La Maison de la Vanille is a French “vanilla” perfume house that really channels French colonialism, trying to make that aspect of history glamorous. They have a few different blends of vanilla. And with a name like “La Maison de la Vanille”, it’s pretty obvious that they are members of the cult of vanilla.  I’m not a vanilla fan but I am not a vanilla hater. I think vanilla has a time and a place and sometimes I really crave it during cool, wet, gloomy weather. I live in the PNW, so there are 9 months out of the year that I can potentially crave vanilla based scents.

Vanille Noir de Mexique is described as a “mysterious, dark, and seductive” vanilla fragrance. I don’t know if it is all of these things but it is a nice vanilla scent. This fragrance knows how to do vanilla without doing “cupcake” or cheap. Vanilla is sniffed throughout the entire wear of this EDT. Vanilla is always present. I love the top note and first 15-20 minutes wear of this scent. It is a rich and raw vanilla with a heavy dose of bergamot. This makes for an interesting vanilla fragrance. I imagine vanilla as round and smooth and bergamot as a bit rough. These two notes together compliment each other without being too complicated. And it isn’t “orange cream”. It’s bitter and sweet, not desserty. The mid notes are a bit “powdery” vanilla, like an updated and less complicated and “modern” Guerlain Shalimar EDP. It is powdery in an old-fashioned rose and iris way with lots and lots of vanilla making it “new”. The dry-down is “sexy”. It is pretty much just a generic tonka bean, patchouli, woods that is heavy on vanilla. It reminds me of many dry-downs of many mainstream fragrance. From start to finish, this is a vanilla heavy scent. I love to picture myself wearing this and wearing a cashmere sweater dress, sipping rich, dark Mexican hot cocoa in front of our fireplace in the dead of a snowy winter. It’s a comforting vanilla that is interesting enough to purchase.

The company and the packaging remind me so much of Comptoir Sud Pacifique but I like La Maison de la Vanille much better. Their blends smell more expensive and less foody. Many people complain that this scent isn’t long-lasting. It is an EDT, duh. But, I find that it wears on me all day, at least 12 hours. I think vanilla based scents have a tendency to “stick” on me. Perhaps I am freak, don’t comment. Notes listed include: vanilla, rose, jasmine, iris, tonka bean, and bergamot. I would say that you would like this if you love rich vanilla scents, Guerlain Shalimar EDP, Solange Stoned,  Montale Chypre Vanille, Parfums de Nicolai Vanille Tonka, Profumum Dulcis in Fundo, Creative Scentualizations Perfect Vanilla, and fragrance by Comptoir Sud Pacifique  and LaVanila.  It retails for $60 for 1.7 oz and is available on luckyscent.com.

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Caramel isn’t my everyday go to kind of fragrance note. It’s very sweet and creamy. That being said that is the reason I will go to it. Sometimes I just want something rich, sweet, and creamy. I love it when it has a burnt quality like dulce de leche. Here’s a caramel fragrance guide that I’ve thrown together, covering all price points. It’s for the gooey caramel lover and the occasionally burnt sugary caramel flirt.

Budget Caramel Scents (Under $50): French West Indies Caramel EDT is a “pure” caramel scent, sweet and lush. The 4 oz. bottle retails for $42. Demeter Cologne PMU has Caramel, a rich, gooey caramel and Dulce de Leche, a gourmand caramel. This is one that I really like for my “fix”. The 1 oz. sprays go for $20. (Neither of these are very long-lasting). Carol’s Daughter Pearls EDT is a foody blend of juicy citrus-floral with a vanilla and caramel base. The 2.5 oz spray retails for $45. Laura Mercier Creme Brulee EDT is what the name implies. It’s rich and foody. The 1.7 oz bottle retails for $50. mark Jewel EDT is a blend of fruits and florals with a caramel dry-down. This gourmand in a 1.5 oz. spray retails for $20.

