Considered by many to be the plainer choice of ice cream, vanilla is a staple scent of the home and far from boring. Reminiscent of summer holidays at the seaside, vanilla recalls the delightful jingle of the ice cream van, where, as a kid, you’d totter up to order something as big as your head and try to avoid your treat being swiped by the seagulls.
In colder seasons, the comforting warmth of this milky smell comes to our senses through an indulgent dessert, creamy and warm, served as a round off to a hearty meal shared with family or friends. It triggers memories of home baking, belonging and the innocent excitement every single one of us used to get as a child, beaming at the prospect of eating something delicious.
Originally discovered and treasured in Mexico, vanilla is one of the most widely used spices in the world. It first came to Europe in the 17th Century, and as people started to use it as a cure for disease, it also became a way to flavour food and drink. Despite its long-standing use, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that vanilla became the popular fragrance trend we’ve come to know today, and it is now considered a traditional way to introduce sweeter scents into the home.
As a climbing plant, vanilla is grown in tropical climates across the globe, and farmers have just one day to pollinate the sticky vanilla pods, who flower and hold the infamous vanilla seed. The green and yellow orchid are often pollinated by hand, although a rare species of bee is thought to be able to as well. With over a hundred variants of the plant itself, there are only two widely used for the taste and smell we have come to associate with this spice – vanilla planifolia and vanilla tahitiensis – so this makes vanilla very expensive to produce and a precious part of the fragrance world.
Vanilla is also widely considered to be a natural anti-depressant. With proven calming effects, it is often used in aromatherapy to reduce anxiety, stress and bring about a happier state of mind. The change of the seasons can have a debilitating effect on the mood of many, and even if you have never experienced depression before, a lack of daylight can send even the most stable of us into a difficult place. If the winter blues are affecting you, a few drops of vanilla essence in your bath on a cold, winter’s evening really can make a real difference. We love lighting a scented candle, slipping into the tub and enjoying each moment as the sweet smell of vanilla trickles into the room.
A way to warm heads as well as hearts, the wonderful smell of vanilla makes both our mouths water and our bodies relax. If the festive season is already proving stressful, then the calming and restorative presence of vanilla might be a simple way to dissolve your worries; or at least, give you a bit of time and space away from them.
And we have plenty of vanilla scented candles to create the perfect environment to do just so. Roam by 42 Pressed have the most delicious scented candle called ‘Paris’, combining vanilla with lily of the valley, amber and oakmoss to capture the nostalgic essence of this city. Maison La Bougie’s Rayé scented candle is equally compelling, blending tobacco, vanilla and tonka bean for the most enticing allure.
Alternatively, the Daydreamer by The Nomad Society is the ultimate scent for an escape without leaving the comfort of your home, especially if it’s wet and windy outdoors! Whether you’re searching for a nostalgic release or a space to unwind, each scented candle and the sweet scent of vanilla have been carefully crafted to take you wherever your heart desires.
For a comprehensive list of all our ‘vanilla’ candles, shop the fragrance here. Alternatively, if the smell of vanilla means something special to you, then we’d love to hear about it in the comments below!