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Tom Ford’s dreamy Tobacco Vanille Private Blend fragrance is one of my most beloved (and for me, nostalgic) scents of all time. I first got a whiff of the beautifully balanced sweet-smokey unisex perfume in high school while getting my hair done, and I couldn’t help but ask what my colorist was wearing that smelled like literal heaven on earth. After she ~kindly~ revealed her secret (I know some people are private about divulging their signature scent) I immediately went home on a mission to find out where I could find a bottle of my own, and nervously, figure out how much it would cost me. Tragically enough, I quickly learned it was nearly $250 a pop for the medium-sized bottle—a rather lofty price tag that my seventeen-year self, who was definitely not in the position to be able to afford—regardless of how enamored I was by the multifaceted fragrance.
Alas, I filled the void and satisfied my cravings for Tobacco Vanille by making sure to stop in Neiman Marcus during each trip to the mall so I could douse myself in Tobacco Vanille sample bottles (I had no shame, clearly) for free. Each time I wore it, I got plenty of compliments and inquiries about what I was wearing, but more importantly, it helped me discover that fragrance (whether it be by way of smelling perfume or a batch of cookies) had a therapeutic effect on me, so eventually, I reasoned that the mood-lifting properties the Tobacco Vanille exuded justified the investment. I started with buying samples of the perfume on eBay, and since the Eau de Parfum is so concentrated and therefore, a little goes a long way, I was able my minis last quite a while if I reserved using them for special occasions or the days when I was in dire need of an olfactory pick-me-up.
In my late twenties, I finally indulged my decade-long dream of owning a full-size bottle all to myself and took the plunge. Did I regret the splurge? Not at all, but I can’t say that the noteworthy dent in my bank account after I ordered it didn’t leave me wondering if there were any affordable dupes to the luxury fragrance of my dreams. After ample research, I can confirm that, while nothing is an exact clone of the proprietary fragrance, there are some cheaper perfume and colognes that come pretty close to capturing its scent but cost a fraction of the price.
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Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille
In case you wanted to take the plunge and invest in the original.
Cremo Spice & Black Vanilla Cologne Spray
There’s a reason this affordable cologne has nearly 2,000 reviews and a near five-star rating. This warm fragrance blends spicy pepper notes with sweet vanilla for a balanced, layered scent that doesn’t overpower. It’s marketed as a men’s fragrance, but Tom Ford’s unisex Tobacco Vanille, it smells beautiful on all genders.
L’Occitane Eau des Baux Perfume
This sweet-meets-spicy sent features base notes of Tonka Bean and vanilla, with pepper and cardamom. While it exudes a heavier vanilla profile, the top notes of cypress and incense help give it earthy quality, imbuing it with a spicy aroma that’s balanced and of course, reminiscent of the hint of tobacco in the Tom Ford formula.
Squirtz Aromantics Tobacco Vanilla Fragrance
Sure, Etsy may sound like an odd place to look for perfume dupes, but scouring Reddit and reading this product’s vast collection of glowing reviews, I’m pretty convinced that this is a solid dupe
MAC Shade Scents in ‘Velvet Teddy’
Featuring top notes of sweet honey, sensual amber, creamy musk, and tobacco flower, this alluring fragrance offers the same musky-sweet profile that you’ll find in Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanilla.