The word vanilla is often used to describe something mundane, run-of-the-mill or everyday; but where vanilla-scented perfume is concerned, it is anything but. You might be surprised to learn that vanilla is one of the most expensive spices, aside from saffron which can cost upwards of $10,000 per kilo!
Vanilla was once considered to be a luxurious aphrodisiac, so it is hardly surprising that it is so widely used in fragrances today. That being said, it isn’t difficult to stumble across a cheap knock-off, owing to the cost of this intoxicating aroma.
We have gathered together a wealth of information to guide you in finding the best vanilla perfume for you as well as a selection of some of the world’s most opulent perfumes that smell like vanilla.
About The Vanilla Scent
Vanilla is in the oriental fragrance family and is often referred to as a sensual yet sweet scent. Still, despite being classed as Oriental, the vanilla plant grows mainly in other regions of the world.
The most common species of vanilla hails from Indonesia, Reunion and Mexico, where the plant was first discovered in the 1500s. Initially, it was believed to have no known qualities other than as a fragrance, but it didn’t take long before people recognized it as a flavoring for food also. This species makes up around 80% of the world’s vanilla supply, but less common, and therefore more expensive species can be found in French Polynesia and Central and South America.
The most luxurious and therefore expensive type of vanilla is known as vanilla absolute. It offers a clean and warm aroma that is often found in the most high-end products in the cosmetic industry. While this will give you the most incredible perfume, it does come at a cost.
With a heady aroma combined with a sweet yet musky layer, vanilla has long been used in feminine perfumes, and it may surprise you to learn that studies have shown its effects where seduction is concerned.
15 Best Vanilla Scented Perfumes
Vanilla is growing in popularity in the fragrance world, and as such, there are several incredible vanilla-based perfumes out there; these are our top picks.
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille
One of the first things that you notice about this luxurious perfume is the elegant black bottle with a simplistic yet sophisticated label. This draws you in, but when you open the lid and take a breath at what is inside, you are further intoxicated by this sweet vanilla fragrance. The middle notes of vanilla are immaculately complemented by a strong top note of tobacco leaf followed by woody base notes that go on forever.
It is made for both men and women which is not something you see very often in the world of perfumes and is ideal for anyone wanting a warm and invigorating scent that is both opulent but sweet enough to wear every day.
It boasts strong sillage and impressive longevity which is enough to take you from daytime to evening without having to spray again.
Christian Dior – Dior Addict
Dior is one of the most well-loved and respected fashion and fragrance houses in the world, and this incredible floral fragrance that was launched almost 20 years ago still has women clamoring today.
The lingering base notes of vanilla are distinctive, sensual and long-lasting while before this, wearers will experience a fresh and floral range of top notes including blackberry and mandarin leaf as well as heart notes comprising jasmine and rose. This is an ultra-feminine fragrance that is perfect for a fun-loving girl on a summer’s day or a date night with that special someone.
The exotic-looking intense blue bottle adds that little extra luxury and long after you have left the room, everyone will know you were there thanks to the incredibly long-lasting sillage.
Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium
Yves Saint Laurent brings this warm, seductive scent that exudes a taste of the Orient. One of the most popular fragrances in the YSL Beauty range, Black Opium was designed in 2014 as a mysterious modern take on the classic fragrance.
No best vanilla-scented perfume list would be complete without mentioning this seductive scent that is perfect for a first date or to show those in an important meeting that you mean business.
The pink pepper and orange blossom top notes are ideal for cooler weather and will interact well with your body chemistry at this time of year. These notes are soon followed by middle notes of coffee and bitter almond before settling into that heady vanilla aroma that we all know and love.
The striking black bottle with pink logo further represents the feminine yet strong undertone of this perfume. With decent longevity and hearty sillage, you can feel confident that this perfume will attract attention.
Spicebomb Extreme is one for the confident man who wants to make his presence known. This fresh and spicy Oriental perfume is perfect for evening wear and although slightly less intense than the previous fragrance in the collection, appears to have been far more well-received.
An intensely masculine fragrance for the modern man, Spicebomb combines sensual notes of vanilla, black pepper, caraway and lavender to create a fragrance that is incomparable to any other; easily earning it a place on our list.
If you want to leave a lasting impression, then this is an ideal fragrance thanks to the endless trail it will leave and extreme longevity that will easily see you through the evening, and potentially into the next day.
The masculinity of this scent is further established through the unique bottle that is sure to look incredible on the bedside table.
Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille
Guerlain is synonymous with luxury, and if that is what you are looking for, then this enticing, spicy vanilla-scented perfume might be exactly what you have been looking for. It draws you in with its Oriental aroma and with a long-lasting scent and impressive sillage, it certainly helps you to make an entrance into any room.
Ideally suited to the ultra-feminine woman who knows what she wants thanks to the refreshing combination of notes including top notes of pink pepper and bergamot that give way to heart notes of ylang-ylang and jasmine before setting off that deep base of sensual vanilla.
Spiritueuse Double Vanille is the perfect fragrance for women of all ages and is excellent for use throughout the day. The classic bottle perfectly demonstrates elegance and style.
Tom Ford Vanille Fatale
Tom Ford never fails to disappoint when it comes to creating an Oriental fragrance like this one, and with both men and women in mind, nobody is excluded from making the most of this diverse fragrance.
Released in 2017, Vanille Fatale has fast become one of the most popular aromas in the Private Blend range and boasts an incredible array of notes. From the fresh, top notes of orange, lime and myrrh, deep middle notes of plum and coffee provide an intense shift. These are then followed by base notes of vanilla, tobacco and suede; all of which are easily associated with this luxury brand.
Ideal for anyone who wants to go back to their primitive roots and experience a vanilla cologne for men and women that is both seductive and soothing. Many fragrances are suitable for a romantic evening, but none quite as effective as this.
Diptyque Eau Duelle
Since 2010, Diptyque’s Eau Duelleunique Oriental fragrance has been loved by perfume fanatics the world over; inspired by one of the most experienced noses in the industry, Fabrice Pellegrin, the aromatic yet fresh scent is unlike any other.
Base notes of vanilla and juniper set in and will last throughout the day, but may need to be topped up if you want the scent to carry through to the evening. The heart and middle notes include saffron and black tea; both perfectly demonstrating the luxurious nature of this fragrance.
While the sillage of this one may not be quite as intense as others, gently announcing your presence in the office or at a working lunch are the ideal occasions to show off this classic perfume.
Jo Malone Vanilla
In recent years, Jo Malone has gained serious traction as one of the most reputable fragrance houses, and when you smell this beautiful fruity/floral scent, you will understand why.
This vanilla-scented perfume is designed for both men and women. Still, it has far greater notability as a vanilla perfume for women owing to the feminine top notes of star anise and fennel. These are closely followed by spicy clove and floral orchid, and later, these give way to deep and rich vanilla, amber and tonka bean. The overall aroma is reminiscent of summertime and is ideal for those lazy days on the beach during your vacation.
The classic Jo Malone packaging oozes style and luxury, and while the sillage is less potent than some others, it is ideal for those more intimate moments.
Since 2005, Hypnose has been the go-to fragrance for many women with its stylish bottle that has been designed to imitate the seductive silhouette of the female and its fresh Oriental scent; it is little wonder.
This is an intensely magical aroma that is perfect for the mysterious woman who wants to invite a little fun into her life. Ideal for those long sunny days spent with friends, the fresh fragrance will take you through to the evening when the moment calls for it thanks to its excellent longevity. And once you’re gone, your perfume will linger to remind those who remain of your continued presence.
The top notes are passionflower and middle notes, jasmine, and as these fade out, we experience the profound intensity of vetiver and vanilla that will last throughout the day.
Dolce & Gabbana The One
Dolce & Gabbana The One is a modern and stylish fragrance that is both floral and sweet. Released way back in 2006, The One was remarketed and rejuvenated in 2017 and has since caused many more women to fall in love with the enticing aroma.
Designed with the carefree, fun-loving lady in mind, The One takes its inspiration from the world-famous town of Naples in Italy where liveliness and spontaneity are the way of life.
This is perfect for all occasions, including a fun day out with friends or a quiet afternoon stroll in the park.
Before we hit the base notes of amber and vanilla, we note the intensely floral combination of lily and broom, and when first sprayed, the top notes of mandarin orange and white peach give an initial fresh aroma.
The modern and stylish bottle is the perfect accessory in the young, fun-loving girls purse and an ideal complement to this long-lasting perfume that smells like vanilla.
Jean Paul Gaultier Ultra Male
Jean Paul Gaultier Ultra Male is an incredibly iconic Oriental and aromatic fragrance for men that has been associated with gentle masculinity since 1995; to this day, it is one of the most well-loved fragrances in the world.
