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The 13 Best Vanilla Perfumes, According to Editors 2024

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In the ever-evolving realm of fragrance, vanilla perfume emerges as a perennial favorite. Be it for its cozy familiarity, sense of comfort, or skin-like sensuality, vanilla remains a darling in the world of perfuming by noses and shoppers alike. But, like many other scents, it’s easy to overdo; too much vanilla can border on treacly and cloying. Yes, there are vanilla-based fragrances that are better than others. But this begs the question—which are the best?

Lucky for you, we’re a very sweet bunch here at Well+Good. Our vanities are stacked with the latest and greatest in vanilla scents, and we’re eager to share our favorites with you. Find our favorites below, all tried and tested by Well+Good staffers.

Our top five picks, at a glance:

  1. Ellis Brooklyn, “Vanilla Milk”, $110
  2. Kayali, “Vanilla 28”, $100
  3. Viktor & Rolf, “Flowerbomb”, $142
  4. Phlur, “Not Your Baby”, $99
  5. By/Rosie Jane, “Dulce”, $75

What to look for in vanilla perfume

At the end of the day, finding your perfect vanilla fragrance is going to come down to personal preference. That said, keep a few things in mind when shopping for your next sweet spritz:

Ingredient quality: As fragrance experts previously shared with us, a vanilla perfume’s quality comes down to its ingredient quality. The higher the quality of ingredients = the better (and less cloying) it smells. Whether it’s pure vanilla extract, vanilla bean, or a carefully crafted blend, the source and quality of the vanilla contribute significantly to the overall fragrance experience.

Composition and complexity: Most treacly, headache-inducing vanilla scents are one-dimensional. Look for fragrances that incorporate additional notes, providing depth and complexity. From spices to fruits to woodsy scents, a well-balanced composition enhances the character of the vanilla, creating a more nuanced and sophisticated aroma.

Longevity: Opt for a fragrance with vanilla notes that have staying power, ensuring that it lingers on your skin throughout the day. Longevity is often an indicator of the perfume’s overall quality.

Packaging and presentation: We all know looks matter. A pretty bottle and killer packaging can make your daily spritz feel like an experience. So, check out what catches your eye on the shelf.

Our Top 5 Best Vanilla Perfumes

Ellis Brooklyn, “Vanilla Milk” — $110.00

Key notes: creamy milk accord, frangipani, peony rose

Scent type: warm and spicy

Ellis Brooklyn’s “Vanilla Milk” is beloved by various W+G editors for its tasteful, not sugary, vanilla scent. “Vanilla Milk has the slightly boozy bite of vanilla extract, but balances it out with the creaminess of milk accord and floral-forward notes like frangipani and peony rose,” says Zoe Weiner. “It’s sweet, warm, and just a little bit masculine—truly unlike any other scent I’ve ever smelled.”

What sets Ellis Brooklyn apart is their dedication to conscious beauty. All of its products are crafted with a commitment to sustainability, using natural and responsibly sourced materials. The brand prides itself on excluding harmful ingredients, ensuring that every spritz is not only a sensory delight but also an eco-conscious choice.

Read the full review here.

Sizes: 0.33 and 1.7 fl oz

  • Spicy, masculine undertones
  • Not treacly or overpowering
  • Transparent ingredients
  • Sustainable packaging
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Kayali, “Vanilla 28” — $100.00

Key notes: vanilla orchids, tonka absolute, amber woods

Scent type: warm and musky

Created by Huda Beauty, Kayali is all about crafting scents that scream sophistication but in a laid-back, “Hey, I’m fancy, but also chill’” kinda way. “Vanilla 28″ is no different—luxurious yet approachable, and never overbearing. It’s warm, sweet, and enveloping—thanks to its brown sugar and amber notes—without feeling cloying,” says W+G Deputy Editor Chloe Metzger. “I seriously love this entire fragrance line, but I find myself reaching for Vanilla 28 before every night out.”

Bonus: The sleek, chic bottle doubles as a statement piece on your vanity or dresser.

Sizes: 0.33, 1.7, and 3.4 fl oz.

 

  • Warm, musky undertones
  • Not treacly or overpowering
  • Long-lasting
  • Pricey
  • Contains ingredients that may not be considered “clean”, vegan, or cruelty-free

Viktor&Rolf, “Flowerbomb” — $142.00

Key notes: vanilla, jasmine, peony

Scent type: floral

Viktor&Rolf’s iconic “Flowerbomb” is one of our favorites for its flowery, feminine take on gourmand fragrance. “Flowerbomb is grounded in patchouli and vanilla and is a grown-up take on vanilla (as opposed to the sweet perfumes we wore as teenagers, like Bath and Body Works’ sprays),” says W+G Senior Commerce Editor, Gabriela Garcia. “It has a nostalgic vibe that feels like you’re wrapped in a cozy cashmere blanket.”

