Scenting Cats

Which Perfume Would You Like To Wear? | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

Which Perfume Would You Like To Wear? | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

I’ve been thinking about doing the “scenting cats” post for months. No, I’m not talking about spraying cats with actual perfumes. I’ve seen some “pet perfumes” for sale here and there but I’m not too thrilled about the idea of covering our furry companions in them.

Let me explain first. I’m an ailurophile. Cats have been my love and comfort ever since the day I had my first cat. I love everything about cats, especially their peculiar little behaviours like sitting on an open book, staring into empty space, touching my face with their cold paws… If you are a cat lover, you know what I’m talking about. But for the past 15 years or so, I’ve been moving from one country to another and I haven’t had a chance to commit myself to a long-term relationship with a cat. So to fill my craving for feline companionship, I started photographing – and befriending with- local cats wherever and whenever I had opportunities. Most of them were feral or stray, roaming the streets freely and living the lives of their own. I have met real characters along my journey. One night when I was sorting through my cat photos while sniffing my wrist (I was testing a perfume, of course), a crackpot idea popped up in my head. I suddenly thought choosing a perfume for each one of these cats would be a great idea. Call me crackers. I know. But the perfumeland is full of cat lovers. Some of you might understand and enjoy this post.

Cats below are the ones I acquainted when I was living in Egypt. We had a ground floor flat with a front terrace and a small secluded garden and it turned out to be a cat haven. Many local cats gathered there on a daily basis to play, to socialise, and to have a kip.

So here we go.

Hannibal

Hannibal | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Hannibal: Black by Bvlgari | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

We named him Hannibal because of his bizarre behaviour; whenever he was in a threatening mode, he would narrow his eyes and lick his mouth hungrily. He was a sleek, athletic, and tough loner. He never opened up to me, younger local cats were terrified of him, and he never socialised with others except for Princess (see below). He was a true gentleman around Princess. He used to guard her, share his food with her, and occasionally snuggle his face in her soft fur. In the presence of Princess, Hannibal was a different cat; a noble knight.

Perfume choice for Hannibal: Black by Bvlgari
A little bit of elegance mixed with a dash of sweetness. Like Hannibal the cat, Black is mysterious and gives out a sense of danger and tenderness- both at the same time.

Princess

Princess | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Princess: Datura Noir by Serge Lutens | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

What a dainty creature she was! When I first met her, she was sleeping in the flower bed in the spring sunshine. It was right next to the garden path and there were plenty passersby but she was so still; no movement at all. I had to walk up to her and hesitantly touched her as I feared the worst. Thank goodness she was warm and soft! She opened her eyes ever so slowly and looked at me straight in the eyes. There was no fear, only curiosity in her golden green eyes. She gave an inaudible meow, and went back to sleep. Since my first encounter, I often spotted her sleeping in/on odd places and when she was awake, she was usually accompanied by Hannibal (see above). I felt she wasn’t all what she appeared to be. She was resilient and always had the air of knowing.

Perfume choice for Princess: Datura Noir by Serge Lutens
Bright yet seductive. Under her sweet and innocent look, Princess had a calculated sultriness. Appearance is such a deceiving thing. Datura Noir is a cocktail of a narcotic contradiction and I think it’s pretty apt for this beautiful cat.

 

Marmalade and Cream

Cream | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Cream: Aqua Universalis Forte by Maison Francis Kurkdjian | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

They were brothers and were always close. Marmalade was bigger and more muscular than Cream and always acted like a hormone-driven teenager. He was handsome and macho but very cautious, and always followed the lead of Cream. Cream, on the other hand, was rather feminine but curious, courageous, and smart. He was definitely the brain of the brothers. When they came across something new, Cream eagerly investigated it while Marmalade hid behind him. One morning when I was mopping the terrace, Cream decided to chase and give hell to the fluffy monster. While he was happily destroying my mop head, Marmalade retreated to a safe distance and watched his brother bravely battling against the abominable creature. Now, I’m not proud of what I did to Marmalade next. I lifted the mop and put it on top of his head while he was distracted by birds in the bush. I’ve never seen a cat jump so high in my life. He toppled the bucket over, knocked plant pots off the staircase, and managed to turn the garden sprinkler on… Pure mayhem. A moral of this story: don’t underestimate the force of a scared cat.

