It’s favorites time again! This time around I want to know all about your favorite vanilla perfume. (Look here for reader’s favorite Rose, White Floral, Incense, Musk, Tropical Floral, Leather and Citrus perfumes.)
Which one is your secret vanilla weapon?
Do you love your vanilla sweet and edible or dark and smoky?
Are you going for solinotes or do you prefer vanilla in good company?
I’m still looking for the ultimate vanilla, but there are a few runners-up in my closet already.
Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille was the first niche vanilla I bought, and I like it but it doesn’t always hit the spot. My newest love is Santa Maria Novella’s Vaniglia, and I am awaiting samples of Vanigilia del Madagascar from both I Profumi di Firenze and Farmacia SS Annunziata. L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Vanille Absolument and Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille are trusted standby’s as well.
I had a thing for light vanillas once, like Le Labo Vanille 44, Annick Goutal Vanille Exquise or Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée, but these days the darker, fuller ones attract me a lot more.
For the more complex vanilla scents, Mona di Orio Vanille will always be a favorite, Serge Lutens Bois de Vanille holds a lot of memories and Guerlain Shalimar Ode a lá Vanille sur la Route de Madagascar is a fantastic showcase for a great vanilla note within an oriental composition (this last one also wins the price for longest and most cumbersome perfume name, btw).
Can’t wait to hear about your most beloved vanilla scents!
Vaniglia Del Madagascar from Farmacia SS. Annunziata
I wore this over the weekend – lovely!!!
Guerlain’s Spiritueuse Double Vanille was the only FB of parfume in my life I fully used up (and even repurchased – but I have some issues with the later Editions). Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille is a staple in winter time. So no surprises here. But still, there is one hidden favorite : Van Cleef & Arpels’ Vanille Orchidee…
Oh yes, thanks for reminding me, Van Cleef&Arpels OV is very good, it’s on my ” to buy” list actually. 🙂
Vanilla perfumes are usually too sweet for my taste but I really like Mona di Orio Vanille and Bvlgari Black, my comfort scents (can’t see the “wild” aspect in Black).
Two wild vanillas here! 😉
Thank you, thank you….I thought I was the only one who didn’t see the “wild” aspect of Black! One of my favorites!
I don’t have a favourite vanilla. Vanillas are my favourite. 😉
But the three I love and wear the most L’Artisan’s Vanilia, SL Un Bois Vanille and Spiritueuse Double Vanille.
Haha, what a great line! 😀
Vanilia is one of the perfumes that got away from me, I never tried it before it was discontinued. Well, you can’t have them all… 🙂
Well then, my mission is clear. 😉
Oh no, it was not meant to sound like a plea! It’s discontinued and you don’t have much left probably, so no need for action. You are too kind (as always, dear Ines!)!
Oh, you should know me better than that. 🙂 (I didn’t see it as a plea btw)
There is quite enough left in my bottle, believe me. And that not being the only vanilla perfume I wear, it will not run out any time soon. And even if it does, I have so many others to fill its place.
Many, many others… I’m actually scared to count at this time. 😉
The one I find most wearable is Eau Duelle. Vanilla just makes me smell like cake usually! 🙂
Cake is for eating, I agree. 🙂
Another vote for Eau Duelle! I also Creed’s vanilla one, which I don’t think is called ‘Imperial’ for once, the AG one you mention and Esprit d’Oscar. It’s my favourite note, so I am sure I will think of more in a bit. Poivre 23 and Angelique Noir(e?) – they are vanilla with a twist too.
This Creed is (called) Sublime, so no empire connections on this one, I haven’t tried it yet since I’m somewhat Creed-averse, but definitely should make an exception here.
Angelique Noire is a great vanilla (so are many L’Art et la Matiere scents when I think about it, Cuir Beluga and Bois d’Armenie have fantastic vanilla notes).
Love Vanille Bourbon Osmo Absolu from Il Profumo, Guerlain’s SDV, MdO Vanille and my recent love Vaniligia del Madagascar from i Profumi di Firenze.
Will try the Il Profumo next time I see it!
I will bring you some. 🙂
I’ll exchange it with you for some IPdF Vaniglia del Madagascar that just arrived at my doorstep! 🙂
Vanilia, Metallica and SDV- funny, I would normally not like leaving out things but in this case these are easily my favourites above all others 🙂 I don’t know the IPdF’s though, and normally find them *really* good, so…
Vanilla as a note seems easier for many to pinpoint favorites (unlike rose for example), interesting…
Me and my Mum we both love Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee and in fact, my Mum has just decided on purchasing a bottle of it, since AC is offering free EU shipping until the end of August.
