This is the Best Vanilla Perfume I’ve Smelled All Year Long


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Vanilla perfumes are having a moment and there’s no denying that the most popular among them is Kayali’s Vanilla 28 perfume. The fragrance is constantly out of stock and has countless rave reviews on PerfumeTok and Sephora. But is Vanilla 28 actually worth the hype? Because listen, finding a good vanilla perfume can be tough. There’s a certain Goldilocks quality to vanilla perfumes; some are too sugary sweet, and some are a bit too mature.

So to make sure Vanilla 28 is deserving of it’s cult-like following, I tested the perfume for weeks, read hella reviews, and even compared it to other favorites in my collection. Keep scrolling to learn more about Vanilla 28, as well as what it smells like, what everyone on the internet has to say about it, and whether or not it’s worth putting on your fragrance wishlist.

Vanilla 28 Eau de Parfum

Rating: 4/5

Fragrance Family: Gourmand

Key Notes: Vanilla orchid, tonka absolute, amber woods, musk, brown sugar

Scent Type: Rich, decadent, warm

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sephora.com%2Fproduct%2Fkayali-vanilla-P439406&sref=https%3A%2F%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Vanilla 28 Eau de Parfum </p><p>sephora.com</p><p>$89.00</p><p><button class=

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Vanilla 28 Eau de Parfum

sephora.com

$89.00

About Kayali:

A quick primer on the brand first. Kayali was founded by Mona Kattan, whose name you might recognize if you’re a beauty lover, as she’s the sister to Huda Kattan, founder of Huda Beauty. Kayali actually sits under the Huda Beauty umbrella, so you can buy the perfumes directly from the Huda site and bundle your favorite setting powder with your perfume.

Mona is Middle Eastern and lives in Dubai, which often inspires many of the brand’s scents. There’s a huge focus on ultra-rich fragrances, and most perfumes are designed to be layered with other scents.

What does Kayali Vanilla 28 smell like?

“Vanilla 28 is like putting whipped cream on your favorite dessert,” says Mona. “It’s sweet and delicious, due to the incredible ingredients—vanilla orchid, tonka, and brown sugar.” Raise your hand if you just got hungry reading this.

The scent itself is a very elevated vanilla scent, layered with musk and amber, so it isn’t a an overly sweet sugar cookie vanilla scent by any means. Like, if vanilla were a person, this isn’t vanilla as a child (sweet and sugary) but rather vanilla going through her teenage Tumblr era (dark, complicated, and spicy). I immediately get whiffs of the vanilla and brown sugar in this fragrance, which comes off both ultra-warm and cozy. But then I get hints of the deeper notes, like patchouli and tonka bean. But there’s also a little lightness in the opening from a lil floral-y jasmine. It’s definitely sweet, but also a bit more layered. (Wink: This is exactly why Cosmo beauty editor Beth Gillette ranked this as the best vanilla perfume in 2023.)

Mona notes that it’s perfect when worn alone or layered with any of your current fragrance favorites if you want to sweeten the scent or make it extra cozy. “Vanilla as a note is nostalgic and comforting, which is why it’s such a popular note in fragrance,” she explains.

Are Kayali perfumes long-lasting?

Yes, in my experience, Kayali perfumes, including Vanilla 28, are super long-lasting. “Kayali fragrances are made with high-quality ingredients such as natural vanilla, as well as a high concentration of perfume oil to ensure they last all day and night,” explains Mona. For the newly initiated, perfume oils are typically more concentrated and, therefore, linger on the skin much longer.

Here’s a pro tip to make your perfume last longer: Apply the fragrance to your pulse points, which will help intensify the fragrance and encourage a lil more projection. Plus, I also always spritz my Kayali Vanilla 28 on my clothes to majorly increase the staying power (like, I typically get a day or two of wear on my clothes if I don’t wash them!).

My Kayali Vanilla 28 review:

I love the warm, cozy scent of this perfume and notice a little goes a long way. I’m pretty sensitive to fragrance, so it’s usually difficult for me to indulge in rich perfumes like this one for the most part. Since this scent is so rich, I’ll spray just a lil bit on my skin so it’s not overpowering or intense (otherwise, I’ll get into headache territory).

But I am majorly loving it as a layering fragrance with other perfumes. I’ll just spritz a little bit on my skin, then immediately spray on more of another fragrance. It’s the easiest way to create my own, unique signature scent. Majorly giving It-girl status.

Overall, I’d say Kayali Vanilla 28 is especially perfect for those who crave a vanilla scent that has a lil more sophistication and depth than say Bath & Body Works’ Warm Vanilla Sugar (no shade to Bath & Body Works, as a child of the suburbs I did line up for their sale every year).

