Your favourite vanilla—and why!

FiveoaksBouquet

Known to SAs
Basenotes Plus
Jul 16, 2004
Calling all vanillaphiles!

There are so many scents out there with wonderful vanilla notes, notes that can be quite different one from the other. Some are sweet, some are not. There seems to be a vanilla for every taste. (No pun intended.)

My favourite vanilla scent is Le Lion de Chanel. It is of the unsweet variety that wafts subliminally under the other notes and keeps the whole perfume elevated in a heavenly aura around the wearer.

F8F02E05-E9B3-4AF8-A397-ADE0FCE0B34A.jpeg

Which perfume(s) have that particular vanilla that entrances you?
 

Brooks Otterlake

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 12, 2019
I recently went on a "vanilla quest" and, after sampling most of the notables (and a good number of not-so-notables), the two standouts were:

Celine Black Tie - I didn't expect this to win my affection, but this is an impeccably balanced smoky, woody vanilla with an orris backbone. It excels not through originality, but through good taste.

Lalique Le Parfum - A gorgeously boozy, luxurious, non-gourmand vanilla with a medicinal bay leaf note. An overlooked gem from Dominique Ropion.


I would give honorable mentions to Les Indemodables Vanille Havane (which gets the earthy, raw vanilla bean quality right) and Guerlain Shalimar Ode a la Vanille sur la route de Madagascar (my favorite of the Shalimar variations).
 
Last edited:

Brooks Otterlake

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 12, 2019
While not a vanilla based perfume, I do very much enjoy the vanilla note in Guerlain Habit Rouge edt. Just the right amount.
In the same vein, I thought about mentioning Tom Ford Noir EDP, which has become one of my most-worn scents. I didn't connect with it originally, but revisiting it in the recent past heightened my appreciation for it to the point where it may be my pick for the most complete and satisfying of the Tom Ford releases.

It's kind of a Gothic Habit Rouge with a bit of Shalimar's sensuality worked in, so it ends up being a dark, floral vanilla with earthy facets. That said, it has so much going on that I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as a vanilla fragrance.

I detected a vanilla note in Heritage EDT even though it's not officially listed. I think it skews more vanilla than in Habit Rouge EDT.
I think this is especially true of the current formulation of Héritage, which leans more heavily on Guerlain's trademark vanilla to make up for the loss of the premium sandalwood.
 

Clarissochka

Basenotes Junkie
Jul 1, 2015
Completely agree with all the entries in the list. A few more to add (my interests are around smoky vanillas, as the list shows)

- Mona di Orio Vanille- smoky vanilla
- Rising Phoenix Sicilian Vanilla (this one is an attar but one could request it as EDP, both are great) - bourbon vanilla and pipe tobacco
- Aftelier Vanilla Smoke - fireplace smoke and vanilla
 

Pippin06

always learning--often laughing
Feb 8, 2017
I detected a vanilla note in Heritage EDT even though it's not officially listed. I think it skews more vanilla than in Habit Rouge EDT.
Interesting observation. I will pay attention to this the next time I wear Heritage edt, which will likely be soon being one of my very favorites. I'm referring to the brown wooden cap, "Listerine" bottle, more recent formulation.
 

N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer

Retired
Basenotes Plus
Jul 1, 2011
Completely agree with all the entries in the list. A few more to add (my interests are around smoky vanillas, as the list shows)

- Mona di Orio Vanille- smoky vanilla
- Rising Phoenix Sicilian Vanilla (this one is an attar but one could request it as EDP, both are great) - bourbon vanilla and pipe tobacco
- Aftelier Vanilla Smoke - fireplace smoke and vanilla
Mona di Orio Vanille is another favorite of mine. It's quite unconventional not your typical vanilla scent. I found it works great in the warm weather, you pick up on the spices and rum notes from the scent.
 

Toxicon

Basenotes Dependent
May 29, 2021
I really haven't sampled very many but suppose I tend to gravitate towards woody, smoky things like Memoirs of a Trespasser. It's rough around the edges, though the raw character lends it a kind of bourbon barrel vanilla bean vibe that just feels good to wear. I also like Eau des Baux quite a bit, even if it's less a "vanilla" than a woody tonka/tobacco scent with some vanilla support; kind of like root beer for the nose.

By contrast, I can tell Lalique Le Parfum is quality juice, but I don't really care for it. It feels a bit stuffy, kind of lifeless on my skin, if that makes sense. Still, I've got a good sized decant on hand and plan to revisit, see if expectations and perceptions shift over time.
 

