Vanilla Fragrances for People who Don’t Like Vanilla

vanilla collage

In the past few years, vanilla has appeared in just about everything you care to name from cheap candles to mass produced mainstream fragrances to room sprays. It’s enough to put you off. In fact, that’s exactly what it did and I confess to having become a vanilla swerver.

However, several vanilla fragrances have turned my head and made me look again. From under the mass market tsunami of vanilla abuse come rays of hope, and reminders that vanilla, before its over exposure, was one of the greats and still can be.  The right vanilla, blended with flair and instinct, can give heart and warmth to a fragrance, and offers respite from the sickly cupcake confections and synthetic waxy imitations.

Huff post
Huff post

Here’s a roundup of the vanilla scents I would never tire of wearing. If you’re no vanilla fan, these beauties will turn your head and change your mind. Not all vanilla is equal.

Tauerville Vanilla Flash

vanilla-flash-bttleVanilla is not the first thing you will notice about Vanilla Flash. In fact, with me, it was the roses. Andy Tauer, a true gentleman and frankly, a modest genius too, has created a vanilla scent that frames the vanilla rather than allowing it to take over. Here vanilla is teamed with spice, tobacco, roses and patchouli and is chilly rather than warm.

My review is here. I could wear this all day and all night. Bravo Andy. Here’s the link to the Tauerville website.

Aftelier Perfumes Vanilla Smoke

vanillasmoke1If I could sum up cosy in one scent it would be this. The wonderful Mandy Aftel, who works only with natural ingredients, has taken the warm heart of vanilla and added it to the subtle wood smoke of a hearth. One sniff and my brain thinks it’s Christmas. You can read my review here and buy it from here.

 

Agonist Vanilla Marble

vanillamarblebottleThis is another scent that portrays vanilla as chilled rather than warm and it works to great effect.  In fact, I sent my dear friend Pippa a sample of this prior to her wedding and she chose it as her wedding day fragrance. She made a beautiful Edwardian bride and she smelled glorious. You can read my review here and  buy Agonist from here.

 

DSH Perfumes Vanilla Chantilly

DSH perfumes
DSH perfumes

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz mixes and macerates her stunning potions in Boulder, Colorado and is always a joy to deal with. Like Mandy Aftel, Dawn also uses natural ingredients and Vanilla Chantilly manages to take the buttery woodiness of vanilla without adding any sugar and syrup.  It smells both clean and warm, both cool and dark. Dawn has kept the sticky woody pod character of vanilla and blended it into a musky, spicy accord with a hint of almonds.  I get so many compliments! You can buy it from the DSH website.

Dior Hypnotic Poison

hypnoticThis is the richest deepest vanilla on the High Street. With hints of almond, this is pure luxury with nary a cup cake nor a Pound Shop candle in sight. This feels wonderful to wear and really opened my eyes to how great vanilla can be.  My review of it is here.  You can buy it from allbeauty.com and John Lewis.

Library of Fragrance Play Doh

PlayDoh-30_grandeIt may have a playful name, but it’s worth taking seriously.  This is a superb vanilla scent that yes, smells like Playdoh, but then Playdoh smells like vanilla. In fact, this reminded me of marzipan, which always gets my mouth watering.  Here’s the link  to my review and here’s the link to the Library of Fragrance website.

4160 Tuesdays The Sexiest Scent on The Planet Ever (IMHO)

4160 Tuesdays
. 4160 Tuesdays

Last but by no means least, comes this cult classic from Sarah McCartney at 4160 Tuesdays.  I always think of the vanilla in this as golden and fuzzy, so add that to a cup of Earl Grey with its bergamot infusion, and stir in the scent of antique dark wood, and this is the pleasing result.  It’s good vanilla, rich and warm, with not a cupcake in sight. You can read my review here. and buy it from here.

Over to you

What’s your opinion on vanilla? Do you have a favourite vanilla scent? Do let me know, I always love to hear from you.

Follow

14 thoughts on “Vanilla Fragrances for People who Don’t Like Vanilla”

  1. Until recently I thought I hated vanilla scents. Then I tried Tahitian vanilla essential oil and discovered real vanilla doesn’t smell like food. My recommendation would be Ard Al Zaafaran Vanilla Oud, which is a light but persistent woody vanilla.

    1. Hi Violette and thanks for dropping by. I was the same as you- I always thought it reminded me of food and didn’t really want to smell like food. Your recommendation sounds fantastic- I’ll definitely hunt it down xx

  2. Great article with many fragrances I haven’t heard of. The Agonist one sounds marvellous. I’m with you on the vanilla issue; I have until now regarded them as sickly and/or cheap smelling. There are a few neglected ones in my collection that I should reacquaint myself with including the discontinued Vanilia by L’artisan Parfumer and Hanae Mori. I think the best ones are rich, deep and boozy (and out of my price range!) such as Indult Tihota, Spitituse Double Vanille by Guerlain, and Vanille by Mona di Orio x

    1. Hi Lorna,

      Always a pleasure! I totally agree about the deep and boozy vanillas. I tried Double Vanille by Guerlain and it was just superb- rich like liquor! Those are great recommendations, by the way, thank you.

      Sam xx

  3. I have heard that comment about Atelier Cologne’s Vanille Insensee in addition to these, that it is vanilla for vanilla haters. Perhaps that is why it didn’t work for me, because I’m definitely a fan of vanilla done right. I have a hard time recommending Hypnotic Poison because, on me, the vanilla note goes to playdoh as surely as it does in the Demeter. My great vanilla love is VC&A Orchidee Vanille.

    1. Hi Stephy and thanks for dropping by. personally i like th Play Doh aspect, but it may be a nostalgia thing. There is, as you say, a world of difference between any old vanilla and vanilla done right. I’m so glad I’m not alone. Atelier Cologne is a fabulous brand. They’re everything I love about colognes but with massive 12 hour longevity.
      xx

  4. I always avoided vanilla scents because they smelled like Playdough to me, until I tried Vanille Noir by Yves Rocher. Woody & rich, and it’s often half price.

Leave a Reply