17 Best Vanilla Perfume That Smell AMAZING (2022)

Vanilla Scented Perfume For Grown-Ups

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cup of white chocolate vanilla

This is a list of the 17 best vanilla perfumes in 2022.

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.


We even looked at the price and compliment factor.

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

Sound good? Let’s dive right in…

#17 Mancera Velvet Vanilla

A Captivating Sweet Fruity Floral

In case you don’t know…

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

Let’s take a look…

This 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 please give it a few minutes to calm down before you judge the fragrance. Trust me. 🙂

After a few minutes…

Juicy Pear

A nice blend of juicy pear, tuberose and vanilla begin to shine through – giving off a thick, sweet, captivating, sexy bubble-gum creamy-vanilla vibe.

And eventually…

A hint of soft white musk joins the party – to balance the fragrance out (which stops it from becoming overly sweet). And finally, you’re left with hours and hours of delicious smooth creamy velvety vanilla sweetness.

It’s super addictive… and garners a LOT of compliments. Ain’t complaining. 🙂

Dressed-Up, Dressed-Down

Suitable for the fall, winter and cooler spring days… Just a quick heads-up, don’t apply this in the high summer heat – as it will become sickly sweet.

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

Super Long Lasting

And the good news… this is super-long-lasting; Up to 10 plus hours! Big thumbs up.

Now, just a quick word of warning:

This is a strong fragrance and it 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. Nice touch.

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#16 Profumum Roma Dulcis in Fundo

Creamy Orange Deliciousness

This is a gourmand lover’s dream. It’s super unique, and extremely addictive. By the way…

Profumum Roma (PROFVMVM a Roma), are a family run Italian luxury brand – that use super high-quality ingredients. However, 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… which gives off a yummy orange creamsicle vibe. Nice. But it gets better…

Juicy Orange-Vanilla Cake

…After a few hours, this finally morphs into an orange creamy vanilla cake with whispers of cinnamon… And it smells DELICIOUS. 🧁

This little-known fragrance starts conversations – people will want to know what you’re wearing.

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

Orange vanilla dessert on a plate
Smells just like a yummy creamy orange cake.


This is unisex and suitable for all ages for wear in fall, winter and cooler spring days. Great for casual use, dates, nights out, special occasions, or just cozy nights in.

Now, to be clear:

This is NOT a powerhouse that will fill a room. However, it has above average projection, which will get you positive attention, and it leaves a yummy scent trail. And beautiful part…

Extract Concentration

Because this is an extract concentration with a very high oil percentage – this makes it super-long lasting.

In fact:

Profumum Roma suggest when you spray the fragrance on your skin, to wait 10-15 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…

1-2 sprays of this… and you’re good-to-go!

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#15 Tauerville Vanilla Flash

Sweet Tobacco-Rose-Vanilla

Now, in case you don’t know…

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

(This is 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 also come in minimalist bottles and boxes… so they are priced very affordable, for being such high-quality perfumes.

'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

In fact:

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

This Extract is premium quality, and possesses a deep, rich, creamy aroma, and is FAR superior to synthetic vanilla fragrance oils.

Anyway… Let me break it down for you:

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

When it starts to dry down… the pink pepper starts to fade, and you get a slightly powdery floral… mixed with a sweet boozy-vanilla and soft tobacco vibe.

It smells sexy and sophisticated.

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

Super Versatile

This is unisex and more suited for the mature 25-up crowd – for fall, winter and cool spring days… For just about any occasion – days or nights.

The good news…

This is an EDP, and projects well for the first few hours… it 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 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

This 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 brands, 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. Because here’s the thing…


Mainstream mass-market perfumes are made from industrial grade SD40 denatured corn alcohol (to avoid paying beverage taxes). This is 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.

Which is distilled in Washington USA, and made from organic grapes. (However, you don’t smell the grapes.)

The House of Matriarch use high-quality natural fruit-based ethanol in their creations.

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. 😍

And when it stars to drydown… 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 extra depth and complexity.

It’s smooth, sexy, warm and seductive.

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

And hats off to the House of Matriarch…

This smells SUPER authentic.

Because apparently they use a Tahitian variant of vanilla, which has been grown on a small family farm in Maui, Hawaii. Furthermore, it’s been aged for 3 years before going into the fragrance. Note: this is considerably more expensive than Bourbon vanilla.

vanilla pods


This is unisex and more suited for fall, winter (and cool spring days). Great for nearly any occasion – day or night. Perfect for dates and romantic nights in. You get the idea. 🙂

Now, to be perfectly clear:

This is a soft intimate scent. So if you’re looking for a 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 bad news:

Because this is 100% natural – with no synthetic fixatives –  it’s not long lasting. Which is to be expected – I get it.

During testing, we got a mixed bag of results, ranging 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 Bitter-Sweetness

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 juicy 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 –  as it transforms into something MUCH more enjoyable. 🙂

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


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

It smells luxurious, sexy… and super unique. In fact, it doesn’t smell like any other mass-produced department store perfumes – so you will stand out in the crowd.

The beautiful part:

Super Versatile

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

For all ages, all occasions, days or nights. Perfect for a special occasion, dates, nights out, formal and is even work safe.

