329 Comments
Ines October 15, 2012

So, today I come up with this great idea of doing a vanilla serieson my blog as I realized I'm slipping into my vanilla phase and while googling for what else vanilla I have that I'm not aware of, I come across this post. I would have read it sooner but life/work intervened and now my idea feels plagiarized. :-( Although I do believe I'll go through all my vanillas and enjoy them, probably write about those I haven't yet. It seems there aren't many of those... ;-) Btw, if I got it correctly, there are people out there who don't like vanilla perfumes? How is that even possible? :-)

Damir Gasljevic October 6, 2012

Opium pour homme edp has always worked like nice vanilla for me. Similar is with Rochas Man. When almost everything slowly dissapears ,vanilla that is in the base of both fragrances still stays.

Gogol October 6, 2012

Thanks for the great post - it inpired me to put on some Le Labo. I know and love about half of the perfumes mentioned. PdN Vanille Intense is my guilty pleasure. My daughters wear Pink Sugar (queasy)...

Jessi October 6, 2012

Yeah. You like a lot of the same vanillas I do. For a real vanilla extract try Laura Mercier's Vanille Gourmande. Love your writing style I can't wait for your next one!!

Perfumista8 October 6, 2012

My first foray into fragrances heavier on vanilla was AG Vanille Esquise. I love it still. Now I have several in rotation but there are many on your list that I absolutely must try!

CM October 6, 2012

I really need to try more vanilla perfumes! That serge ubv sounds great! A few years ago, the body shop made a vanilla spice shower gel that was so decadent and rich you could actually gain weight while showering with it. I bought a bottle this past holiday and it wasn't nearly as good, just typical vanilla. Had I known, I would've bought out the store and got the lotion and the spritz.

Jo October 5, 2012

I must say Tiare Flower done right with vanilla can smell so much so like pink frosted cupcakes, im wearing TL elle by ted lapidus today and it is beyond expectations !

Elena October 5, 2012

I'm a total newbie, so I just realized I liked vanilla last year when I tried Shalimar for the first time. I sniffed my strip obsessively and kept it in my living room and then as a bookmark. I should really get a little. I usually like green, leather, and iris type scents, so this is all uncharted territory for me, but vanilla is just so cozy.

Julie Rimmington October 5, 2012

Love, love, love this post!!! Only relatively recently (last couple of years) that I've been discovering the niche perfumes, but think vanilla and amber seem to be my go-to choices. Loving Organza Indecence, Shalimar and Salimar Ode a la Vanille (I was really lucky to get a virtually-new bottle of the latter on eBay). Recently got a sample of L'artisan's Vanilla Absolument and really want a bottle, and finally have to mention that my sample of Attrape-Coeur is one of my most treasured possessions and only gets used on very special ocasions.

candy loving October 5, 2012

i loooooove the come hither smell of Dior Addict on women . had an ex-GF who wore Perlier Vanilla edt, and that was delicious as well .

Ivy October 5, 2012

I have a full bottle of Vanillaville, but it can be a bit rough so I really have to be in the mood. I also have Vanille-Tonka, but it just smells too much like rootbeer for me to wear anymore. I'd love to get my nose on all of these though...particularly 7 Billion Hearts...Christopher Brosius is amazing.

Catherine October 4, 2012

I completely agree with you on Lolita Lempicka L de Lolita - I thought I loved it at first, and how could anyone resist that clever little bottle? I was so pleased with myself. I quickly learned to hate the smell of myself when wearing it. It is just too,too much.

Ariel October 4, 2012

My favorite vanilla is SDV - it is so perfect for Alaskan fall days ( the boozy, warm vanilla; wood smoke; and in the very beginning a tart high-bush cranberry). However I get the most compliments when I wear Cuir Beluga or L by Lolita Lempicka. I had to laugh when I saw the post; I was trying to decide whether to wear SDV or L'Artisan Tea for Two. Well vanilla smoke won over tea smoke today!

Joan October 4, 2012

Whoa! Thanks for that....I'll reference it anytime I want a vanilla perfume. I'm not big on vanilla precisely because it's a comfort scent (I like tuberose, jasmine, and leather, all the opposite) but I do like Vanilia, Un Bois Vanille, and Givenchy Organza Indecence.

Katrin October 4, 2012

To my surprise, I am very curious to try out some of the perfumes mentioned not only in the second category, but in the first one as well. I treasure Shalimar, even if I do not wear it often and I love Montale's Chypre Vanilla for its depth, elegance and comfort. But now I realize that I must explore further this territory.

Dubaiscents October 4, 2012

I love a great vanilla scent and picked up a bunch of new ones to try from this post, thank you! My favorite is probably Mona di Orio's Vanille and Shalimar Ode de la Vanille (one of the limited edition flankers with some extra vanilla thrown in). As an oddball, I would have to go with Chinatown by Bond No. 9 - it has an amazing dry down with lots of vanilla (I am wearing it now and the vanilla is quite prominent) although I don't know if it would technically count as a vanilla scent.

Rachel October 4, 2012

Oh vanilla, I love you so. Loved me some Body Shop vanilla body wash back in the day....

Jolissa October 4, 2012

I absolutely love vanilla!! My favorites are Eau Duelle and Orchidee Vanille!!

ih8perfume October 4, 2012

This is quite an interesting post and the first I have read. I'm just smitten with Vanilla based scents, gourmands in particular. I started thinking about what you said about vanilla and its associations with "Mom, Cupcakes, & Comfort". And well, my Mom wasn't much of a baker. She didn't make cookies for after-school or homemade birthday cakes or any of that. So I don't associate vanilla with my Mom at all. I was the one who did the kitchen projects. All completely inedible, but I didn't care because they made the kitchen smell like cinnamon and vanilla and butter and whatever else I threw into the "mix". The first time I even thought about vanilla as a fragrance was a reference in a "bodice-ripper" romance novel I swiped as a teenager. The heroine was a kitchen maid and the dashing hero, lord of the manor. She dabs a bit of vanilla extract behind her ears and he mentions something about her smelling "good enough to eat" So I would beg to differ that the man/vanilla connection is an Oedipal one. I would say rather that the scent of vanilla brings to mind the taste of vanilla and makes the sniffer's brain think that the skin of the person wearing the vanilla scent might taste sweet. We don't usually eat flowers or woods or incense or leather, all typically considered components that make a scent "sexy". So vanilla adds an extra sensual mystery (Does his/her skin taste sweet? What would it taste like if I licked it?). I feel like a bit of a philistine because I have not tried many of the scents you mention. I try not to sample things I might possibly fall in lurve with if I cannot afford to buy the bottle (I'm looking at YOU, Creed Virgin Island Water), I tend to stick with the less expensive niche fragrances, which I haven't seen mentioned. Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs has some gorgeous, rich, thoroughly un-subtle, and possibly quite skanky vanilla scents that I wear all the time: Snake Oil: Vanilla and Indonesian spices (smells more like vanilla, incense, and wood to me). Some people smell vanilla baby powder, but please sweet Jeebus don't put it on the baby! Waaay too sexy for the baby. Velvet: Cocoa-infused Vanilla with sharp sandalwood. Warm comfortable sexy cocoon of fragrance. Soft and sensual like, well... velvet. As a side note, I am such a fan of vanilla that I've purchased straight vanilla absolute and vanilla bean oil infusions. It's shocking how little they smell like "real" vanilla. There's a HUGE whiff of camphor in the ones I've tried along with a very earthy/loamy/woody smell. It's hard to find a "natural" vanilla scent that carries the top notes of cream and butter and the bottom notes of luscious leather that I smell from an actual vanilla bean. Any idea if the high-end fragrances you mention use artificial fragrance oils or altered natural vanillas? Just curious!

Cynthia Chaney October 4, 2012

MdO Vanille is my very favorite vanilla slightly ahead of Shalimar Parfum. Otherwise I'm totally perplexed by the entire gourmand category of fragrance. Yuk

Tammy October 4, 2012

Well, I am serious in love with Hypnotic Poison, which I never really thought of as a vanilla, but yeah, you're right, it is. All I know is that I want someone to turn it into a body powder so I can chinchilla roll in it. Now I guess I better make a trip to Nordstrom to see if I can find any samples of these perfumes you just reviewed, otherwise my wallet is going to take another serious hit. I blame you.

Laura October 4, 2012

Hi Patty, I'm a newcomer to the Perfume Posse and just starting to get interested in different perfumes. Last night my youngest woke me up at 2am and then since I was up and everybody else was sleeping I decided to check out your post. So I had a bit of a chuckle over your comment about not sleeping for five years because of your kids. I wonder if it's true that reading about vanilla can put you to sleep. Maybe I could try that on my kids! Anyhoo, I loved this guide and it's given me so many new perfumes that I want to smell. Thanks! I would love to be entered into the drawing for the samples!

Jeff B October 4, 2012

Rochas Man when I want sweet vanilla/coffee perfection, and Spiritueuse Double Vanille when I want smoky.

Audrey October 4, 2012

Reading about vanilla. I want to go and buy a vanilla perfume. Thank you for all of the suggestions. I will be busy trying and smelling!

Mary B. October 4, 2012

I was super excited to see the vanilla reviews, but even more excited about the drawing :) I am pretty much a perfume idiot, but i have been dying to find the perfect vanilla scent for me. I have tried SL Un Bois Vanille, and though i like it...it makes me smell....more mature...age wise...to say it politely... :) I've also gotten decants of Jill Stuart Vanilla Lust. (which I LOVE!) and Des Filles a la Vanille Intime Secret- which to me, is fun and playful in a very youthful way, but super sugary and i wear only when i want random people around me to mention they have a sudden craving for a milkshake. (This has happened! FOUR TIMES!) Thanks for the giggles!

Becky October 4, 2012

I'm wearing the Diptyque right now, and am dying to try Vanille 44 and 7 Billion Hearts. I'll definitely be ordering decants if I don't win the drawing! Thanks!

Warum October 4, 2012

Vanilla... I USED to be a vanilla-basher, thought that even SL Un Bois de Vanille was too much pastry (I am glad that it is called a little cup-cakey in this post!). But gradually I started to discover the ones I do like -- Van Cleef & Arpels Orchidee Vanille, Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee... so if I were a lucky winner I would share the sweeter ones with the gourmand lovers and would load up on woody and incensy vanilla myself! Mwahaha!

may October 4, 2012

I'm new with perfumes but I'm hooked! I keep going to malls to test perfumes lol!!!!!! I wish I could win! :P

Katie October 4, 2012

Ah, vanilla. Thanks for this post. So excited to try new scents now (the only one I've worn previously was hypnotic poison... Which I never even thought of as vanilla).

La Valene October 4, 2012

You have totally piqued my interest in vanilla now. The scent turned me off after sitting next to someone who smelled like a rancid cupcake, but I am going to have to give the sample set a try now. Val

Carrie October 4, 2012

I cannot stand vanilla perfumes because of bad experiences with two different women who drenched themselves, and their home in one case, in vanilla. And I'm about to add a third to the list. Has anyone else had a bad experience in relation to scent that affected how they feel about that scent? I wanted to love Shalimar when I was younger and kept trying it at the Guerlain counter in the Seattle Nordstrom's store. One day I stopped in again to see if it or my chemistry possibly changed in the last month, and discovered Mitsouko and never looked back. I love Shalimar for that, leading me to Mitsouko. ;)

Lemon October 4, 2012

I started reading this yesterday and I got so hungy I ran to have a bowl of cereal - truly! And I don't even like cupcake vanillas, except maybe Vanille Abricot, and that's not so cupcakey on me, not as much as the dreaded pink sugar, anyway. My favorite vanilla so far is Spririteuse Double. I love booze and tobacco with vanilla and this has lots of both on me. When I wear it, people near me sniff then wonder what that fabulous smell is. No one has ever realized that it's me :)

Janell October 3, 2012

My favorite vanilla is Hanae Mori. Please enter me in the draw.

Janell October 3, 2012

My favorite vanilla is Hanae Mori. Please enter me in the draw.

Maureen October 3, 2012

I cannot do Shalimar either. I tried & I tried, even the Parfum Initial, which I tried in summer...big mistake! I have not tried many of these fragrances, but Portia mentioned DK Gold??? I thought that was lily & I loved it but it gave me a huge headache. I have tried vanilla extract behind the ears when I was younger, and Yup, Late husband loved it. I would love to explore your favorites. Thanks for the draw.

