fragrant friday

A Fragrance for All the Vanilla Haters

Memo's Lalibela.
Memo’s Lalibela.

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.

A Fragrance for All the Vanilla Haters