Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum ($205.00 for 1.7 fl. oz./50 ml) begins with an initial blast of spices, like cardamom, cinnamon, and clove, followed by sweetened vanilla bean, and rum–warm, boozy, and fragrant. There’s an undercurrent of chocolate after about forty-five minutes of wear while, for me, a blend of vanilla and spice continues to be the main event. I felt as if there was a general haziness to the scent, which gave it a darker element, but it didn’t smell smoky or incense-like; more unsmoked pipe tobacco. I very much had the impression that I was breathing in the aromas from a freshly-made vanilla Chai tea latte–there’s a milky creaminess that really made me feel like cozying up by a fire with a good book.

Tobacco Vanille is not a scent that I would have thought would appeal to me. I tend to like heavier, amber-rich scents that are often masculine, but I do like the pairing of vanilla and amber, and here, with Tobacco Vanille, I love how well the spices and vanilla that play with the ginger, fruity tartness, and tobacco notes. On me, it’s not a complex perfume, but for all of its simplicity, it is exactly as described:  a potent mix of spice, tobacco, and vanilla.  It wore close to the skin, and three sprays lasted around fourteen hours.  I think if you like rummy, boozy scents, spices like cinnamon and cardamom, and vanilla, this perfume might interest you.

Fragrance can be a difficult category to cover, because smell is so intrinsically linked to personal preference, our memories, and our associations. Even a quality perfume may be held in contempt by one person while revered by another. Long-time reader Kafka urged me to hone my “nose” and dive into the world of perfume, and forty some-odd sample vials later, the scent that captured my attention was Tobacco Vanille (after reading her review, linked above).  It is no secret that I’m a fan of Tom Ford’s Private Blend collection (Oud Wood, Amber Absolute, and Bois Marocain are staples for me; Lavender Palm my night time accompaniment). I tried several other houses but this is the scent that I felt inspired to put on paper (well, post)–for now. I think, perhaps, it is a nice counterpoint to the scents I love.

Have you tried Tobacco Vanille?  Is there a house that you always find your favorites from?

See more photos!

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum

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92 thoughts on “Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum Review & Photos

  1. Ari

    I looooove Tobacco Vanille. Just an utterly great smell. I happen to think $250 is outrageous, but I found my bottle for $130 at a Cosmetics Company Store outlet.

  2. Yellowlantern

    I own a decant of this. It’s a scent that I can’t wear very often (only when it’s quite cold or else I feel overwhelmed by it), but I do enjoy it’s richness.

    For me the scent of this is very “exactly what it says on the bottle”, not very complex but pleasing. I think this is pretty unisex too. Any guy who feels they can wear a sweeter scent like Thierry Mugler A*Men can wear this as well.

    Personally I prefer the way it smells on my SO, but he prefers it on me LOL.

    • It’s funny that you say that, because this is my “day” scent. This is LIGHT for me, as yes, sometimes I feel that Oud Wood et al are too powerful for regular ol’ day time wear… I imagine in the summer, I will feel a bit differently and relegate this more for evening.

      • Yellowlantern

        Heh, different strokes. Of course it could be a skin chemistry thing. I usually feel like a lot of musk/vanilla based scents magnify on my skin to the point where it’s hard to smell the other notes so unless I’m in the mood for that it can be hard to take.

        On the flipside, I wear heavier florals all the time and am confused when people say they relegate some of them exclusively for night use. :)

        • What are your favorite heavier florals?

          • Yellowlantern

            I think I once talked about some of these scents with Kafka here on Temptalia. :)

            I’m a huge lover of Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower. A lot of bloggers/reviewers who love heavier oriental scents mention finding this very heavy and oppressive and can only wear it in the body butter form. But I can’t say I see that personally since CF is luminous not heavy on my skin. I love that it starts out slightly bitter and tree sap-py and eventually becomes more “ripe” as tuberoses are famous for.