Samantha L. October 3, 2012

I love the smoky, incensey vanillas....I am dying to try the CBIHP. I need to win this one, I'm crossing my fingers and toes!!

Olivia October 3, 2012

Great post! And I've loved reading through the comments. I always thought I hated the 'nilla (probably, like so many others, a hangover from the super sweet late 90's version fugging up the place back then.) But a while ago, I dunno.. I just got drawn into it and started playing around, slightly obsessively trying to find 'my' vanilla. Like every note, I realised it has facets and vastly different incarnations depending on how it's used, how much and what with. I found some gems and they've become among my very, very favourites: Mona di Orio Vanille is stunning, every single time I wear it. Le Labo Vanille is just.. breathtaking. Honestly. Exactly as you describe it: it whispers and wafts around you, like some sort of ancient Greek Siren. It is perfectly translucent, but like incense, you catch swirls every now and then. I also like the CB 7 Billion Hearts, which is sorta similar (I've only tried the water version and would love to get my mitts on the absolute.) Uncle Serge's UBV is another love and I keep thinking I should wear it more.. I love basically the entire Guerlain L'Art line (to me, they are all essentially vanillic and beautifully twisted - goddam you Guerlain, I wish I knew how to quit you!) And Lann-Ael is a wonderful comfort scent. So basically, if it's smoky, incensy or a little weird, I'm in! If it's a CSP-alike or an Eau de My Little Pony Cupcake, meh. But I do love a little sweetness around the edges :)

Amy Bella October 3, 2012

I am such a vanilla lover! Spiriteuse, Le Labo and Mona Di Orio are my favorites of the moment. I am so pleased that the weather is turning cooler so I can break them out again!

Heverton Dutra October 3, 2012

Tobacco Vanille smells sooo good on my skin. As a matter of fact I love vanilla based fragrances so anything with that note in it pretty much draws my attention

HH October 3, 2012

Thanks for this post and giveaway--I LOVE vanilla! Although I'm with you on not feeling the rabid Shalimar love. I wear Lavanila Pure Vanilla all the time, and have a big bottle of Mistral Balinese Vanilla. Also adore BPAL's Banshee Beat (vanilla/hemp/patchouli) and Celeste (vanilla/saffron).

Daniel W. Z. October 3, 2012

Yummmmmm Gormands make me hungry. My favorite vanilla is Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille.

nikkoblue October 3, 2012

Sooooo late for the party, but thank you for pointing out the Santa Maria Novella......that's my favorite. And Bois 1920 La Vaniglia.....similar to PdN Vanille Intense. I tried to find my perfect vanilla about a year ago and most of them make we want to throw sporks at random objects. I came out of it with some lovelies though....Havana Vanille, the three mentioned above, Vanille Orchidee. I'm waiting on a Mona mini, and so far have not tried the LeLabo, which is probably a good thing because I way overextended my perfume budget this month already. I think vanilla is wonderful but like anything, moderation.

ana October 3, 2012

I love dry, smoky, boozy vanillas, not too sweet in any case. But I think vanilla is a wonderful perfumery ingredient, warm and sexy and it can be absolutely smashing in the hands of the perfumers that know what to do with it. so far I like Shalimar, Havana Vanille from L'artisan parfumeur, Mona di Orio Vanille, Vanille Tonka a super dry one from Parfums de Nicolai, but my vanilla repertoire is still quite limited so I'm hoping you will help me to expand my horizons

apointofsmell October 3, 2012

Not one of my favourite notes but with the appropriate background and a skillful blending can work miracles. LIKES : Tobacco Vanile, Shalimar Initial, SDV YIKES: Habanita, Shalimar

RVB October 3, 2012

I love vanilla perfumes as long as they're not too sweet.I like the boozy incensey vanilla of L'Artisan's Havana Vanille.And believe or not waaaaay in the drydown of Andy Tauer's Une Rose Chypree a beautiful delicious vanilla note appears....what a ride that one is...Thanks for the draw!

dremybluz October 3, 2012

I am big vanilla lover. I love them super sweet to dry and woody. One of my very favorites is Jo Malones Rose Water and Vanilla Intense

Lala October 3, 2012

If you're a Vanilla Cretin, then so am I. I pretty much loathe this note unless it is used with a great deal of restraint. So I'm only entering the draw on the slim chance of winning and having my eyes opened by your choices, which have to be better than the vanilla shite I've smelled.

Dionne October 3, 2012

So it's looking like this is going to be major thing here at the Posse, the comprehensive guides? Yaaaay! One of the docs I've got in my Perfume folder simply has categories I haven't really explored yet and the possibilities of each listed below. I've already got a couple that say "just check out the Posse link." As far as vanilla goes, I enjoy it as a note, but there's nothing I've tried yet that really grabs me. It's not a love OR a loathing, just a meh. (Frodo turned 13 today, and I was teasing him about that classic teenage "nothing in life is worth getting excited about," and realized mid-sentence that there's really not a big difference between a teenager and a zombie.)

Laura October 3, 2012

So many lovely vanillas! When I was a teenager I did try the vanilla extract, LOL - and started a life long love affair with smelling of vanilla! I love SL Un Bois Vanille, and Tihota is just - I keep trying to forget that I ever smelled it. It is my vanilla perfection, and I know that there are so many other wonderful vanillas that surely one or more of them will be as good....? Lots of new suggestions for me to try, though!

Christy C October 3, 2012

I love Mona di Orio Vanille, but that is the only vanilla-centric perfume I've tried so far. Thank you for the comprehensive review on vanillas--there are a number more I'd like to try now! -Christy

Ramona October 3, 2012

Vanilla! Oh My! I just melt no matter if it is super sweet cavity inducing cupcake icing or boozy floozy vanilla who cant find her underpants after waking in an unfamialiar bed in an unfamiliar room - it it the virtuosa ingredient of LIFE! Laura Mercier does a Uber Sweet Gourmand Vanilla that will have your teeth spontaneously growing little fuzzy sweaters-its THAT sweet and dense. I love it but can only handle one spritz down around my bellybutton only on days that require sweaters and warm foot gear, and since I like in Hot Humid Hellish Florida, it dosent get much love me very often. But I DO love it, it just requires cooperation from the external world so it can singin the perfect setting =)

