Aftelier Vanilla Smoke Natural Perfume Review

Aftelier Vanilla Smoke

Vanilla Smoke is the newest perfume from Aftelier. As the name implies, this is a fragrance that pairs vanilla with smoky notes (and in this case from lapsang souchong tea). With cooler temperatures, shorter days and dead leaves crunching beneath steps, I must admit that I’ve never  been more ready for a perfume called “Vanilla Smoke”.

Like many of the Aftelier perfumes, Vanilla Smoke is available as a parfum or as an EDP. Here’s my impressions of both:


The parfum opens with more citrus than the EDP. It’s fruity and juicy reminding me of strawberries and oranges. This fades into a smoky bonfire with vanilla pipe tobacco. The vanilla is thicker, denser than the EDP. It’s not sweet, but boozy and balsamic like an actual vanilla bean pod. The saffron in this is almost “chewy”, like a fruit leather, but it never overwhelms. It fuses with the boozy vanilla bean and smooths out the smoke. The dry-down is a smoky amber.


The citrus opening is less apparent in the EDP but it’s there. The citrus briefly makes an appearance (like less than a minute) before the scent becomes leathery with smoky pine tar and a balsamic vanilla. The EDP reminds me of a smoky, burning stick of woodsy incense with leathery, savory saffron. It’s rounded by a haze of vanilla/amber incense.

I think both formulations are excellent; however, I’m drawn to the EDP. It has a sheerness that reminds me of having my clothing gently “smoked” with charred black tea and vanilla/amber incense. I like its haziness. I also like it reads more as a sheer modern amber to my nose. I like it takes up space rather than wearing close and concentrated like the parfum. Saying that, the parfum is absolutely gorgeous. Overall, it’s a great perfume (in either concentration). It’s a perfect balance of sweet and smoky. It may be one of my new favorites from the brand.

Veruschka smoking

Notes listed include yellow mandarin, Siam wood, saffron, vanillin, vanilla absolute, lapsang souchong, ambergris and coumarin. Launched in 2015. PERFUMER – Mandy Aftel

Give Vanilla Smoke a try if you like smoky fragrances or modern ambers. Or if you like perfumes like Guerlain Shalimar, Le Labo Patchouli 24, Tauer Lonestar Memories, Bvlgari Black, L’Artisan Tea for Two and/or Slumberhouse Jeke.

The parfum does last longer than the EDP.

The 1/4 oz parfum retails for $180. The 1 ounce EDP retails for $180. These and samples for purchase are available at Aftelier. 

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONPine tar amber. It’s one of those things that I expected to love. And guess what? I do. It ‘s smoky, leathery and sweet.  It’s exactly what I want to wear right now.

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*Disclaimer – Sample provided by the brand. I am not financially compensated for my review. My opinions are my own. Product pic from the brand. Veruschka pic from

9 thoughts on “Aftelier Vanilla Smoke Natural Perfume Review

  1. Hey Victoria,
    Thanks for a lovely review. Sadly my parfum sample was bone dry by the time it got here but the EdP felt like a magical Shalimar restructuring. It’s my favourite so it was really nice to smell the Ultimate Smoke Shalimar with extra twists and nuance.
    Portia xx

    1. Oh, no! That’s terrible!

      But, a big yes to Ultimate Smoke Shalimar because that’s accurate! The EDP reminds me very much of like modern, smoky Shalimar, like Shalimar roasting marshmallows over a campfire 🙂

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