18 best vanilla perfumes for every taste, mood and occasion

Our beauty team shares their most-loved vanilla perfumes, from intoxicating bestsellers to cool cult buys

Collage of three of the best vanilla perfume buys from Jo Malone, Akro, and Tom Ford.
(Image credit: Future)

Warm up your scent profile with the best vanilla perfumes, from sweet and woodsy to spicy and cosy. 

On the hunt for the best perfumes for women or a long-lasting perfume on the sugary sweet side? We recommend investing in a vanilla fragrance. It’s a scent that can be deliciously sweet or spicy and seductive, making for the perfect winter perfume. It’s also great for fragrance layering— offering a warming back-note to everything. "There's a spicy, carnal, slightly feral side of vanilla that becomes addictive and raunchy. So within a perfume, it radiates with a lot of sensuality and confidence," says fragrance writer and presenter Alice du Parcq.

We know there are tons of perfumes on the market, so we’ve done all the hard work and rounded up our tried and tested top favourite vanilla fragrances. There are even gender-neutral options with notes of black vanilla and dried Liquorice that make for the best men’s cologne.

The best vanilla perfumes, chosen by our beauty team

Why you can trust Woman & Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

woman&home thanks Alice du Parcq for her time and expertise

How to pick the best vanilla perfume for you

When it comes to choosing perfume it’s all about what you like. But, when dealing with vanilla, there are some things to know, advises Alice: 

  • Stick with perfumes: “High-quality vanilla essence—whether natural or incredible synthetic variations—has a spicy, smokey feel to it, so you won't tip into pudding land. I would avoid vanilla-flavored body products as those tend to be way too sweet.”
  • Get ready for a reaction: “One of the coolest things about our brains is they're designed to recognize fight or flight smells; ie food or fire. If you have a spike of vanilla in your perfume, your brain is wired to be highly aware of it, so perfumes with that gourmand aura will smell prominent to you and people around you—reinforcing the idea that it's long-lasting and worth the money!”
  • Don't scrimp: “Cheap vanilla will smell sickly sweet, so my best tip is to invest the money you would have usually spent on a new handbag and spend it on a great quality perfume.”

So if you were wondering which perfume lasts longest, Vanilla has much to offer in that department. 

Sarah-Jane Corfield-Smith
Freelance Beauty Director

Sarah-Jane Corfield-Smith has worked in the beauty industry for more than 15 years and, as well as woman&home, has contributed to titles such as Stylist, The Daily Mail and The Times.

As a mum of two little girls she has limited time to spend on herself, so if you’re looking for hard-working multi-tasking products, she’s the one in the know.

Her top three products she has on her at all times are a glow-giving tinted moisturizer, brow pencil and a tinted lip balm. Oh, and she’s never far away from a hydrating face mist.

With contributions from