I also like Profvmvm Roma Vanitas
Good for you, I’m sure your Mum lets you share her bottle – how lovely to have another perfume lovers in the house! 🙂
I like my vanillas dark and smoky, with leather, tobacco, woodsmoke… So far I only have indie perfume oil vanillas under my belt and the best of them is Smoke and Mirrors by Alkemia Perfumes. That is seriously smoky stuff, gorgeous as is and perfect for layering!
Hmmm, that sounds great!
I like vanilla but I don’t think I have a true favorite yet. I don’t like to smell like dessert so anything that replicates the smell of cake or frosting is not a contender unless it’s a candle. My house smelling like vanilla cake is okay, just not me. I like dark, boozy vanilla if given the choice. I don’t mind sweet vanilla either sometimes as long as it doesn’t smell too cakey. I don’t think I have any true vanilla-centric perfumes in my collection. I have perfumes with vanilla in them but no real vanilla scents…how is that possible? I guess that’s something that needs to be addressed at some point.
That opens up a new avenue for exploration! 🙂
I am not a huge vanilla fan in scents, but I love Vanille Tonka from Nicolai.
That’s a really beautiful one, I also like Vanille Intense from the same house, for containing more vanilla. 🙂
I’m still looking for the perfect vanilla that is not too sweet and has dark and smoky facets while still delivering that comforting vanilla “hit”. It’s not that easy to find. SDV and Mona’s Vanille came close. I also like the drydown of 7 Billion Hearts but the opening is rough and I wouldn’t pay the price anyhow.
Looking forward to your thoughts on the two Vanigilia del Madagascar perfumes.
To cut to the chase, I don’t think the two VdM’s will be “it” for you either, not dark enough I think… 😦
Two hardly ever mentioned vanillas by Profumum: Battito d’ali, and Acqua e Zucchero are my favorites! (for now). Notes for BcA are orange flower, vanille, myrhh, coconut and cacao. Notes for AeZ are orange blossom, forest fruits and vanilla, however both scents are primarily vanilla fragrances!!!
I hear so many good things about Profumum Roma lately. On the list they go… Thank you!
I do like vanilla in my perfume. Here are some favorites : Creed Vanille Sublime, LAVANILA Pure Vanilla, Montale Vanilla Absolu, Memoire Liquide Vanille Francaise, Creative Scentualization Perfect Vanilla, Des Filles a la Vanille Musc Venetian,Trish McEvoy Blackberry & Vanilla Musk, Lollia Wish, Carthusia Ligea la Sirena, Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur and Viktoria Minya
Wonderful, thank you for your list of suggestions! So much to smell, so little time! 🙂
I don’t know that many vanilla perfumes – I have a bottle of Vanille Galante Hermessence, which I like, especially in the winter time and I have tried the vanilla fragrance from St. Barth, which I think is a tad stronger. But I only sprayed it on the perfume shop, so I can’t say I have “tested” it yet.
Have a very HAPPY week 🙂
The St Barth line looks tempting, especially in summer, I should give it a go sometime. Thanks for the tip, dear happyface!
I love Dzing!,which is not all about vanilla,but I like the way that note is used in it,Shalimar of course and Vanille Tonka .Haven’t tried many other ones,so my list is quite short, unfortunately
Short but sweet! 😉
I adore most vanillas, with the Mona Vanille topping the list. I wear SDV regularly, love Orchidee Vanille for a warm-weather vanilla, love the Farmacia SS Annunziata in hot weather, and cherish my bottle of Havana Vanille. Vintage Organza Indecence, a very woody vanilla, might be the queen of my collection. Raghba, a strong vanilla oud with dried-fruit notes that came from Saudi Arabia, is great in cooler weather. The gorgeous 7 Billion Hearts is my winter favorite but as a strong pencil-shaving note in warm weather. Haven’t cared for any of the Shalimars because the Guerlain base does something weird on me. The only vanilla (besides the sweet mass-market ones) that I ever really disliked was Vanille Galante, because I am one of those people who gets a definite fish note from it. I think the ability to smell this must be genetic. It is so absent to so many people, and so strong and unmistakable for those of us who do smell it.
Oh my, I don’t wear Vanille Galante either (too much lily), but thankfully I’m spared the fish note. How awful!
Do you often perceive this? Do you know what molecule or compound is responsible for it?
I am very curious about what molecule it is. Someday I will remember to write to Victoria at BoisdeJasmin and ask if she knows. It may be rarely used or some combination of molecules, since I have never smelled it in any other fragrance, thank goodness.
Hmm, this is a note I have not been seeking out in many years, so I have to really think about it! I do like Le Labo Vanille 44 and Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille. I tend to go more for the lighter vanillas overall, and most of the modern Guerlains that are vanilla heavy don’t work on me.
Too bad, the modern Guerlains have the best vanilla note of them all to my nose (meaning compared to other modern perfumes, not other Guerlains).
