Basenote Bitch
Vanilla Fields

Vanilla Fields by Coty

Released in 1993, this scent is for all the people who would eventually move on to Warm Vanilla Sugar by Bath and Body Works. It was also worn by my older cousin growing up—the cousin who was 16 when you’re still playing with Polly Pockets and you know they’ve already had sex and done drugs so you may as well be in a diaper at all times around them. Because of this, I used to associate this perfume with the epitome of maturity and sensuality—I’ll unpack that later. The aforementioned cousin also smoked Newport menthols and to this day I spray Vanilla Fields and can’t help but get a slight “ash tray covered by a large Yankee Jar candle à la Clean Cotton” vibe.

If I’m being honest these kinds of synthetic vanillas turned me off on the note for years and had me associating it with a cheap thrill. Now I’ve found beautiful uses of vanilla and consider it one of my favorite notes—that’s how fragrance goes and why it’s so fun to explore these earlier scents that have been permanently branded into my thalamus.

Top notes (allegedly) are bergamot, coconut and peach; middle notes are jasmine, geranium and lily-of-the-valley; base notes are amber, sandalwood, musk, tonka bean and vanilla. In real life you will smell like Alicia Silverstone in Excess Baggage.