When you're told a fragrance features a vanilla note, what kind of a scent comes to mind?
Typically, it would be one that mimics the aroma of something found at your local bakery, accompanied by weird, somewhat gourmand notes like cupcake accord, or essence of Häagen Dazs. They're scents we would have worn back in middle school, when we couldn't get enough of the saccharine, celebrity-endorsed concoctions on the market, and it got to the point that we ended up swearing off vanilla for decades.
Let Ellis Brooklyn's Sci Fi fragrance ($100; sephora.com) be the scent that makes you reconsider everything you think you knew about the note. Though the base features a dominant vanilla bean element, it creates more of a current vibe than a cloying one.
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On contact with your skin, the vanilla element is certainly there, but gets a citrus twist in the form of bitter orange and bergamot. It would be slightly reminiscent of a creamsicle, if lighter notes like green tea and pink freesia didn't mingle, giving the typically heavy note an extra burst of freshness.
You wouldn't know Sci Fi even has vanilla included in the mix, until the fragrance warms up, and the light, airy elements give way to a creamy, almost skin-like aroma in the rich, woody base. The aroma is almost nostalgic, but thanks to the bold citrus top notes, it's a far cry from taking a whiff from a can of funfetti icing.
If the ultra-glam aliens from a '60s-era science fiction flick wore a fragrance, this would probably be it.
Head over to sephora.com now to pick up a bottle for $100, and see for yourself.