Marmalade | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Marmalade: Dzing! by L`Artisan Parfumeur | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Perfume choice for Marmalade: Dzing! by L`Artisan Parfumeur
I cannot explain why but the first time when I smelled Dzing!, I immediately thought of Marmalade. Maybe the cat fur like smell in Dzing! or maybe the orangey  colour image I associate with this perfume. Who knows.

Perfume choice for Cream: Aqua Universalis Forte by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Cream’s strong eagerness to know and learn things truly impressed me. He was a great observer and he soaked up all the information like a sponge. Aqua Universalis Forte’s uplifting and invigorating qualities fit perfectly with this cat’s attitude to life.

 

Deep Throat

Deep Throat | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Deep Throat: Delicious Closet Queen by Etat Libre d`Orange | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Now who has a dirty mind here? We called him Deep Throat because of his hoarse and raspy voice. He couldn’t meow; it was consistently “ugh, kuh, grrh”. Deep Throat was an extremely friendly chap with gorgeous odd eyes and he used to visit us daily. He loved a fuss, purred like a tractor, and always drooled all over my hand. This fluffy giant had a big heart and he was often seen looking after younger cats. Cream (see above) had completely taken to Deep Throat and decided he was the ultimate role model and used to mimic whatever he did. Deep Throat drank water off his paws, so did Cream. Deep Throat enjoyed belly rubs, so did Cream. Deep Throat loved tapping a keyboard, so did Cream. Because of his loving nature, he had plenty patrons. He was a bit of social butterfly.

Perfume choice for Deep Throat: Delicious Closet Queen by Etat Libre d`Orange
Lovely and complex Deep Throat. Like his two different coloured eyes, Deep Throat seemed to have existed in two worlds of yin and yang. He was masculine and feminine. What’s more fitting than Delicious Closet Queen?

 

Ginger Daddy

Ginger Daddy | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Ginger Daddy: Herod by Parfums de Marly | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

I strongly suspected that he was the father of Marmalade and Cream. Ginger Daddy was the godfather of the neighbourhood and acted as if he had no care in the world. He was a de facto leader of the vicinity and his demeanour clearly showed it.  Autumn came, and with it arrived the mating season.  As yodelling of cats intensified around blocks of flats, Ginger Daddy’s eyes got set on Princess. Inevitably, that brought clash between Hannibal and him. Blood chilling yowls shattered the silence of otherwise peaceful afternoon. As I looked through the window, I saw two of them trading blows in a ferocious battle in my garden. Also there was Princess, tall and graceful, perched on top of the wall, watching two toms fighting over her. Ginger Daddy was older, bigger, muscular, and had years of battle experience than Hannibal. Despite all the odds against him, at least on this round, Hannibal pulled through. Suddenly Ginger Daddy dropped his stance and walked away into the bush with twitching tail, as if to say he was never interested in the fight in the first place.

Perfume choice for Ginger Daddy: Herod by Parfums de Marly
Not loud, not forceful, but Ginger Daddy exuded an air of authority with a slight touch of sweetness. Marmalade loved Ginger Daddy and on one occasion, I saw Ginger Daddy grooming this young orange cat. Assured and warm. Herod comes to my mind.


 

Do you love cats? Do you live with them? If you were to choose a perfume for your furry companions, what would it be?

