Contrary to popular belief, vanilla is one of the most interesting and precious spices that exist today. Instead of thinking of vanilla as bland and boring, shouldn’t we celebrate the one spice that everyone loves?
At La Jolie Muse, we think a vanilla-scented candle is one of the most luxurious items you can own. Why? Because the history of vanilla is as wild as it is fascinating.
A Brief History of Vanilla
When Fernanda Cortez landed on the Mexican coast of Veracruz in 1519, he and his crew were greeted by the Aztecs of Tenochtitlan City with an amazing beverage as a welcome. A wondrous drink made of chocolate and vanilla, Cortez was so enamored with the aroma that he presented a vanilla pod (also known as a vanilla bean) to his king, Charles V.
But the Aztecs weren’t so quick to reveal the secrets behind their precious vanilla orchid. For two centuries, Mexico had a monopoly on the world’s vanilla production, until vanilla finally reached Madagascar via French colonists in the early 19th century.
Wild, Untamed, and…Expensive
Vanilla Planifolia. Despite how easy it is to buy vanilla today, this orchid is not one to be easily tamed! A tropical plant that thrives in humidity and fertile soil, the vanilla orchid is a creeper plant that clings to trees and is pollinated by the Melipona bee in the Amazon. It wasn’t until hand pollination was discovered that we could begin to enjoy this spice in delicious quantities.
Post pollination, it takes between 10-18 months for a vanilla pod to grow. Once the vanilla pod is picked, blanched, and fermented, they then sunbathe for around two weeks. They’re then wrapped up in blankets for another 15 days before they’re air dried.
And this lengthy process ends with…the pods being ground up for their aroma. Now you can see why this spice is so expensive.
Thankfully, today we have synthetic alternatives that are extremely similar. We even have aromatic molecules that are stronger than the original.
But if you’re looking for candles or perfume that use the real raw ingredient, you’ll have to drop a pretty penny to afford the most prestigious scents.
The Best Vanilla Candle
One of vanilla’s best attributes is its versatility. Soft, sensual, warm, sweet, spicy…vanilla fits perfectly with an infinite number of notes. From rich caramels to floral, woody scents to citrus, vanilla is the virtuoso note that harmonizes with everyone.
Now that we’ve convinced you of vanilla’s greatness, it’s time to find the vanilla candle of your dreams!
Vanilla & Coconut
Creamy coconut, warm vanilla, and the overwhelming scent of a tropical paradise. If you’re looking for something indulgently sweet without going overboard, this scent is a true gift. Like all La Jolie Muse candles, it’s a combination of palm wax and natural soy wax, making it a clean-burning, biodegradable dream.
Don’t worry, there’s no real tobacco in this candle! The sweet warmth of vanilla mingles with the dry, smokiness of musk and caramel for a scent that allures and soothes. A mature scent that impresses with hot, honeyed notes to satisfy any palate.
Refined, warm, and spiced in all the right ways. While cinnamon and pumpkin take center stage in this ensemble, vanilla and amber bring much-needed balance to this olfactory performance. Even if you’re not typifcally a pumpkin spice type of person, this scent isn’t overly cloying.
That sweet nostalgia of childhood birthdays captured in a beautiful glass jar candle. Vanilla, almond, cream, milk, and a hint of musk make up this delicious wax candle. With a burn time of up to 75 hours, you’ll be able to relive those birthdays for days on end.
Musk, caramel, coconut, pink pepper, grapefruit, pineapple, bergamot…there’s a whole host of delicious notes that make up this rich concoction. Neither too sweet or rich, this scent is a warm and mellow relaxer that charms with an aromatic touch.
Orange & Bergamot
Bergamot, orange, and mandarin are the stress-relieving trio that brightens this scent. Vanilla and warm, grassy vetiver bring them down to earth, creating a scent that refreshes and warms like an orange orchard in summer.
Relaxing and revitalizing, lavender has always been praised when included in aromatherapy candles. Once lit, you’ll fall in love with the delicate lavender notes before being refreshed by the cool notes of eucalyptus anchored by sweet vanilla and earthy musk.
Like the subtle crackling of a fireplace, you’ll find yourself in a cabin in the woods with this scent. Rich vanilla, balsam, chestnut, juniper, and sweet orange flower make up this crisp leather and mountain fresh air composition.
Shore Breeze & Sage
Your seaside retreat in a jar. Rich florals like chamomile, jasmine, lemongrass, and green tea are balanced with soft vanilla, sandalwood, musk, and cedar wood for a crisp, peaceful scent that reminisces of warm sand, salty air, and crashing waves.
Sensual amber with a bite. Like freshly crushed spice pods releasing their powerful aromatic fragrances, this scent invites meditation and radiates calm with a soothing body of cardamom, nutmeg, jasmine cedarwood, and vanilla.
Your morning brew, now richer and even more complex. Like the best coffee, this scent keeps it simple with notes of coffee, cacao, tonka bean, and vanilla. Dark, velvety, and bold, this scent is sure to awaken your senses no matter the time of day.
Milky coconut, warm vanilla, and a squeeze of ripe, sparkling lime in a cold glass. This rich and energizing scent is like lazy afternoons on the beach while sipping something delicious. The perfect escape from the hustle, this scent is a luxury that relaxes in minutes.
Dark Berries & Bergamot
A stunning wood wick candle that makes the perfect gift for any occasion. Forget gift cards, this generously sized candle is a flawless blend of red berry, orange, cherry, plum, vanilla, and caramel. Sweet yet tart, warm yet refreshing, the essential oils in this decadent scent present a fruity yet spiced composition.