle are gorgeous and premium quality.

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#7 Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille


Sweet Sexy Vanilla

A best vanilla perfume list would not be complete without Tobacco Vanille. 🙂

Tobacco Vanille is from the Tom Ford Private Blend Collection and this is arguably their best seller from the entire collection – and for good reason!

 (Speaking of… make sure you also check our best Tom Ford fragrances list.)

Now, in case you don’t know…

Luxury

The Private Blend Collection are Tom Ford’s creative luxury fragrances – that have been created in collaboration with world renowned perfumers, using super high-quality ingredients.

They use more challenging notes… and are more complex to the nose than typical mass-marketed mall fragrances.

In the words of Mr Tom Ford himself:

'Private Blend is my own personal scent laboratory; where I create special, original fragrances unconstrained by the conventions of mainstream scent-making.' – Tom Ford.Click To Tweet

But here’s the kicker:

If you want to stand out from the crowd – it’s going to cost you (understandable).

You’re probably wondering…

What’s it smell like?

Tobacco and Vanilla. No surprise here. 🙂 But there is more to it…

Now, I should point something out:

Don’t judge the fragrance on the initial spray… as the opening can be quite harsh, with a sharp clove note – but when it calms down… it transforms into something special. Let’s find out…

Rich, Smooth & Sophisticated

Tobacco Vanille eventually dries down to a sweet spicy creamy vanilla… mixed with dry tobacco leaf and woody dried fruity notes.

The vanilla is the backbone of this fragrance and becomes more prominent and sweeter as time goes by – also some honey makes an appearance.

It’s rich, smooth and perfectly blended. Smells incredibly natural.

Bold

This is very strong and potent – only use in the cooler seasons: fall and winter.

And best suited for nights. Can be worn by both men and women… Not for the younger crowd – suggest 25-up.

'Private Blend is a series of fragrances I love and wear. Ones that never cease to challenge, to stimulate, to delight.' – Tom Ford.Click To Tweet

More of a classy special occasions scent: dates, upscale black-tie events, nights out – not suited for everyday casual use.

Now, a quick word of warning:

Super Long Lasting

Do not overspray this or you will choke people out – this is a thick, bold scent and projects like crazy.

Here’s how to use it:

1 – 2 sprays MAX… that’s all you need. Less is definitely more – if you want to enjoy it.

The best part?

This is super long lasting; you will still smell this when you wake up in the morning.

Good Stuff! 🙂

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#6 Van Cleef & Arpels Orchidée Vanille


Sweet Fruity Orange Chocolate Vanilla

Yummy!

Van Cleef & Arpels are a French luxury jewellery, watch and perfume company.

Orchidée Vanille is part of their exclusive luxurious Collection Extraordinaire – that use super high-quality raw ingredients.

Let’s break it down…

Almonds

Orchidée Vanille opens with a light burst of mandarin orange mixed with almonds.

When it starts to settle… creamy soft vanilla shines through – and you get a sweet fruity orange dark chocolate vanilla vibe.

In a word: delicious. 😍

To be clear, this doesn’t smell sickly sweet… as it’s beautifully blended with some woodiness – with hints of bitter almond and whispers of white florals.

Warm & Comforting

It’s sweet, warm, comforting and incredibly sexy.

This is best suited for the fall and winter – days or nights. Perfect for dates, romantic situations, special occasions, nights out… or cozy evenings in at home 🙂

Subtle

Now, to be clear:

This is not a room-filler type scent… it’s a soft subtle fragrance, that doesn’t scream out for attention – but is super long lasting.

Side note: the bottle looks very classy and has its own necklace charm.

Nice. 🙂

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#5 Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille


Sweet Smoky Woody Honeyed Vanilla

First off…

In case you don’t know, Serge Lutens are a luxury niche perfume house from France… And Un Bois Vanille translates to – A Vanilla Wood. But there is a LOT more going on in here – let’s take a closer look…

Un Bois Vanille opens up bittersweet with creamy honeyed vanilla mixed with milky coconut and black liquorice. Nice.