Even better…

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

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#12 Indult Tihota

The Gold Standard

Now, I will make it super easy for you…

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

Get this. 🙂


Indult are a little-known French luxury niche perfume house, that 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. 🙂

As 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. Done.

Luxuriously Rich & Sweet

What you get is a straight-up thick, rich, sweet vanilla – with a nice 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 more geared 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; 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

Boozy Rum

This is the Holy Grail for a lot of people… 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.

Which are 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…


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

And is for fall and winter wear (as 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 – so suggest 20-up.

Scent Trail

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

Not too shabby. 🙂

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#10 Carner Barcelona El Born

Boozy Honeyed-Vanilla

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

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

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


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

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

Smoky Honey

El Born opens up with a blast of dark boozy-vanilla and honey – mixed 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, which gives it some sweet smooth creaminess. Nice.

It’s sweet… but not overly sweet. And to be clear, this is not a typical teenybopper sweet fragrance – this is for grown-ups. 🙂

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

In fact…


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

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

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

Now, to be clear…


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 has good lasting power – 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

If you are bored of all the other typical 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.

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. And…

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.

The bottle comes in a box which resembles a book.

Pretty cool, right?

Let me break this one down for you…

Thick Dark Smoky Sweetness

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

It’s not sugary sweet, it’s thick and dark.

Now, 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 dark, creamy-vanilla mixed with a burning wood vibe.


This is beautiful, warm and comforting. Highly unique – yet so easy to wear.

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


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

Spicy Orange Caramel Cake

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

If you’re unfamiliar… Xerjoff (pronounced Serj-off) are an Italian niche house, who create luxury scents using super high-quality materials, and use premium presentation. They also come with prices to match. I get it.

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

Let’s take a look at Lira

Blood Orange

This opens up with a sweet creamy sparkling orange citrus quality – 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. The result?

A spicy orange, creamy caramel cake vibe – with whispers of florals and woody notes.


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

It smells very unique, and screams high quality. People will want to know what you are wearing.


Suitable for all ages and suited 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.

And the good news:

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

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

Hats off to Xerjoff.

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#7 Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille

Sweet & Sexy

This list would not be complete without this. 🙂

Now, TV 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…


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

Needless to say, these are NOT cheap.

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?

Well… You know what you’ve signed up for by the name. 🙂

Now, I should point something out:

Don’t judge the fragrance on the initial spray… as the opening can be quite harsh (has a sharp clove note) – but when it calms down… it slowly transforms into something special…

Rich, Smooth & Sophisticated

…Into 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 more sweeter as time goes by – also some honey makes an appearance.

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


This is very strong and potent – so only use in the cooler seasons.

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

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

Now, a quick tip:

Lasts & Lasts

Do not overspray – 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.

And this is 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

Fruity Orange Chocolate


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

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

Let me give you a quick rundown…


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

When it starts to settle… creamy soft vanilla shines through – and you get a sweet fruity orange dark chocolate 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 more suited for the fall and winter (days or nights). And perfect for dates, romantic situations, special occasions, nights out… or just cozy evenings in at home 🙂


Now, to be clear:

This is not a room-filler… it’s a soft subtle fragrance, that doesn’t scream out for attention – yet it has great lasting strength.

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

Nice. 🙂

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#5 Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille

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…

This 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.

We found this one to have average projection and good lasting performance. And you only need a couple of sprays then you’re good-to-go.

Simply put:

One of the most comforting coconut vanilla perfume on the market.

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#4 Mugler Alien Essence Absolue

Sweet & Smoky

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 creaminess. If you love the original, then this is a MUST try.

Let’s take a closer look…


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

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

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

And it smells GREAT.


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.

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… or even just casual use.

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

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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 are known for their authentic smelling fragrance notes and high-quality ingredients. Case in point…

This is not a typical thick sugary sweet scent. Vanille Insensée is high-quality, super unique – and is in a league of its own.

Let’s break it down…

Fresh Sparkling Citrus

This 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 vibe – joined with hints of jasmine and vetiver… and a slightly woody undertone.


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 just about all occasions. It’s very easy to wear, and office safe, because it’s subtle and doesn’t shout 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 lasting performance.

Can you say jackpot? 🙂

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#2 Christian Dior - Dior Addict

Very Addictive!

This is a head turner. 🙂 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…

Creamy White Florals

…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 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 heads-up:

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

Oh, and it leaves a beautiful scent trail… so be prepared for compliments. 🙂

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#1 Diptyque Eau Duelle EDP

Dark, Smoky & Boozy

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 closer look…


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

However, 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. Definitely a cooler weather scent: fall and winter (cool spring nights).

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


Now, I should point something out:

This is a subtle fragrance that doesn’t scream 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.

Works like a charm. 🙂

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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 smoky, they can be powdery, or even fruity/floral or spicy… Or even a combination of all these.


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, and 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.


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 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, which has more than 250 plus nuances.

Where Does Vanilla Come From?

Today three main species of vanilla orchid are grown globally.

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.

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 it a beautiful fruity floral vibe and is considerably more expensive than Bourbon vanilla.

 And finally:

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, but is 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 molecules.

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

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

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.


It 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…


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.

So the growers have to inspect their plantations daily – a time-consuming process.

vanilla orchid hand pollination


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. And once picked, the mature bean shrivels and turns black.

The bad news:


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.

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. Crazy, 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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