This nostalgic fragrance is having a major moment
24th June 2022

Written by Chloe Burcham

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It was likely an ingredient in your favourite fragrance growing up, but vanilla has recently experienced its very own coming of age story. 

Whether you doused yourself in So… Kiss Me! body spray or misted Mugler Angel on the way to school, we’re guessing that your favourite fragrance growing up contained a lot of vanilla. 

But those sweet vanilla scents of the 90s and 00s have seemingly fallen by the wayside in more recent years, with spicy, leathery, musky fragrances taking vanilla’s place on the top spot. Liking vanilla became uncool. Until now that is.  

“Vanilla has been used for a long time in perfumery,” explains fragrance expert Veronique Gabai. “It connects many of us to happy moments in childhood – the sweet taste that is embedded in our brains as delicious – vanilla is a small pleasure we can all relate to.”

After a chaotic few years, it’s no surprise that we’re looking for fragrances that feel comforting, nostalgic and safe. “We could all do with a moment of peace and quiet right now,” says Gabai. “Something that comforts us and connects us to a happy moment or to our childhood, when things were perhaps a bit easier.”

With its comforting creaminess and decadent sweetness, vanilla is a smell that evokes memories in us all. But in 2022, the scent of a generation has been given a much-needed modern shake-up – with blends of citrus, tobacco and woods. With new launches from Byredo and resurgences from The Body Shop, there’s no question that vanilla’s having a major moment right now. Shop our favourites below…

12 of the best vanilla fragrances

  • Edeniste Vanille Irresistible

    Succulently sweet and gourmand – this addictive yet sophisticated vanilla scent has been dubbed “comfort food for the nose”. They’re not wrong.  

    Shop Edeniste Vanille Irresistible Eau de Parfum at Harrods, £190

    buy now

  • Byredo Vanille Antique

    With freesia, plum, cashmere woods and amber, Byredo’s new Vanille Antique is comforting and soft, rather than intensely sweet. It’s a grown-up version of vanilla that even those who reject the notion of vanilla fragrances will love. 

    Shop Byredo Vanille Antique at Space NK, £235

    buy now

  • Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille

    For a truly grown-up vanilla fragrance, Tom Ford has you covered. With creamy tonka bean, classic tobacco and, of course, sweet vanilla, it’s an opulent, heady and warming scent. 

    Shop Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille at John Lewis, £174

    buy now

  • Veronique Gabai Le Point G

    Ultra feminine and seriously sexy, Le Point G is intoxicating, warm and multi-faceted. Its heady blend of spicy pepper, creamy vanilla and soft white musks lingers on the skin for a fragrance that really draws you in.

    Shop Veronique Gabai Le Point G Eau de Parfum at Liberty, £245

    buy now

  • Jo Malone Vetiver & Golden Vanilla

    For an earthier blend, try Jo Malone’s Vetiver & Golden Vanilla. It starts off sparkling, crisp and fresh before drying down to a sensual concoction of rich cardamom and warming vetiver. 

    Shop Jo Malone Vetiver & Golden Vanilla Cologne Intense, £135

    buy now

  • Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée

    A woody oriental, Atelier Cologne’s Vanille Insensée combines vanilla with zingy Mexican lime and calming oak moss. It’s unexpectedly fresh and perfect for everyday use.

    Shop Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée Cologne Absolue at Feelunique, £179

    buy now

  • Dior Vanilla Diorama

    Created in homage to one of Christian Dior’s favourite desserts, the Diorama Gourmand at Parisian restaurant Maxim’s, Vanilla Diorama combines zingy orange with vanilla and cocoa bean. Delicious.  

    Shop Dior Vanilla Diorama, £110

    buy now

  • Diptyque Eau Duelle

    Summery and spicy, this gentle white vanilla and black frankincense blend lingers on the skin for a sticky sweet skin-close scent. 

    Shop Diptyque Eau Duelle at John Lewis, £78

    buy now

  • Floral Street Wild Vanilla Orchid Eau De Parfum

    With citrus notes, cassis and creamy vanilla beans – this is vanilla but not as you know it. It’s long-lasting, confident and seriously addictive. 

    Shop Floral Street Wild Vanilla Orchid Eau De Parfum at Next, £100

    buy now

  • Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille

    Warm and ultra-wearable, Un Bois Vanille blends notes of coconut milk, black vanilla absolute, beeswax and liquorice with tonka bean and sandalwood. The result? An addictive crème brûlée vanilla that you’ll want to drown in. 

    Shop Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille Eau de Parfum, £110

    buy now

  • The Body Shop Vanilla

    If super sweet vanilla is your jam – it doesn’t get better than The Body Shop’s Vanilla. A steal at £9, it somehow still manages to last on the skin all day long. Magic. 

    Shop The Body Shop Vanilla Eau de Toilette, £9

    buy now

  • Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille

    As comforting as a cashmere jumper, this Laura Mercier eau de toilette is like self-care in a bottle. It blends vanilla and almond with long-lasting hints of tangerine for an everyday freshness.

    Shop Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Eau de Toilette at Lookfantastic, £50

    buy now

Main image: Getty

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