            I also adore Andy Tauer’s Une Rose Chypree(a rich, fall-esque rose), Fracas (sort of CF’s dense, buttery rich older sister), Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia has a special place in my heart too as a rich white floral that’s a cinch to wear.

            • Might have to try Fracas – I have a sample vial I bought but haven’t been adventurous enough to try yet!

            • I remember our talk, Yellowlantern! It all began over the mention of mutual love for Fracas. :) As for Carnal Flower, I’ve noticed that those who worship at Fracas’ feet rarely seem to find it CF to be overpowering and oppressive. It’s definitely Fracas’ little sister but tuberose can be such a terrifying note for many.

              A fan of Andy Tauer… bravo! He’s amazing, isn’t he? I’ve only tried his L’Air du Desert Marocain thus far but he seems like the loveliest person as a whole and I really need to try that Rose one of his.

              I’ve thought about you from time to time when writing about rich orientals or florals, especially those with tuberose in it. I think you should try out Neela Vermeire’s stuff, esp. Trayee and Bombay Bling. I think they would be completely up your alley! I hope you’re doing well as a whole and send you a hug.

            • Yellowlantern

              Aw, I can’t respond to either of your comments directly.

              I’d love to hear what you think of Fracas. Depending on your experience with older perfumes (the old style of making perfumes I mean) it may be kind of off putting. I remember the first time I tried it I was kind of shocked and immediately put off by it because of how different it is compared to many modern perfumes I was used to. And then I realized any perfume with the power to shock is worth the time to get to know better even if I don’t end up liking it (I had a similar experience with CF and being initially shocked with how bitter and slightly minty it smelled at first spray). That time spent eventually turned to love for me.

              I haven’t tried L’Air du Desert Marocain yet but I keep hearing about its genius! You really should try the Une Rose Chypree if you can, it’s a modern fragrance that has the heart of a vintage perfume that’s still easy to wear and doesn’t feel out of place even in 2013. Quite a feat I say.

              Incense Rose, Incense Extreme, and Une Rose Vermeille are the only other Andy Tauers I’ve tried. I think AT is quite talented and I’m glad the perfume world has him.

              Neela Vermeire’s creations are some scents that sound great to me but I’ve avoided sampling because of their price. Even decants are a bit more than I’d like to pay. (I know Freddy Malle has some expensive scents but what can I say…he lured me in with some free samples from Barneys and then I fell so head over heals in love that I was willing to pay his prices. I’m not sure my wallet could take it if I became enamored with another expensive perfume house. Even my Tobacco Vanille decant I only got because I found it for a good price on ebay.)

              Thank you for the well wishes! And good luck with your blog. :)

  3. Gabbie

    I do enjoy musky scents, but they don’t seem to agree with my personal chemistry. I prefer my scents to be on the more floral and fresh side, and kind of ladylike (for lack of a better term).

    I love the original Chloe, which I’ve worn for quite a while, and have just recently switched to See by Chloe. (I wouldn’t say I’m too keen on all the Chloe scents, though, as they do tend to use a lot of powdery notes that smell a little bit grandma-y.) I also really enjoy Cartier’s Baiser Vole; I think it is so beautifully nuanced and dries down wonderfully.

  4. Vanilla? Yes please! Tobacoo? God no.

    • lol! See! Scent is so crazily personal!

    • Sasha

      If you get a chance at a department store, I’d suggest trying it. I too thought the same thing, I hate the smell of cigarette smoke but this is a lovely cherry pipe tobacco smell that mixed with the vanilla is pretty intoxicating.

  5. I’ve always wanted to try this, but it is just so darn expensive. I remember reading a review where someone said it reminded them of someone smoking a pipe in a library, and ever since I’ve been DYING to try it. I love the smell of tobacco, vanilla and old books.

    What do you suppose is the best way to sample it without shelling out $100+?

    • I’ve been buying a lot of samples from Surrender to Chance (http://surrendertochance.com/). I bought my original sample set of TF’s Private Blend collection a year or so ago from another sampling site but can’t remember the name offhand. But I’ve placed four or five orders over the past few months from STC and haven’t had any problems.

      • Thanks for the link! I can’t wait to try it, just bought a small sample!

        I bought what I think is a similar scent from Etsy, called “Dead Writers”. I don’t think it’s quite as tobacco-y as this will be, but if you like heavy, woody scents its definitely worth checking out!

  6. mika zee

    i got this as a gift a while ago, it is a beautiful scent. the juxtaposition of sweet vanilla and smokey, leathery notes is very sensual. you’ve made me want more now, ha! it is expensive but it’s so unique, i think it’s worth it.

  7. Casey

    I LOVE this scent! I have been on the lookout for a scent that ACTUALLY lasts on the skin longer than a few hours, and this one seems to do it! The only thing holding me back from purchasing it is the price, and I go both ways on whether or not it would be worth it! A major concern is how it would be during the summer- it seems like a Fall/Winter scent, and I’m not sure if people would look at me oddly if I wore it when it was 115 degrees F outside. Somehow I think it will be making it’s way into my collection this fall though…

    • One of the nice things about perfumes is that you can always try a sample vial and see how it works with your lifestyle/seasons/etc.

      It’s about 75 degrees here, and I’ve been wearing it without feeling like it’s too heavy… but we’ll see about 90+ temps! Wore it a lot during early Jan/Feb and loved it.

  8. Sarah

    I picked up a decant of this a couple weeks ago. I am in love with the scent and my husband loves it on me. It smells like walking into a nice cigar shop and then it smells like boozy rum and vanilla with an undercurrent of chocolate. I love that you compare it to a Vanilla Chai Latte, because that is my favorite drink. I look forward to purchasing the 3.4oz bottle soon.

  9. I tested this just the other day… the salesperson said it was his best seller (but not his favorite). It was nice but too “pretty” and “friendly” for my personal taste. I like raunchy, rich and dirty scents (give me the smell of a man’s bedshwets, sweat and weed any day! LOL)

  10. Hmmm…it all sounds great, except the vanilla. I generally can’t stand anything sweet, especially vanilla. Although, come to think of it, 2 of my fave scents have a little sweet to them — Michael Kors Gold and Estee Lauder Sensuous. My other faves are Thierry Mugler Angel and Banana Republic Rosewood (the BR surprised me, but it’s a great scent).

  11. I have a number of TF decants and while the longevity and sillage on this particular number are really good, the scent just doesn’t work with my chemistry, sadly :( For people who like unisex scents or those leaning a little more masculine, you might like Maison Martin Margiela’s Untitled. My favourite TF scents are Jasmin Rouge and a much beloved Noir de Noir.

  12. Claudia

    I got it for my son last year and I love it!! I never thought of using it for myself but I guess I can try it. :)

  13. Sasha

    At first I didn’t think I would like this scent because the smell of cigarette smoke makes me choke but it is one of my favorites and I’m looking forward to buying myself a bottle or decant of it come fall. Right now I’m focused on building my spring/summer collection.

    I think it helps that this is a nice sweet cherry pipe tobacco smell but I’ve also come to love Jasmin et Cigarette, and I like Burberry London (men) on my SO. Perhaps I’m just a freak…

  14. I desperately want to get my hands on this, except it’s waaay out of my price range. Oh well. If only we could smell through the internet…

  15. Mathilde

    With regards to what house, I absolutely adore almost everything Hermes does. Some of their scents are very feminine and heavy and not for me but others are absolutely amazing and the price (at least for where I’m from) is not outrageous.
    I especially love that many of their perfumes are unisex and therefore not too feminine but fresh and different.

  16. Andreanne

    I fell in love with Arabian Wood from Tom Ford..
    What a nice perfume.
    Unfortunately, 200$ is too expensive for my student budget. THe nice lady at Sephora made me a sample so at least I can wear it sometimes!
    I really love all the smell in their Private Blend collection!

  17. Pamela

    Was this given to you by Tom Ford Beauty? Or did you actually spend the money on this?

    • Did you read the disclosures? They’re at the top and bottom of this post. :) Though I’ve bought a sample previously, the bottle is a press sample, as disclosed in the post! I have purchased other full-sized bottles of Tom Ford scents but not this one. Here it is copied and pasted:

      This review features press sample(s) sent for consideration. We don’t do paid reviews. Readers are our #1 priority, and we honor our commitment by being honest. We use affiliate links where the retailer gives us a commission if you click and purchase. When you shop through affiliate links, you help to support the site!

  18. Lisa Golden

    I love TF’s fragrance line! I had the chance to try a sample of Tobacco Vanille and I thought it was a simple scent as well though I did like it a lot!

    I just don’t currently have the income to feel comfortable dropping $250 on a “nice” fragrance. A $250 fragrance right now would have to shoot my socks off and to the moon. :)

  19. Nina

    Loved this so much at NM that I bought a bottle. By midnight I was in the hospital with a migraine. Too fake smelling, could have been more pure. And I love vanilla.

  20. 18thCenturyFox

    I adore what I consider to be the boozy- ness of the original Addict. That Bourbon vanilla I always associate with the French Quarter just makes me swoon. In fact I had to spray it on myself today, just to see if it still has the ability to make me go weak in the knees. Lordy Lordy how it does. So I wonder how I would like this one- I’ve been so curious about some of the TF scents but something about him completely rubs me against the grain, not least the price point. But still… I’m curious.

  21. Kat

    At that price, no, I haven’t tried it and I’m not likely to! LOL.

  22. where is KAFKA todayyyy ?? “C” one of the best things happend to me here is KAFKA and I cant thank you enough …. with your reviews and amazing pics you have such a vast honest readership and that is how I came to know a lovelyyyy person like KAFKA .

    I have no idea about the perfume but will try and find a sample … I hope its there in my stash 😀 😀

    I am not a perfume fan but picked one with help of kafka and see by chanceeee right now also I was browsing perfumania to pick one in BOGO 10 offer 😀 D:

    I loveeee my Givenchy Amarige and all thanks to kafka 😀

    • LOL! She is probably busy writing the next review 😉

      I’m so glad she helped you pick out a perfume to love!

    • I’m here, late to the party! :) I’ve been very sleep-deprived lately so I basically just collapsed in exhaustion for 2 days.

      Thank you for all your kind words, Rashmi. I’m so glad you still love your Amarige! Once I figured out your perfume profile and tastes, it seemed like the obvious and perfect fit. 😀 We will work on your husband next, though his tastes are much harder for me to narrow down thus far. LOL.

  23. islander

    Oh I LOVE Tobacco Vanille. I am still enjoying the sample vial I got from a salesperson. I actually visited that TF counter a second time planning to buy it but didn’t in the end, because I couldn’t get myself to shell out that much money for a scent!

  24. Lorie Nieva

    Christine I absolutely adore this scent. It’s so unique and sexy smelling and like many others– the only thing that is stopping me from buying it is the price.

  25. Katie T.

    This is possibly my favorite perfume ever. The price tag though. Eek.

  26. Quinctia

    Oh god, honing your nose. That’s why I’ve probably got about twenty ginger-based scents in my collection, and I actually CARE which one I throw on any given day.

    I’ll be honest, there’s one scent out there that, while its retail is considerably lower than $200, I’d definitely see myself paying that if it became discontinued and hard to find. It’s Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s Shub Niggurath. I pretty much only wear their oils, with the occasional spritz of a Demeter scent here and there.

    I got into oils as I was becoming more scent sensitive. A heavy percentage of “normal perfumes” have some sort of commonality that will trigger my migraines. So, I coincidentally found an alternative I really got into.

    I don’t buy a lot of perfume anymore, I have probably $400+ worth of oils, and tried hundreds of scents.

    Tobacco Vanille’s notes sound right up my alley, though. I gravitate straight towards spice/incense/gourmand.

    • I wish the beauty industry would embrace smaller sizes and smaller prices (but obviously, I’d expect it to be slightly more per oz. than if you purchased a larger size), because I spray Lavender Palm liberally and regularly, and I can’t even tell that any is gone. That’s good… but also says something about the quantity we buy in!

      Are there any BPALs you’d recommend for someone who loves amber + vanilla? I like stuff with more than just those two notes, but I tend to like that base quite a bit.

      • Quinctia

        Ah, the catalog is so vast it can be overwhelming. If you like amber and vanilla, you’d definitely want to try O, unless you hate honey: “Amber and honey with a touch of vanilla.” That’s under Ars Amatoria.

        Snake Oil (also Ars Amatoria) is considered the company’s signature scent. It’s vanilla with a lot of incense. Unless either category would, like, make you ill, it’s something that everyone should probably try. I’m not a die-hard fan of it, but it’s nice.

        Dragon’s Milk (Ars Draconis) is “Dragon’s blood resin and honeyed vanilla.” Dragon’s blood is an incense scent, but it can read almost floral on people.

        Oh, and Eclipse (Bewitching Brews) has been an old favorite of mine since I first got into BPAL: “A delicious blend of bitter almond, vanilla, frankincense and heliotrope, with a drop of cinnamon.” There’s no amber, but it has a bit of a powdery dry-down to it that you might find similar.

        If you’re going to buy a sample pack, those would be good to add, since they’re GC and pretty popular.

        I don’t really want to get into LE scents, because if you missed the opportunity to purchase them, they can be hard to get ahold of at a reasonable price.

  27. Michelle

    Wow! This sounds sooooo lovely. Sadly, I’m a student and can’t really afford fragrances at this price range, but I think I DEFINITELY have to go get a sample somewhere to try it!!

    To be honest, I haven’t used any commercially produced perfumes from brand names in a very long while now ever since I started dabbling in indie perfumes from Etsy and such. So to answer the question “Is there a house that you always find your favorites from,” I would have to say Darling Clandestine from Etsy. I’m generally a gourmand + heavy lover (so either complete gourmand or complete heavy/deep or combining both together in one fragrance), but after trying some of Darling Clandestine’s scents and receiving free samples for other smells that I would never even glance at, I’ve come to really really like smells that are not “conventionally me.” I think if you have a few bucks to spare (her most expensive item is like $18!), checking out Darling Clandestine might end up being really fun!

    Also, for anyone who likes rich tobacco scents with a touch of sweetness, you should check out “The Halfling’s Party” from Deep Midnight Perfumes (also an Etsy seller). It smells SOOOOOO amazing (on me; of course people might have different reactions to certain smells). Plus, the full-sized bottle is only $15! Win!

    • How is the longevity with Darling Clandestine? I did consider buying a few scents from Etsy shops but honestly, it was an overwhelming task! And some of them were not that cheap (and I recognize that that doesn’t mean it’s overpriced, but for something so unknown…).

      • Michelle

        The heavier scents tend to last around 8-10 hours on me. The lighter, fresher ones are probably more around 6-8 hours. I sometimes would stop smelling certain smells on myself, but when I hug someone, he/she tells me that I smell good, so I’m not exactly sure! I also find that when worn around my neck/collarbones and behind my ears, it lasts longer (another 1-2 hours) than just applying it to my wrists.

        Right now, Darling Clandestine’s shop is a bit empty because the owner is slowly restocking the shop. Usually when there is more stock available, she would have these special 3 full sizes for X dollars or 5 fulls for X dollars.

        I agree that buying from Etsy is quite overwhelming! I started out by just searching in the Etsy search bar. I would type in a note that I like in perfumes along with “perfume,” and in my case, my first search ever was “chocolate perfume.” 😉 After I look at a few listings from various different shops, I’d bookmark them for later reference and then go hunting across the internet for reviews. I would also read through all or most of the Etsy feedback to get an overall feel for the shop. It’s time-consuming, but I guess because it’s somewhat of a hobby/obsession for me I think it’s a bit fun.