Kacey October 2, 2012

Count me firmly in the Vanilla LOVE category! Well, actually, let me qualify that: I really can't stand super sweet anything (Pink Sugar is my nemesis), and I love my vanilla with a little bit of extra somethin' somethin'. Cupcake is not really my style; combine it with leather/smoke/floral and we're getting somewhere. And a skanky vanilla? You have got me SO curious about Mamluk and Micallef Note Vanillee! Some of my faves: M. Micallef Vanille Marine - oh man do I love a salty and sweet combo. Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight in Paris - glorious vanilla and leather. Like Bvlgari Black with a little less tire and a little more batting of the eyelashes. Hermes Vanille Galant - another vote for this one! Agree about the predominance of lily. Other thoughts, and the One Vanilla to Rule Them All: Yup, Shalimar is a total fail on me too, but in a different way. I feel your pain! Along the same lines, I can't make myself love SL Un Bois Vanille - it just reads too candy floss for me. Darn! And I LOVE TF Tobacco Vanille in the bottle - it was this fragrance that actually kicked off my perfumista journey. But on my skin it turns root-beer/coke/clove-ish, and (though not inherently bad) the disappointment nearly killed me. Sometimes you just want a friendly and balanced all-occasion vanilla, though, and for that I completely agree with Creed Sublime Vanille. I find Dyptique Eau Duelle to be quite similar, though I haven't decided which one I love best yet (my pocketbook prays for the Dyptique)... Really, though, Guerlain Spiriteuse Double Vanille...be still my vanilla lovin' heart. It is The One. Absolutely delicious! So indulgent, sexy, almost devious, but with that ever-present class of the great Guerlains. For special events I sometimes wear my much-too-quickly-dwindling sample of this layered (yup, so sue me!) with Creed Sublime Vanille. This combo got me my first unprovoked, enthusiastic compliment - and from my boyfriend's zero-interest-in-fragrance mother! The Creed produces a pleasant, mild cloud of vanilla, and then - when you come in closer - whaBAM! Death by drunken, smoky vanilla. And is there really any better way to go?

Josiethecat October 2, 2012

Patty the L'Occitane is the long lamented discontinued one, I got mine for such a low price is criminal and its the most hoarded in my collection, just don't tell SDV!!

kizzers October 2, 2012

I love SDV but my husband thinks it smells like baby-sick! :( I think at least half of my sample collection is Vanilla based, but some faves are TF Tobaccoa Vanille, and Hermessence Vanille Galante. And, if that doesn't hit the spot, I usually huff some Cadbury's chocolate....

Miss Pong October 2, 2012

I read what Patty had to say up there. I don't know whether she likes vanilla scents or not.

FragrantWitch October 2, 2012

'Skeerage' is an excellent term for massive sillage! I seem to amp sweetness so vanilla is tricksy but I adore Shalimar parfum (hey, Portia! ) and vintage Emeraude. Also like the CBIHP, Kenzo Amour, Flowerbomb, Lann-ael (definite fairy pancakes!), Micallef Vanille Cuir (butter soft leather cupcakes) and Organza Indecence. Cannot abide Hypnotic Poison though- death by jasmine frosting. Gack!

Julie October 2, 2012

I do love vanilla fragrances, although I find my tolerance for sweet has gone down as I get older. That bottle of CSP Vanille Coco that I used to love - way way way too sweet now. And I live in San Diego, and it does get chilly, but never downright cold so vanilla is usually just too much. Favorites are: Organza Indecence, SL Un Bois Vanille, La Maison de la Vanille Noir de Mexicque (or something like that), Havana Vanille and Yves Rocher plain old Vanilla for a super cheap thrill. I did love SDV, but it is just too heavy and sweet for me now. I am dying to try the Le Labo, CBIHP and the Micallef!

Susan October 2, 2012

I want to be entered so I can win and throw all the vanilla in the trash because it will be good for the environment to remove some vanilla perfume from the world. No seriously, I'd love to find a vanilla that I love. Bring it on!

Flora October 2, 2012

I love vanilla - can't take things like Pink Sugar but my tolerance is very high otherwise. I especially like rose-vanilla scents, whether highbrow (Parfum Sacre, vintage) or middlebrow (Tocade). I own a little via l of Tocade pure parfum, and it's pure bliss for vanillaphiles, both sweet and smoky, and intense but not foody.

LindaB October 2, 2012

Love vanilla but have to REALLY be in the mood for it since I go all out if I'm doing a vanilla. CSP Vanille Abricot and the one that smells like hot chocolate powder (sorry, not at home to check), Lann-Ael, Shalimar (which I only learned to love last winter), that Exact Friction of Stars thing, Un Bois Vanille, Hypnotic Poison, Dior Addict, Pink Sugar, the old L'Occitane Des Vanilliers, so many more just can't think off the top of my head. But I DETEST Angel...just cannot do it. Vomit. :-) Thanks for reminding me of some others I wanted to try and for the draw! I do love a good, clinging vanilla in the winter.

Clare Stella October 2, 2012

The first vanilla-like perfume I remember is the original Shalimar. Gosh, it was so good! Vanilla will always bring to mind my mother making cake in the kitchen. I would so dearly love to win this contest and try out the wonderful scents you describe so well. I lost my sense of taste due to illness so scent is definitely where it's at for me. Vanilla is just luscious!

TaffyJ October 2, 2012

Love The Vanilla, especially MdO Les Nombres d’Or Vanille and March's Guerlain whateverthehellit'scalled SDV. But like Alityke, sometimes I need kek. For that, I love Taken by Jane Booke. When I wear this, I feel like Seinfeld's Bubble Boy. It's basically a Vanilla Sandwich. I absentmindedly wore it to a doctor's appointment (slaps forehead) where I was anxiously waiting for results. The results were great, thank goodness, but the doctor kept leaning in when he talked to me. lol He was "using his nose", as the Dog Whisperer would say.

Alityke October 2, 2012

Hungry...need cake

rosiegreen October 2, 2012

Patty, You are just EVIL!!!!. Now I WANT all of the perfumes and the cupcakes. I really enjoyed your post though I have tried only a small fraction of the scents. PLEASE enter me in the draw. I need me some vanilla.

