Spoiler: Vanilla’s way more than a sweet treat.
We’re not sure how the word “vanilla” evolved to mean bland, basic or boring – because the truth is, vanilla itself isn’t even close to being blah. It’s the coziness on top of a woodsy note, the dash of sweetness in a spicy scent, the seductive hint in a floral base, and it’s in some of our most-known fragrances (shout out to Warm Vanilla Sugar). What makes this sweet treat so great? Let’s take a look.
It’s long-loved. After vanilla was discovered in 15th century Mexico, it instantly became an absolute phenomenon. Vanilla was the ingredient to mix with chocolate – until the 17th century, when Queen Elizabeth I fell in love with vanilla-only treats. From there, it’s taken the world by (super-sweet) storm.
It’s the go-to sweet. Vanilla’s a dependable way to sweeten perfumes, body care goodies (like aromatherapy’s Lavender Vanilla), bubble bath mixes, room sprays, vanilla-scented candles, and air fresheners. Even beyond fragrance, this sugary ingredient pops up in drinks, chocolates, ice creams and your favorite treats from the holidays...all of which inspire some of your favorite scents, too. Truly a full-circle moment.
But it’s not just about sweetness. Sure, vanilla is sometimes all about the sugar, but with the right blend, it can become incredibly sophisticated, spicy or even musky and woodsy. And get this: it has over 250 aromatic components, which makes it super complex – and so ideal for blending.
It’s a total mix-master. Vanilla is fantastic by itself (we scream for vanilla ice cream), but it also pairs well with floral, spicy, woodsy and seaside fragrances – like the refined-yet-irresistible tones of a fruity perfume. How many things can be mixed with vanilla? The possibilities are actually endless.
It’s super romantic. Florals and vanilla (hint: Rose Vanilla from our aromatherapy collection) create an instant date-night mood. The scent of roses wafting through the room, the comforting warmth of a vanilla bubble bath and a hint of a spicy candle. Love and romance never smelled so good.
It’s ultra-comforting In aromatherapy. vanilla is known to reduce stress and increase feelings of warmth, relaxation and comfort. It’s also a super popular add-in for other aromatherapy scents, like rose, lavender or patchouli. (Psst. Need sleep? Try Lavender Vanilla.)
It isn’t easy to harvest. Why’s vanilla so expensive? The flowering vanilla orchid vines take up to three years to mature and once the vanilla beans are fully grown, they must be on the vine for at least nine months before harvesting. Plus, it takes about five to seven pounds of vanilla beans to produce one pound of vanilla – it’s a lot of work, but it’s a sweet reward.
It’s going nowhere. Even though it’s is hard to produce, artificial vanilla flavoring and fragrance have made this sweetie much more accessible. It’s affordable, readily available and that means more sweetness, cakes and vanilla for all.