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Best Vanilla Perfumes: 10 Sweet & Seductive Scents


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Warm, inviting, and sophisticated, vanilla is undoubtedly one of the most popular and head-turning aromas in perfumery. The best vanilla perfumes will ensure you smell sweet, rich and utterly delicious.

Vanilla is one of the world’s most expensive spices, just behind saffron. This sought-after ingredient comes from the seed pod of a creeping orchid most commonly found in Madagascar.

Although most of the vanilla used in perfumery these days is synthetic, it closely resembles the delicious, sweet, seductive richness of natural vanilla. So let’s dive into my selection.

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Best Vanilla Perfumes

I’ve selected 10 of the best vanilla perfumes for women that will engulf you with sweet, seductive and sensual vanilla aromas.

1. Carolina Herrera Good Girl Blush Eau De Parfum

Carolina Herrera Good Girl Blush Eau De Parfum
Credit: Carolina Herrera

Review

New for 2023, Good Girl Blush is a sweeter addition to the Good Girl collection and has a soft, playful vibe that will turn heads.

Zesty bergamot comes together with bitter almond to create a bright, sparkling opening that softens to heart notes of ylang-ylang and peony.

I found the duet of sweet vanilla and tonka bean in the base stunning, with moreish, slightly bitter edges. Wow!

Top Notes:

Bergamot, Bitter Almond

Mid Notes:

Ylang Ylang, Peony

Base Notes:

Vanilla, Tonka Bean

Seasons & Longevity

Good Girl Blush is a perfect spring and summer scent for daytime wear, thanks to its fruity and floral notes. 

Its surprisingly robust base ensures you’ll get around 5+ hours of wear from one application.

Seasons: Spring,Summer
Longevity 5+ hours

2. Valentino Donna Born In Roma Intense Eau de Parfum

Valentino Donna Born In Roma Intense Eau de Parfum
Credit: Valentino

Review

Donna Born in Roma Intense from Valentino is sensual, seductive and complex; perfect for when you need a glamorous all-day scent.

Opening with a blast of sweet, earthy vanilla, supported by zesty bergamot, and juicy blackcurrant, Donna Born in Roma offers vibrant sensuality with its first wave.

Fresh and bright, the jasmine at the heart of the scent and a robust base of benzoin create depth and support the more fragile notes.

Top Notes:

Vanilla, Bergamot, Blackcurrant

Mid Notes:

Jasmine

Base Notes:

Benzoin

Seasons & Longevity

I would wear this for dressy autumn/winter/spring evenings, as it is super glamorous!

Expect 6+ hours of wear, from its potent first scent to the soft, lingering edges that stay after drying down.

Seasons: Autumn, Winter, Spring
Longevity 6+ hours

3. Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal Le Parfum Eau de Parfum Intense

Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal Le Parfum Eau de Parfum Intense
Credri: Jean Paul Gaultier

Review

The Jean Paul Gaultier collection of fragrances is unashamedly feminine, and Scandal le Parfum is an excellent example of this originality.

Opening with sweet and savoury salted caramel, followed by a light and fresh note of jasmine at the heart of the scent, Scandal le Parfum has plenty of vanilla at its base.

Top Notes:

Salted Caramel

Mid Notes:

Jasmine

Base Notes:

Vanilla

Seasons & Longevity

Though this is a cold weather perfume on paper, best for winter and autumn nights, it performs surprisingly well on balmy summer evenings.

You can expect 6+ of wear from one application, so this potency has marked benefits.

Seasons: Autumn, Winter, Spring
Longevity 6+ hours

4. Giorgio Armani Magenta Tanzanite Eau de Parfum

Giorgio Armani Magenta Tanzanite Eau de Parfum
Credit: Giorgio Armani

Review

Giorgio Armani Magenta Tanzanite Eau de Parfum was launched in 2022 and is a sexy and bold spicy/vanilla fragrance that will get you noticed.

Ginger, bergamot, and fragrant cardamom make up the spicy first wave. The heart is dark, sweet, and smoky, with coffee, cinnamon, and myrrh notes.

The delicious bourbon vanilla base is rich, sweet, and earthy, with underlying hints of tobacco leaf.