Matt October 2, 2012

Patty, I love your comprehensive guides!! This one about vanilla in particular... I like how honest you are! Youre perfume bashing is so much fun ;) And March, you made me laugh! For my part, I don't go around sniffing a lot of vanilla fumes, cause I'm a guy, and smelling like a giant cupcake isn't something my friends and family would agree with (even though they get along with MKK, B1834, etc.). I DID buy Shalimar perfume, tho: I was in Paris, and I had the chance to re-smell the ones I knew, except they were in perfume concentration. And then, Shalimar's dirty vanilla secrets were revealed to me, and I NEEDED IT. I only bought 7.5 ml, so nobody should complain; I keep it for myself! :) However, SL's Un Bois Vanille is the best vanilla-centric fragrance I have smelled so far. Now I have to try Vanille 22, 7 Billion Hearts and the Xerjoff (yeah that f** expensive line)... And what was the fifth one you named again? Oh wait: You're top 5 only has four!! :O Strangely, reading this urged me to put on some Dior Homme. I think all I needed was some sweetness perfection! :D Matt

Rena October 2, 2012

Own Lann-Ael thoughit became a pillow scent once I became post-menopausal. Love vintage Emeraude (I get lots of vanilla from that) and may eventually own Angelique Noire which is a wonderful golden vanilla on me. SDV doesn't play nice on my skin--I guess I'm one of the few people that don't adore it

ElizabethC October 2, 2012

Serge Lutens Vanille was the perfume that got me involved in this fun world of scent. I love the vanilla part but was then completely won over by the wood gremlin (great phrase). It reminded me of hanging out in Hood River, Oregon, surrounded by sunshine and trees watching all of the windsurfers flying through the water. (Barely able to even doggie paddle, I was NOT one of the people on the water.) Of course, later on, Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille and Shalimar (not a mess on me, more of an elegant 30's vibe) were added to my list. Thanks for the drawing - it would be great fun to try out more!

HAKANE October 2, 2012

another good one is vanille bourbon from il profumo osmo, love that one!

Sara October 2, 2012

I have pretty pedestrian tastes, I think. I don't mind smelling like a cupcake, and I love gourmands so I figured that vanillas would be a natural for me. But as it turns out, vanilla is tricky for me...sometimes it smells marvelous, and sometimes it smells like dirty hair. Vanille Exquise definitely falls into the dirty hair category. But I love SL Un Bois Vanille, as well as Bulgari Black. Would love the opportunity to sample some more! Thanks for the drawing.

judith October 2, 2012

I LOVE Creed Sublime Vanille! I was shocked to read that this was intented for men. I do wish companies would forget him and her labels and just describe their offerings. Thank you for Perfume Posse and Surrender To Chance.

Claudia Hlebcar Douglass October 2, 2012

I love, love, LOVE vanilla scents and I am so excited about this giveaway! What a great opportunity to try so many that I'm not familiar with. Oh, and I'm a huge fan of Casmir and Shalimar (sorry!). I am thoroughly enjoying your Guide posts. I'm learning so much! Thanks for the great giveaway! :-)

Judith DM October 2, 2012

Did you know I have been waiting for this post? Near perfection! Love and need the way you have classified the different vanillas. Of course looking for your take on my favorites, and most of them are here!!!! I will not bore with a list of the various samples, decants and fbottles of vanilla touched fragrances I have, but will say what I am drawn to always has vanilla somewhere. Thank you so very much!

Elizabeth October 2, 2012

I do love me some Parfum Sacre, but right now I'm digging Keiko Mecheri Oliban which isn't heavily vanilla but has a nice creamy dose of it.

Queen-Cupcake October 2, 2012

Ahhh Patty, Patty, Patty: life is indeed strange. Wonderful post, thank you so much for this. My favorite vanilla frag to date: Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille. But I have many more to try before I sleep! My screen name to the contrary, it's not always about the vanilla, but I do find myself huffing the odd bakery or vanilla bean pod once in a while. I'm lemming a bunch of the ones named here. I better go sell something before I can some more... Here is a big vanilla-scented kiss for all: mmmwhaa! "Skeerage!" Bhaaa-ha-haaa!!!

NeenaJ October 2, 2012

I recently bought a FB of SL Un Bois Vanille and I am simply in love. While cupcakes leave me cold, UBV wraps its warm arms around me and whispers "everything's going to be okay freaking fabulous." You've inspired some lemmings, here so please enter me in the draw. I really must sniff the Annick Goutals. Sounds like Songes and Vanille Exquise are definitely two to try. I've got eyes for samples of the Le Labo and CB 7 Billion Hearts, too.

Teri October 2, 2012

I love to cook with vanilla and can totally identify with your surreptitious vanilla bean huffing. I haven't done that. Yet. But the suggestion having been planted...... Vice loves company, right? lol As to vanilla in perfume, I'm pretty meh about it. I own 3 vanilla scents - Felanilla, Micallef Vanilla Aoud, and my cheapest but most loved Coty Vanilla Musk. Of those 3, the Micallef was a gift and I kinda like it, but probably wouldn't have purchased it on my own. Felanilla I REALLY like, which surprised the heck out of me, but there you have it. Please don't enter me in your draw. The thought of 30-40 vanillas coming my way terrifies me.

Joaquim October 2, 2012

Mona di Orio's Vanille is my favorite but I need to try 7 Billion Hearts!! I must try this! Thank you for all those awesome draws!

Mals86 October 2, 2012

My sister's husband loves vanilla perfumes on her (I think at one time she wore Vanilla Fields, and then something else that was sort of foody) - he calls her Sexy Cake when she's wearing something vanilla. I tend to like vanilla as an accent but not as the single focus. I like Havana Vanille (like everybody I can't remember the new name), and TF Tobacco Vanille is nice too. Could I live without them? Sure. Un Bois Vanille fits in that "I like it, prolly not gonna buy it" category too. I *did* buy a bottle of Smell Bent One, which is another one of those woody vanillas you don't care much for, Patty - it's got that Old Books and Chai Tea vibe. Organza Indecence is wonderful, though riiiiight up to the redline of my patchouli tolerance (notably low even at the best of times). And I do absolutely love love love Vanille Tonka, which is a giggly carnation spiced rum fest for me, all Captain Morgan's and lime spritzers and incensey vanilla trees. (Well, THAT's a strange little mental picture... but I regret nothink, dahlinks.)

