A Little History About Vanilla
Vanilla has been used for perfumes longer than you might think. It had been first discovered around 1000 A.D by an Aztec tribe in the area now called Vera Cruz, Mexico. They considered the vanilla bean the food of the gods and shared their belief to everyone in that area. In 1520, a Spanish conquistador named Hernán Cortés is credited with introducing Europe to vanilla. This very popular scent is now made almost exclusively synthetically because it is one of the most labor intensive of all agricultural products and the price it demands to extract from places like Madagascar or Indonesia is very high. The sweet and comforting smell can be linked to some of your favorite memories, like eating ice cream as a kid.
Quick Tip: vanilla essential oils or vanilla extracts can be used as a fragrance for a cheap alternative. Apply it by taking a few drops of the vanilla and placing it behind each ear.
My Top 10 Best Vanilla Perfumes
10. La Petite Robe Noire by Guerlain
Vanilla isn’t the main focus in this perfume, the opening is dark and rich cherry that is balanced out by a rich vanilla. What sells a lot of people on this fragrance is the complexity of it, all the stages are very distinct in the development of the perfume. The beginner nose will easily pick up individual notes with this, giving you a masterclass to the beginner.
If you are looking for a perfume with the main note being vanilla, scroll down to the other options. I chose this as my number 10 for its elegance and complexity of the makeup that will blow anyone away. The performance of it is very moderate with projection and longevity being around 4 to 6 hours.
9. Dark Tainted Love by Tokyo Milk
I wouldn’t describe this as “dark” or “mysterious” as Tokyo Milk tries to tell you, this is a soft, creamy, and floral vanilla perfume with sandalwood added to give it depth. It is a sweet fragrance, not cotton candy sweet but a coffee or toffee vanilla sweetness. It is not something I would consider to be a offensive smell to someone.
The longevity of this is sadly not good, lasting you about 4 hours with sprays directly to your skin. You will be needing to spray it again mid day. The projection is also very soft, this would be perfect to use for everyday life or at the office if they have a no perfume rule and you want to live on the rebellious side of life.
8. Dior Addict by Christian Dior
Deep, rich, and creamy, like a vanilla pod was just scraped clean after removing it from the orchards. This sophisticated smooth vanilla is then met with a spicy alcohol, like a spiced rum smell. The potency and projection of this is absolutely insane, anything more than 1 or 2 sprays would have people on public transport being able to smell you from the last seat.
I would use this during the night-time because of the strength and the seductive appeal of the notes. The longevity definitely matches the projection with it lasting you 12+ hours with only 1 or 2 sprays.
7. Vanille Noire by Yves Rocher
A dark vanille for women who hate the smell of synthetic vanilla like the kind you smell in cheap candles. The smoky/woodsy smell with a sweet smoothness of the vanille makes this more unique than your everyday vanille perfume. The perfume stays very close to the skin and does not project as well as some on the list. The longevity is also not something that will blow you away and will last you around 4 to 6 hours.
6. Shalimar by Guerlain
You might be thinking “why are you recommending a cologne to me?” It does not matter that it is considered a cologne, it is still made for feminine women who have a love for citrus and vanilla fragrances. The eau de cologne version of Shalimar is the most wearable out of the three in my opinion. This fragrance was first released in 1927 by Guerlain. This stood the test of time, making it one of the few rare fragrances to be relevant for so long.
This beautiful fragrance warms up with a rich oriental vanilla and leather. The transition to the top notes is Guerlain’s signature fresh citrus notes. The projection is moderate and this would be perfect if used as an office or everyday fragrance with it lasting all day long with some people saying it lasted more than 24 hours on their skin.
5. Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain
If you love single note elegant perfumes this is the one for you. One of the most loved vanilla perfumes on the market right now, people have created somewhat of a cult following for it. A dark rich vanilla that is not too sweet or overbearing, with hints of booze notes, like rum.There is a very subtle hint of benzoin and incense that only trained noses in perfume can pick up. The imagery I get with this one is a woman walking up to a classy event in a beautiful dress with her date in a suit and tie, looking to have a night filled with luxury, but also having an incredible time. I would only use this one for very special events because the smell just screams seduction and class.
The performance of this perfume is also something that makes this an all around amazing scent. The longevity of it is long-lasting with it being noticeable for up to 20 hours. The projection is also on the heavy side and will cut through the perfumes of the people around you and make sure people get a smell of this gold in a bottle.
4. Bvlgari Black by Bvlgari
This creation by Annick Menardo in 1998 was first created for a man living in metropolitan life. It is now considered a unisex fragrance with its simple notes that mix together harmoniously. This one is quite unique with a rubber-like scent being introduced in this perfume. It has been described as a buttery vanilla with a new tire smell which sounds very bizarre, until you get a whiff of it in person.
This inexpensive fragrance is worth more than its price tag and what it is selling for currently seems like a steal to me. The projection of this fragrance is on the moderate side as well as the longevity, which makes it perfect for everyday life. I wouldn’t recommend you blind buy this one. It is either loved a lot or hated, there isn’t a in between for this one.
3. Vanille West Indies by Ligne St.Barth
Every gourmand perfume lovers dream. This is great for women who love super sweet perfumes that aren’t too synthetic or unnatural with its notes of vanilla, caramel, and marshmallows. This is the #1 perfume that people just smell straight from the bottle and never get sick of the buttery sugar cookie straight out of the oven smell.
The performance is nothing crazy and is on the moderate side. I would wear this for everyday life or at the office because the smell is universally loved by everyone.
2.Hypnotic Poison by Christian Dior
An old classic seductive perfume that is very well-balanced, not overpowering, and is constantly grabbing compliments. Released in 1998, Annick Menardo crafted this perfume with fresh and vibrant smelling vanilla, sweet toasted almond, and coconut. Hypnotic Poison is recommended for mostly woman going to-night clubs or parties. Wearing this during the day would feel out-of-place, but I think the right person could pull it off.
The performance on this classic was nothing short of amazing, it lasted 20+ hours, even after taking a shower. The projection is heavy and you need to find the right balance to keep from being too over the top. If you are looking for a new perfume to use while out with your friends that gets you attention, Hypnotic Poison is for you.
1. Sublime Vanille by Creed
The #1 vanilla fragrance goes to Sublime Vanille by Creed. It is just blended to perfection with notes that smell as if they were made for each other. Unlike most of the other vanilla gourmand perfumes, this one is recommended for summer more than it is for winter or fall because of the light lemon notes that are paired with the a natural vanilla that smells as if it was picked straight from the orchid. It could be worn casually on a relaxed day on the beach during the summer or a more formal event.
The performance of the projection in this perfume is on the moderate side, which makes it perfect to be an everyday perfume you can use for countless events. The longevity is great and will last you around 12 hours, keeping you smelling very fresh and natural with elegant notes. There is a reason Creed has been around since 1760, they consistently put out amazing and groundbreaking perfumes to keep them at the top.