A longtime favorite of oriental fragrances, vanilla can be an unexpectedly complex aromatic — but do you know the best vanilla cologne for men? We’re huge fans of the understated beauty of vanilla in colognes and perfumes, and have put that enthusiasm to work in collecting the best vanilla colognes around.
In this guide, you’ll find our insider notes on the best vanilla colognes for men. With full aromatic profiles for each cologne and suggestions for when and where to wear each fragrance, we hope you’ll go away with a new favorite scent to add to your collection.
5 Best Vanilla Cologne For Men 2021
There’s a wide selection of colognes that include vanilla as a minor accent in the composition, but relatively fewer that feature it as a main ingredient. Each of the following five picks is definitely in the latter category.
Leather is perhaps the most traditionally masculine of fragrance making ingredients. In the case of Valentino Uomo Intense, a dedicated leather fragrance that was released in 2016, the rich and animalic qualities of leather are perfectly balanced by generous inclusions of vanilla to create our absolute favorite vanilla fragrance.
The composition of Valentino Uomo Intense is beautiful in its simplicity and integrity. Mandarin orange’s citrus zest is offset by a clean, herbal note from clary sage in the top notes. Soapy and clean iris joins spicy, sweet, and earthy tonka bean in the heart. And at the base, huge portions of rich vanilla join dense leather to create an unforgettable foundation.
Long lasting and, true to its namesake, quite intense, Valentino Uomo Intense is one of our all time favorite colognes. It’s great for using as your everyday cologne, yet equally worthwhile for date nights or special occasions — in short, a perfectly versatile cologne for the vanilla lover.
Tom Ford has made a name in the fragrance world for his dedication to genre-bending unisex scents — and Tobacco Vanille is no exception. A unisex oriental spicy style fragrance, it was released in 2007 and has steadily gained a devoted following among lovers of rich and sumptuous colognes and perfumes.
Fresh, green, and fruity tobacco leaf is paired with a bevy of baking spices in Tobacco Vanille’s top notes, which linger pleasantly through the entire composition. Vanilla makes its debut in the heart notes, giving its exotic floral and sweet fragrance (with accents of cacao and tonka bean) to every sniff. Lightly supported by dried fruits and wood resins in the base, this is an unabashedly vanilla-focused fragrance.
With its eternal longevity and huge intensity and dispersion, Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille is certainly not a cologne for the faint of heart. It’s a great scent to share with your significant other, and really shines when worn during the late hours of night or the wee hours of morning.
Top notes of tobacco leaf and baking spices
Middle notes of vanilla, cacao, tonka bean, and tobacco blossom
What’s better than the original Spicebomb, a cologne so powerful that it had to be housed in a grenade? Spicebomb Extreme, of course — a wildly aromatic oriental spicy style cologne that keeps the same signature hand grenade bottle shape as its predecessor. If you want maximum vanilla, this is the way.
Top notes? Who needs them. Spicebomb Extreme uses lavender as a balm for the intensity of its heat notes, namely bombastic portions of cracked black pepper and caraway. But what can all of this intensity be built on? Only the strongest and deepest of bases: The largest amount of tobacco and vanilla that we’ve ever smelled in a cologne.
There’s nothing subtle about Spicebomb Extreme — it’s incredibly intense, and the longest lasting vanilla cologne we’ve featured on this list. Even dedicated vanilla lovers will want to reserve this for fall and winter wear, or at least nighttime wear.
Perhaps the most friendly and versatile of all the vanilla colognes featured here, Diptyque’s Eau Duelle is a unisex oriental spicy style fragrance that was released in 2010. If you’re looking for a vanilla cologne that can be worn anytime, anywhere, this is absolutely the way to go.
A trio of top notes is given great presence in Eau Duelle, with bergamot, pink peppercorns, and cardamom creating a spicy and zesty introduction to the scent. Black tea plays a central role in the heart notes, with exotic hints of saffron and olibanum alongside effervescent juniper. Vanilla is, of course, the primary base note, though ambergris and musk add a strong animalic tone that deepens the entire composition.
Offering a moderate intensity and moderate longevity, Eau Duelle is an approachable cologne for any time of day or night. Feel free to wear it any time of year, and consider making it your go-to everyday cologne.
Top notes of bergamot, pink peppercorns, and cardamom
Middle notes of black tea, juniper, saffron, and olibanum
Perhaps the most masculine of all the vanilla scents featured here, Pi by Givenchy is made in a strongly classic cologne style. An oriental woody fragrance that debuted in 1998, it’s been a favorite cologne for wearing to the office for more than 20 years.
Offering greater complexity and variability than most of the scents featured in this review, Pi introduces itself with top notes of tarragon, rosemary, and basil accented by mandarin orange zest. Licorice-tinged star anise is the primary heart note, while geranium, bitter orange, and lily of the valley play supporting roles. The heavy vanilla base is deepened by additions of almond, tonka bean, and cedar.
A long lasting cologne with a moderate to strong intensity, Pi by Givenchy is a great choice for the guy who loves old school colognes. It’s not as fruity and sweet as modern colognes, making it a great choice for wearing to work any time of year.
Top notes of mandarin orange, tarragon, rosemary, and basil
Middle notes of anise, neroli, geranium, and lily of the valley
Base notes of vanilla, almond, tonka bean, benzoin, and cedar
If the strongest vanilla scent that you’ve ever smelled is in ice cream, cookies, or cake, then you’ve got another thing coming. In its concentrated form, vanilla is simultaneously warm, comforting, and exotic, with a deep and rich tone that’s reminiscent of tobacco, leather, and molasses. It’s a regular feature in oriental style colognes and perfumes, where it bridges the gap between floral, spicy, sweet, and musky aromatics.
What Is A Good Vanilla Scent?
Without a doubt, Valentino Uomo Intense is our favorite vanilla scent. It’s a spectacularly balanced fragrance, with a notable intensity that is comforting rather than overwhelming. If you can only go for one vanilla scent, make it this one.
If you’re looking for something even more focused on vanilla’s intensity and complexity, consider Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille: A unisex fragrance, it’s infused with such a huge portion of vanilla as to dwarf each of the other aromatics in the composition. We absolutely love it for its unabashed richness and intensity.
Is Vanilla A Masculine Scent?
On its own, vanilla wouldn’t seem to be a masculine scent — it is the product of a flower, after all. But with even the slightest augmentation, vanilla beans begin to show their complex aromatics: Leathery, caramelized, and even a tiny bit musky. That’s why vanilla is so often a component of masculine scents in the oriental style: It can bridge the gap between floral accents and deep, rich aromatics.
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