Top Notes:

Cardamom, Ginger, Bergamot

Mid Notes:

Coffee, Cinnamon, Myrrh

Base Notes:

Tobacco Leaf, Bourbon Vanilla

Seasons & Longevity

Magenta Tanzanite is an ideal winter and autumn scent that blooms in cold weather. Wear it to an intimate date, and you will surely turn heads. 

This sweet and spicy fragrance should give you around 6+ hours of wear, making it durable and lasting.

Seasons: Autums, Winter
Longevity 6+ hours

5. Mugler Angel Elixir Eau de Parfum

Mugler Angel Elixir Eau de Parfum
Credit: Mugler

Review

The original Angel has remained perennially popular, but its younger sister Angel Elixir (launched in 2023), is a vanilla lover’s dream.

Delicate pink pepper covers heart notes of ylang-ylang, orange blossom, jasmine, and smooth sandalwood are complex and sweet. Amber Xtreme™ and lashings of bourbon vanilla add glamour.

Top Notes:

Pink Pepper

Mid Notes:

Ylang-Ylang, Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Sandalwood

Base Notes:

Amber Xtreme™, Bourbon Vanilla

Seasons & Longevity

Angel Elixir is one of the most versatile scents on this list and can be worn throughout the year, with each season revealing different facets of the scent. 

Performance is excellent; during testing, I managed to get 6+ hours from this fragrance.

All Seasons
Longevity 6+ hours

6. BDK Parfums Velvet Tonka Eau de Toilette

BDK Parfums Velvet Tonka Eau de Toilette
Credit: BDK Parfums

Review

Velvet Tonka from BDK Parfums is a sweet, earthy scent with sensual edges that smells expensive and niche-like.

The opening of Velvet Tonka is orange blossom and almond that melt into the heart notes of rose and tobacco absolute. 

A complex base of tonka bean, vanilla and wood is incredibly seductive.

Top Notes:

Orange Blossom, Almond

Mid Notes:

Rose Absolute, Tobacco Absolute

Base Notes:

Tonka Bean, Vanilla, Amyris Wood Essence, Amber Woods

Seasons & Longevity

Thanks to its rich and opulent nature, Velvet Tonka is ideal for autumn and winter wear when its most potent notes can bloom and spread in all their glory. 

Wear it to nighttime events to turn heads and make a statement that will linger, like the scent, for many hours.

Seasons: Autums, Winter
Longevity 5+ hours

7. Amouage Material Eau de Parfum

Amouage Material Eau de Parfum
Credit: Amouage

Review

Not just a straight-up vanilla bomb, Amouage Material Eau de Parfum is a complex blend of resin and vanilla with a touch of smoky mystery.

Elemi and patchouli oil create a stunning opening. It melds seamlessly with a rich heart of Madagascan vanilla absolute and benzoin resinoid. 

The base of this scent is the most complex, however, with notes of Frankincense resinoid, Guaiac wood oil, oud oil, and tonka bean absolute.

Top Notes:

Elemi Oil, Patchouli Oil

Mid Notes:

Vanilla Madagascar Absolute, Benzoin

Base Notes:

Guaiac Wood, Oud, Osmanthus, Frankincense, Labdanum, Tonka Bean

Seasons & Longevity

Resinous, sweet, and woody, I recommend this scent is best worn in autumn and winter.

Its durability means it will easily carry you from day to night; expect 7+ hours.

Seasons: Autums, Winter
Longevity 7+ hours

8. YSL Libre Eau de Parfum

Libre Eau de Parfum
Credit: Yves Saint Laurent

Review

Libre Eau de Parfum, released in 2019, is a complex and attention-grabbing fragrance created by Anne Flipo and Carlos Benaim.

Top notes of fruity oils create a sweet and complex trail that melts into a floral heart of jasmine, orange blossom, lavender, and earthy petitgrain.

Vanilla takes centre stage on the drydown, supported by cedar and musky notes. The final result is a feminine scent reminiscent of Hugo Boss Alive (reviewed next).

Top Notes:

Mandarin Oil, Petit Grain Oil, Lavandine France Oil, Blackcurrant Accord

Mid Notes:

Lavender Oil, Jasmine Sambac Absolute, Jasmine, Grandiflorum India Absolute, Orange Flower Absolute

Base Notes:

Vanilla Extract Madagascar, Cedarwood Oil, Ambergris Accord, Muscs

Seasons & Longevity

Libre Eau de Parfum is a bold and mature scent that is perfect for fall, winter, and spring. It is both sexy and sophisticated, and it is sure to turn heads in the office.

