As the temperatures continues to dip, we start thinking of all things cosy and sensual. Which can only mean one thing: the best tobacco fragrances.
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You don’t have to be a smoker to love the nuances – anything from whisky and caramel to woody, fruity and, of course, smoky – of tobacco scents. In fact, we advise you to stay away from the cigs and concentrate on our selection of beauties instead.
The leaves of tobacco plants are dried and through solvent extraction, an absolute is produced.
A most versatile note, it’s often featured together with honey, vanilla, spice, leather and amber accords.
Where known, the name of the perfumer is included in brackets after the name of the fragrance.
Our Shortlist For Best Tobacco Fragrances
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille EDP (Olivier Gillotin)
If you want to know why Tom Ford’s Private Blend Collection is so highly regarded, look no further than this 2007 release. Part of the launch range, it’s inspired by an English gentleman’s club.
The opening lays on the tobacco leaf. Luxurious and warm, it’s complemented by spice aplenty, especially ginger. The spicy facets of vanilla are maximised, with notes of cacao and tonka bean accentuating the effect.
Settling with a dried fruits accord (dates stand out in the mélange), it’s a spectacular scent. The smoky and complex Tom Ford Vanille Fatale EDP gets our vote, too, if you’re looking for a smidgen of tobacco in an amber-licious blend.
Gucci Pour Homme EDT (Aurélien Guichard)
When the Italian fashion brand gets it right, it gets it so right.
The success of this 2008 release can easily be attributed to the brilliance of Aurélien Guichard, the perfumer behind standouts such as Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo EDT, Versace Eros EDT, Zadig & Voltaire This Is Him! EDT and, more recently, his own niche brand Matiere Premiere.
The opening is beautifully aromatic, thanks to a note of cypress. Violet and bergamot add touches of sensual powderiness and fresh spiciness, respectively.
The tobacco is softly sweet and subtle in its sophistication.
The elegance continues through to the drydown, featuring the earthiness of patchouli and the warmth of an amber accord.
Mugler A*Men Pure Havane EDT (Jacques Huclier)
The original and innovative Mugler A*Men was launched in 1996 and each edition to the franchise manages to add something different to the theme.
Launched in 2011, Pure Havane is a gourmand tobacco fragrance. It’s sweet from top to bottom but has plenty of character to prevent it from becoming a cloying confection.
It opens with the rich waft of cherry tobacco that’s supported by notes of honey and vanilla. Cacao and patchouli add depth to the mix, while an amber accord keeps it warm and cosy.
It’s the probably the most popular A*Men flanker and, for the record, it has not been discontinued.
Diptyque Volutes EDP (Fabrice Pellegrin)
Something chic, something comfortable, something understated…
Tobacco extends a warm welcome that’s impossible to refuse in this 2012 release from the Paris-based niche company, while an iris accord reveals her seductive powdery charms.
Delicately sweet notes of honey and cinnamon add to the sensual ambience. Opoponax keeps it velvety smooth.
Everything is in perfect harmony in this stellar Fabrice Pellegrin creation.
The EDT version, created by the same accomplished perfumer, is also a great option.
Parfums de Marly Herod EDP (Olivier Pescheux)
Parfums de Marly fragrances are characterised by their boldness (some might say loudness), so this 2012 release is noteworthy for its relative subtlety.
It’s warm and spicy from the start, powdery cinnamon at the fore, with a hint of black pepper in the background.
Tobacco leaf, rich and caramel-y, meets the smoke of incense and floral fruitiness of osmanthus.
The vanilla is super-creamy, while patchouli, musk and a wood accord up the sensual ante.
Is it the best tobacco-vanilla combo since the standard-setting Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille EDP? We’re not sure we’d go that far, but Herod sure hits the sophisticated sweet spot in style.
Molton Brown Tobacco Absolute EDT (Elsa Chabert)
This 2015 release will tell you, in no uncertain terms, why we rate fragrances from the British brand so highly.
The citric freshness of bergamot and grapefruit is given a spicy balsamic twist with elemi in the intro.
The rich warmth of tobacco meets the sensual softness of cedarwood and powderiness of orris and violet.
It gathers depth in the drydown with the spicy complexity of Peru balsam supported by the earthiness of patchouli.
