Warning: I will be saying the word “vibe” an annoying amount of times in this review…
Vanilla Vibes is the lastest launch from punky French niche brand Juliette Has a Gun. I am a self-confessed Juliette fan – I think what they do is accessible, high quality and whilst they sometimes miss the mark (Not a Perfume, Anyway) they often make interesting, wearable work that offers something different (Sunny Side Up, Gentlewoman, Lady Vengeance). Vanilla Vibes is filed neatly into the interesting camp – a fresh, mineral take on vanilla that is inspired by festivals in the desert,
Top: Fleur de Sel
Heart: Natural Vanilla Absolute and Orchid Absolute
Base: Sandalwood Absolute, Tonka Bean Absolute, Brown Musk and Benzoin Absolute
How Does it Smell?
Vanilla Vibes opens with a bold Fleur de Sel accord. It’s cool, steely and mineral, with a fresh ozonic vibe and it makes its mark as something blindingly bright and fresh. I would however, stop short of calling it aquatic or oceanic – the effect is much drier, evoking the image of rose quartz crystals under a blazing hot sun.
The salt is tied to the vanilla via white flowers. The dewy, fresh aspect of the flowers links to the salt, whilst the fleshy, sweet greenery of the petals melt into the transparent, butteryness of the vanilla. It all blurs into one, serving up the vanillic warmth of orchid petals caught on a cool breeze.
I get a major hot skin vibe from Vanilla Vibes in the dry down. There’s a coconut element (perhaps due to the fresh mineral facet meeting the floral) that calls sunscreen to mind, but the base is all musk and smooth woods (something sandalwood-esque) with a hint of the rich, marzipan warmth of tonka bean. It’s smooth and clean, oh and clear too – a transparent finish to a sparkling fragrance that presents both vanilla and freshness in an entirely new way.
Vanilla Vibes is interesting to me because it’s that rare thing: a fresh gourmand. Yes, it has that coconut sun lotion vibe that is familiar, but the mineral, fleur de sel take on vanilla is really unique, and it positions Vanilla Vibes quite nicely as a subversive alternative to the colognes and florals that we rock so proudly in the summer. So, in short, Vanilla Vibes is giving me summer vibes, festival vibes, hot skin vibes, and fresh gourmand vibes. I’ll be honest, I’m feeling each and every one of those Vibes.
Vanilla Vibes is available in 50ml (£85) and 100ml (£110) Eau de Parfum
Images are my own. Sample sent by Juliette Has a Gun for consideration. I was not paid for this article, nor did Juliette Has a Gun have any say in the content.