Tatiana October 2, 2012

I too, used to really hate vanilla perfumes. Mostly, because so many of them are gourmand sweet and you put that on my skin and it's ten times as sweet, putting everyone around me in a diabetic coma. Pull out the insulin sweet. Ugh! Did I mention I hate sweet? Looking at your list there are ones I love and have, ones I love and can't seem to cough up the cash for (Vanille 44, I'm looking at you) and ones I just wouldn't touch with a twenty foot pole. I even own a vanilla perfume I liked when I bought it, wore it once at home and decided I really don't understand why I bought it in the first place. Got to put that Vanille Insensee on the bay. You peaked my interest though, there are a few up there I need to seek out some samples of. Good review. I'm amazed by the thought and thoroughness that went into this. Don't think I could sample that many vanilla perfumes in so few days!

Zazie October 2, 2012

My favorite vanilla is this year's Shalimar ode à la Vanille (du madagascar)... magnifique!!!

Lara Anderson October 2, 2012

I absolutely adore Shalimar - vintage, it just works beautifully for me. Tried Le Labo 44 and Spirituese Vanille and not sure why but didn't work with chemistry. Am excited to try some of the other frags you mentioned here though. And please do put me into the drawing for the sample set!!! Thank you!

Em October 2, 2012

7 Billion Hearts is the best, though my favorite party trick (er, professional presentation trick, actually) is to spray In The Library on cotton balls in a container and have academics try to guess what they're smelling...

farawayspices October 2, 2012

There used to be a commercial about techniques for falling asleep...and one of the suggestions was to read a book about vanilla (presumably because vanilla is supposed to be boring). Shortly thereafter I saw a book at the library...a thick volume all about vanilla. vanilla is actually a very interesting topic, and a wonderful perfumery note...never mind the cloying offerings that cheapen the image of this lovely material. I think I will add a dash of vanilla extract to my morning coffee right now!

Lorinda October 2, 2012

Vanilla - not a big fan! But there are some here I do want to try, and some in here I have and like! Thanks for the article.

Lynne Marie October 2, 2012

I confess to a huge love for vanilla, so I adored this post! Un bois vanille was my first "big girl" perfume ( you know, going beyond what I could find at the mall, which in itself, is 35 miles from where I live -can you say "boonies?") I've since moved on to Tonka Imperiale, Orchidee Vanille and Vanille Absolument. I have yet to sample Spiritueuse Double Vanille but expect I'll want to add it to the collection since I also love smoke and incense. Creed's Sublime Vanille is fun when I want something a little more bracing, I've never really "gotten" the Angel side of vanilla perfumes, I think it's the patchouli that puts me off but I circle back to them occasionally to see if my nose has changed. Thanks a for a great post!

Sherri Miller October 2, 2012

Vanillas are easy-to-love and unchallenging for me--warm, comforting, low-maintenance and the polar opposite of diva tuberose--yet sexy in their own rite. No one, but no one, does vanilla like Guerlain, and their vanillas are by far my favorites--SDV, Cuir Beluga, Oriental Brulant, Angelique Noire, Gourmand Coquin, L'Instant (you might have to take away my perfumista card for that one :-) ), and so many other rich, beautiful, plush Guerlain creations. I LOVE all those you mentioned, Patty, and I'm making notes to try the ones I've managed to miss. I would add a few others for any vanilla fiends reading this to try. Here are a few in what I call Summer Barbie Cupcake Vanillas: Pilar and Lucy Exact Friction of the Stars and Farmacia Annunziata Cara. The former is vanilla, whipped cream and coconut and the latter (on sale 40% off at S to C, btw) is vanilla ice cream to me. Simple but very loved. And, to me, Profumum Vanitas is to vanilla as A La Nuit is to jasmine...both overpowering and first with tremendous sillage and sex appeal into the next day!

Portia October 2, 2012

Thanks for reminding me of a couple of my back of fridge lurkers. They are back out front now, Portia xx

FearsMice October 2, 2012

I'm generally skeert of both chocolate and vanilla in perfumes, so I haven't tried most of these. Strangely, though, I do rather like Organza Indecence. Maybe there's hope...

annemariec October 2, 2012

I've not explored vanilla much, mainly because I've been put off by foodie vanillas, but I LOVE Vanille Insensee. The citrus/herbal accents make VI exhilarating as well as comforting at it's a wonderful combination. That Le Labo sounds fabulous though. Oh dear ...

OhLily October 2, 2012

Thank you for the giveaway, Patty! My vanilla experience is sorely lacking, thus far. 'Foody' and 'boozey' fumes hate me,lol! Loved the original Shalimar, cannot abide the current version. It would be lovely to find just the right one for me since I do love the aroma of actual vanilla.

DinaC October 2, 2012

I'm not a vanilla fan -- more like March :-) -- but I occasionally wear Kenzo Amour when I want a cozy, sweet scent. The vanilla-incense ones sound the best to me. Otherwise, vanilla gets too cloying and sweet on me.

Kate October 2, 2012

The perfect vanilla for me is M Micalief Vanille Cuir. Whenever I buy new shoes I sleep with them and kiss them and smell them all night. And if I dream about vanilla cupcakes while I'm sleeping with my new shoes - this is Vanille Cuir. Shoes and cupcakes and perfume - yea, that's really really good!

Olfacta October 2, 2012

I agree with March -- Organza Indecence. And Mona di Orio's Vanille, another one that elicits following behavior. Interesting how American men rate the cupcake thing so highly! Says a lot.

reglisse October 2, 2012

Thank you for the vanilla love! (or, maybe tolerance is a better word!) At any rate, I'd love to be in the drawing.

Josiethecat October 2, 2012

Another lurker here that has to come in from the cold as I am a vanilla freak from way back. It started when I tried L'Occitane's original Vanille by chance in one of their stores way back in the early 90s. I still have two bottles of the extract and a half full edt stashed and worn on special occasions. My current top three would be St Barth Vanille West Indies, Montale Vanille Absolu and the dastardly Guerlain Spiriteuse however the heck they spell it! I've been enjoying all these posts, loved the rose one too, another of my favourite notes.