Here are a few other glowing reviews from Sephora testers:

“When you spray this perfume it smells super floral at first. But let her cook, y’all. Fifteen to twenty minutes later, you’ll smell divine!!! I hated this perfume when I smelled it when it came out, but it smells much better on me now. If your skin tends to pick up floral notes, you may not love this perfume. However, on my skin, I don’t smell the floral notes at all. I love this!”

“I’m a cleaner in a huge office building, and I’ve been told by multiple people they know if I’ve been in their section of the building recently due to the lingering scent of chocolate-chip cookies! Fair warning though: You might make a lot of people crave cookies/sweet chocolate, hahaha!”

“I do not find this find this to be a typical, bland vanilla. The brown sugar and amber are reminiscent of mall bath-shop fragrances. However, this is elevated and refined. The sweetness has been toned down. This is a beautiful composition of vanilla and complementary warming scents. One spritz of the sampler, and I was hooked. Well done!”

“Kayali Vanilla 28 is ideal for vanilla lovers looking for their next favorite. It’s warm, creamy, and utterly captivating. With its sweet aroma and incredible lasting power on mu skin, it could easily become your signature scent. It’s definitely one of mine!”

Love Kayali Vanilla 28? Try one of these other top-rated vanilla perfumes:

Torn Eau de Parfum

If spicy vanilla is your thing, you can’t go wrong with Torn by Henry Rose. For those who love florals, there are notes of rose, violet, and jasmine, but it’s not too floral, thanks to bottom notes of sandalwood (my personal favorite) and musk. If you’re afraid of commitment, there’s a discovery set on the site that allows you to sample all of their best-sellers. Plus, the formula is super clean—we’re talkin’ free from parabens, phthalates, endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sephora.com%2Fproduct%2Ftorn-eau-de-parfum-P506276&sref=https%3A%2F%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Torn Eau de Parfum</p><p>sephora.com</p><p>$120.00</p><p><button class=

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Torn Eau de Parfum

sephora.com

$120.00

Vanilla Milk Eau de Parfum

For those with a history of situationships, you may be someone who likes things a little complicated. This fragrance from Ellis Brooklyn is just that, combining two different types of vanilla extracts with florals, cocoa shells, amyris, and milk accord—a confusing combination that only makes sense once you smell it on your skin (you can thank body heat and chemistry for that). Although it’s a bit of a polarizing scent, beauty editor Beth Gillette legit swears by it when she wants to smell sweet and cozy.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sephora.com%2Fproduct%2Fellis-brooklyn-vanilla-milk-eau-de-parfum-P501984&sref=https%3A%2F%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Vanilla Milk Eau de Parfum</p><p>sephora.com</p><p>$108.00</p><p><button class=

Grand Soir Eau de Parfum

Made in France, all of Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s perfumes are sophisticated and sensual, especially this one that contains warm vanilla, tonka bean, benzoin, and amber accord. It’s definitely more traditionally “masculine” than Vanilla 28, so if you tend to prefer scents with a lil more richness and intensity, you might like this.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.neimanmarcus.com%2Fp%2Fmaison-francis-kurkdjian-grand-soir-eau-de-parfum-2-3-oz-prod264350001&sref=https%3A%2F%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Grand Soir Eau de Parfum</p><p>https://www.neimanmarcus.com</p><p>$240.00</p><p><button class=

Bare Vanilla Body Spray

If you just want a whisper of vanilla every now and then, grab this vanilla body spray and save yourself some $$. This Victoria’s Secret body spray only features two notes: Whipped vanilla and soft cashmere, which combine for an ultra-quiet tinge of delicious vanilla. But it’s not super foodie or sickly sweet either—just a gentle tinge of sweetness whenever you want a vanilla vibe.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JRG42D9?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10049.g.46179746%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Bare Vanilla Body Spray</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$18.25</p><p><button class=

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Bare Vanilla Body Spray

amazon.com

$18.25

Lovely Patchouli 55 Classic Perfume

If you’ve been itching to splurge on a quality perfume, you can never go wrong with Krigler, the perfume house known to be worn by European and American royalty (FWIW, Jackie Onassis swore by this scent). While it obviously contains notes of vanilla, it’s balanced by spicy amber, musk, and patchouli.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fkrigler.com%2Fproducts%2Flovely-patchouli-55-classic-perfume&sref=https%3A%2F%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Lovely Patchouli 55 Classic Perfume</p><p>krigler.com</p><p>$35.00</p><p><button class=

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Lovely Patchouli 55 Classic Perfume

krigler.com

$35.00

Why trust Cosmopolitan?

Iman Balagam is a beauty contributor at Cosmopolitan with nearly three years of experience writing beauty stories that range from curling irons to mini flat irons. She’s an authority in all beauty categories, but is an expert when it comes to perfumes, thanks to years of personally researching and testing different scents and brands.

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