Most people who know me know that I’m really not one for lists. The leaving out things feels oh-so-wrong and it means inner turmoil to mention 10 favourites even just as a ‘mind game’.
However, just the other day at ‘Another Perfume Blog’, I found myself naming my four favourite Vanillas. I did so without hesitation and without feeling that I neglected some other perfumes in my collection and it inspired me to do this post, and put the post I was writing on; the next episode of ‘Best Fragrances never made’, on hold.
Now, perhaps because I am not the biggest vanilla-fragrance lover in the world, I haven’t actively been seeking out all vanillas on earth, the way that I have probably sniffed most big iris perfumes out there, however I have been through quite a considerable amount, and these were the (FB-) ones that made it into my perfume cupboard, and will not be leaving again.
Vanilia; this discontinued* L’Artisan Parfumeur fragrance, is just a gorgeous non-foody, woody-smoky vanilla perfume. It speaks with a husky voice and has a crispness like fire logs disintegrating in the fireplace on a windy autumnal evening. It’s comfy, not in that it wraps you up in woolly blankets and brings you hot chocolate, but in the way it makes you comfortable in your own skin. I can’t believe that this one was made in 1978; it’s probably more visionary and contemporary than most other vanillas out there, even if in perfume terms this one is almost a vintage. Perfumer Jean-Francois Laporte
E. Coudray Ambre et Vanille; One of my first ever *niche* fragrances. This is a light and elegant vanilla amber fragrance. There’s a bit of a play-doh note due to heliotrope, and it’s a tiny bit flower-powdery to make it an understated amber-vanilla with a classic feel. It’s the waft that’s on your favourite well-loved woolly sweater. I find it incredibly easy to reach for, it’s sweet and inviting without serving cupcakes.
Guerlain Metallica (discontinued); this one is gorgeousness. The vanilla mixed with ylang-ylang. Very special guest star, I bring you; Carnation! Lovely spicy and metallic, doh!, give that some soft iris to die for and the Guerlinade dry down. Guerlain heaven, sadly, very sadly discontinued. Impossibly elegant, silk scarf with tiger-print. You smell grrrreat. Perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain
Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille; foody, no, more like boozy. But liquor so dense you can almost cut it. Smokey, dark pitch-black, moist vanilla pods, with a bitterness of Pastis. This one comes fully equipped with an old library, mini bar and leather sofas, which makes it possibly a bargain! I always have men commenting on this one, but you know what? I’m wearing SDV and I couldn’t care less what other people think! Perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain
How do you feel about vanilla perfumes? Any favourites? Cupcakes or woody-orientals?
* As Ines made me aware of Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier’s Fleur des Comores is a great substitute.