Zenwannabee

Super Member
Sep 15, 2009
Going back to the classics, I’m going to say Shalimar. Each time I wear it, I’m surprised by how rich and complex the vanilla note is. (EDP or EDT).

Other than that, Dior Homme Intense (again that combination of iris and vanilla), and Jaipur EDP. Just fabulous drydowns.
 
Last edited:

JBHoren

I *am* smiling
Apr 25, 2007
I recently went on a "vanilla quest" and, after sampling most of the notables (and a good number of not-so-notables), the two standouts were:

[snip]

Lalique Le Parfum - A gorgeously boozy, luxurious, non-gourmand vanilla with a medicinal bay leaf note. An overlooked gem from Dominique Ropion.
Yes. I like the "boozy" bit, and appreciate your putting a name to that "medicinal" note -- it bugs me... like a child (someone else's, of course) who keeps asking "why?" and interrupts my enjoyment of the boozy vanilla.
By contrast, I can tell Lalique Le Parfum is quality juice, but I don't really care for it. It feels a bit stuffy, kind of lifeless on my skin, if that makes sense. Still, I've got a good sized decant on hand and plan to revisit, see if expectations and perceptions shift over time.
Good luck! I'm not sure my perceptions will change (aren't expectations always the first casualties?), and I know it's not an FBW fragrance for me. If I get-up the courage, perhaps the one that @N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer raves about... Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille.

In the meantime, let me add one that I do own and enjoy: Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Mokha. It's discontinued, but available.
 

cheapimitation

Basenotes Dependent
May 15, 2015
I'm not a big vanilla fan, but recently really came around to Les Indemodables Vanille Havane. Although I'd rate this as more of a tobacco fragrance. Tobacco is another note I usually don't like, what's happening to me!

I also tried Tom Ford Noir de Noir recently and in the dry down, still left on the card a few days later is a lovely smooth vanilla smell.

For a left field vanilla, seek out Hermes Vanille Galante, the strangest take on vanilla I've experienced.

If you love just being bathed in sweet addictive vanilla, I must admit Nishane Ani is great for that, although it's not to my taste.
 

woodnotes55

Basenotes Dependent
Oct 27, 2016
Well I"ll be the first (and maybe the last) to mention Acqua di Parma Colonia Vaniglia. Not a vanilla lover in general with perhaps limited sampling, but I found that many of the other vanilla scents are like the sweet artificial vanilla. Vaniglia is like the real stuff, the expensive stuff used for cooking. At first it's almost so strong it seems boozy - in effect - not that it smells like alcohol. There is citrus and other things going on but vanilla is primary and stays that way a long time.... maybe too linear for some.
 

RedRaider430

You smell good! 😄
Basenotes Plus
Dec 18, 2011
If you love just being bathed in sweet addictive vanilla, I must admit Nishane Ani is great for that, although it's not to my taste.
+1. Nishane Ani smells great but I would agree that it's just not for me. And it MUST be one of the strongest fragrances (vanilla or otherwise) that I've ever tried. All I have is a little 0.7 ml vial of it and every time I open up the drawer it's in, I'm overwhelmed by the smell of it. That's part of the reason it's not for me. It's so strong, I don't know where I could wear it.
 

N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer

Retired
Basenotes Plus
Jul 1, 2011
Neil Morris Vanille Rosé is one of my faves. Creed Sublime Vanille is also very enjoyable. And much respect for all of the incantations of Shalimar.
Speaking of Guerlain Shalimar, there's the three Ode a la vanille flankers: The Original Ode a la vanille, Ode a la vanille Madagascar, and Ode a la vanille Mexique. My favorite is a tie between the original 2010 release and the Madagascar 2012 release. The 2012 release closely resembles the original Shalimar by far but with the additional vanilla note.

Guerlain also released last year Millésime Vanilla Planifolia which I've since grown to enjoy.
 
Sep 2, 2022
Dulcis in Fundo - I only recently discovered it, it's a perfect citrus vanilla and stays that way, without having to *deal* with any other notes. The major downside is that it's on the pricier side.

(I found many other niche offerings that I have sampled to be disappointing. Tihota was very rubbery and not much else unfortunately, and Guerlain's Spiriteuse Double Vanille was missing something for me. (But maybe they work better for other people?).
 

tdem1961

I smell something…
Basenotes Plus
Jun 19, 2005
I love vanilla! Here are some of my favorites:

Lalique Le Parfum. Glad to see the love for it here, it’s truly an underrated gem.
Dior Addict
Diptyque Eau Duelle
Guerlain Cuir Beluga
Jean Paul Gaultier Classique eau de parfum
Annick Goutal Vanille Exquise
Kenzo Amour
Chopard Casmir
Chanel Allure eau de parfum
Alien Essence Absolue
Angel
YSL Cinema
Pink Sugar. (As can be seen in this list, I tend to prefer vanilla offset by florals or a smoky note. But sometimes this one just hits the spot.)