(By the way, if you LOVE coconut scents… check out our best coconut perfumes list.)

Now, as it starts to dry down…

Toasting Marshmallows

…The creamy honeyed vanilla starts to warm up… and is joined with a burnt smoky woodiness – which balances the sweetness out and stops it from becoming too sweet.

Bitter almonds and liquorice sit quietly in the background.

Think: toasting marshmallows around a camp fire. 🙂

Warm & Comforting

This is unisex but leans slightly feminine and best for fall and winter usage.

Perfect for dates, nights out, special occasions, cozy nights in… or even casual use.

The best part?

Un Bois Vanille is super long lasting and has average projection. Go easy on the sprays with this one ; 1 – 2 sprays MAX …and you’re good to go. 🙂

Simply put:

The most comforting coconut vanilla perfume on the market.

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#4 Mugler Alien Essence Absolue


Sweet Spicy Smoky Vanilla

Here’s the scoop…

Alien Essence Absolue is newer version of the original Mugler Alien – which is in our best jasmine perfumes list.

In fact, it still has a hint of the original Alien DNA – but with some added sweet creamy sexy vanilla. If you love the original, this is a MUST try.

Let’s take a closer look…

Boozy

Alien Essence Absolue opens up with a thick syrupy sweet, smoky boozy vanilla vibe – with a touch of jasmine.

As it settles, the jasmine fades away quickly… and the sweetness is balanced out perfectly with a hint of incense and some woodiness.

It gives off a warm sweet smooth boozy vanilla honey vibe – with whispers of jasmine and incense sitting in a woody background (that give it some depth).

And it smells GREAT.

Addictive

Now. to be clear:

This is not a typical teenybopper sickly sweet scent; it’s a composed, sophisticated and well put together fragrance – more suited for the mature 20-up crowd.

Sexy, addictive and comforting. Immense compliments with this one.

A quick word of caution:

This is strictly a cooler weather fragrance – do not wear this in the high heat or you will cause some damage. 🙂

Perfect for dates, nights out, special occasions, clubbing… even casual use.

The best part?

This is an EDP and is super long lasting – up to 10 plus hours. Great. It’s not a room filler but you WILL get noticed – the projection is perfect.

1 – 3 sprays MAX …and you’re set. 🙂

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#3 Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée


Fresh Citrusy Woody Vanilla

First things first…

Now, to be clear, there is no incense in this fragrance. The French name Vanille Insensée translates to Insane Vanilla – a fitting name. 🙂

Anyway… Atelier Cologne are a fairly new Niche fragrance house, who quickly become known for their authentic smelling fragrance notes and high-quality ingredients. Case in point…

This is not a typical thick sugary sweet vanilla scent. Vanille Insensée is high-quality, super unique – and is in a league of its own. A sophisticated vanilla for grown-ups 🙂

Let’s break it down…

Fresh Sparkling Citrus

Vanille Insensée opens up with a blast of fresh sparkling citrus and vanilla – with whispers of coriander spice and some woodiness in the background.

The citrus and spice combo give it a refreshing uplifting effervescent vibe.

But it gets better…

After about 15 minutes… the citruses start to calm and the vanilla becomes the star of the show.

It gives off a slightly sweet dry dusty vanilla vibe with hints of jasmine and vetiver with a slightly woody undertone.

Inviting

The sweetness is balanced out perfectly with the citrus and woods.

It’s warm, sexy and inviting.

Super versatile: this is unisex and can be worn in all seasons for all occasions. Very easy to wear and is office safe.

This is a subtle fragrance that doesn’t scream out for attention.

And to be clear:

Although this is called a Cologne Absolue, it is in fact, pure perfume concentrated at 15% – which gives excellent long-lasting performance.

