I Wore a Different Perfume Every Day for a Month—These 12 Earned Me Compliments


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Growing up, the bottles of body sprays, lotions, butters, and eau de toilettes that lined my bathroom vanity were far sweeter than a dessert-filled episode of The Great British Baking Show. My rotation typically included the latest launch from Bath & Body Works; Britney Spears's Fantasy (or Curious); a pure-sugar scent that, not surprisingly, was called Pink Sugar; and anything else glossy magazines like Seventeen, CosmoGirl, and Teen Vogue advertised. If it smelled like a frosted bakehouse cookie with sprinkles or the Cinnabon stand at the mall, I was, without a doubt, wearing it. 

I'll always love unapologetically sweet scents, but now, my tastes have graduated to fragrance blends that are warm and woodsy or grounded with spices, leathers, or classic florals. That said, signature sweet notes like vanilla are often at the heart of my all-time favorite perfumes. They're just far less overpowering.

Being a beauty editor, I always have an overflowing stock of perfumes, so I decided to start a little experiment earlier this year. Instead of sticking to my signature fragrances, I went on a perfume-wearing spree, if you will, in which I wore a different scent every day for about a month, taking note of which formulas I liked best and which blends won me the most questions, comments, and compliments. In review, I noticed something intriguing: The top 12 scents all had a common, not-so-secret ingredient, vanilla (a result that very much proved my hypothesis that vanilla is still relevant post–seventh grade and outside the kitchen).

Below, I'm sharing the top 12 best fragrances I'm currently obsessed with and which never fail to earn me compliments from strangers and loved ones alike. Keep scrolling! The best vanilla perfumes lie just ahead. 

1. Byredo 1996 Eau de Parfum

Other perfumes I love from Byredo:

2. Krigler Lovely Patchouli 55 Classic Eau de Parfum

Other perfumes I love from Krigler:

3. Maison Margiela Replica Coffee Break Eau de Toilette

Other Replica perfumes I love from Maison Margiela:

4. Kilian Love, Don't Be Shy Eau de Parfum

Other perfumes I love from Kilian:

5. Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum

Other perfumes I love from Yves Saint Laurent: 

6. Henry Rose Queens & Monsters Eau de Parfum

Other perfumes I love from Henry Rose: 

7. Lancôme Idôle Eau de Parfum

Other perfumes I love from Lancôme:

8. Nest Madagascar Vanilla Perfume Oil

Other perfumes I love from Nest: 

9. Jo Malone Vetiver & Golden Vanilla Cologne Intense

Other perfumes I love from Jo Malone: 

10. Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille Eau de Parfum

Other perfumes I love from Serge Lutens: 

11. The 7 Virtues Vanilla Woods Eau de Parfum

Other perfumes I love from The 7 Virtues:

12. Juliette Has a Gun Vanilla Vibes

More perfumes I love from Juliette Has a Gun:

This article was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.