The best perfumes transport you to other worlds, filling your mind with images or memories. Vanilla Smoke, the latest release from Mandy Aftel, did precisely that for me, recalling bygone times in a way that made me smile. I once lived in places where there were four seasons, where autumn’s passage into winter was marked by piles of red-gold leaves, and a frosty chill in the air. One of my favorite things was that first winter fire, building layers of logs, kindling twigs, and old newspapers in the fireplace, the aroma of burnt paper as the fire licked the outermost edges of the pile, then the scent and crackle as the red-gold-black flames crept inwards, charring the wood, and heralding a night of snuggling warmth ahead. Ms. Aftel’s Vanilla Smoke brings all of that back to me. Eschewing the typical refrains of caramelized or sugar-coated vanilla, her vanilla is built around the heart of a winter fire, with a good slug of Bourbon drizzled on top to really bring home the cozy comfort aspects.