Blame it on the annual blizzard of synthetic holiday fragrances or nauseating room sprays diffused with too much rigor, but there’s something about a vanilla scent that makes my stomach flip. That is, until I smelled Memo’s Lalibela, a floral fragrance that quickly dries into a totally tolerable vanilla scent.
The fragrance is complex and opens with notes of orchid and coconut — a union that, surprisingly, does not spark thoughts of a Hawaiian getaway. After ten minutes or so, the sweetness wanes and the scent of vanilla pivots the fragrance to something creamy, like a smooth scoop of ice cream at a very fancy restaurant. It doesn’t smell synthetic or forced, which allows my least favorite fragrance note to smell unusually pleasant. I don’t mind that the scent doesn’t last all day and requires a second spritz a few hours later — Lalibela (named after the Ethiopian city) completely changed my mind about vanilla, and for that, an additional midday spray doesn’t seem so awful.
Memo’s Lalibela, $210 at Lucky Scent.