Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

Total Reviews: 37
Tobacco Vanille (2007) is among the most talked-about of the Tom Ford Private Blend selections, and came out of the original lineup which also spawned Noir de Noir (2007) and Oud Wood (2007). Out of the intial Private Blend wave, Tobacco Vanille has the largest hype monster stalking it, which has certainly proven lucrative for Tom Ford, since many of the sales accounting for this one's success are from blind purchases, and for many this is not just their only Private Blend, but their first Private Blend, and also their first Tom Ford. There are even those for whom this is their only Tom Ford fragrance, even over the more-accessible signature range, proving the effectiveness of word-of-mouth advertising. Tobacco Vanille was also composed by Olivier Gillotin, a perfumer with a good portfolio and frequent Tom Ford collaborator, but also known for some strange and ineffectual fragrances for houses like Dior and the dubious Ed Hardy. Gillotin's heavy hand with gourmand and oriental notes works well here, but you have to like that sort of thing to find the appeal in Tobacco Vanille. As another hype monster on the tip of everyone's tongue, this one doesn't live up to the "endless compliments machine" description it's fans give it, but neither does Tobacco Vanille come across as disingenuous like hardcore niche fans who oppose it will tell you. I think Tobacco Vanille is okay, but maybe not worth the price, since it really feels like a purpose-made "smoker's fragrance" in how dense and single-minded it is about tobacco and vanilla, but more on that later. I also get a giggle out of the fact that the name is half English and half French, almost like Tom Ford just ironically uses the French language because France is such a fixture in the perfume world.

The scent opens with strait-up pipe tobacco, which shouldn't surprise anyone when sniffing. There's sort of an allspice melange going on too, and I can't tell what exact kind are swirling about, but it's very nutmeg and clove oriented. There's a tiny drop of mandarin too, enough to pull this in a sweet direction, but the tobacco still does most of the talking. Cacao joins a rich vanilla, exactly the kind one would expect in vanilla pipe tobacco, giving this the feeling of smelling everyone's uncle Chuck when he comes over to watch football with Dad. Tom Ford was going for an old English gentleman's club, but I'm not getting much of that vibe since there's no real dryness present. A boozy note surfaces in the base, but it's more like a cognac than something definitively English like gin, so once again, no dice on the mental imagery. For whatever reason, this is decidedly more French in spite of the advertising blurb. That sweet boozy note swirls around a fat coumarin tonka note, some dried plum, and a gaiac wood component which Tom Ford is fond of using. Parallels to Givenchy Pi (1998), Michael for Men by Michael Kors (2000), and Dior Homme (2005) can be drawn to Tobacco Vanille in the finish, and perhaps the later Dolce & Gabbana The One for Men (2008) took some cues from Tom Ford here. The dry down reduces the whole thing to the stifling smell of an original Black & Mild Tiparillo with hints of booze and woods. I used to smoke those, so it's not an association I like because I don't want to revisit, since perpetually smelling like you just finished a pipe is not the most comfortable feeling, especially if you no longer smoke.

The only real bit of hype that's actually correct about Tobacco Vanille is the strength. This stuff is indeed "beastmode" like all the gym-obssessed dating-app-using and GQ-reading corporate ladder "dudebr0" types say it is. But whether you're driving your Audi A4 to Gold's Gym for those "sick gains" or "kicking it my guy" with your homies after brokering a new merger, you won't need to have somebody hold your beer so you can reapply. This stuff is literally the gourmand equivalent to Joop! Homme (1989), and it's probably that very heavy tobacco, chocolate, and vanilla combo which is the cause, especially in eau de parfum form. This is sold as a unisex fragrance, but we all know that mostly guys yack to no end about this more than the ladies. It's decent, but a bit stuffy and rich for my tastes, and there are more dynamic options in this category for less, so I'll give it a neutral to be fair, but it's really just another victory for the hype monster, as sillage doesn't equal satisfaction, at least not to everyone. Best used in romantic circumstances or evenings, and cold weather. Noir de Noir is still my favorite from this line, but Tobacco Vanille would get a thumbs up for longevity and elegant simplicity if not for the cloying sillage, plus the fact that it's a tobacco scent which makes you smell like an actual smoker. Definitely sample before giving into the hype and buying, because the other notorious part about Tobacco Vanille is its often the most resold variety among the Private Blends, probably from all the blind buyers. Testing shouldn't be too hard, since Tom Ford sales reps will shove 4ml sprays of this into your hand just for making conversation with them.
22nd August, 2018
Tom Ford has a taste for bold accords with retro throwbacks, that is evident throughout the Private Blends range. Tobacco Vanille is an interpretation of the ambience of gentlemen's clubs, redolent of warm, aromatic pipe tobacco. Tobacco Vanille is an oriental, centred primarily around the two notes of tobacco and vanilla. A dramatic opening of spicy, sweet tobacco, very rich and even loud, sets off the proceedings. The note of tobacco here is abstract rather than photorealistic, while clove and other spices ensure it is wonderfully multilayered. This accord softens a little in an hour, as a vanilla comes more to the forefront of the composition. The vanilla is gourmandish, somewhat crude and a bit too saccharine. While it pairs reasonably well with the spicy tobacco, it also becomes the dominant accord on my skin as much of the complexity and nuances are lost. Tobacco Vanille is fairly linear thereafter, and overall possesses excellent sillage and duration.

