Le Labo Vanille 44

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4.0

25 reviews

60% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$$

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on 10/11/2017 8:22:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Grey

As a lover of many things vanilla I have been curious about Vanille 44 for years and I finally got around to sampling Vanille 44. I was somewhat hesitant due to its exclusive marketing as part of the "City Exclusives". Which doesn't only mean that these fragrances are exclusively available in the particular city which it was created for, but it also means having an even steeper price tag. Le Labo fragrances are very pricy to begin with, with a 3.4 oz setting you back by $265 but a 3.4 oz spray bottle of the city exclusives goes for $460 plus tax. Each year, these special city creations are available in the Le Labo boutiques during the month of September. The rest of the year, in order to experience Vanille 44 one needs to also buy a ticket to Paris, because Vanille 44 was created specifically for Paris... To name a few vanilla themed fragrances that I own and enjoy, they range from from Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille, to Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain, VCA's Vanille Orchidee, Vanilla Marble by Agonist, Diptyque's Eau Duelle EDT and EDP, Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford, Vanille Absolument/Havana Vanille by L'Artisan, Tangier Vanille by Aerin Lauder, Vanille Sublime by Creed, and Vanille Galante from the Hermessence range.
As is obvious from these aforementioned, while I do like gourmand fragrances I do not care for foody/cupcake type vanillas, so I was intrigued to read the list of notes of Vanille 44 and excited to finally sample it. And I was impressed enough to by a full bottle. I can imagine how this creation may not be liked by someone who looks for a more pure vanilla experience, a fragrance where it is the most dominating note.
On my skin, Vanille 44 has a lovely opening, with a citrus and soft incense note playing with a drier, not too sweet vanilla. I detect soft powdery wood throughout the duration of it as well. To my nose, Vanille 44 is a very interesting, original interpretation of vanilla with good staying power. My skin is on the dry side and it lasts a good 8 hours on me before it fades. Is Vanille 44 worth its exorbitant price tag? In my case the answer is yes, provided you're into unexpected, original renditions of vanilla, I find it a very well crafted perfume and I throughly enjoy having it in my collection. However, for the same reasons I would definitely not recommend buying Vanille 44 unsniffed, without giving it a thorough sampling on the skin.

2 of 3 people found this helpful.



on 8/19/2016 3:30:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

This got rave reviews on a fragrance website, so I was intrigued. I have become somewhat of a connoisseur of vanilla perfumes, and so I purchased a small vial of it to test.

Upon first spritz, it was a very smoky scent. It's mostly woods and incense on my skin. The vanilla is in the background, and it's a bourbon vanilla, so it's boozy. I prefer it when a perfume with "vanille" in the name features vanilla as the most prominent note rather than a guest at the party. The amber note is powdery. My nose detects a hint of citrus and a tinge of bergamot, and some musk. So I guess it reminds me of what my drunken uncle might smell like after smoking a cigarette while changing a diaper and trying to sober up with a cup of Earl Grey.

Honestly, for a great combination of vanilla and woods, I'd much rather have a bottle of Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens. That one is a creamy and delicious vanilla blend with a twist of licorice, but it tempers the sweetness with sandalwood, so it's not straight up dessert like Pink Sugar. For a smoky vanilla, I'd rather have Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille. With that one you get the scent of sweet, unlit pipe tobacco instead of the ashtray note in Le Labo's blend. And for a boozy vanilla, I'd rather have Elizabeth & James Nirvana Bourbon. I'm not impressed with the overrated Le Labo Vanille 44 and have no desire to buy it again. Le Labo 44 also gives me a headache an hour or so following application. After inhaling it for a long time, the musk and incense seem to collect on my palate, literally leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Rarely do I have such an adverse reaction to a "vanille" scent.

If you want a linear vanilla fragrance that isn't particularly complex but one that's done really well, Indult Tihota wins the gold. Tihota gives you pure vanilla but in a rich and sophisticated manner that goes beyond the predictable synthetic confection of less expensive perfumes. I am down to my last quarter of Tihota and it's been a reliable, toasty, genuine vanilla I can return to after something traumatizing like this. If you don't care to shell out two hundred bucks for Tihota, I recommend grabbing a tester of the more affordable Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium to see how it interacts with your body chemistry. It's a lovely, sweet, smooth coffee vanilla gourmand that's easy to find. If you still want Le Labo Vanille 44, it's available at Barney's for the outrageous price of $295 for 50 ml.

3 of 5 people found this helpful.


on 12/23/2012 4:01:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Other, Medium

Eyes: Blue

This smells much better in the sample vial. On me, it's vaguely, slightly nauseatingly, artificial-powdery sweet with very little vanilla and absolutely no incense, smoke, woods, booze, citrus ... nothing else. Staying power is about two hours. It smells like a cheap air freshener. My wallet is thanking the deities of perfume that I dislike it, but it is a huge letdown given all the mystique that surrounds this fragrance. I, thankfully, will not purchase a bottle.


on 9/24/2014 11:18:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Oh, how I wanted to love this! I waited patiently until the recent Barney's beauty event, when the stars aligned and the city exclusives would be back on the shelves. At first spray, I got a big amount of something that smelled of weak, drugstore vanilla perfume. Then it began to smell like a bottle of Love's Baby Soft that had been sitting in a pool of dank water for 20 years. The more I smelled it, the more it started to take on a diaper note. Mercifully, not a used one. Just a weird powder with sour citrus and plastic overtones. I can't remember the last time I had greater expectations for a fragrance that was so epic a fail on me.

2 of 3 people found this helpful.


on 8/22/2012 8:56:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Olive, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Vanille 44, like other Le Labo creations, has a misleading name. The name would have you believe that vanilla dominates in the fragrance, but it doesn't. The vanilla is *technically* there, but it's playing peek-a-boo and hiding most of the time.

Vanille 44 opens with bitter and cool aldehydic citrus on top of soft amber and woody incense. The citrus softens a bit as the fragrance progresses, but no drastic development from there. The aldehydes give the scent a fizzy cola carbonation feel the entire duration of the scent, so I completely understand the comments about root beer and cream soda. Sillage is above average and lasting power is phenomenal - 24 hours on me!

Vanille 44 is a nice, safe scent, but I can see many vanilla fans being disappointed. If you're not expecting vanilla when you sniff this, then you may enjoy it more at first sniff. I am a vanilla fan and was disappointed at first, but now I love it. It's a great vanilla to wear in the heat.

3 of 4 people found this helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Upon first spraying this on my skin I get vanilla and, strangely, a black pepper scent for the first 5-10 minutes or so. After that it morphs into something that, on my skin at least, smells very, very similar to Burberry Brit. If I had never smelled Burberry Brit before I would appreciate the Le Labo more but at the price they are asking for a bottle of this stuff it doesn't feel "special" enough to me. It's slightly spicy, warm, comforting, and a little sexy. I think it would work best in the fall and winter. I've had this on for about 6 hours now and the scent left on my wrist is quite faint and reminds me of the scent of MAC lipstick if you are familiar with that comforting vanilla scent. Comparing this to Burberry Brit, I prefer this as it is definitely softer to my nose, and not quite as loud.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on 10/8/2011 1:04:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I love interesting vanilla scents and wanted to try this for many months. And it's nice. Vanilla, incense, woods. It's dry, more of a falltime scent, and, unfortunately, markedly masculine on me. It's not an unpleasant scent, but unfortunately this isn't as soft and mouth-watering as I'd like. Apparently I'm really not a fan of incense in fragrance, because this is too dry, with too much incense and woods, for my taste.


on 1/6/2012 3:36:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Like my love of makeup, I have a massive love of perfumes. I wish I were a one-scent woman, but I like a variety, and tend to buy multiple perfumes. I purchased this one during November when Le Labo was providing online shopping access to their exclusive city scents, and I purchased the 1.7 oz size without ever sniffing it first. It took a bit of a gulp before finalizing the purchase - $300 for an unsniffed scent is tough! So to start, yes, when the bottle is empty, I would send it back to them for a refill (I love that they refill the bottles, and for the city exclusive scents, they will refill those as well). The scent is a more 'manly' version of vanilla, not all sweetness and sugar. There's a dark undertone that's hard to describe. To me I have trouble really noticing it late in the day (it seems to fade) and I get the sense it's a light smell, but I have had occasional people comment on it. I wish I loved it enough for it to be 'the one' but I am glad it's part of my collection.


on 1/26/2012 2:30:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Grey

This is a vanilla fragrance that is smokey and sexy without being sweet or foody at all. It swirls around you like the finest incense with the vanilla coming into play in the heart and even then it never overwhelms the entire fragrance. The vanilla provides a softness, a supporting role as opposed to the main star and it works well. All the notes seamlessly meld into one another without any of the little transitional hiccups that can occur with some scents. This fragrance just seems to smoulder on my skin, very soft and sultry never ever making me think of food. It is not at all powdery on me, but dry and smooth. This is one I could see wearing in the summer as well as the winter. Formal attire or jeans. So sad it can only be purchased in Paris, but when I get there this spring I will be bringing a bottle home for sure.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on 11/27/2011 1:21:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I am still kicking myself that I ordered a sample of this perfume, 6 plus the fact that I could only buy it during November should have sounded very loud alarm bells in my head but oh no I was sucked in with the exclusive only through November pr that le labo use. I sprayed and did exactly what I told myself I should not do and that was fall in love with, I am not a lover of out and out vanillas, for example l'artisan is way too vanilla for me, Le Labo have managed to do something really special with their vanilla, it twists and turns as you wear it, sometimes there is a sweet almost creamy floral aspect to it then next there is the woods and smoky aspect, always with a faint underlying creamy vanilla.
I then checked the prices, as I only have 3 more days if I want to buy it, I wanted to cry but I still want it, maybe the small 15ml bottle will keep me happy for now.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


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