It comes in a striking blue bottle in the shape of the male form without being garish and offers alluring top notes of lavender and mint, which are quickly followed by more intense caraway and cinnamon. The base notes of vanilla are complemented by sandalwood and cedar which are two of the most classic combinations, making this an easily recognizable scent.
It is perfect for the everyday gentleman who wants a fragrance that exudes class and a unique boldness.
One of the best things about the Ultra Male scent is how long it lasts, it will take you from morning to night without fading and is perfect for an intimate evening with a loved one or in contrast, a day out with friends.
Parfums de Marly Eau de Parfum
This is marketed as a women’s fragrance but is a mostly masculine Oriental scent that can be enjoyed by any gender. The woody and smoky aroma is perfect for evening wear and is ideally suited to the sensual and mysterious individual who dares to be different.
This personality is further complemented with the unique, chromatic bottle that certainly offers something out of the ordinary. This is the seventh fragrance to be released by this perfumer and has retained popularity since 2012.
It will leave behind a lasting impression long after you have left the room and won’t need respraying throughout the day. Wear it to an elegant dinner party or a high-class art show, and you’ll fit right in; in contrast, it would be just as powerful to wear throughout the day.
The top and middle notes of cinnamon, pepper, and tobacco leaf linger away to reveal a heady base of vanilla and musk.
Parfums de Marly Layton
Layton is a strong Oriental floral fragrance which has been designed for both men and women and has a versatile combination of scents that complement one another in a way that is individual and unique.
It comprises top notes of apple and lavender followed by floral heart notes of geranium and violet, but after some time the potency of sandalwood and vanilla come through leaving you with a long-lasting fragrance that is perfect for a variety of occasions.
The perfume is ideal for wearing on a cool spring day as you traverse through the woods on a walk in nature but just as fitting when worn for lunch with friends.
It features the iconic Marly packaging in a seductive dark blue hue that will make a talking point when placed on any dresser.
Christian Dior Ambre Nuit
Another Oriental fragrance that oozes elegance and luxury is this incredible offering from Dior. Ambre Nuit is a perfume that has been designed with animalistic instinct in mind and is suitable for both women and men, making it diverse as well as luxurious.
This hugely seductive aroma brings together the delicate nature of tuberose with the deep intensity of amber to give you a scent like no other.
It is perfect for anyone who wants to show off their sensual side and will deliver a feeling of power and dominance, all the while with a gentle floral backdrop that is soft yet spicy.
Wear through the day and long into the night thanks to the long-lasting nature of this fragrance which has a strong sillage, perfect for larger gatherings when you want to be noticed!
Vanille West Indies
Presented in a beautifully simple and elegant bottle, this is an Oriental fragrance that brings to life the idea of a Caribbean sunset. No punches are pulled with this perfume that unites vanilla with orchid and caramel for an exotic and seductive fragrance that perfectly demonstrates femininity and power. It should be worn by women with a sense of passion and those with a zest for life and no matter what time of day it is; you will be sure to leave a trail of delicious vanilla wherever you go. What’s more, this is a perfume that will last throughout the day and long into the evening, so you won’t need to interrupt your day in the sun to respray it.
How To Choose Your Vanilla Perfume
If you have decided to invest in a perfume that smells like vanilla, then you will likely be wondering which is the best for you.
Vanilla has long been seen as one of the most luxurious scents in the world, owing to the fact that it is the second most expensive. In days gone by, it was appreciated for its ability to arouse and served as an aphrodisiac. For this reason, it is often included in perfumes and other cosmetic products.
Vanilla is usually mixed with a wealth of other scents including cedar sandalwood and cinnamon which gives many of the perfumes a woody and spicy accord. Conversely, this is a scent that is often combined with a range of floral scents such as rose, lily and orchid which make for a feminine and fresh scent. Finally, you may notice that many fragrances that have a vanilla base note will feature fruity top and middle notes which are perfect for those who like something a little lighter.
When purchasing a vanilla perfume, you should think carefully about when you plan to wear the fragrance; if you wish to wear it as an everyday scent, in our opinion, you would be better buying a fruity/floral vanilla fragrance. This is because these perfumes are light, fresh and generally not overbearing.
In contrast, if you would like a perfume for evenings, you might benefit from a more woody vanilla scent that combines sandalwood and cedar. Furthermore, since many of these spicy scents are quite warm, they are better worn in the winter. For summertime, a lighter, floral vanilla scent is preferable.