Tobacco Vanille smells very sophisticated and multi-layered on a card, but on skin it can appear somewhat rough - especially towards the dry down. What works in its favour is that here the composition has an initial edge, and the chief pairing of notes complement each other. The opening act of Tobacco Vanille is immensely arresting, but thereafter it can become underwhelming in the base. It may be argued that it might be a victim of its own success: it's perhaps hard to sustain or follow up on something so wonderful. One has to agree with Luca Turin here - Tobacco Vanille is a good fragrance, perhaps as a parfum d'ambience; but a bit doubtful as a personal fragrance, especially since it lacks in abstraction. I primarily attribute my neutral reaction to the calorie laden dry down; to some can be excruciatingly sweet.

08th February, 2018
I much prefer Eau des Baux from L'occitane to Tobacco Vanille. EDB was released the year before and to me is just so much more wearable. It's more masculine and it's just not as cloying. TV is extremely well made, but for my tastes it's just too sickly sweet in the same way JPG Le Male is. TF Tuscan Leather is definitely more my style and deserves all the praise...
and then some.
13th September, 2017
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A very accurate tobacco scent. If you want to smell like a jar of moist pipe tobacco, by all means. Not a bad scent, just not for me.

(EDIT 11/27/17) I’ve done a complete 180. This scent has a fantastic quality about it. Warm, comforting, a great winter scent.
05th August, 2017 (last edited: 27th November, 2017)
This comes quite close to the sweet vanilla scent of the jar of tobacco in your tobacconists window. That tobacco is, however, covered in artificial vanilla flavoring and doused in propylene glycol. This also has a baby powder element that doesn't work well. It isn't off-putting, but it stands apart from your body chemistry, like a piece of clothing. Not worth the price, and there are better examples of this genre.
21st June, 2017
My second tom ford trial after Tuscan leather. This is a solid fragrance but I feel for the price a little lacking. For much less price you can get some great tobacco scents i.e. Varvatos vintage which for a designer is unique and the tobacco smell goes on and on. The vanilla in this ford is rich and smooth though, like the really good stuff we used to by in Puerto Vallarta. Again, good but I lacking the zing you would expect at the price point.
16th March, 2016
I've wavered a ton on this one. It gets a neutral review because I've never really disliked it, I just haven't consistently loved it. My major complaint is that, at least on my skin, the tobacco doesn't stick around long enough to provide balance to the sweet notes. I asked my S.O. what she thought an hour after I'd applied and just got a "nice, it smells like cocoa." That's cool, but not really $200+ cool.

The deal breaker came toward the end of my sample. My FiL kept remarking in amusement that our daughter smelled just like her Cabbage Patch doll. (I don't know if this was always a thing, but in the modern era Cabbage Patch dolls come coated in some kind of chemical sweet powder scent that I find pretty off-putting.) It was really strange, because the Cabbage Patch doll lives at our in-laws', and my FiL had first commented right when we arrived.

As I'm sure you've guessed by now, it turns out that my daughter actually smelled like the TV that had rubbed off of me when I was carrying her. If $200+ isn't gonna fly for generic cocoa, I'm definitely not paying it to smell like a Cabbage Patch doll. (In fairness to TV, I don't think it shares the chemical aspects of Eau de Cabbage Patch.)

I did not find this frag to be the behemoth of projection or sillage as many have noted, either. Moderate at best, though my skin tends to be pretty thirsty across the board.

Overall, I'd give it a 6/10. YMMV with the tobacco. If straight sweet appeals to you, it's probably worth a sample.
31st January, 2016
Great fragrance at a ridiculous price. L'Occitane's Eau des Baux smells nearly identical to TV and it costs a fifth of the price of TF. But if you need to have the intrinsic value of owning a bottle of TF, you can feel good that it's a very nice scent.

Neutral, due to the unreasonably expensive price.
25th May, 2015
Τοο Strong!! I wouldn't recommend it to individuals younger than 30 years old. In fact I'd suggest 50+ year old men to buy this. It's very spicy and gourmant.
13th March, 2015
The opening is one of my favorite openings of any of my colognes. I love it. The problem is that it then turns into a strong vanilla scent without enough tobacco. The only thing that keeps this from being a 10 is the dry down. This is something I wish they would actually reformulate to include a stronger tobacco note throughout.
12th January, 2015 (last edited: 11th January, 2015)
I'll start with the positives.. First off the vanilla note in this fragrance is lovely, reminds me exactly of the vanilla note in Noir de Noir and for me the longevity and projection was excellent. I applied a small amount of this (can't say exactly because it was a splash sample and not an atomizer) but it was only a 0.5ml sample and I applied around a 5th of that. It was still going strong when I decided to have a shower 9 hours later. For me this is where the positives end, the spices in this are just completely overwhelming. When it was first applied I felt like I was getting a spicy/sweet tobacco and I was happy with it as I thought this was going to dry down into a creamier vanilla but that spices just never left the whole day, whenever I kept getting a whiff all I could think about was that spices! Just completely overwhelming and not what I was expecting. It actually ended up giving me a very sore head, it was that strong.

I actually wanted to give this a negative review when I'd finished with it but I figured that I couldn't whilst the projection and longevity were so good. Somebody who actually likes this scent would have a great fragrance on their hands but personally I just couldn't stand it.
23rd December, 2014
I can very much understand the love for this.

But to my nose the spice is just too agressive, I wish it would be more creamy vanilla mixed with pipe tobacco (as the name suggests) but the spice kills it for me (I can literally feel it burning at my sinuses).

I think the cloves just went insane on my skin, and that is all I coudl smell the whole way through.

It does calm down a bit over time, but that overpowering spice is still there.

Has to be neutral from me, but I really did want to like this one.
20th October, 2014
This is a lovely scent, however the price is far too high and amounts to extortionate. It is one of those fragrances which are worn close to the skin. Its projection id poor. Very Poor. You have to be within 6-10 inches to smell it. So maybe a Valentine frag. Having said that you will probably be short for a meal out after having shelled out for this! It reminds me on mother making a cake and father smoking a cigar.
29th August, 2014
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The opening was cinnamon, vanilla and a pinch of cherry tobacco, then just cherry vanilla and a hint of cinnamon. Lasts a long time though

I really wanted to love this but I don't want to smell like Dr. Pepper all day
28th February, 2014
Opens like smokey vanilla extract, then settles into a sharp vanilla. It's not a bad sharp, and in a way is pleasant. But it's too simple of a start and end for me to want to buy it. I don't see the fuss!

TL;DR: Too simple of a combination for me to love. Longevity is nice, though.
09th January, 2014
This is amazing when it first goes on and the tobacco is big and bold. Within an hour or two the tobacco pretty much is gone and you are left with vanilla and cedar. That stage lasts a long time. It's nice, but this is done better elsewhere I think.
26th December, 2013
Less "Vanille" Please

A gourmand with a couple of tattoos, Tobacco Vanille begins harmoniously enough: high quality spicy tobacco with a heavy dose of sweetness underneath. The delicious tobacco fades too quickly, and one is left to decipher the muddled base for the remaining seven hours of the scent's life; there is some vanilla in there to be sure, along with some tonka, and perhaps some cocoa. These notes are poorly misused in the scent, and create a sticky confection potent enough to make the pillsbury doughboy gag.

