Words: Charlie Leeves
Vanilla might be the most classic of all the scents. Nothing can evoke more childhood memories than its creamy aroma, from flashbacks to sunny days with an ice-cream on the beach, to carefully measuring out teaspoons of vanilla essence into bowls of cake batter. It is no wonder that even a whiff of its essence can improve your mood and alleviate anxiety! Whatever your appreciation of vanilla, here are just a few reasons why perfumes with notes of vanilla can be just so heavenly.
The relationship between memory and smell is probably stronger than any other sense. That’s why fragrance is so good at triggering nostalgia - especially during times of stress and hardship when the scent of something pleasant can recall feelings of happiness and contentment. And what’s more pleasant and more calming than memories of vanilla? Think back to all the delicious foods you ate, such as marshmallow, cakes and of course ice-cream!
It’s no wonder it was the go-to note for fragrances in the 90s, as a calming and subtle alternative to the often overwhelmingly pungent scents of the 80s. Some popular fragrances of the 80s were even banned from restaurants for overpowering their food! Thankfully, charming fragrances like Rush by Gucci with notes of bergamot, patchouli and, of course vanilla, were able to offset the power ballad perfumes of the bullish 80s.
We live in incredibly high stress times, constantly bombarded with an overload of information. It’s becoming incredibly hard to digitally disconnect and find time just for ourselves away from the pressures of everyday life. In recent years, mental wellbeing has been increasingly considered just as important as physical wellbeing – with more and more of us turning to home and personal fragrances to lift our moods and make us feel happy. Vanilla is one of those feel good scents that has proven to evoke a psychological response that can help reduce stress and alleviate anxiety.
We love Olympea by Paco Rabanne, the warm vanilla calms the mind and frees you from your inhibitions. This vanilla paired with the jasmine and the ginger notes leads to an incredible feel good fragrance.
Vanilla as an aphrodisiac
Let me set the scene - a bouquet of flowers with a candlelit dinner… oh and of course the oh so sexy scent of vanilla! That’s right, vanilla has long been considered an aphrodisiac with its soft and flirty scent making it the perfect date night fragrance. It’s not saying BAM I’m here but rather come closer and find out more.
Master perfumer Guerlain himself created Shalimar believing its sweet and powdery sent held aphrodisiac like properties. And it is easy to see why he would think that, with the heart notes of seductive iris and jasmine blending effortlessly with warm delightful vanilla in the base notes.
We’re also fans of Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent. The uplifting black coffee is perfectly contrasted by the sensual and sweet vanilla. This fragrance will turn heads and leave you with secret admirers in every room you walk through.
There’s nothing plain about vanilla
Shop vanilla fragrances at The Perfume Shop