And Shalimar, of course. ❤️
 

Brooks Otterlake

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 12, 2019
I really haven't sampled very many but suppose I tend to gravitate towards woody, smoky things like Memoirs of a Trespasser. It's rough around the edges, though the raw character lends it a kind of bourbon barrel vanilla bean vibe that just feels good to wear.
Since you like Memoirs, definitely try the aforementioned Celine Black Tie, which is similarly a "smoky" vanilla, but is, as the name suggests, a bit more luxe and refined (though is still pretty relaxed and wearable, all things considered).

Yes. I like the "boozy" bit, and appreciate your putting a name to that "medicinal" note -- it bugs me... like a child (someone else's, of course) who keeps asking "why?" and interrupts my enjoyment of the boozy vanilla.
The medicinal note of the bay leaf adds interest for me by adding some contrast and a hint of greenness, but I often like medicinal notes.

The boozy (but somehow still non-gourmand) vanilla heart of Lalique Le Parfum is something I haven't found replicated anywhere else.

Tihota was very rubbery and not much else unfortunately, and Guerlain's Spiriteuse Double Vanille was missing something for me.
I feel the same way about these two.
 

Dane77

Basenotes Dependent
Jun 30, 2011
Vanilla is probably my overall favorite note, and I'd second some of the wonderful ones that have already been mentioned - my favorites include Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille, Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Vanille, Dior Vanilla Diorama, and Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille.

Other amazing vanilla-centric fragrances I'd mention are Mancera Aoud Vanille, Farmacia SS. Annunziata Vaniglia del Madagascar, and Maison Francis Kurkdjian Grand Soir.
 

FiveoaksBouquet

Known to SAs
Basenotes Plus
Jul 16, 2004
There are so many vanilla-laden scents here I don’t know i.e. yet to experience and a few I also love like Shalimar, Cuir Beluga, Vanille Insensée.

I don’t really consider Le Lion predominantly a vanilla scent but it’s the way the vanilla comes up through the other notes that is so insidiously magical.

The only problem is that while reading all the delicious descriptions I failed to notice the level of Le Lion going down in the bottle. Now there are only 3cm/1.18” left and I will very soon have to get some more.
 

mikeperez23

Be Here. Now.
Basenotes Plus
Dec 31, 2006
Neil Morris Vanille Rosé is one of my faves. Creed Sublime Vanille is also very enjoyable. And much respect for all of the incantations of Shalimar.

Speaking of Guerlain Shalimar, there's the three Ode a la vanille flankers: The Original Ode a la vanille, Ode a la vanille Madagascar, and Ode a la vanille Mexique. My favorite is a tie between the original 2010 release and the Madagascar 2012 release. The 2012 release closely resembles the original Shalimar by far but with the additional vanilla note.

Guerlain also released last year Millésime Vanilla Planifolia which I've since grown to enjoy.

I agree with Shalimar. There's many versions and flankers and body products. One can find their Shalimar, it just takes some time especially if you want to wear vintage juice.
 

Scent Detective

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 15, 2015
Completely agree with all the entries in the list. A few more to add (my interests are around smoky vanillas, as the list shows)

- Mona di Orio Vanille- smoky vanilla
- Rising Phoenix Sicilian Vanilla (this one is an attar but one could request it as EDP, both are great) - bourbon vanilla and pipe tobacco
- Aftelier Vanilla Smoke - fireplace smoke and vanilla
2nd for Mona di Orio Vanille. My personal fave vanilla fragrance.
 

Melbourne Man

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 23, 2016
One i own: L'Occitane Eau des Baux never fails to delight when i spray it on. The cypress and incense give it a lovely, airy quality while still showcasing the dry vanilla note.

One i don't own: Guerlain Angelique Noire. This pairing with the green/herbal angelica is pretty unique. Plus no one does vanilla quite like Guerlain.
 

Latest News

Whatever your taste in perfume, we've got you covered...

catalogue your collection, keep track of your perfume wish-list, log your daily fragrance wears, review your latest finds, seek out long-lost scented loves, keep track of the latest perfume news, find your new favourite fragrance, and discuss perfume with like-minded people from all over the world...

Top