So it’s pretty clear I love vanilla, whether it’s in tea, or in creme brulee. But I also love vanilla scents. I love vanillas of all kinds – gourmand blends, bakery blends, and, lately, even oriental blends with sandalwood – the list goes on and on. Many of my fragrances contain a vanilla note.
One of the reasons I love fragrance is that I find it adds to balance for me. Being surrounded by a beautiful scent is incredibly relaxing for me.
I keep trying vanilla fragrances looking for the perfect simple vanilla. A few months ago I started that quest again. But the more vanillas I tried, the more I became convinced that a simple vanilla is not easy to find. While vanilla marries itself well with many other notes, finding a good basic, not-too-gourmand (i.e. not too bakery) vanilla is hard to find, especially if you don’t want patchouli or musk, which are generally the other two notes in so-called straight vanilla fragrances.
I tried many indie sellers that had vanillas, but then decided I wanted to go the traditional retail route (most indie retailers are only online) – this was when I was very enamored with the concept of Lavanila and spent an evening at Sephora sampling all of their scents. Sadly their scents were a bust on me – especially the one for which I held highest hope. Turns out that their Pure Vanilla was more like Pure Patchouli on me.
Desperately trying to get the offending overwhelming patchouli off my wrist with an alcohol-soaked cotton ball, I headed over to the section of Sephora that held Comptoir Sud Pacifique, one of my favorite brands for vanillas. I have worn several of their fragrances on and off for years, starting with their Vanille Coco, Vanille Pineapple and Coco Extreme (all lovely summer scents), and then Matin Calin (perfect in winter when layered with an almond scented butter). I remembered that a few years earlier I had tried a couple of their straight vanilla fragrances and found them too basic.
As I headed to the CSP section, eyes watering from the patchouli, basic vanilla sounded really nice. I was hoping to try Vanille Passion, which is the lighter CSP basic vanilla, but Sephora only had Vanille Extreme. But it was just what I needed – an intense, but clean vanilla. Like cutting open a vanilla bean. Lovely.
Eventually I ordered Vanille Passion. While Vanille Extreme is immediately a strong true vanilla upon application, Vanille Passion takes about 10 minutes to develop to its vanilla glory. At first it smells like an almost earthy vanilla, but then eventually ends up a lighter version of Vanille Extreme. Do you need both? Probably only if you love vanilla as much as I do.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers