I Wore a Different Perfume Every Day for a Month—These 8 Earned Me Compliments

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 Bake Off. My rotation typically included Britney Spears's Fantasy (or Curious); a pure-sugar scent that, not surprisingly, was called Pink Sugar; and anything else my collection of glossy magazines was advertising. If it smelled like a frosted cupcake with sprinkles, 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 woody or grounded with spices, leathers or classic florals. That said, signature sweet notes like vanilla are often at the heart of my all-time-favourite perfumes. They're just far less overpowering.


(Image credit: @emmahoareau)

Being a beauty editor and all, my desk is always overflowing with perfume, so I decided to start a little experiment late last year. Instead of sticking to my normal trajectory of signature fragrances, I went on a perfume-wearing spree, if you will, in which I wore a different scent every day for about of 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 eight scents all had a common, not-so-secret ingredient, vanilla (a result that very much proved my hypothesis that vanilla is still relevant post–teens and outside the kitchen).

Below, I'm sharing the vanilla fragrances I'm currently obsessed with and which have never failed 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. Maison Margiela Replica Coffee Break Eau de Toilette

Other perfumes I love from Replica:

3. Diptyque Eau Duelle

Other perfumes I love from Diptyque:

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. Lancôme Idôle Eau de Parfum

Other perfumes I love from Lancôme:

7. Jo Malone Vetiver & Golden Vanilla Cologne Intense

Other perfumes I love from Jo Malone: 

8. Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille Eau de Parfum

Other perfumes I love from Serge Lutens: 

This post was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

Up Next: I'm Calling It—These Will Be the Most Popular Perfumes of 2024.

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.