People like to poke fun at Creed for their over the top marketing. I think almost all marketing is over the top and Creed’s doesn’t bother me any more or less. The bottle which houses Sublime Vanille is absolutely stunning and I find the jus inside equally as stunning. Sublime Vanille is simple. Or at least it seems exceedingly simple because there’s no complexity to speak of or much to ponder here, but don’t let this fool you, because it’s beautiful, especially if you are looking for this simple sheer type of vanilla.
When I first tried Sublime Vanille my reaction was “so what?” But over many months and many sprays of other vanilla fragrances I’ve realized this one is really good. It’s good if you are looking for something that sings vanilla, in a soft and not-entirely foodie way, that is also fresh and citrusy in addition to its sweetness. I don’t think it truly smells like Shalimar, but in my mind, it’s like a deconstruction of Shalimar, rebuilt to suite modern tastes. Of course it’s a bit more fleeting than I would like, but I solve that with about 5-6 healthy sprays and then I’m all set for at least half the day. I think of Sublime Vanille as the ultimate comfort scent. The one you reach for when you're a bit down in the dumps and need a soft cozy perfumed hug. Sublime Vanille is just so easy, deceptively simple and pretty, which is the reason I thought it was plain and boring the first time I tried it (and especially for the price tag!). But I've come around to thinking that Sublime Vanille is the best in it's class if you are looking for a soft yet fresh vanilla scent.
I have a growing list of vanilla fragrances that I like these days, which is a big step for me because I previously disliked almost anything with vanilla or gourmand tendencies. Most of my favorite “vanilla” scents are only barely focused on the actual note of vanilla. I generally choose vanilla scents where the starring roles are reserved for woods, spices, booze and incense, such as Annick Goutal Vanille Exquise, L’Artisan Havana Vanille, Parfumerie Generale Felanilla, The Different Company Oriental Lounge, Guerlain Tonka Imperiale, Boucheron Trouble, Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille and Dior Addict. If you happen to be looking for a simple vanilla that is soft yet fresh I can’t think of anything better than Creed’s Sublime Vanille. Well, you might also try Paul & Joe Bleue (for a fraction of the price), which is beautiful but even closer to being a copy of Shalimar. L’Artisan Vanilia is much too candy sweet and childlike. Same for Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille, this is woody vanilla with burnt sugar but it’s more foodie than I’d personally like. Creed’s Sublime Vanille hits that perfect G spot of sweet fresh citrusy vanilla that doesn’t make you feel like you've been baking a cake, only that you’re wearing a lovely perfume.
Here's another take on Sublime Vanille from Patty at Perfume Posse. I'm mostly agreeing with Patty, except that after wearing this "middle of the road" vanilla as she calls it, I've decided that Sublime Vanille is excellent precisely because it's the best of this sort, and sometimes I'm looking for a vanilla fragrance without an angle or an agenda.