Vanille by Olibanum

Exploring iconic vanilla seen though a haze of olibanum. That’s the story behind this scent.

Listed notes

Vanilla, cade, iris, olibanum.

Top notes

Given the sheer amount of new releases focusing on vanilla at the moment, it is clear that this iconic and delicious ingredient retains a degree of appeal which shows no sign of quitting. Vanille by Olibanum is on the simpler side of the vanilla spectrum, however, it is no less satisfying for that and, as the nights draw in, this appealing scent shows itself as a workhorse fragrance – easy to wear and suitable for many occasions.

The Vanille by Olibanum bottle showing the collar which replaces a more traditional cap

A spritz of Vanille reveals a burnt cinder toffee vibe which is the backbone throughout this fairly linear wear. In warmer temperatures the rooty iris makes itself known at the start giving a papery sort of tone which is intriguing. We wonder if this is burnt paper, burnt wood or burnt sugar we are smelling. The smoky tones are playful, not overpowering, but present throughout and they give the fragrance a sense of something slightly mysterious or ritualistic. It draws us into the scent, makes us want more of its charm.

Heart notes

The vanilla sweetness comes through once the fragrance has settled. Make no mistake, one-dimensional vanilla is an abomination, but the vanilla here is resinous, sticky, treacle-like and unctuous. It has that richness that vanilla pods have when you sniff them and an inherent warm sweetness which is satisfying rather than saccharine.

The Olibanum box

The fragrance doesn’t move a whole lot from beginning to end, which means it is ideal for those of us who like scents that they can trust to stay to their taste from start to finish. If you like smoky, vanilla, treacle toffee then that is what this scent delivers all the way through!

Base notes

Vanille leaves us with a lingering burnt-match/burnt-sugar impression on the skin. If you made a model cathedral out of toffee and then burned incense inside it – that is what Vanille smells like, and more so in the base.

There’s a pleasing sense of satisfaction about this scent. The simplicity of the composition allows the vanilla and the olibanum to shine, and we are allowed to delight in the pleasure of those ingredients without being distracted by lots of clutter and ephemera. Yes this is a smoky vanilla, and yes there are tonnes of vanilla scents about at the moment, but there is a pleasing simplicity about this one which is reminiscent of a slowly sucked piece of bonfire toffee on a crisp autumn night.

The other stuff

The longevity of Vanille is good but perhaps slightly less than I might have imagined from the substantial character of the scent and the fact that the smoke continues throughout the composition. It lasts for about four to six hours following an application.

Vanille is one of those scents that wafts off the body if you wear it in hot weather. In cooler weather it still projects to a little further than handshake distance or so, but in the sun it goes further than that.

I would definitely recommend this scent as perfect for Autumn in the UK, when the evenings get dark, we all start to want to cosy up, and the smell of bonfires can be detected on the cool air. I love that time of year which probably helps explain why I enjoy this scent so much! It’s perfect for then.

Vanille, because it is quite relaxed, is the sort of scent which takes you easily from day to evening. The smoky sophistication works well at night time events, whilst the sweeter edge makes it perfect for the office too. A bit of a workhorse of a scent which will see you right in many an occasion.

The brand

The French brand Olibanum were founded by Gerald Ghislain who founded Histoires de Parfums over twenty years ago. Olibanum are a new brand whose focus is on looking at iconic perfumery ingredients in simple(ish) scents which are ideal for layering. Each of the fragrances in the line contains a CO2 extract of olibanum from Somalia, hence the name.

Vanille by Olibanum in its box

The brand focuses on sustainability where possible, and aims to reduce its impact with recyclable, minimal packaging – and it’s really rather attractive at the same time. One of the things I particularly like is the addition of a small collar instead of a cap for when you need to travel with your bottle. In addition, the brand channels a portion of its profits into humanitarian projects. You can find out more about the brand on their about us page.

Buy it

Vanille by Olibanum is available from the Olibanum web boutique where it is priced at €87 for 50ml of EdP.

We were very kindly gifted a bottle of this fragrance by the brand, and our thanks to them for their generosity.

Banner image by sagar pradhan from Pixabay. All images of the product by The Sniff.


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