I don’t own any true vanillas, as I have always avoided the richer ones (eg SL Un Bois Vanille, like the smell, just feel rather self conscious wearing them) – unless you count Tea for Two, which is more smoke/tea than vanilla. Lately I’ve really enjoyed lighter ones such as Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee, and eau Duelle – and was thinking of buying one of these for autumn. Who knows, maybe I will graduate to the others after a gentle start with these?
Careful, Alice, eau Duelle was my gateway drug!
Indeed, it is a slippery slope, even with sweet and sticky notes like vanilla. 😉
I agree with Marie’s choice of Bvlgari Black. Also, I get a lot of vanilla from Obsession for men, which I like but haven’t worn in a long time.
Do you happen to know whether Bulgari Black is discontinued now or not? I’m confused.
I am not sure, Birgit. But looking around online, it seems to be available almost everywhere. I haven’t heard specifically if it is or isn’t discontinued. I certainly hope not.
I like off-kilter vanillas, the complex kind where there is usually something woody, boozy or smoky in attendance. Montale Boise Vanille, Micallef Vanille Orient, Mona di Orio Vanille and, lately, a body butter product that Lavanya sent me, Cocoa Pink Voluptuous Body Butter scented with a fragrance called Black Widow. Oh, and I have to join Vanessa in her love of Le Labo Poivre 23, that one is absolute creamy deliciousness and interesting to boot!
I’ll join you and V in the Poivre 23 appreciation.
Montale Boisé Vanille once leaked in my toiletry bag, it smells divine still. 🙂
Mona’s Vanille continues to fascinate me, but I love other vanillas too. Le Labo 44 is on my wish list, and I also enjoy Lolita Lempicka’s “L”, especially the lotion.
L has a very good reputation, what a shame I have not smelled it yet. 😦
Felanilla by Parfume Generalle is my favorite vanilla fragrance. Vanilla with a touch of metallic click. Not too sweet either. I haven’t worn it in the summer heat, but fall is just around the corner.
It’s very good! Reminds me a lot of Shalimar…
In this moment I’m in love with Memoirs of a Trespasser by Imaginary Authors.
It has an amazing name as well!
I would have to choose M.Micallef Vanille Orient and Mona di Orio Vanille. Angelique Noire dries down to a yummy vanilla!
It does! Angelique Noire is gorgeous!
Personally, I prefer my vanilla to be understated and more floral (Lutens Un Lys) than gourmand. I enjoy Hermessence Vanille Galant and Tom Fords Tobacco Vanille is a scent I enjoy for a guy, not so for much myself. I have a small decant of Lutens Bois Vanille but it’s way too sweet. I’m trying to figure out what it could be layered with to temper all of that sugar.
That is hard to say. From my experience, layering a Lutens is seldom a great idea and can turn into disaster quickly…
Last week I would have answered that I don’t really like vanilla perfumes (Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille doesn’t count because I “gave it away” to my vSO and do not count as “my” perfume any longer but love it on him). But last Saturday I suddenly felt an urge to try again two vanillas I have samples of – Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille and MdO’s Vanille. I liked both but, I think, Guerlain’s vanilla was softer and more appealing… Now I’ll need to get a decant of it. And I thought I didn’t like vanilla… 🙂
The perfumista’s fickle mind… 🙂
Glad you are enjoying a little vanilla sweetness!
Oh dear! I would have to disagree about the layering of the Lutens. I adore Bois Vanille but it is too sweet for me some days so then I layer it with another Lutens: one of the woods – Chene, Cedre, Borneo 1834 or one of the spices – Ambre Sultan, Fumerie Turque. Another wonderful combo is Un Lys and Bois Vanille – I was surprised by how much I liked this, especially in the heat.
Despite loving these heavy Lutens combos, Guerlain’s SDV has always been too much for me – too edible? Not sure, but some days it even made me gag so I gave up! And I’m a hard core Shalimar fan so go figure!
Off to try the Atelier Cologne – somehow have missed this one.
Thanks for a great blog!
I’m glad you had good experiences with layering, Kim!
Enjoy discovering Atelier Cologne!
Kim, I tried you suggestion of layering Un Bois Vanille and Un Lys and I enjoyed it. The sheerness of Un Lys helped balance the heaviness of Un Bois V. and made the latter much more wearable for me! I think it’ll be a nice duo for fall, too.
I love Vanilla Birgit but the only one I can see from my desk is MdO Vanille. No I see Le Male and ETRO Relent, Coco too though I know it’s pretty much hidden vanilla.
Can’t see anything else, righto, I’m off to grab some and have a vanilla fest.
A vanilla fest! Excellent!
I am not a big fan of vanilla in perfume, but I am a big fan of freshly-baked Vanillekipferl.
