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Bourbon Vanilla: It’s Winter 2021’s Must-Wear Fragrance Note

By Adriana Ermter

Perfume trends, like fashion, come and go. Remember when Mariah, Britney Spears, Rihanna and dozens of other celebrities slapped their monikers on so many fragrance bottles it felt like the olfactory version of Survivor? (In our opinion, Sarah Jessica Parker’s “Lovely” won.) Or how about the mid 2000’s sea/ocean trend, that resulted in several eaus smelling more like decaying seaweed than fresh salty waters?

Yet every now and then there’s a fragrant trend that hits the right note, like this season’s must-wear bourbon vanilla.

As a blended note, bourbon’s oaky mellowness eases into vanilla’s gooey goodness creating a subtly sweet feel that’s spiked with a cigar-lounge vibe. The overall effect is warm with an old-school charm that’s comfortable and reassuring, combined with a modern sophistication that’s intoxicating and sultry. The gravitational pull is undeniable, so much so that the note has been infused into several incarnations offering multiple spritzing options. Here are a handful of our favourites so far.

PERFUME CATEGORY: FLORAL, PRETTY BOUQUETS OF FLOWERS

Valentino, Voce Viva Intensa EDPI
$130 for 50 ml and $186 for 100 ml, available at the www.thebay.com.
Bold and beautiful, this flowery parfum opens with bright citrus notes of Calabrian bergamot and mandarin orange. A floral medley of orange blossom absolute and Indian jasmine grandiflorum adds intensity to the mix, while cool crystal moss and bourbon vanilla provide freshness and strength.

PERFUME CATEGORY: GOURMAND, OOEY-GOOEY SCENTS FILLED WITH NOTES THAT SMELL GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT

Comptoir Sud Pacifique, Vanille Iconique EDT
$60 for 30 ml and $115 for 100 ml, available exclusively online at www.sephora.ca.
Sweet notes of almond and peach swirl into a warm and spicy pool of Tahitian vanilla, magnolia blooms and cedar wood. Intimate white musk and grey amber notes accompanied by bourbon vanilla envelope the elixir giving it a sunny, magnetic and cozy sensation.

Nina Ricci, Nina Rouge EDT
$85 for 50 ml and $105 for 80 ml, available at the www.thebay.com.
Zesty citron and sweet raspberry notes rush forward before being absorbed into a bouquet of spicy ginger flower and heady gardenia blooms. Decadent and sweet notes of caramel with bourbon vanilla soon ooze forward, making this candied scent as tempting as it’s glossy red apple-shaped flacon.

PERFUME CATEGORY; FRUITY FLORALS, JUICY FRUITS WITH FRESH FLOWERS

Carolina Herrera, Very Good Girl EDP Natural Spray
$130 for 50 ml and $168 for 80 ml, available at the www.thebay.com.
With exotic lychee and wild-berry currant notes leading the way, this classic is one part invigorating and another pure sophistication. As romantic rose notes rise up, the eau transforms into a silky blend before grounding woody vetiver and seductive bourbon vanilla embrace it with their warmth.

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