Sara October 2, 2012

Not a big vanilla fan but do like pdn vanille tonka and two from guerlain--shalimar and plus que jamais. I would love to enter the drawing. Thanks!

dinazad October 2, 2012

Most vanilla scents have the cookie/cupcake vibe and forget that vanilla is actually a SPICE, and spices are sometimes dangerous. If I want to smell like a cookie, I bake (although I'll make an exception for Nicolai's Vanille-Tonka). However, in Montale Amandes Orientales vanilla runs naked through the jungle with really, really sharp, pointy teeth that will bite and tear the moment you relax (also, Amandes Orientales smells of tiger pee. I love it). Shalimar's (full disclosure: I love Shalimar) vanilla is a bit more subtle, but she does have a knife hidden among that sexy lingerie.... Is there vanilla in Habanita? There might be, softening all that tobacco-y sultriness.

Hester October 2, 2012

Wow! Respect!! I love quite a few vanillas (including L, which I really don't think is a scrubber, but ok, if over-applied...), but this! All of these in three days? No. However I'd absolutely love love love to have this sample set, oooooh what fun! My favourite vanilla? Probably Vanilia, so glad I snagged a 100ml in time.

Angel L October 2, 2012

I love vanilla. Great post. My favorite vanilla is Perfect vanilla by Dawn Horowitz. I also have and love Burberry Gold, SL un bois vanilla.

Lee October 2, 2012

Vanilla lover here... and floral hater. This is the first time I've seen a bunch of vanilla scents that don't punch me in the face with gardenia or jasmine when I get too close. So, I want them.

Jackie October 2, 2012

Hi, I have been eavesdropping for a while now, but am coming in from the cold...could not resist this topic! I remember starting to do vanilla with Body Shop oils, until people started mentioning cake when I walked in the room. I still like fragrances with vanilla somwhere in them, but leave out the sugar please. Have you tried Andy Tauer's Pentachord White? Iris and vanilla, yummy.

Lisa D October 2, 2012

I love me some vanilla, but it's got to be just right. SL Un Bois Vanille didn't quite work, nor did PdN Vanilla Tonka. Despite its intense sweetness, I really like Lann Ael (fairy pancakes!), and Kenzo Amour Le Parfum is fantastic if I wear just a drop. I love smelling Shalimar from a bottle, but don't like wearing it. Hopeful lemming that I am, I just ordered a decant of CB 7 Billion Hearts.

Irina October 2, 2012

great and funny sum-up- thanks for taking so much trouble, I imagine it was rather difficult to finish.... I thought I hate vanilla, till " Vanille galante" and "Tonka Imperiale", now I know better...

Caroline October 2, 2012

I would need this pack of lovelies to know, at last, what it feels like to smell like a cupcake! I've never smelled like that before... Or maybe a tiny bit when I put on 1697, then I may smell a bit like a boozy sweet desert that would have some vanilla in it but that's about it... Or maybe when I put on Ambre Précieux by Florame, wich got a very sweet warm nice vanilla drydown, but then it's only the drydown and it's not exactly like driping with it, it's more like the last crumbs of the cupcake... And as for Shalimar, I hate it too. But I'd still use the sample to try it some more and to go on comparing it with Sharif (AbdesSalaam Attar) which is a huge delicious big enormous almond aromatic cake compared to the soapy snobish fat free tiny buscuit that Shalimar is to me. Just thought I'd mention!

Amer October 2, 2012

this is a MONSTER post! I read it in doses and thoroughly enjoyed it. I love vanilla deserts. All of them! Sadly the body shop has ruined vanilla in frags for me. There was a period in the 90's that women reeked of the Vanilla oil. Disturbing stuff. Now I can appreciate it when it plays a supporting role but I don't like it as a central theme. From the frags mentioned in the post, Tonka Imperial is a favorite of mine

Bluepinegrove October 2, 2012

Loved this post! You are so hilarious. And now I have more perfumes to try. i just discovered Rance Laetitia, which is very vanilla focused, but with incense, amber, rose, and enough woody patch to give a hint of leather. I haven't found much about this house, except for a brief note in The Guide about Rance's alleged history being bogus.

Linn October 2, 2012

Whyyyyy? This is a complete feed of all of my lemmings at the moment. And I just placed two orders at Surrender to Chance! Those twins might end up in a triplet... Spiritueuse Double Vanilla would be my current fave, just because it is so casual and goes with anything. I love to layer it with L'Occitane Bavx.

Catherine October 2, 2012

Vanilla was my gateway into the perfume world, kind of! I wore Burberry Brit for most of my senior year in high school and freshman year of college. It's basically a giant pink vanillabomb but not as cupcake-y as Pink Sugar. My boyfriend actually occasionally called me "vanilla bunny" because of it! XD I stopped wearing Brit quite a while ago and I'm still sort of on the hunt for a lovely, grown-up vanilla. I did a bit of sampling a couple years ago until I discovered that I actually really adore amber more than vanilla and I like them in the woody/smoky direction. So I suppose it makes sense that currently my favorite vanilla is Tabacco Vanille, though it's somewhat hard for me to think of it as a vanilla. I ADORE Organza Indecence although I've yet to score a bottle of it, I really should before it gets any harder to find, and I don't think of this one as a vanilla really either, but it is now that I really think about it. I also love SDV - I think everyone loves SDV lol. I'm hoarding my little decant of it. I also really like SL Un Bois Vanille. When I first tried it I was sort of horrified by the massive cupcake vanilla with a bit of coconut to round it out, but now I've come around to it. It reminds me of macarons more than cupcakes and I actually like the wood gremin. I still don't wear it out much, but I'll OD on it before bed sometimes. :)

Melissa Anderson October 2, 2012

Some years ago, I went on a vanilla spree and I searched high and low for my perfect vanilla. The search ended with Profumi di Firenze Vaniglia del Madagascar and Indult Tihota. The phase ended a year or two later. I've since foregone most straight-up, cakey vanillas. Now, most of them smell cloying to me. I still love scents with vanilla in the base though. Shalimar and Cuir Beluga are two favorites. The two that I think I should love, but don't are SL Un Bois Vanille (the wood note eventually irks me) and the Le Labo. The latter has a hint of some synthetic that Le Labo seems to use in everything. I can't ignore it and I find it distracting.