Can you say jackpot? 🙂

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#2 Christian Dior - Dior Addict


Very Addictive! – Jasmine Vanilla Sexiness

Make no mistake:

This is a head turner – people will want to know what you’re wearing. 🙂 Let’s break it down…

Dior Addict opens up slightly green and sharp… But don’t let the opening put you off – wait about 15 minutes and it transforms into something MUCH more enjoyable. Stay with me…

Deep Dark Vanilla

…When it starts to dry down, deep dark vanilla creeps in and morphs beautifully with the creamy white florals (jasmine & orange blossom) – and it gives off a slightly sweet, smoky spicy vibe. Nice.

It’s deep, it’s rich, it’s inviting and incredibly sexy.

'Make me a perfume that smells of love.' – Christian Dior.Click To Tweet

(By the way, if you love jasmine be sure to check out our best jasmine perfumes list.)

This is best for cooler weather: fall, winter and cool spring nights – and more suited for the mature sophisticated crowd (suggest 20-up).

Perfect for dates, special occasions, nights out, casual use.

Super Long Lasting

Now, a quick word of caution:

This jumps off the skin and is super long lasting. So don’t overspray this one; 1 – 2 sprays MAX …and you’re set.

Leaves a beautiful scent trail… and be prepared for compliments. 🙂

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#1 Diptyque Eau Duelle EDP


Dark Smoky Boozy Vanilla

In case you don’t know…

Diptyque are a French niche perfume house that create luxury fragrances and scented candles.

Now, to be clear:

Eau Duelle is available in both EDT and EDP concentrations – that smell slightly different.

This is the EDP version – which has an intensified dark peppery vibe and lasts longer (But both versions are GREAT).

Let’s take a look…

Spices

Eau Duelle opens up with a blast of spicy pink pepper and cardamom.

It quickly starts to settle… and dark rich creamy boozy vanilla comes into play, with some dark smoky nuances and woodiness in the background.

It’s rich, creamy and sweet – but not overly sweet.

Very cozy. 😍

This is unisex but leans slightly feminine… and more suited for the 20-up crowd. A cooler weather scent: fall and winter (cool spring nights).

Perfect for dates, special occasions, nights out or even casual use.

Subtle

Now, I should point something out:

This is a subtle fragrance that doesn’t scream out for attention. So if you’re looking for a powerhouse – this is not it.

It sits closer to the skin – but being an EDP it has good long-lasting performance.

Check Price at Amazon

What is Vanilla?


Vanilla is a spice obtained from fruit that grows on the vanilla orchid vine – primarily the Mexican species vanilla planifolia, and is used for flavoring and fragrance in food, beverages, cosmetics and perfumery.

The fruit is often incorrectly termed vanilla bean, it is in fact, a vanilla pod – that contains tiny black seeds. The word Vanilla is derived from the Spanish word Vaina, which translates to Little Pod.

bunch of cured vanilla pods
Cured Vanilla Pods

But here’s the deal:

Not all vanilla fragrances are created equal

They can be boozy, they can be sweet, they can be smoky, they can be powdery, they can be floral, they can be fruity, they can be spicy and even a combination of these.

Now:

The chemical compound vanillin is the main component of real natural cured vanilla pods and also the most prominent in aroma and flavor.

This is what gives our favorite cakes and cookies that classic vanilla taste and smell. 🙂

Now, to be clear:

Vanillin is only one part of over 250 aromatic components of real vanilla fruits.

Real pure vanilla is complex and delicious that has a rich sweet creamy tobacco vibe with soft woody notes and whispers of spice.

Which leads us to…

Imitation Vanilla

Here’s the scoop:

Today, less than one percent of the world’s vanilla flavor comes from actual vanilla orchids. The rest is mostly synthesized.

Imitation vanilla is made from synthetic vanillin or Ethyl vanillin (made in a lab).

Synthetic vanillin is made from various raw materials, but today the majority is made from guaiacol or lignin.

Guaiacol is a fragrant liquid obtained by distilling wood-tar creosote or guaiac.

And:

Lignin is a class of complex polymers that give woody plants their structure. Imitation vanilla derived from lignin used to be made with the pulp waste from the paper industry.

Yikes, right?