        When I get lazy and don’t feel like doing the whole search everywhere for reviews thing, I just directly email the owner of the shop and ask for a more detailed description and also for recommendations based on what my tastes are.

        I also generally stay away from anything that is priced higher than $20 because I’m cheap and also because I feel the same as you do about how it’s unknown… I would look at the more expensively-priced items and then at the less expensive items that I already own and am satisfied with and just get repelled by the pricetag. I also always wait for sales, so my typical price-range is at most $15 (I think I’ve actually paid no more than $13 for all of my current perfumes, with shipping calculated into the price). I don’t think I’d be willing to shell out more than that, to be honest. :)

  28. Madii

    My dream of all beauty dreams is Tom Ford’s Santal Blush but alas it is something I absolutely cannot afford as here in Poland the price of this perfume is 1/3 of my monthly salary…

  29. rena

    my bf’s signature scent :)

  30. rena

    I’m a big fan of Serge Lutens fragrances

  31. I’m curious how this compares to Diptyque Volutes due to the tobacco notes – because I fell head over heals for that one! (and I am admittedly a fruity/floral/sweet perfume person)

  32. Anette

    This is my utmost favered scent too… I wear it together with Molecules 01 and it makes the craziest combo, it always make people comment on my “odeur”. I also adore Absolute Amber. Other favourites is the classic Prada Amber and the black, more spiced amber also from Prada. VictorRolf “Spicebomb” shares elements with TF Tobacco Vanille and has also become a favourite. But all together with Molecules 01 – this will NEVER leave me – great trick to make people wonder and sniff again!!!

  33. Lili

    Right now I am in love with the perfumes from the House of Arquiste. I received a sample of “Flor y Canto” in one of my Birchboxes and loved it so much I literally bought 3 bottles. have already gone through one and the other is in my refrigerator. It’s a light floral scent so unlike Tom Ford Tobacco.

    “A rich parade of floral notes—including Mexican tuberose, magnolia, and plumeria”

    A little more affordable at $165, but not by much!!!

  34. Anette Højland

    My favourite – i always keep a spare bottle!! Alongside with Amber Absolute. The Prada ambers – the pink and the dark one are great old-school addictions too. VictorRolf shares some of the mystique that TV from TF has.Hermes Poivre Samarcande is in that league too. I always wear my scents together with Molecules 01 – it makes people wonder and makes them pop the question: What are you wearing? Great tip for that special something!!! I promise…. And men looove these masculine scents on a woman – it becomes soooo feminine – the contrast does the trick….

  35. Alison

    This sounds wonderful. I’ve never quite gotten into the world of perfume, but this sounds gorgeous! I love boozy scents and spice, so I might just give this a try. Your description has definitely intrigued me!

    Oh, and Christine – at the end of your second sentence, you accidentally put “main even” instead of “main event”. Just thought you should know!

  36. Brie B

    I’m a huge fan Tom Ford’s Private Blend line, and Tobacco Vanille is great. My personal favorite from his line is Noir de Noir. By the way, Christine, I’m sure everyone here would absolutely love to see a perfume collection video/blog post from you! You have exquisite taste in fragrances; a far cry from most our age, who often go for the latest fruity florals on the market!

  37. VickyM

    Shame on me, how didn´t I see this before? Tobacco, vanilla and spices? That sounds really interesting now :) , I particularly love the complexity and to me boldness this perfume takes by using the tobacco ingredient. I hate the fact we don´t have any Tom Ford in my country I would have loved to smell this :( .

  38. Jafar

    Im a Singaporean. I went over to LV in december ’12 n got to know about TF and became in love with it. Wanted to buy them but thinking Singapore will be cheaper but its even worse. And now i regret it much. Therefore I hope Christine could help me buy and do a postage to Singapore for me? I really want one of it.