It’s cosy, distinctive stuff and we love how this EDT contrasts fresh and warm facets with seemingly effortless flair. The EDP variant is well worth sniffing out too.
Vilhelm Parfumerie the Oud Affair EDP (Jérôme Epinette)
One of the launch releases (2015) from the NYC-based niche brand, this EDP opens with a lovely combo of powdery wild honey and spicy ginger butter notes. So far, so good.
But it’s the tobacco leaves and vanilla that follow that really stand out with their smoothness.
When the oud comes through it’s understated, not in-your-nose at all. Depending on your oud preferences, this might be a good or bad thing.
The Oud Affair is on the sweetish side of things throughout, but not overwhelmingly so. Ultimately, it’s more of a tobacco scent than an oud one, and we think it’s a very worthwhile purchase.
Dolce & Gabbana The One For Men EDP (Olivier Polge)
It’s easy to forget that behind the slick ’n sexy advertising, the Italian fashion brand actually has some outstanding scents, such as this 2015 release.
A flanker to the 2008 original, it was created by Olivier Polge before he followed in the fragrant footsteps of his father, Jacques Polge, as Chanel’s in-house perfumer.
The fresh opening (notes of orange, basil and bergamot) leads the way to the spice of cardamom and light caramel-y tones of tobacco.
Settling on a base of creamy sandalwood and a warm amber accord, it’s everything the house claims it to be – sophisticated, magnetic, authentic – and more.
FYI: The 2020 release, The One For Men Eau de Parfum Intense, is super stuff too, but doesn’t feature tobacco.
We would normally want to avoid any side effects. But this 2016 release from the French niche brand’s Carnal Blends Collection is so darn delectable, we’ll make an exception.
As with Initio Absolute Aphrodisiac EDP, there’s plenty of creamy vanilla to go around. But this time it’s complemented by a boozy-licious rum note with its warm spiciness.
There’s more spice, of the powdery kind, from cinnamon bark, while saffron brings complexity and depth to the blend.
The creaminess of sandalwood and caramel tones of tobacco complete this super-indulgent olfactory treat.
Judging by the number of times we see this 2016 release from the Spanish fashion brand on Instagram, this must be their most popular release by far.
The first notes to grab the attention are honey and coconut. The rich, warm, addictive element comes from the tobacco note. Creamy sandalwood rounds off the EDT.
There’s nothing complex about it and it will be way too sweet for some, but there’s no denying its allure. Even the most zealous niche-heads have been known to give this fantastic cheapie the thumbs up.
Guess 1981 Los Angeles Men EDT (Christine Hassan)
The American fashion brand has many worthwhile cheapies and this 2019 release is one of their best.
The opening is fruity and spicy, courtesy of notes of plum and black pepper.
There’s also some freshness from notes of mint and ginger.
Tobacco mingles with an amber accord and creamy sandalwood in the warm drydown to conclude a scent that puts many pricier designer equivalents to shame.
Apart from its great price, it’s also incredibly versatile and kinda sexy too.
Dior Tobacolor EDP (François Demachy)
Before he handed over the top job of Dior in-house perfumer to Francis Kurkdjian, François Demachy created some superb perfumes, including Vanilla Diorama EDP, Eden-Roc EDP and Tobacolor EDP, for the French luxury brand’s La Collection Privée Christian Dior.
This 2021 release opens with fruity notes of peach and plum. There’s a hint of citrus in the background.
The freshness is contrasted with the sensual warmth of tobacco, honeyed and smoky. Its sweetness is balanced with earthiness.
What a superbly sophisticated farewell from the perfumer who played such a big part in making Parfums Christian Dior the powerhouse that it is today.
Ex Nihilo Outcast Blue EDP (Jordi Fernández)
Perhaps because of the associations of blue with freshies, we were expecting this 2022 release from the Parisian niche brand’s Iconoclaste Collection to have that vibe. Mais, non! The EDP is a far more interesting proposition than that well-worn genre.
The intro is all about the warm spice of pepper and saffron, with the soft and soothing woodiness of cedar in support.
A lily-of-the-valley note makes a soapy contribution too.
It culminates with the earthiness of vetiver, oakmoss and patchouli. Oh, and did we mention the large helping of tobacco, which adds to the richness and complexity of this standout scent?
It’s available in an extrait de parfum concentration, also created by Jordi Fernández.