More Expensive Caramel Scents: This is not to my liking but it does contain a pretty heavy dose of caramel along with other sweets and a few florals: Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy EDP. The 3.4 oz spray goes for $85 and it is a longer wearing fragrance. Dior Miss Dior Chérie EDP is a sweet gourmand that even I can like. It is more “caramelized” with strawberries, greens, and patchouli. The 3.4 bottle goes for $92. Estee Lauder Pleasures Delight EDP is a dessert with your florals kind of fragrance. It has caramel along with marshmallow and flirty florals like freesia and peony. The 3.4 oz goes for $72. Acqua di Parma Arancia de Capri EDT is a sensual citrus fragrance with a lush caramel base that isn’t overwhelming. The 2 oz. goes for $68. Comptoir Sud Pacifique Caramel Sunset EDT is a coconut and caramel blend. It’s a tropical caramel. The 1.7 oz retails for $53.

5 Other Great Caramel Items: Philosophy Creme Brulee 3-in-1 gel is rich and foody. It retails for $16 and the dessert like aroma will not linger after the shower. Slatkin & Co. Home Fragrance Oil Vanilla Caramel lingers in the home for sometime. A bottle retails for $7.50. Lush Vanilla Fountain Bath Bomb is a luxurious bath item. It is like a creme brulee for the bath. It goes for about $6. Diana B. Foaming Facial Sugar Scrub is almost creme brulee-ish in fragrance.  A tube retails for $50.

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I am not a huge fan of “gourmand” or dessert like scents but sometimes I “crave” them just like I crave chocolate. This is occasionally but when I want it, I want it. Nothing beats a chocolate lavender bar or a chocolate covered fig, but I usually don’t have those treats stashed away in my house… So, that’s why I have a few chocolate fragrances in my collection. They really hit the spot when I am in one of those moods. I’ve put together a “collage” of chocolate based scents in all price points. I tried to focus on scents that are “heavy” on chocolate since it is a note used in many blends. I wanted to go for the ones where chocolate is the star. Something that as I say “makes your face fall off”, like a bite of rich, dark chocolate.

Budget Scents: If you are looking for a rich, dark chocolate based scent with a hint of heady florals, try Crazylibellule & The Poppies Les Garçonnes in Joséphine Jonquille. It’s a solid perfume “crazystick” and it goes for about $18. If you want a delicious, dessert like fragrance, try Serendipity 3 Serendipitious EDP. It retails for $37.50. It’s nice because it has a hint of blood orange making it very “juicy”. Demeter has a bunch of chocolate scents for $20 for 1 ounce: Devil’s Food Cake, Hershey’s Dark Chocolate, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses, and there are more. I do find that these smell like the real deal. Their price makes them nice for a chocolate fix and they fade quickly so you won’t smell like that all day. mark Self Sanctuary Chocolate Orchid Scent Mist is a light wearing dark chocolate floral. It’s not my favorite by a long shot but it goes for $12 and there are body products in the line. Villainess Perfume Oil Crushed (not pictured) is a fruity dark chocolate blend with ripe raspberries, so delicious. It retails for $18.

More Expensive Scents: If you want to smell like a chocolate martini, try Bvlgari Blv Notte. It goes for $82 for 2.5 ounces. (That’s an expensive chocolate martini!) A sinful chocolate blend is Montal Chocolate Greedy, largest size goes for $135. This is every chocolate product wrapped into one and a must for the chocolate gourmand scent lover. If you want a bitter chocolate, try Payard Bergamot Truffle. It is $48 and a cologne. Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s Amour de Cocao really reminds me of a cocoa puff. Hey, some people like that sort of thing! This EDT goes for $49. Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH has Piment et Chocolat (not pictured). This is a spicy, sexy blend of dark chocolate, nutmeg, and peppers. I do love to consume spicy dark chocolate…The 1 oz. EDP goes for $135. By the same perfumer, there is Creamy Chocolate (not pictured). This is a rich, hot chocolate like scent since it has vanilla. The 1 oz. EDP goes for about $56. A nice playful gourmand to try is Vera Wang Princess, largest goes for $72. This is sweet, chocolatey and everything else too. If you want a spicy chocolate like you would experience from a gourmet chocolate bar, try L’Artisan Parfumeur Piment Brulant. The largest goes for $135. Don’t forget the most famous gourmand ever: Thierry Mugler Angel. This has chocolate and lots of other stuff. The 1. 7 ounce EDP goes for $110.

