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3 min read

Vanilla is a popular ingredient in many male and female fragrances. It adds a hint of sweetness and depth, and even better, it complements virtually any other ingredient – from fruity scents like apple and bergamot, to woody, musky base notes like sandalwood and amber.

Here’s everything you need to know about vanilla perfume, and why your next fragrance purchase should have vanilla in it.

VANILLA PERFUME – AMERICAN FAVORITE?

Vanilla has an ancient and illustrious history in the world of fragrance. For example, in places like Mexico, it was used to perfume temples and other religious sites, and was prized for its sweet, instantly recognizable scent.

People don’t often realize that vanilla perfume actually derives from a type of orchid. In fact, vanilla is the only orchid that’s edible! Thanks to its versatility, not to mention its desirable scent, it was often stolen in the past. Opportunistic robbers knew they could generate plenty of cash by selling it on.

Nowadays, vanilla theft is thankfully rare; though it’s still prized as a valuable ingredient for vanilla-scented perfume.

VANILLA-SCENTED PERFUME – IS IT FOR YOU?

Vanilla perfume – US consumers either love it or hate it (most love it, but there are a few who find it too sickly-sweet).

If you’re not familiar with the scent of this humble bean, imagine a vanilla-flavored ice-cream. Now tone the smell down a little (ice-creams are sweetened with a lot of sugar), but keep that rich, mellow aroma. That’s what comes through when vanilla is added to fragrance.

Now, to get a little bit technical – here’s how vanilla is used in perfume-making. It usually forms a heart or base note, which means it tends to kick into action after the initial application, and not straight away.

It serves an important purpose; softening and enriching the high notes, and giving depth and roundness to the base notes.

You’ll like vanilla perfume if you’re a fan of fresh, fun scents, which are ideal for daytime wear. Sometimes, vanilla is also used in sensual evening fragrances. If this is more your thing, look for perfumes that balance the sweetness of vanilla with something more rugged, like cedarwood, pepper or ambergris.

WHAT’S THE BEST VANILLA PERFUME?

There are so many fragrances out there that feature vanilla that it’s hard to select a clear winner. However, one of the most popular fragrances is our best-seller Shaghaf Oud.

What makes it the best vanilla perfume is the inventive way that the scent is used with safron and praline; a distinctly sweet, unisex scent. By combining both (with a hint of rose and triple dose of oud), it creates perfect balance – sweetness with woodiness, and richness with freshness.

Wild Spirit (for Her), is another classic example, a unique scent that puts you in the mood for an adventure and adds a hint of refinement. Designed for the explorers looking for extreme sensations given by nature. Wild Spirit is a complex fragrance, which features top notes of orange, greens and bergamot, which are then balanced by tuberose, jasmine, and fruity notes. Vanilla brings all the ingredients together; softening the notes of sandalwood, and making the musk less overtly sexy!

If you’re looking for the best vanilla perfume out there, both of these are solid options.

When choosing a vanilla perfume, ask yourself the following:

  • When will you be wearing it? Vanilla is a versatile ingredient, which can be playful and fresh, or luxurious and sultry. Decide when you’ll be wearing the fragrance, then look for ingredients that create the overall aroma you’re going for. Fruity, floral scents combine with vanilla to produce something suitable for daytime wear, whereas exotic ingredients like amber, oud and sandalwood are much better for after-hours.
  • How much vanilla? Some fragrances are vanilla-dominant, which means the scent of vanilla comes through very strongly. Others offer only a hint of it. The best way to find out which appeals to you is to test them out (Swiss Arabian offer all best-selling fragrances in sample sizes). 
  • What do others say? It’s always a wise idea to read reviews. Find out what other people have to say about the perfume or cologne, as this will give you an idea of whether it’s right for you or not.

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