I have a full bottle of Libre Eau de Parfum in my collection, and I find it to be a perfect day-to-night scent. It lasts for at least 6 hours on me.

Seasons: Autumn, Winter, Spring
Longevity 6+ hours

9. BOSS Alive Eau de Parfum

Boss Alive Eau de Parfum
Credit: Hugo Boss

Review

Boss Alive Eau de Parfum is a perfect balance of vanilla, fruit, and wood. It is one of my all-time favourite Boss scents.

Cinnamon-dusted vanilla, plum, apple, and blackcurrant create a delightful and inviting opening. Jasmine and thyme soon enhance the sweet tone of the fragrance.

On the drydown, sandalwood and cedar provide comforting warmth without dominating the other notes. The final result is a rich and complex blend of vanilla, wood, spices, and fruits.

Top Notes:

Vanilla, Plum, Apple, Cinnamon, Black Currant

Mid Notes:

Jasmine Sambac, Thyme

Base Notes:

Woody Notes, Cedar, Sandalwood, Clive Tree

Seasons & Longevity

Boss Alive Eau de Parfum is a versatile fragrance that can be worn for any occasion, but it is best suited for sunny autumn, winter, and springtime days.

It is an informal scent with much to offer, including excellent performance, decent projection/sillage, and longevity for up to 6 hours.

Seasons: Autumn, Winter, Spring
Longevity 6+ hours

10. YSL Black Opium Illicit Green Eau de Parfum

Black Opium Illicit Green Eau de Parfum
Credit: Yves Saint Laurent

Review

Black Opium Illicit Green Eau de Parfum, launched in 2022, is a recent addition to the Black Opium collection that brings fresh green notes into the mix, along with moreish coffee and vanilla.

The top notes of green mandarin, sweet pear, and fig leaf create a sharp and refreshing opening. The heart notes of juicy fruity fig, orange blossom, and jasmine add a touch of sweetness and florality.

The base notes of coffee and vanilla inject the Black Opium DNA, while musky patchouli and hints of cedar add a touch of spice.

Top Notes:

Pear Accord, Green Mandarin, Fig Leaf Accord​

Mid Notes:

Orange Blossom Absolute, Jasmine Grandiflorum, Fig​

Base Notes:

Coffee Accord, Vanilla Bourbon, Patchouli Essence, Cedar Essence

Seasons & Longevity

Black Opium Illicit Green Eau de Parfum is perfect for any season, although the vanilla/coffee notes are at their best during fall, winter, and spring.

I tried Black Opium Illicit Green Eau de Parfum in-store and found that it lasted for 4+ hours, with good sillage and projection for the first 2 hours.

Seasons: Autumn, Winter, Spring
Longevity 4+ hours
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Ingrid’s Top Pick

best vanilla perfumes

Mugler Angel Elixir Eau de Parfum

My top pick is Mugler Angel Elixir Eau de Parfum because it’s a well-balanced blend of vanilla, white florals and wood that works for any season or occasion.

Why Do We Love The Smell Of Vanilla?

vanilla pods

Overall, vanilla is a popular and versatile scent known for its sweet, warm, and comforting aroma, and it has several aromatherapy benefits as well.

  • Vanilla is a complex scent. It comprises over 250 different chemical compounds, giving it a sweet yet rich and nuanced aroma. 
  • Vanilla is a familiar scent. Many people associate the smell of vanilla with comfort and sweetness, which can evoke positive memories and emotions.
  • Vanilla is a calming scent. The smell of vanilla can also be calming and relaxing, often used in aromatherapy to relieve stress or anxiety.
  • Vanilla is a versatile scent. It can be used in various products, from food to perfume, making it a popular ingredient choice.
  • Vanilla is a delicious scent. Vanilla is a popular ingredient in baking and ice cream; we often link it with comforting foods associated with childhood and happy memories.

Conclusion

I wanted to choose the best vanilla perfumes that have a wide array of different notes, such as flowers, fruits and woods, yet all have the sensual power of vanilla in common.

The seductive sweetness of vanilla adds character to any fragrance and is sure to enchant those around you.

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Further Reading

Below are some additional articles from Viora London’s blog. We write articles on a number of interesting lifestyle topics such as fragrance, beauty, luxury accessories and more.

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