Vanilla perfume excludes nobody, and there is a fragrance to suit everybody. However, on the whole, vanilla is a scent that appeals to those who want to get back to nature since this is an ancient aroma with many natural properties. Vanilla is a sophisticated fragrance that has stood the test of time and is loved by members of all generations.
Vanilla is also perfect for people who like a long-lasting scent as this is a potent fragrance. In most vanilla perfumes you will find that the sillage is intense and the longevity is powerful; many of these fragrances will last well into the next day if they are not washed away.
Frequently Asked Questions On Vanilla Perfume
What is a good vanilla perfume?
There are many good vanilla perfumes but Yves Saint Laurent, Black Opium is one of the most popular.
Is vanilla a feminine scent?
Many people think of vanilla as a feminine scent, but many masculine perfumes contain this scent; it is more about what other scents it is combined with.
Why do guys like vanilla perfume?
It is suggested that men like vanilla as it reminds them of food and this can cause them to become excited.
Is vanilla perfume good?
Vanilla offers a creamy and light fragrance that is one of the most popular scents in the perfume industry and has been for many years.
Where does vanilla fragrance come from?
Vanilla is an orchid-like plant that contains pods; from these pods, the delicate fragrance of vanilla is extracted.
What perfumes have a vanilla scent?
Many perfumes use vanilla as a base note including Tom Ford – Tobacco Vanille, Yves Saint Laurent -Black Opium, Dior – Addict and Jean Paul Gaultier, Le Male. Both male and female scents contain vanilla.
What is vanilla scent made of?
True vanilla comes directly from the vanilla plant which is grown in various countries around the world including Mexico, French Polynesia and Indonesia. However, there has been some suggestion that beavers can make vanilla scent where authentic vanilla is not used.
What does vanilla scent do to you?
Vanilla has long been considered a potent aphrodisiac, but it can also promote relaxation and is often used for stress relief.
Full Guide On Vanilla Perfumes
Vanilla was discovered all the way back in the 1500s, but it wasn’t until the very early 1600s that it made its debut as a perfume and by none other than Queen Elizabeth I of England. However, if we look back before that, we can see that the ancient tribes in the lands where vanilla natively grows have used the plant for its aromatic purposes for thousands of years.
Primarily, Totonac people would harvest the vanilla plant for its beautiful fragrance, but soon after, when the Aztecs took over, the vanilla plant would be harvested as an offering from the native Totonac people.
The Aztecs would make a luxurious drink consisting of vanilla and cacao which was offered to royalty.
Mexico was the single biggest exporter of vanilla up until the 19th century. At this point, other nations began exporting the plant, but Mexico remained the world’s largest supplier.
Vanilla is notoriously expensive to purchase, and this is primarily because of the manual methods used to pollinate the plant. This method was discovered in the early 1800s by an orphaned child who was taken on by his master. While this technique for production is old, it remains effective to this day; and we certainly pay the price for it with a kilo of pure vanilla costing around $500.
Another reason that the plant is so costly is down to the fact that each vanilla producing flower will die after just one day so it must be carefully cured and dried after being hand-picked; in total, the process can take upwards of four months.
While the vanilla plant may be expensive, it is indeed one of the most interesting plants in the world and is the only member of the orchid family that bears fruit. Furthermore, there is only one insect that can pollinate this plant, the Melipona bee which is found in Central America; everywhere else around the world, humans must rely on the manual pollination method we discussed earlier on.
Vanilla has widely been used in medicines but is one of the most well-loved flavors in the world, with more than 30% of people in the USA claiming that they prefer vanilla ice-cream over anything else.
A huge number of perfumes contain vanilla fragrance, and this is because of its sweet, musky and long-lasting aroma which is ideal for personal fragrance. We believe that one of the most interesting vanilla perfumes is Ambre Vanille by Laura Mercier, which is a sweet and subtle scent for women.
For men, Paco Rabanne – Pure XS is a fresh yet spicy fragrance with a deep base note of vanilla that is light enough to use every day.
Final Thought On Vanilla Perfume
There is no denying that vanilla is a luxurious and high-end fragrance that is timeless and elegant. Many perfumes use vanilla in their base notes thanks to its incredible longevity and sensual aroma.
However, you will notice that many of the fragrances that use this scent are on the pricey side, and this is because vanilla is extremely expensive to harvest, second only to saffron.
However, if you want a perfume that is going to exude class and opulence, then there isn’t much else that will do this as well as vanilla.