Perfumed Resolutions

Must Get Organised | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

Must Get Organised | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

 

There have been some thoughts concerning perfumes on my mind. What’s new, you may say. True, I probably think about perfumes every day. I’m a self-professed perfume addict. I want to call myself a perfume connoisseur — it sounds much posher — but in reality, I’m simply an addict. Being an addict and a magpie, that’s a fatal combination. Now I have box after box of tiny sample vials and I have no clue what I have in them. Some of them are spilling out of a bowl on my dresser and sometimes I knock one of them off and it ends up as an instant room fragrance. When I want to try something, I have to dig around and think hard to figure out where on earth I put it. Needless to say, there are many that I haven’t had a chance to try yet. So, to get to the point, this is what has been nagging me; there has to be a structure in my perfume sampling and I have to get organised.

Although I no longer crave to try every single perfume released under the sun, I don’t think my incessant obsession in discovering something different will cease to exist anytime soon. I just love the experiences — some are extraordinarily intense and some are just a gentle emotional nudge — perfumes bring about; which means that there will be even more vials added to those boxes this year. I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions but out of necessity, I decided to make a few and I’m determined to stick to it for a long time. Yes, I am that desperate. So here it is:

Magpie’s Resolutions — In other words, Sample Organising Challenge

  1. Test at least one perfume sample more or less every day.
  2. Enter the data of the tested sample in Excel on the same day.
  3. Put the tested samples away IMMEDIATELY in the appropriate cubby space in drawers.
Diaro App - I'm using this app for my perfume journal | Screen shot of my perfume journal

Diaro App – I’m using this app for my perfume journal | Actual screen shot of my perfume journal

That’s it! Simple. Everything lines up in an elegant streaming flow. If I can keep up with this commitment with a healthy dose of motivation, by the end of 2016 or even before that, I will have beautifully organised samples in one place and also a database. My perfume life will run more smoothly, plus I will gain the habits and routines necessary to keep it that way. Clutter free! No more chaos!

It’s still early days but so far, so good. I also started using an app called Diaro to keep a bite-sized perfume journal. Wish me best for my well organised perfume life in 2016.

Winter Giveaway Winners!!

Winter Giveaway Winners!! | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

Winter Giveaway Winners!! | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

 

I am pleased to announce the winners of The Perfume Magpie Winter Giveaway. The winners were randomly chosen by me. If you must know, it was a “folded pieces of paper in a bowl” method. Yes, very low-tech.

So the winners are…

Puredistance Sample Gift Set: Ellen
Leather Case & Samples: Pats133

Congratulations winners! Please get in touch with me by email at thinkingmagpie at gmail dot com or through the contact form on this website with your address so that I can send you the goodies. If you don’t claim your prize by 31st December, I’ll choose another winner.

I’d like to thank everyone for your participation. I wish I could give you a gift each!

Thank you for liking, subscribing, following The Perfume Magpie.

Lots of love xxx

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from The Perfume Magpie | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

Merry Christmas from The Perfume Magpie | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

Another year is nearly complete. It has been a different and interesting year for me. It was filled with so many “firsts”. Each day, I learned new ways to look at things and new ways to navigate through. Some were challenging but some were brilliant and exciting. If I were to pick one quote to capture the essence of my 2015, it would be this:
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharlal Nehru

Thank you for visiting The Perfume Magpie and always leaving encouraging and lovely comments. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing over Christmas, I’m wishing you that your days are filled with love and joy.  I’m also wishing you that this magical season brings you all the fun, laughter, happiness, and perhaps a perfume or two that stay with you forever!

With love,

Yukiko a.k.a. The Perfume Magpie

Christmas Message from The Perfume Magpie

Christmas Message from The Perfume Magpie

Perfume Things 2015 & GIVEAWAY

The Perfume Magpie Winter Giveaway

The Perfume Magpie Winter Giveaway


The Giveaway is now closed!


I can’t believe one year has nearly gone. It was Halloween just the other day. I was admiring the cool autumn air just a few days ago. Then I received my first Christmas card!

