There are many vanillas which retain the character of vanilla but exhibit special traits of their own and that is what makes modern perfumery: the control of these subtle twists of a basic scent.
Real vanilla has often been considered a base note in natural perfumery, but artificial vanillas are used more like a middle note in general fragrance.
There are a lot of different vanilla components in perfumery, it is one of the most varied elements. Here are a few with an example from Possets Perfumes to illustrate the point:
- “Fat” Vanillas-these have a buttery untious element to them. “The Girls Love Vanilla” is one of those.
- “Thin” Vanillas-more of a sharp or woody element to them. “Candy Thong” exhibits that characteristic.
- “Musky” Vanillas-combination of a musk with a vanilla to make the scent of vanilla last longer than a mere middle note usually does. “301” is a good example.
- “Metallic” Vanillas-usually have the tang of brass about them. “Perpetual Motion Machine” is one, and it is a highly unusual use for vanilla but one which can be unforgettable in the right context.
- “Dark” or “Black” Vanilla-thick and strong but with a bit of musky shapness to them. “Dangerous Oil” is that kind of vanilla.
- “Fruity” Vanilla-these have a part ot thesmell which reminds you of a specific fruit. The vanilla I used in “Sex in Heaven” always made me think of coconut. I paired it with coconut and a few other things and I do think it turned out very well indeed.
- “Boozy” Vanilla-as the name implies this vanilla has a strong liquor character with helps it “push” it out into the atmosphere like volatile liquor. “Cri de Coeur” is probably the purest example of that in my collection.
As an aside, Bourbon Vanilla has nothing to do with the liquor, it was the name of the island from which it came, Ile Bourbon. The name of that island was later changed to Reunion Island, and that is what it is known as today. However, the product is still referred to as “Bourbon Vanilla”.