Synthetic vanillin is used to make imitation vanilla and is used in most mass marketed vanilla perfumes and even some of the more expensive ones.

Now, to be clear:

Synthetic vanillin and vanillin extracted from real natural vanilla pods are the same compound.

But, make no mistake:

Imitation vanillin is only one fragrance and cannot possibly compete with the natural complexity of pure vanilla extract that has more than 250 plus nuances.

Where Does Vanilla Come From?


Today three main species of vanilla orchid are grown globally for the production of natural vanilla.

They are:

Vanilla Planifolia. This species is native to Mexico and is more commonly known as Bourbon vanilla or Madagascar vanilla.

This is grown in Madagascar, Indonesia ,Réunion, and other tropical areas along the Indian Ocean and makes up about 80% of the worlds production of vanilla.

By the way:

The term Bourbon vanilla has nothing to do with Bourbon whiskey. It refers to the vanilla’s origin being from the Bourbon Islands, which are now called the Réunion.

vanilla orchid
Vanilla Orchid

Vanilla Tahitensis. More commonly known as Tahitian vanilla (a cross between Vanilla planifolia and Vanilla odorata). This is rarer and grown in Tahiti and other islands in the French Polynesia.

Tahitian Vanilla is high in heliotropin – which gives the vanilla a beautiful fruity floral vibe and is considerably more expensive than Bourbon vanilla.

 And:

Vanilla Pompona which is known as West Indian Vanilla and is grown in the West Indies, Central America, and South America.

By the way:

The term French vanilla is not a species of vanilla but used to refer to the classic French way of making ice cream using an egg-custard base.

What is Vanilla Absolute?


Vanilla absolute is the most concentrated form of vanilla and is used in very high-end perfumes and cosmetic products. It doesn’t have the cloying aroma of imitation vanilla.

One way to produce vanilla absolute is using a high-tech CO2 Natural Extraction method.

This results in premium quality vanilla absolute that possesses the deep, rich, creamy aroma of vanilla and is far superior to synthetic vanilla fragrance oils.

By the way:

Real natural vanilla is super expensive.

Why is Vanilla So Expensive?


Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world (after saffron) and at one point was even worth more money by weight than silver. Crazy.

Why?

Vanilla is very difficult to cultivate and also the world’s most labour-intensive crop. Let me explain…

The vanilla orchid will only grow in certain parts of the world in hot, humid climates under strict conditions and it takes up to three years for the orchid plant to produce its first fruits.

But listen to this…

Orchids

The orchids flower only once, never to reopen again and live for less than a day. Each flower must be pollinated in this time or it will be shed.

It gets worse…

In the wild, there is less than a 1% chance that the flowers will be pollinated. So, they all have to be hand pollinated by the grower using a small splinter of wood within 24 hours of it opening.

The growers have to inspect their plantations daily, a time-consuming process.

vanilla orchid hand pollination
Hand-pollination

Now:

If pollinated successfully the fruit will mature after about five months, at which point they are harvested by hand.

Each fruit ripens at its own time and must be picked while still green, requiring a daily harvest. Once picked the mature bean, shrivels and turns black.

The bad news:

Pods

The fruits are also a target for theft – some farmers have their pods stolen and prices also spike when croplands are destroyed by tropical cyclones.

Also, the trend of eating naturally, has increased the demand and price of natural vanilla – as people drop artificial vanilla.

But that’s not all…

Once they are harvested, they then must be cured, dried and then hand massaged to bring up their fragrant oils.

This labour-intensive process can take up to thirty-four months depending on the desired results. Yikes, right?

Now, it's your turn...


We would love to hear from you:

What do you think is the best vanilla perfume? Have you tried any of these?

Or maybe you have a question.

Either way, please let us know by leaving a comment below right now.

Where to go from here?

I highly recommend you check out our Top 10 Best Perfume for Women and our Best Rose Perfumes list for some more awesome perfume recommendations.

We hope you enjoyed our article and found this list useful.  If you did, we would love it if you would share it to your favourite social networks!

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