It’s that time of the year again. Christmas is just around the corner and, guess what, no, I haven’t finished sorting out all the Christmas gifts yet. Don’t even mention cards! At least the Christmas tree is out and decorated and I bought a pot of gorgeous pink poinsettias. Tomorrow I’ll be off to Valencia for two days to enjoy some Christmas lights to boost my festive mood and for the last-minute shopping.

The thought of Christmas being here soon made me look back some of the things happened and, since I’m a frag-head, the perfume related stuff I encountered and appreciated this year. It seems like many bloggers make lists at the end of the year, so here’s mine. (If you are only interested in the giveaway, please scroll down to the bottom.)

Perfume Diagnosis Service

Nose

Nose Perfume

Nose | Image borrowed from Nose

I’ve tried their service only once so far but I’m very happy with them. It’s kind of fun to see what recommendations they come up with. From my first diagnosis, I received samples of Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi, 11 Semma by Odin, Loukhoum by Keiko Mecheri and Pure Eve by The Different Company. Unfortunately Pure Eve leaked in transit and made two other labels unreadable but their customer service was very kind and efficient. They immediately sent me the replacements. I will certainly try them again, perhaps regularly. My only wish for them is to add more new releases.

Pretty Bottles

Muse by Coty

Muse by Coty

I’ve been kind of collecting pretty perfume bottles. I don’t actively hunt for them but when I happen to be at antique fairs and shops, my eyes are always drawn to elegant looking crystal bottles and now discontinued vintage ones. One of the best finds of this year was Muse by Coty, just like the one in the advert. It was only £5! Yes, I know, I’m a magpie.

Perfumes I Tried and Liked A Lot in 2015

Some of these perfumes have been around much longer but I was only introduced to them in 2015. These brought me some joys and enriched my fragrance life in 2015. They are in no particular order. There would have been more added to the list if my organisation skills had been somewhat better.

Pichola by Neela Vermeire Creations

Released at Esxence 2015 in Milan. Bright, dewy and romantic. It’s dreamy like the bubbles in the champagne glass.
Nose: Bertrand Duchaufour

Vanille d’Iris by Ormonde Jayne

Released at Pitti Fragranze in 2015. This is THE vanilla perfume for me. It’s so smooth, creamy, and dead gorgeous. I absolutely adore it.
Nose: Geza Schoen

Salome by Pappilon Perfumery

Released in 2015. It’s all about the lust and the sensual seduction. A true temptress! Who wouldn’t want a bit of wild side in life?
Nose: Liz Moores

Chanel Les Exclusifs Misia by Chanel

Released in 2015. With the combination of rose, violet, and iris, I was destined to fall in love with Misia. Misia exudes femininity and confidence.
Nose: Olivier Polge

Brilliant Collection by DSH Perfumes

Released in 2014. There are four perfumes in the Brilliant Collection;  Rubis Rosé, Fumée d’Or, Jacinthe de Sapphire, and Deco Diamonds. I found the joy of layering through this collection. My favourite is  Jacinthe de Sapphire + Fumée d’Or.
Nose: Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Rubj EDP by Vero Profumo

Released in 2010. “Playing with dynamite” was what came into my mind. Intense sensuality will make you sweat!
Nose: Vero Kern

Sleeping with Ghosts by Mark Buxton

Released in 2012. This is more like Sleeping with Angels than with Ghosts. Oddly, when I look at the individual note, this wouldn’t be something I would like. It was a surprise. I just love the names of Mark Buxton’s perfumes; I can’t help humming the tunes.
Nose: Mark Buxton

White by Puredistance

Released at Esxence 2015 in Milan. I’ve already written about the experience I had with White on this blog. If you are curious about it, please follow this link. This holds a special place in my heart.
Nose: Antoine Lie

Perfume Surprise of the Year… and GIVEAWAY!

