If you've tried the likes of Chergui and Herod or Boclet Tobacco, you're not worlds off from what you're getting here. This strips back the sweet excesses of the genre and focuses on building out the nuances of its core elements.
The vanilla is authentic: dark, boozy, and woody, without "white sugar" tones. The tobacco is pleasantly dirty and virile (not exactly barnyard-y, but definitely earthy). Vanille Havane shifts to that sort of "cosmetic" powderiness as it develops.
It's elegant and clearly made to a high standard of quality, but it's not a revelation.
This is like if Derviche by Rogue Perfumery and Vanille by Mona di Orio had a baby. Rich, spicy, sweet, earthy. Not at all just a vanilla. I get clove and perhaps oppoponax, tobacco, and that buttery-rich Dominican vanilla note.
Theres a savoriness that makes it compelling. It occurs to me that this is somewhat what I had been hoping for when I first smelled Tom Fords Tobacco Vanille, rather than the caramel corn affair that it actually was. But note that its powerful. I squeezed the smallest drop from the sprayer, and it is potent.
While honestly the first minute or so is a bit too much, after a few minutes, we have a refreshing, light smoke note. More burning incense than woodsmoke. This would be great on a cold night in front of the fire.
Update: I did have to wash this off in order to sleep; its that strong. It can have a nausea-inducing effect even at low concentrations. Use with caution.