Projection and longevity are slightly above average.

2.6 out of 5

Pros: Great opening
Cons: The drydown is obnoxious"</p>
14th August, 2013 (last edited: 29th July, 2014)
Very surprised by the 88 positive to 12 negative reviews..
I get 1 hour of Tobacco and 8+ hours of platics-y, ultra synthetic vanilla.
I much prefer the creamier varities of vanilla, but that of TV smells like I melted a plastic toy made from vanilla and smeared it over my skin.
Projection bomb on me- NO
Longevity monster- NO, 12 hours sometimes less which is above average.
I go 4 sprays and some rec 1.
Is it a masterpiece or complex- NO
I give it a 8/10
05th April, 2013
I so wanted to love this, but I am not a big vanilla fan. Sure, I know it's right there in the name and all, but I was hoping for more tobacco and less vanille!

The top notes are nice with a green tobacco leaf, spice, amber and vanilla. But after about half an hour I don't smell anything but powdery vanilla. If you love vanilla, this is your scent!
19th November, 2012
I wanted to like it... The Top Note was nice... Tobacco was apparent. But at dry down, the Vanilla became overpowering. Smelled like a woman's cologne... a more sophisticated "Vanilla Fields" It has longevity, but I had to bury my nose in my wrist to smell the tobacco that I was looking forward to. Don't wear it in hot humid weather... but it would work at a church desert social.
29th June, 2012
Wasn't the home run I thought it would be and glad that I didn't go ahead and blind buy a full bottle. TV is a very heavy and syrupy fragrance that combines tobacco, vanilla, and spices that gives off a sweet potpourri smell. I believe there's a honey note or accord that really puts this into the sweet tooth category. Some compare this to Back to Black which in my opinion has a superior tobacco note, better balanced, and more representative of what a tobacco lover would want. If you love extremely sweet and heavy fragrances, this one might be for you. Otherwise sample this because it's not a fragrance that is going to suit everyone's tastes.
11th April, 2012
Njtnjt Show all reviews
United States
A loud scent for loud people and places. Smells like vanilla pipe tobacco. Smooth and extremely strong. The only fragrance I have ever worn that my wife could smell on me BEFORE she entered the room. She smelled it on me outside from 15 feet away on a breezy walk with our dog - 1 spray!

Extremely one dimensional, it just keeps projecting all day and all night without much change or evolution of any kind in the scent. At the 12 hour mark the one spray I had on today started to abate in strength to what I think was a tolerable level. Even then, my daughter smelled it from 10 feet away when she came home from school.

Not my cup of tea, not my idea of enchanting. More like thermonuclear war. I think it's well made for what it is - but I'll never wear it again.
10th March, 2012 (last edited: 24th March, 2012)
Highly overrated. There, I said it.

I don't need to go too far into the note breakdown, but here's my deal with TV. It's big, thick and linear. When I heard about this fragrance, everyone spoke about this very straightforward tobacco/vanilla combination. I get that, and both notes are nicely done - but if I'm being 100% honest, it smells closer to a damn Christmas candle. And hey, Christmas candles smell pretty nice, but this is just too thick and linear for me.

Just my opinion, but if you want a straight-up vanilla with a hint of tobacco, check out Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille.

Tobacco Vanille overall rating: 6/10
05th March, 2012 (last edited: 03rd April, 2012)
Sillage monster blend of tobacco, cinnamon and vanilla that is dark, syrupy and delicious though lacking in full subtleness and sophistication. Lot of words on this super reviewed Tom Ford fragrance. What makes quite interesting this notorious creamy accord of resinous vanille and flavoured tobacco is definitely the presence of a subtle fougere/aromatic super luscious hidden undertone (a refined fresh masculine spark not so distant from the one I get in the vintage Ysl Opium Pour Homme edt or E. Marinella Tabacco Imperiale) enriching the main captivating theme. The note of aromatic tobacco adds indeed a certain level of virile freshness making contrast with some vanillic/almondy gourmand notes.
A touch of chocolatey booziness swirls around somewhere. Almost irresistible the dry down in its warm and comforting embrace. In the same vein as By kilian Back to Black but not so well crafted.
27th February, 2012 (last edited: 09th March, 2019)
I don't know if I'm alone in this feeling, but it smelled like prunes to me, with a faint hint of vanilla and an even fainter hint of tobacco. It was not unpleasant, but for the price I was expecting something more wow.
03rd November, 2011
Is this a joke? Tobacco Vanille is nothing other than a bottled version of the masculine fantasy of sitting in a tufted-leather wingback chair in front of a fireplace, with a cigar/pipe in one hand and a glass of 25-year-old scotch in the other. This isn't art, it is caricature, albeit pretty well done.