A special gift box from Puredistance for this winter

Top & Bottom Right: A special gift box from Puredistance for this winter, Bottom Left: New presentation boxes for each Puredistance perfume | Photo by The Perfume Magpie & Puredistance

Throughout the year, I was delighted by some lovely perfume samples I received out of the blue. The biggest surprise arrived in November; I received an email from Puredistance, followed by a parcel. Inside I found an elegant presentation box complete with their entire line of perfume samples and a lovely letter & photos. I was so touched by this unexpected Christmas gift and needless to say, I was over the moon.(Puredistance is offering special versions of gift sets for the holiday season.They are absolutely gorgeous!! If you want eye-candies, take a look.)

So to share my delights and to spread a touch of happiness in this holiday season, I decided to host my first giveaway on The Perfume Magpie.

What Can You Win?

I’m offering 2 prizes.
Prize A: 1 x Puredistance Sample Gift Set.
A winner will receive Puredistance I, Antonia, M, Opardu, Black, and White 2ml each in an elegant white gift box. If you haven’t tried their perfumes yet, this will be a great chance.
Prize B: 1 x Custom Made Leather Case to carry your perfume samples/decants plus an assortment of perfume samples and decants.
There are only 3 of these leather cases exist in the entire world. I have one, obviously,  and another lovely perfumista has one; the last one can be yours. I haven’t decided which samples & decants will be included but will be a mixture of niche and mainstream.

Giveaway Prize A: Puredistance Sample Gift Box | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Giveaway Prize A: Puredistance Sample Gift Box | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Giveaway Prize B: A Leather Case for Samples + Assortment of Samples & Decants | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Giveaway Prize B: A Leather Case for Samples + Assortment of Samples & Decants | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

What You Need To Do To Enter The Draw:

To enter, let me know which prize you’d like to win and answer the question in the comments; “What was your best perfume find in 2015?” or “What was the greatest thing happened to you in 2015?”

Also, this is not mandatory but if you could like The Perfume Magpie Facebook page or follow The Perfume Magpie blog, I would greatly appreciate it.

Closing date and Small-ish Prints
I:  The entry will be open till 8pm (Central European Time) on Saturday 26th December;
II: 2 winners will be randomly selected;
III: The winners will be announced on The Perfume Magpie blog (www.theperfumemagpie.com) , Facebook and Twitter on 27th December;
IV:  If you are the winner, please get in touch with me at thinkingmagpie at gmail dot com or through the contact form of this website. If the winner has not contacted me by Monday 31st December, the prize will go to someone else;
V: Open worldwide;
VI: You know what it’s like with some postal services… Sorry but I cannot be responsible for the lost or damaged prize in transit. Also please be aware that it may incur customs charges and etc.

A Biography In A Bottle: Frida by En Voyage Perfumes

Frida and Magpie by The Perfume Magpie

Well, you know, I couldn’t help creating an illustration of Frida with a magpie… | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

Painting is one of the greatest ways to confront, express, and release your inner most struggles. At least that was the case with me in my teen years. The canvas was my battlefield. Fear, anger, grief, guilt, despair, hope, love…  Every single canvas was filled with multitudes of emotions that were buried deep behind my quiet and withdrawn demeanour. I wasn’t good at showing my emotions in front of other people including my own family. For me, painting was the only way I could freely express myself.

Love's-Embrace-of-the-Universe,-Earth-large

Love’s Embrace of the Universe, the Earth | By Frida Kahlo

I encountered Frida Kahlo’s paintings when I was fourteen; it was an eye-opener for me. I found their mesmerising colours and bold and esoteric imageries were weirdly in unison with my inner states. Many people are disturbed by some of her gruesome expressions but, for fourteen-year-old me, they were like embodiments of my own inner world, depicted skilfully in ways that I couldn’t bring out. Frida seemed to have known all the agonising emotions and what lies beneath. She and her work became an epitome of strength in my dark world. So when I heard about the new fragrance created by Shelley Waddington, En Voyage Perfumes, I was so curious and a little bit apprehensive to say the least.

