A Natural Fragrance Stepping Stone: Lavanila Vanilla-Grapefruit Perfume

I’ll admit it, I’ve been in a natural perfume rut for a while. I still hold preference to my fancy, convenient, chemical-ridden fragrances over so-called “green” ones. I’ve been using most of the leftovers from my not-so-healthy perfume collection (which was actually not a lot anyway) but have been slowly transitioning to more natural options. My problem with natural fragrances is that my nose tends to wrinkle and reject those seriously hippie, overly “herb-y” scents that so many of the greener options I explored seemed to consist of. I was also getting really tired of ordering organic or natural perfumes I thought I’d like only to hate them and collect dust on my dresser. (And yes, I did try out samples too.)

I’d heard of “the healthy fragrance” brand, Lavanila available at my nearby Sephora store to sniff and feel, so I felt more assured of successfully finding a natural fragrance I liked if I could try out a fragrance in-person. I’m glad I did because I think I’ve actually discovered one of the better, semi-natural beauty brands hidden within Sephora.

Lavanila is known for their personal care products fragranced with a base of Madagascar vanilla (called “Lavanila” hence, the brand’s moniker) and layered with unique blends of pure essential oils, nature identical oils*, and botanically derived aromas. The brand’s top seller is their “healthy deodorant”, which has become a cult favorite with Sephora-goers. While not the most natural or organic option on the green beauty market, for what it is, the Lavanila scents are a pretty good stepping stone for those looking to eventually find a more natural perfume.

Trying out all the Lavanila fragrances in-person at Sephora was a great experience for me because I’m very fickle and stubborn with my purchases. I liked that Lavanila products are available in a variety of options: spray bottle, roller-ball, or oil form. I usually prefer my fragrances in the form of a spray bottle but opted to purchase a roller-ball version($19/0.33oz) this time. Besides being great for testing a fragrance out before committing to a larger volume, roller-ball fragrances are especially nice to travel with due to the small size, are easy and mess-free to pack, and should generally last longer as the product is applied directly on the skin/pulse points.

Lavanila products do not contain: Parabens, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, Silicones, Propylene Glycol, Mineral Oils, Synthetic Dyes, Sulfates, Chemical Sunscreens, or Aluminum.


Since I love fruity, fresh and feminine scents, I was immediately called to Lavanila’s Vanilla-Grapefruit scent. Based on the perfume name, I wasn’t thinking it’d be my favorite as I’m not usually fond of super sweet fragrances. To my surprise, this was love at first sniff: it’s fruity, lightly musky, and very sexy-smelling. The scent is powerful and noticeable but definitely not overbearing. It’s nice to be able to sense the scent throughout the day even as it is fading from it’s original strength. I love that it has a hint of vanilla and cedarwood for a warm musk and combines with notes of grapefruit and lime for a fresh but not sugary blend of fragrance. It is definitely an awakening scent that’s revitalizing and keeps me in a positive, confident mood. This warm fragrance was perfect for summer and will be great for autumn as well.

This lasting property of this perfume was quite good in my experience, though it won’t last you the entire day of course. I’m usually able to get about 4-5 hours of noticeable scent from this perfume before it starts to fade. The best part about roller-ball fragrances is the convenience of stashing the product in your bag for easy, reapplication throughout the day. For me, I liked how this perfume naturally faded into my skin so I don’t find I need to reapply often.

(The EWG’s Skin Deep Database rated this product with a low score of “3”. See the details here.)

I’m definitely considering buying the spray version of Lavanila’s Vanilla-Grapefruit because I’m really enjoying the fragrance, but I may just hold off on the purchase in pursuit of greater, more natural and organic perfume discoveries. There are so many great luxurious, healthy options that I’ve had my eye on…I’ll be sure to share my findings with you very soon.

Ingredients: Alcohol denat. (from Organic sugar cane), Botanical fragrance blend, Deionized water, Lycium barbarum (Goji) powder, Terminalia ferdinandiana (Kakadu plum) fruit extract, Epilobium angustifolium (Canadian willowherb) extract, Olea europaea (Olive leaf) extract, Alteromonas ferment extract, Chrysanthellum indicum (Chamomile) extract, Oat amino acids, Glycerin (Vegetable), Vanilla planifolia.

*Nature identical oils can be controversial ingredients and their properties are not common knowledge. Nature identical oils are synthetic oils that have the same chemical composition as their natural counterparts. They can be made up of a blend of essential oil and extracted aromatic compositions. Nature identical oils are usually included in fragrances as they smell identical to their natural equivalents, are more affordable to obtain, and contain less ingredients on average. I think the preference to purchase products with natural identical oils is definitely a personal choice. For me, I am not heavily opposed to these ingredients as I don’t think they are the worst out there, but I would limit my exposure to them. I think this is where reading ingredient labels and having clear ingredient markings on products is critical. Read more about NIOs here, here, or here.

Have you tried anything from Lavanila? What is your favorite natural or organic perfume? Let me know if you have any suggestions of what products to try next!

**Product purchased by me with my own, hard-earned cash. No sponsors or fake opinions here, only honest observations. Post contains affiliate links.

7 thoughts on “A Natural Fragrance Stepping Stone: Lavanila Vanilla-Grapefruit Perfume

  1. Thanks for the review! I am in love with the Lavanilla Pure Vanilla fragrance. It’s an earthy, nuanced sweet with a beautiful wear. I am definitely interested in trying the rest of their collection.

  2. I’m not a big vanilla fan so I didn’t like lavanilla. But you should try Lotus Wei. They have sample sets & don’t smell herbal to me. There’s also province apothecary. I have no 19 & it smells divine. I haven’t tried it but apparently Tata Harper & Tsi-La perfumes are pretty popular right now.

    • I’ve looked into Lotus Wei and am not sure I’m a fan of the scents that I’ve tried so far. I have been looking into Tsi-La as my next purchase as they sound like scents I’d favor more. Thanks for the suggestions! I haven’t tried any fragrances from Province Apothecary or Tata Harper yet! 🙂

      • Interesting! Which Lotus Wei have you tried? I think Essence of Vali is more herbal smelling but then again you may like some of their scent combinations. I also forgot to mention Evoke the Senses. They’re new & I haven’t tried them yet either.

      • I have Joy Juice and Inner Peace. Most people seem to really like Infinite Love but I haven’t gotten around to trying that one yet. Which ones have you tried? I’ve heard of Essence of Vali but not Evoke the Senses, looks good! Thanks for more suggestions 🙂

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