Each bottle boasts a burst of blossoms including, jasmine, rose, and orchid, all swirling together to create a scent that’s more bouquet than body care. It’s carefully concocted to be equal parts sweet, floral, and earthy—a perfect combination that smells amazing with every spritz.

Sizes: 1.7 and 3.4 fl oz.

  • Floral undertones
  • Not treacly or overpowering
  • Iconic scent
  • Long-lasting
  • Pricey
  • Contains ingredients that may not be considered “clean”, vegan, or cruelty-free

Phlur, “Not Your Baby” — $99.00

Key notes: cardamom, bergamot, mimosa

Scent type: floral spicy

After venturing on a quest to find what, exactly, makes a vanilla perfume “good”, I tested Phlur’s “Not Your Baby” perfume and never looked back. Like all of Phlur’s fragrances, it’s subtle on all fronts, including its gourmand and spicy notes. At first spray, it smells a bit like candy, which is quickly counterbalanced with notes of warm cardamom, zesty bergamot, and cozy sandalwood. Tl;dr: It smells like vanilla in a leather jacket which is why I’m down to the very last drop of the stuff.

Sizes: 9.5 ml and 50 ml.

  • Has warm, spicy undertones
  • Not treacly or overpowering
  • Layers well with other scents
  • Made with sustainable, responsible packaging ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Contains ingredients that may not be considered “clean”

By/Rosie Jane, “Dulce — $75.00

Key notes: vanilla, chocolate, Hinoki wood

Scent type: warm and spicy

“I grew up at a time when Jessica Simpson’s dessert body sprays were the epitome of personal fragrance, which probably explains why I have generally steered clear of gourmand scents in the decades since,” says Weiner. “By/Rosie Jane’s ‘Dulce’ is the first perfume that’s changed my mind thanks to its light vanilla scent, which is grounded with hinoki wood and nude musk. It’s subtly sweet, yet sexy, and putting it on reminds me of slinking into my favorite silk slip dress.”

Sizes: .25 and 1.7 fl oz

  • Has spicy, warm undertones
  • Not treacly or overpowering
  • Layers well with other scents
  • Made with sustainable, responsible packaging ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Fades a bit faster than other scents

Other Vanilla Perfumes Worth Shopping

Kilian Paris, “Love, Don’t Be Shy”, — $290.00

Key notes: orange blossom, vanilla, marshmallow

Scent type: warm floral

“Love, Don’t Be Shy” encapsulates the essence of seduction and allure in a single scent. With a blend of orange blossom, marshmallow, and a touch of neroli, this fragrance stays sensual and sweet long after it hits your skin.

“I was given a small sample of Killian a year ago and decided to make the full-sized purchase, and I’m so glad I did. It’s always on heavy rotation for me and works well for all season,” says Garcia. “I’m wearing it now and every time I do, I always get asked about it. It’s sweet yet spicy and its bouquet is not overpowering. It lasts all day and its dry down gives off a hint of musk.”

Sizes: 7.5, 50, 100, and 250 ml

  • Warm floral undertones
  • Not treacly or overpowering
  • Layers well with other fragrances
  • Long-lasting
  • Refills available
  • Expensive
  • Contains ingredients that may not be considered “clean”, vegan, or cruelty-free

Ariana Grande, “Mod Vanilla” — $68.00

Key notes: plum, vanilla, praline

Scent type: gourmand musk

While I have never smelled Ariana Grande myself, I am fairly confident she would smell exactly like this perfume in person. Its top notes of juicy plum and pink freesia are balanced out by creamy vanilla and cocoa butter, giving it a warm, musky vibe, even hours after it’s been first sprayed on. Even better, it’s made with transparent ingredients that are 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free. Just note, it’s exclusively sold at Ulta.

Sizes: 1 and 3.4 fl oz

  • Warm, musky undertones
  • Not treacly or overpowering
  • Transparent ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Affordable
  • Only sold at Ulta, which may be a downside depending on your shopping preferences

Snif, “Vanilla Vice” — $65.00

Key notes: ice cream, amberwood, musk

Scent type: warm musk

“Picture this: You, sitting at the counter of an old-fashioned soda shop, eating a vanilla soft serve cone alongside your IRL crush on a warm spring afternoon. This is what Vanilla Vice, Snif’s latest fragrance, reminds me of,” says W+G Staff Writer, Amelia McBride. “With an ice cream base and notes of musk, Madagascar vanilla, and amberwood, it’s an adult-ified treat that’ll satisfy your sweet tooth.”

Even better, all of Snif’s fragrances can be tested before you buy. Don’t like it? Send it back! (But you probably won’t—it’s that good.)

Sizes: 10 and 30 ml

  • Warm, musky undertones
  • Not treacly or overpowering
  • Available to try before you buy
  • Transparent ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Definitely skews on the sweeter side

Le Monde Gourmand, “Crème Vanille” — $25.00

Key notes: creamy apricot, jasmine petals, amber

Scent type: warm gourmand

If you’re looking for a sweet treat on a budget, McBride also recommends Le Monde Gourmand’s “Crème Vanille”, which is just $25.

“Creamy apricot and brown sugar amp up the sweetness without entering sugar cookie territory, while notes of amber and jasmine petals add a sophisticated warmth,” says McBride. “It’s soft, cozy, and subtle enough to be layered with other fragrances, too!”

Sizes: 1 and 2.5 fl oz

 

  • Not treacly or overpowering
  • Affordable
  • Layer-friendly
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • May contain ingredients not considered “clean”

Tom Ford, “Vanilla Sex” — $250.00

Key notes: vanilla absolute, sandalwood

As you can probably glean from the name, “Vanilla Sex” is sexy. Every time I spray it on myself, I feel like I’m about to go meet my secret lover to sneak away for a sultry, late-night rendezvous. It’s flirty.

At the heart of “Vanilla Sex” is a blend of rich and complex vanilla notes intertwined with layers of amber and sandalwood. I’m a sucker for a pretty bottle, too, and this one looks just as sexy as it smells on my vanity.

Scent type: warm gourmand

Sizes: 30, 50, and 250 ml

  • Warm, musky undertones
  • Not treacly or overpowering
  • Pretty packaging
  • Expensive
  • May contain ingredients that aren’t “clean”, vegan, or cruelty-free

Nemat Perfumes, “Vanilla Musk” — $21.00

Key notes: vanilla, musk

Scent type: gourmand musk

“What makes this vanilla perfume intriguing is its warm musky undertone, a surprising yet welcome contrast to vanilla’s usually sweet—and sometimes cloying—profile,” says W+G Commerce Writer, Danielle Calma. “It isn’t overpowering either, and I would say it’s a scent that only you or anyone who comes close enough to you can catch a whiff of, which adds to its sultry edge. Whenever I want more of it, though, I like to mix a couple of drops of the formula with a fragrance-free body lotion, which as a bonus, makes it last much longer than when applied to my pulse points.”

Sizes: .33 fl oz

  • Musky undertones
  • Not treacly or overpowering
  • Can be mixed in with lotion or cream
  • Long-lasting
  • Transparent ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Affordable
  • It’s a fragrance oil, not a spray, which may be a downside for those who prefer traditional perfume

Lavanila, “Pure Vanilla” — $48.00

Key notes: vanilla

Scent type: gourmand

Vanilla purists—Lavanila’s “Pure Vanilla” is a delightful take on the classic vanilla scent that effortlessly combines natural and clean ingredients. Each bottle combines the sweet and comforting essence of vanilla without any harmful additives.

Crafted with a blend of Madagascar vanilla, tonka bean, and heliotrope, “Pure Vanilla” creates a simple yet luxe aroma that’s perfect for those who appreciate a clean and uncomplicated fragrance profile. The emphasis on natural ingredients makes it an excellent choice for those with sensitivities or a preference for eco-conscious products, too. And if you do want to switch it up with some different notes, the brand makes other fragrances, like “Vanilla Coconut” and “Vanilla Grapefruit” that smell equally delicious.

Sizes available:

  • Sweet, straightforward scent
  • Not treacly or overpowering
  • Affordable
  • Transparent, sustainable ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Might be too one-note for some

Boy Smells, “Vanilla Era” — $98.00

Key notes: tulip, saffron, vanilla absolute

Scent type: earthy floral

Ready to enter your “vanilla era”? This scent is a bit earthier than other vanilla fragrances I’ve tested thanks to notes like saffron, cashmere wood, and tulip. But it smells amazing nonetheless and is my go-to for nights out when I want to feel flirty and confident. I also love that it’s made with sustainable, transparent ingredients that are vegan and cruelty-free.

Sizes: 10 and 65 ml

  • Earthy, floral undertones
  • Not treacly or overpowering
  • Affordable
  • Transparent ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Definitely skews on the earthier side

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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