I first tried Frida in the hottest summer month and, to tell the truth, it didn’t go well. I sampled it in the over 40 degree Celsius heat and I was immediately hit by the overripe watermelon and I couldn’t fully enjoy my sampling experience, even though I appreciated the juicy greenness peeking through it. I put the sample vial away in the “Try Again” box and decided to test in the cooler season.

A few months have passed and sitting in front of the fire has become my nightly pleasure, I finally decided to take the sample of Frida out again. Interestingly, the perishing watermelon was no more. Instead, what I smelled first was fresh dragon fruits rather than watermelons. Isn’t it funny how the climate conditions change the perspective of the same perfume so drastically?

Roots, Raíces | By Frida Kahlo

Roots, Raíces | By Frida Kahlo

There is something very corporeal aspect in Frida. Initially it feels like a bright fragrance with juicy fruits and lush greens, but underneath the shimmering veil, there exists something physical and dangerous and it is slightly unnerving. As the top notes settle, something wild appears out into the otherwise peaceful garden. It steps out into the open; you can feel the warmth of its body, and you become aware of its body exuding the musky – and slightly sour – smell. Is it a beast or a person? Faint smooth tuberose suggests that it might be a woman but I cannot determine it. It is wounded and tired, yet valiant. After 2-3 hours, Frida reaches the dry down stage; through the remnants of sweeter notes, smoke starts rising gently. The final phase of Frida stays close to the skin and remains for some more hours. In an air of peace and a sense of silent acceptance, in the end, the being bends its knees, gently lie down on the ground and exhale its last breath.

Frida is an enigmatic perfume. What I find fascinating about the perfume Frida is that the story it tells trough its transition. The feminine side and the masculine side of Frida Kahlo, the pleasure and the pain in her physical existence, her love, her anger, and ultimately the emotional and physical relief in death…  Frida’s life was ladened with two extremes, and I cannot help thinking that she perhaps knew these two polar opposite aspects were the same essence expressed in differing degree. I don’t know whether this was the perfumer Shelley Waddington‘s intension but she certainly captured the life of Frida Kahlo and artistically created her superlative biography in a bottle.


Frida was launched in 2015.

Nose: Shelley Waddington

Notes according to the En Voyage Perfumes Website:

Top Notes: The fruits of Frida’s Garden including Apricots, Watermelon, Peaches, Lemons, and Lush Greenery

Middle Notes: Tuberose, Hibiscus, Cactus Flower, Champaca, Ylang Ylang, Gardenia, and Jasmine

Base Notes: Light Woods, Sugar, Oak moss, Aldehydes; Myrrh, Frankincense, and Copal; Tobacco, Green Pepper, Sexual Animalic Notes, Musk, Amber

It is available in 15ml ($75) and 30ml ($95) Eau de Parfum. Sample ($6) is also available from En Voyage Perfumes.

Read what others are saying about Frida.
The Candy Perfume Boy, Perfume Polytechnic, Olfactoria’s Travels, The Scented Hound, CaFleureBon, Megan In Sainte Maxime, The Sounds of Scent, Colognoisseur, Fragrance Daily

Disclosure: Review is based on a sample I received from En Voyage Perfumes.

Vanilla Fiesta: 11 Mini Reviews

Magpie had a enough of vanilla... | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

Magpie had enough of vanilla… | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

To tell the truth, I haven’t been a big fan of vanilla fragrances. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the smell of vanilla itself. I have a whole bunch of vanilla beans that I brought back from Zanzibar stashed in my kitchen cupboard and I sometimes open the jar just to enjoy their heavenly sweet smell. But I like vanilla in something edible, not in something I put on. I don’t enjoy smelling like a little cupcake.