Body Products: If you seriously want to smell like something you probably shouldn’t be eating unless you like the look of a double chin, I would say to try the entire line of Dylan’s Candy Bar Chocolate Cupcake. This is sickly sweet chocolate stuff here. Need 2 vices at once? Try 100% Pure’s Dark Chocolate & Mocha line. This stuff is rich, rich, rich. If you only want to smell like chocolate for a very short time, try either or those body washes: Lush 13 Rabbits Shower Gel or Philosophy Classic Fudge. Both are sure to curb your chocolate craving. I really like the chocolate bath products because they are so short lived so I don’t have the fear that I smell like a Strawberry Shortcake doll all day.



Sud Pacifique Amour De Cacao Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 3.3 Oz by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

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I am not a huge mega fan of fruity scents but I do like them. I  have a few favorites. Sometimes in summer I want to smell like a pineapple or a piña colada. It’s fun and makes me feel like I am on vacation. There are many pineapple inspired scents on the market ranging in price and even formulas from oils, solids, to sprays. If I had to pick my top 2 that you can still buy it’s Crazylibellule & The Poppies Shanghaïjava Ananas Imperial and L’Artisan Parfumeur Ananas Fizz. Here are some more:

Budget Pineapple Scents: Crazylibellue & The Poppies Shanghaïjava Ananas Imperial is a nice fruity blend that is heavy on the pineapple. It retails for about $16 and the cute little Crazystick goes everywhere you go. Lucy B. Australian Jasmine Perfume Roll-On is heavy on jasmine but the pineapple ads a nice tropical touch making this a a nice fruity-floral fragrance. Plus, it is a deal at $24 and the spray is $48. I actually prefer the roller ball. Harajuku Lovers Lil’Angel is one of those tropical fruit and citrus florals. It’s pretty sweet but it does have pineapple. The smallest bottle goes for $25. Have I mentioned that I love this lines bottles? Demeter Fragrances Pineapple is a “pure” pineapple, sweet and juicy. The 1 oz. goes for $20. The line also has a pretty decent Piña Colada for the same price. My all time favorite pineapple scent was one by Yves Rocher. It was dirt cheap, long-wearing, and well, perfect. It isn’t available anymore and I’ve had to replace it with the Ananas Imperial solid.

More Expensive Pineapple Scents: If you are looking for a sweet, tropical, and creamy pineapple fragrance, give Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Pineapple a try. It is a blend of pineapple, vanilla, and coconut milk. It goes for about $53 and smells good enough to eat. Sometimes in the summer I just crave L’Artisan Parfumeur Ananas Fizz. It is fruity, sweet, citrus pineapple blend. It’s a very playful scent. The 3.4 oz bottle goes for $135. Safi Parfum Oil is a long wearing tropical fruit and floral blend with pineapple, freesia, and lilies. I know it isn’t for everyone, lychee and pineapple can smell a bit “pissy” but I really like this one, .28 oz. of oil goes for $60 and the 1.7 EDP spray for $78. Momoberry Perfume Oil is a nice tropical floral and yes, Hello Kitty is on the bottle. It is a blend of pineapple, jasmine, and coconut. It was created by the genius that came up with Monyette Paris, it’s a great tropical scent. It goes for $45 for .33 oz. I seriously think I could drink Hilde Soliani Sipario. It’s a true piña colado fragrance of rum, coconut, and pineapple. It goes for $175 and I can buy a few piña coladas for that.

Other Great Pineapple Products: 100% Pure Juicy Pineapple bath product line is just what the name implies: juicy. Jacqua Piña Colada Hand Creme isn’t as good as the real thing but you can get away using this at work. It retails for $8. mark Juice Gems Lip Gloss comes in Juicy Pineapple. It is a lovely 24K gold shimmer with a great flavor. It’s a deal at $6. Alba Botanica Enzyme Pineapple skincare line smells nice and is great for skin feeling “dull” or “ashy”. Prices in the line are under $15. My friends with fine, oily hair, total opposite of me, rave about Lush I Love Juicy Shampoo. It’s fruity with pineapple. I wish I could use it.

Recipe for this (pic below) pineapple shake from Sunset, a nice summer treat.