TV is huge and loud and cloying, shouting, "TOBACCO! CLOVES! VANILLA!" at the top of its lungs. To be honest, though, after it settles down about three hours later, I find it quite enticing (but that is mostly because I like to imagine myself inside the aforementioned fantasy). Would I ever buy this? Probably not, but I will probably never need to--TV is so loud two drops out of my 4 ml sample lasts for days.
23rd May, 2011
It has all been said. I must admit, sometimes I go to sleep with a little sprayed on my wrists. The sense of smell can have various effects on our sleep. This executes an evening luxurious sleep and when I wake up in the morning I can still smell a great deal of the dry down. I believe the tobacco keeps the longevity fluent.

My morning is just as pleasant until it is time for work and I apply another application of parfum and savor a new scent for the new day. To me this is part of the journey Tom Ford meant to share. While it is nice enough to through on a tux, it can provide serenity.

However, as a collector of niche fragrances, I feel ripped off. To me, this feels like a $69.99 scent I can get at Sephora. I recently was at Neiman's and had the opportunity to have a long conversation about this. We went through each scent. She asked me to layer several. This was very pleasant, but $190 for each bottle of each scent to layer is ridiculous. I might as well buy an Attar from Oman. At least then the execution would be honest. Don't get me wrong, I would layer if they were $69.99 but they aren't. Is Tom going to pay my rent?
28th February, 2011 (last edited: 16th March, 2011)
I've changed my mind - this is getting to be all about honey and less about tobacco on me.
10th December, 2010 (last edited: 19th January, 2011)
I was looking forward to my sampling of this, but Tobacco Vanille had heavy competition which it usually doesn't when it's hanging out at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. I had it up against Fumerie Turque, Back to Black, Spiritueuse Double Vanille, and Amber Russe. What a duke out. Well the champion of smokey tobacco for me is Fumerie Turque. If I need more vanilla that's easy to throw in the mix. Even throw something like A*Men on top. Fumerie begs to be layered on. Tobacco Vanille? I guess so, but it doesn't really give what I want from the tobacco side. So I picked up CBIHatePerfume's Pipe Tobacco Accord for cheap, and that isolates the tobacco accord to whatever I want with. Next up, Spiritueuse Double Vanille is probably the closest competition to Tom Ford's, and I think its done better - it's better balanced and less sweet. Back to Black is the most mellow out of the bunch, has very little vanilla, has none of the overly sweetness, and employs some feminine oriental spices on the top - if that's your kind of thing. Lastly, Amber Russe has the tobacco blast, but warmed by Amber not Vanilla, and as similarly sweet as Amber Russe is to Tobacco Vanille, I think it's far smoother, without the cloying sweetness, and the dry down with Russe puts Tobacco Vanille to shame.
23rd March, 2010
Do you love the smell of unsmoked dark vanilla pipe tobacco?
So do I, and this ain't it.
I'm not sure if I agree most with Asha's description of lovely spiced cookie dough or Stereotomy''s vanilla scented candle, but I understand the thumbs up from both reviewers and if i ever wish to smell like either description, I know where to find it.
There are high quality tobacco scents that convey precisely what they're aiming for ( dry leaves being cured in Tabac Auera for example) but as for the scent of an unsmoked dark vanilla pipe tobacco, I give up!

In a book of Japanese incense, whose name I can't for the life of me remember, the author mentioned the custom in ancient Japan of wearing a satchel or pouch of wood shavings of Kyara or Sandalwood in the inside pocket of a kimono--or was it a neck pouch? Those crazy samurai!

Unless someone suggests an alternative, this may be the only way to go for the scent. Stop at your friendly tobacconist's shop.
14th December, 2009