Recently when I was digging through my perfume samples, I discovered that I had quite a few un-sniffed ones with vanilla as an important part of their compositions; they were all lying at the bottom of my sample boxes, buried and forgotten under the other little vials. I suddenly felt kind of pity for them. Whether I was feeling mellow in the recent cooler weather or merely trying to escape from my workload, I gathered them around and decided to have a good vanilla sniffing session. People say that life will never give you more than you can handle. Well, I certainly survived through it and managed to find a few vanilla fragrances I could wear.


So here we go, the list and mini reviews of vanillas I tried:

Love – don’t be shy – by By Kilian

Peppery Orange Vanilla
This is a seriously sweet fragrance, peppery nonetheless. You’ve got to love gourmands to enjoy wearing this one. Very strong orange blossom and neroli, and a touch of jasmine and rose with a blast of sugar and vanilla. It is pretty, not beautiful, and it has an amazing lasting power. I don’t hate it but I won’t be able to wear it. I think you need to be twenty-something & bubbly to get away with this.

Nose: Calice Becker
Released in 2007.
50ml EDP | $260 from By Kilian.

Back to Black – aphrodisiac – by By Kilian

Moody Vanilla
First of all, I like smoky and powdery fragrances. Back to Black is sweet, smoky, powdery and yummy, all at the same time. I’m not too keen on its opening with raspberry but the smoky drydown is rather attractive. I quite enjoyed the honeyed gingerbread notes in this one. Yes, it’s sweet but I can wear this in winter. I don’t love it but I like it. Some people suggest that it smells like Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford and Hedonist by Viktoria Minya but I didn’t find it so.

Nose: Calice Becker
Released in 2009.
50ml EDP | $260 from By Kilian.

Amour Liquide by Memoire Liquide

Milky Vanilla
This is a sugary vanilla that you will either love or hate. The vanilla itself smells quite authentic but it’s all about vanilla and nothing else. There are three notes listed in this one; vanilla, tonka, and incense. I was hoping to smell more of the incense note but it was very weak and completely overpowered by the sweet notes. If you are very careful, you might be able to catch a whiff of it. There is something woody-musky smell in the background, like sandalwood, and it adds to the milky-ness of this fragrance. Great longevity. This is too “edible” for me to wear.

Nose: Ilias Ermenidis
Released in 2009.
50ml EDP | $95 from Memoire Liquide.

Seven Veils by Byredo

Country Kitchen Vanilla
It’s nothing like other fragrances I’ve ever smelled in my life. The opening is a mixture of slightly bitter wisteria and orchid, soon taken over by vanilla, carrot seeds, and pink pepper, then it settles straight into sweet and tangy spiciness. It smells like a lovely country kitchen with a wooden spice cupboard on the wall, occasionally catching a whiff of flowers through the open windows. The vanilla is prominent but it isn’t in your face. I don’t love it but I somehow appreciate it. I might wear it on a golden autumn day.

Nose: Jerome Epinette
Released in 2011.
50ml EDP | €95 from Byredo.

Vanille Insensee by Atelier Cologne

Edgy Vanilla
Like other Atelier Colognes, it is clean and very wearable. The mixture of woody incense, amber, and vanilla is fairly cozy but there is a sort of edginess to it.  It’s not a cute vanilla fragrance, more for the grown-ups. The citrus notes at the beginning don’t last long; it soon reveals vanilla and exotic coriander with velvety vetiver and amber in the background. It might work in the spring to summer seasons.

Nose: Ralf Schwieger
Released in 2011.
30ml Pure Perfume | €65 from Atelier Cologne.

Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens

Dark Vanilla
Another woody vanilla but totally different to Vanille Insensee. It is much darker and deeper. I was a little bit worried about trying this one at first because of the coconut and liquorice notes. Actually they coordinate with each other very well and it didn’t give me the choking effect that I was concerned about. Vanilla is on the sweeter side but the strong wood note keeps holding it back. There is a strange plasticky smell in it and it disturbed me a little. I can probably wear this, maybe in late autumn to winter.

