Fragrance Notes: There’s Nothing Vanilla About Vanilla Perfume

by Lexi Novak

MiN New YorkMiN New York

Vanilla is one of those scents that will always remind me of sugary body sprays and rollerball lip glosses--saccharine, juvenile, and boring. Since the moment I decided I was mature enough to wear an "adult" fragrance (circa tenth grade), I've avoided vanilla entirely. But when a goodie bag full of new perfumes arrived at my desk from MiN New York, guess what my three favorites all had in common? Yup, vanilla.

I would now like to take a moment to formally retract my sentiments about the gourmand note. Not only can it be complex and sophisticated, but also totally not sweet. Here, the three bottles that proved me wrong:

See more: Celebrity Hairstyles That Will Make You Look 10 Years Younger

Fusion Sacree for Her by Majda Bekkali Sculptures Olfactives (left, above). This warm, amber-y Oriental easily could have been cloyingly rich or heavy, but notes such as coriander and black currant cut it with a fresh spiciness. And if one spritz makes you think of "Jingle Bells," it's probably the combination of clove, fir, and cedar. Wearing it smells like you've been wrapped up in a fluffy blanket while toasting chestnuts by a fire amidst a snowy pine forest. OK, maybe not quite. But it's still definitely my new scent this holiday season.

Coccobello by James Heeley (center). I know what you're thinking: Am I going to smell like sunscreen? Yes, you are, in the best way possible. The coconut is polished and nuanced--you won't smell like Malibu rum. Gardenia makes it refined and expensive, salt gives it a little edge, and a woody base keeps it from being too sweet.

See more: 8 Products for Better Brows

Salina by Laboratorio Olfattivo (right). Sexy. Raw. Those are honestly the only two words I can think of when I smell this fragrance. Not to sound all lyrical, but it's almost like the scent of skin that's been out in the cold. I don't know how lemon, sand, vanilla, white musk, and a few other notes combine to create such an intense, animalistic blend, but it is intoxicating and very on-the-prowl.

More from Allure:
12 Beauty Lessons We've Learned from Celebrity Sisters
50 Beauty Products to Try Before You Die
Find the Best Haircut for Your Face Shape
Top 21 Drugstore Beauty Bargains