Sofia October 2, 2012

Hey Patty, I really enjoyed the read, great article! I was a self-claimed vanilla junkie (or maybe I still am), Thierry Mugler's Angel nearly had became my signature scent because I just loved the dry down of cosy vanilla; but as a non-committing type, I've discovered Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille (thanks Surrender to Chance) :) This article has got me jotting down so many more vanilla perfumes to try on, thanks :)

Eldarwen22 October 2, 2012

Vanilla can be such a crap shoot on me. With Sushi Imperial, I get nothing but a shaving cream smell, so I'd rather just get a can of shaving cream. Guerlain SDV is nothing short of a hot mess of vanilla and not in a good way on me. Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanilla was a great idea but I got bubble gum along with the tobacco and vanilla. Havana Vanille was the first vanilla dominant perfume that I fell in love with. Another blogger had pegged it as a 'thinking person's perfume'. I have not worn it in a while and might have to. Thanks for reminding me.

Eldarwen22 October 2, 2012

Vanilla can be such a crap shoot on me. With Sushi Imperial, I get nothing but a shaving cream smell, so I'd rather just get a can of shaving cream. Guerlain SDV is nothing short of a hot mess of vanilla and not in a good way on me. Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanilla was a great idea but I got bubble gum along with the tobacco and vanilla. Havana Vanille was the first vanilla dominant perfume that I fell in love with. Another blogger had pegged it as a 'thinking person's perfume'. I have not worn it in a while and might have to.

Laura Conrad October 2, 2012

Before I took up wearing real perfume, I was occasionally tempted to just use the vanilla bottle when I was baking. I'd like to try lots of vanilla perfumes.

Jeanine Ballenger October 2, 2012

I'm not a big fan of gourmands; I've never wanted to smell like food. But two vanilla fragrances do come to mind recently: Montale's Vanille Absolu and Serendipty Serendiptious II or something like that. They both have a nice caramel richness to them that goes nicely with the cooler weather.

Lindaloo October 2, 2012

I'm loving these comprehensive guides of yours in the classic-Patty style. And I'm glad you put up a tab for them so they're easy to find again. I wasn't much of a vanilla fan until I stumbled across some Shalimar body products -- ooh yeah. I fall asleep many nights now with the smoky goodness of the body lotion. The other vanilla I've been liking is Atelier's Vanilla Insensee - not too sweet and that cologne structure and lightness works for me. Clearly I need to check out the Santa Maria Novella Vaniglia. (And feel free to do some reviews of any of the SMNs -- they are few and far between.)

Claudia October 2, 2012

love A.G. Songes-has a touch of vanilla

Moochebo October 2, 2012

I love a vanilla, and I have several different ones. In winter I like to wear SL Un bois Vanille or Guerlain SDV. My favorite is Le Labo, and that can be worn any time, but to me it smells really Christmassy. In warmer weather I like HermesVG or Atelier Cologne VI. Too many good vanillas.

Anita Tuchrello October 2, 2012

My most FAVORITE scent in the world is Le Labo Vanille44!!! Creed's Sublime Vanilla is my second favorite. I've tried numerous vanilla scents but I'd love to try more!

Janice October 2, 2012

I guiltily confess to liking quite a few vanilla perfumes—among them the Le Labo, Mona di Orio, and the Annick Goutal. I got a decant of Xerjoff Mamluk after reading your review, and I agree with everything you said about it but have to add that I think another successful oud gourmand (what a strange concept!) is Micallef Vanille Aoud, as I think someone else just mentioned. The vanilla sort of tames the oud, and it’s much more restrained and demure than the Xerjoff. I haven't tried, but now must get a sample of, 7 Billion Hearts.

Lily October 2, 2012

Now I'm craving a Breyer's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream milkshake. Cuir Beluga is actually very cool and vanilla extract-y on me, which I really like. How about Lys Soleia too for the vanilla in the drydown. Anyway I love vanilla in perfume.

HolllyB October 2, 2012

Gosh, I like vanilla more than I thought after reading this post, because I have tried almost every perfume mentioned. And, it made me remember Indult Tihota! That was one lovely vanilla. I had a sample and adored it, but didn't buy a bottle because I thought it was too "simple." My mistake. My favorite vanillas are L'Artisan Vanilia and PDN Vanille Intense. I have a full bottle of SL Un Bois Vanille, but it doesn't get much love because of that damn wood gremlin.

Leslie Erdman October 2, 2012

I thought I hated vanilla perfumes until I smelled Guerlain's SDV, now it is my favorite scent.

Farouche October 2, 2012

Does anyone else actively dislike the Guerlain SDV? I have two bottles of vanilla fragrance that I do like, however, SL Un Bois Vanille and L'Artisan's Vanilia. I also have a vintage bottle of L'Occitane's Fleur de Vanille, which I don't actually wear, but take out to smell on a regular basis. Agree with Furriner about Safran Troublant...great fragrance, but not very vanilla. Thanks for another great post in this series and for the draw.

Nina Z October 2, 2012

You are doing a brilliant--and very entertaining--job on this series! I'm delighted to see another post in the series tonight! A few years ago I was sure I wanted a vanilla perfume, but tried this and tried that and really couldn't come up with anything I wanted a full bottle of. They are almost always TOO MUCH. In the end, my favorite was the Mona de Orio vanilla--love that smoky sting—though I can't bring myself to buy a bottle yet. My husband loves the Sushi Imperiale on me, but again I feel a decant is enough. And I have been wanting to smell the Le Labo vanilla since you wrote about wearing that with the Le Labo patchouli (which I love, but also only own a decant of). Somehow I've gone all these years without getting a sniff of that one! And that's why I want to win this contest!

Brooke October 2, 2012

I loved this even though I usually run the other direction when I hear vanilla mentioned. I do have a soft spot for TF Tobacco Vanille and I like several of the PG's where the vanilla is a background player. And I do love Shalimar but on me the vanilla doesn't even register - all I get is sex bomb - and I am ok with that.

Ninara Poll October 2, 2012

Yay, a vanilla list! this should help me in my quest to find a Vanilla Fields and Hypnose replacement for my mom. She has amazing skin; on her, vanillas become these beautiful floral and spice masterpieces, not cupcakes :) You would think with skin like that it'd be easy, but she's rather picky about her scents... and prone to migraines and respiratory issues with a lot of scents, so the search continues. (How would you categorize VF and Hypnose? They're not gourmand, but they don't seem to fit into any of the listed categories!) If I'm lucky enough to win, she'll be the happy recipient of the samples. (Like so many other notes, I love vanilla but it doesn't love me back most of the time) NP