Message in a bottle: Matière Première Vanilla Powder Eau de Parfum

Katie Puckrik shimmies to the scent of Christmas present

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Lydia Silver / ES Magazine
Katie Puckrik6 December 2023

One of my less-adorable vices is buying myself presents when I’m supposed to be Christmas shopping for my beloveds. My ‘one for you, one for me’ strategy sounds equitable, until you consider there are a lot of you’s and only one me, resulting in quite a pile of packages under my jolly little holly bush. 

It’s okay though, because one of my manifestations of self-care is a new bottle of perfume, which by its very nature is an indulgence that can be enjoyed by anyone within sniffing range. Aren’t I generous?

The festive period is an excuse to throw myself into an eeny-meany-miny-moe new persona, so I’m swapping Crocs for stilettos, craftsy knits for sequins and growing out my fringe for (so far) Suzi Quatro side flicks.

And my Taking Care of Business vetivers have been benched for the floofiest note in all of Perfume Land: vanilla. Or is it floofy? Yes, vanilla conjures cupcakes and the plastic doll-head smell of children’s toys. But this sublimely fragranced orchid pod also suggests warm skin and the inviting waft of old books. It’s a panoply of pleasure across generations and genders. 

Right now I’m pleasuring myself (and anyone cosying up to me during this nose-to-tail party season) with Vanilla Powder by Matière Première. Vanilla Powder is a bouffant blend of voluptuous vanilla and puffy musk, dried by palo santo wood, then rescued from arid extremes by creamy hints of coconut. Me plus VP is a storybook snowfall, a gauzy swirl of pantomime precipitation. You’re welcome!

MATIÈRE PREMIÈRE Vanilla Powder Eau de Parfum, from £145 for 50ml, at