Like all things that are branded with the label of “basic,” the scent of vanilla is over-popular with good reason. That reason being that it’s just really, really nice. Yes, it’s not as sophisticated as vetiver or neroli or leather, but sometimes a scent reminiscent of freshly baked cakes, toasted marshmallows and all the things little girls are made of is just what you need. And not all vanillas are created equal. Here are a selection that are a cut above the rest.
A total classic vanilla perfume is Thierry Mugler’s Angel. It’s bold and sometimes a little brash, but it’s also undeniably delicious and fun. It blends vanilla with a ton of other sweet treats, like chocolate, caramel, cotton candy and honey. A veritable feast.
Something perhaps a touch more sophisticated, but still warm and delicious is the Atelier Cologne Vanille Intensee. Rather than being part of a totally gourmand line up, the vanilla here features alongside woody, earthy aromas. It’s still yummy, but in a less… obvious way.
The truest and purest vanilla I’ve tried is the Demeter Vanilla Ice Cream. It’s sweet, milky and strangely light, avoiding the cloying connotations of smelling exactly like a dessert. It might lack depth and be a little immature, but it’s great fun.
For those who fear wearing vanilla but want a slice of the action, I point you toward the Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon. This mixes a boozy, whisky take on vanilla with sturdy oak and fresh tuberose, for something sweet but perhaps not to eat.
Another take on the sweetened, boozy vibe is the Vanille Bourbon range by Yves Rocher. The scent on these is incredible – the sweetest I’ve smelled which doesn’t ever veer into the terrain of sickly. The body lotion is my top pick – it’s super nourishing and the gorgeous scent lingers on the skin all day.
And if you love Vanilla but don’t want to wear it, fear not. The Nest Vanilla Orchid and Almond scented candle is completely stunning. It’s sweet and creamy without being sickly – the light, slightly sharp floral of the orchid offers brilliant balance. It has great throw and scent longevity, too.
Vanilla illustration – Ellmo