Nose: Christopher Sheldrake
Released in 2003.
50ml EDP | €90 from Serge Lutens.

Eau Duelle by Diptyque

Well Behaved Vanilla
Surprisingly, I liked this one as soon as I opened the vial. It is resiny and earthy vanilla with a touch of greenness. I was so sure that I could smell floral note in it but it’s not listed. It is delicious but not in a cakey way. It is one of the most inoffensive vanillas I’ve tried. Actual vanilla in this one is very rounded and not too sweet. I think this one works all year round.

Nose: Fabrice Pellegrin
Released in 2010.
75ml EDP | €105 from Diptyque.

Shalimar Souffle de Parfum by Guerlain

Lemon Meringue Vanilla
Shalimar Souffle opens with bright citrus notes. It is a delicious vanilla fragrance with the bitterness of citrus peels and a fraction of white florals. Somehow it’s a little ozonic too. It’s decidedly sweet but not sugary. As so many people already suggested, Shalimar Souffle smells like a lemon meringue pie and makes me feel hungry. Very light weight and airy for a vanilla fragrance.

Nose: Thierry Wasser
Released in 2014.
50ml EDP | around $100. More information: Guerlain

Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

Smoky Vanilla
Tobacco Vanille is a spicy and smoky vanilla fragrance. I usually enjoy tobacco fragrances but, at the beginning, I wasn’t sure about this one at all. I kept smelling something tart and ripe besides rich tobacco, vanilla and spice mixture and it was a little unnerving. But after 15 minutes or so, it turned into more luscious sweet tobacco fragrance and I could enjoy it better then. Towards the end, sweetness of vanilla intensified a lot and it was a bit like a combination of ice cream, cigar, and Pepsi. I quite liked it.

Nose: Olivier Gillotin
Released in 2007.
50ml EDP | $220 from Tom Ford.

The Sexiest Scent on the Planet. Ever. IMHO by 4160 Tuesdays

Spicy Vanilla
It doesn’t match with my idea of sexy scent but it’s not bad at all. The vanilla wasn’t sugary sweet and merged well with the citrus note. Also the woodiness of this fragrance was down to earth and comforting. It’s not listed but I could smell something like patchouli and strong peppery/spicy notes – could there be ISO E Super or something similar in this fragrance? Whatever it is, it’s nicely blended into it and gives warmth to it. Definitely an autumn to winter fragrance.

Nose: Sarah McCartney
Released in 2013.
50ml EDP | £60 from 4160 Tuesdays.

Baiser Vole Essence de Parfum by Cartier

Flowery Vanilla
A flower shop right next to a patisserie; loads of lily, loads of vanilla. You’ve got to love the smell of luxurious lily and gourmand vanilla to appreciate this fragrance. There is something green and spicy in this fragrance, like fresh juice seeping out of the cut carnation stem. The vanilla is sweet and strong but it’s a proper vanilla pod smell. At first it was too intense for me to enjoy fully but the combination turned creamy and a little bit woody after a while. If I can manage to stand the initial stage, I might be able to wear this one. I’ll try again.

Nose: Mathilde Laurent
Released in 2011.
40ml |around €50. More information: Cartier


Eleven Vanilla Fragrances | Photo Collage by The Perfume Magpie

Eleven Vanilla Fragrances | Photo Collage by The Perfume Magpie

Now I can feel approaching autumn in the air, I long for something evocative and snuggly to wear. Vanilla certainly has those qualities – warm, cuddly and nostalgic – and it would be pretty appealing in the cool autumn days.

After experiencing the different takes on vanilla by ten perfumers, I came to the conclusion; I don’t hate vanilla fragrances, I just prefer the vanilla to be in the background and not on the main stage. A whispering level would be nice. I’ll be re-trying some of the fragrances again in the coming seasons when I swap my sandals and summer dresses for boots and jumpers.

Do you like vanilla in fragrance? What is your favourite?