Ha, me too! 😀
I have always loved a great vanilla, and seem to be always be searching for the perfect one. I would have to say that Shalimar ode a la Vanille (Madagascar) would be my leading choice so far. I also love Shalimar lotion, but not the perfume as much. But the vanilla Madagascar is incredible! For every day use, I really enjoy Lolita Lempicka L…perfume and the lotion. My very first niche was Annick Goutal,Vanilla Esquise, but found it so fleeting it was just a pure disappointment . I love discovering great new vanilla’s, and the quest is always there!
Shalimar Madagascar is really great!
The quest is never over, but that is part of the fun, isn’t it? 🙂
I just tried Santa Maria Novella Vaniglia today. It seems to be a lighter version of PdN Vanille Tonka. However, the latter is a little more complex and long lasting, so I prefer it. I also love Andelique Noire. I want to try Guerlain DVM. It is interesting that I have much stronger opinions about vanilla perfumes than other types. For example, the fragrances mentioned above are the only ones I would consider wearing. Yet, there are many iris perfumes, many of which I would wear.
Vanilla can be so very bad and so very good, maybe that is why your opinions are equally strong.
Bois 1920 La Vaniglia is the one for me!
I just saw this the other day, will try it!
My favorite vanilla is probanly Shalimar Ode a la Vanille and Mona di Orio Vanille and my new favorite Arquiste Anima Dulcis has some great vanilla!
I would really like to try the VCaA and Santa Maria Novella ones in the future.
Anima Dulcis is wonderful, although I don’t get a lot of vanilla from it. Gorgeous in any case!!!
It must be lovely!
I will throw in a very mainstream scent: Le Bain by Joop! I find it very calming and balmy, must be due to the tonka beans. Of course Shalimar is also one of my favorites.
Thanks for that suggestion, citypark!
My three favourite vanillas are: Angelique Noire, Angelique Noire and Angelique Noire 🙂
Haha, I love all three! 😉
Love Vanillas, my latest discoveries Battito d’Ali, Sleeping with Ghosts by Mark Buxton, Shalimar Mexique, one billion hearts and there are many good Hilde Soliani fragrances with vanilla drydown in it, Vanichic is one of my favorites but also Frecchnissimo and Orgasmo.
Orgasmo??? I didn’t think a perfume named like this would escape my awareness, but I never heard of it. And for once it seems to be a Soliani fragrance without multiple consonants and vocals. 😉
I’m especially curious about Battido d’Ali, lovely name.
Thanks for your recommendations, Isabeau!
still searching but By Kilian Love is the closest I got so far, not sure if it qualifies as vanilla, though.
It’s a lovely scent, and there is plenty of vanilla! 🙂
Like many here I love a good vanilla scent – and almost all my faves are mentioned 😉
Has anyone tried the new Shalimar (Route du Mexique)? How does it compare to the Madagascar?
unfortunately I have not tried Mexique yet. A friend told me it was very similar to Madagascar.
I hope someone who tried it will chime in!
I have tried Mexique but couldn’t detect what set it apart from Madagascar, which I like and do like better than the original OdlV. I need to test them both more.
I missed this post but I’m glad to see that there aren’t a ton of vanillas mentioned that I don’t know already – because the last thing I need is to add to my vanillas! Vanilla was one of the first notes that sent me down the rabbit hole, and I like my vanillas fairly fruit-accented. Vanille Extasy by Montale is probably my top; also love Iles d’Or, and Ubar. Any Shalimar is good in a pinch; I like the Odes a la Vanille but also Legere. And for my last great citrus vanilla, Hilde Soliani’s great Untitled No. 7 for Luckyscent. It’s good to see vanilla love!
Thanks for chiming in on the Mexique question.
The Luckyscent untitled sounds tempting!!!
Ah…vanilla…holy spice in a woman’s garden. OK, don’t tell this to my Mamma but I let a pod or two marinate in a bottle of olive oil: quite exquisite with white fish. But since I am on an equally exquisite perfume blog – not a cooking forum – let me tell you about my favorite olive-oil-free vanilla bottle.
When I was a teenager, I read a quote from Coco Chanel saying that “a woman without perfume was a woman without a future”. Needless to say I was eager to secure mine at the earliest convenience…only to realize that the best things in life, future included, require patience:
– Tried all the Shalimars out there…got tired and retired.
– Gave Lutens’ Bois Vanille a chance…just another disappointing romance.
– L by Lolita Lempicka: nice try but there’s never been any L in “Wow”.
– Nuit des iles by Bissoumine: my one true love. I can’t explain it, it’s taking me places I didn’t even know existed. If Atlantis ever was, I swear it’s in that bottle.
Cheers and please keep this blog going! Loving it!
thank you for commenting!
What a great choice, I must revisit Nuit des Iles, I have a sample in my stash.
Also thank you for the cooking tip, that is always appreciated here too! 🙂