What Scents Compliment Vanilla? 

Let’s face it: You’ve probably seen vanilla as a flavor for all sorts of things. Coffee. Icing cream. Cake. And then there are things with a vanilla scent, like perfume, candles, and essential oils. Often, other smells are mixed in, creating some interesting and sometimes strange combinations.

With so many options to choose from, how do we know what the best scent combinations are? After all, vanilla doesn’t go with everything. 


Vanilla doesn’t just smell sweet, cozy, and deliciously comforting; it tastes and smells magical, too. When we smell or taste something, our receptors are always wiping away the memory of that taste or smell so they can be ready for the next one. When vanilla is added to food or perfume, naturally-occurring vanillin works to hold open our vanilloid receptors. This slows the wiping process and gives us more time to smell and taste things and enjoy them. Vanilloids are also found in cocoa, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and hot peppers, which helps to explain why they all taste so good.

Vanilla comes from the dried seeds of a pod made by a climbing plant that looks like an orchid and grows well in Madagascar. The best vanilla comes from the Île Bourbon, which is now called Réunion. It gets its name from the Spanish word “vaina,” which means “sheath” or “pod.” It means “little pod” in English.

The second most costly spice in the world is vanilla, behind saffron. Perhaps this is why the vanilla you smell in many perfumes today is synthetic vanillin. Clever chemists have worked to make it smell like the real thing, but the best noses will tell you that real vanilla smells earthier, with hints of treacle and a touch of “booziness.”

Scents That Go Well with Vanilla

Vanilla blends well with a wide range of essential oils. Ylang Ylang, orange, sandalwood, cinnamon, jasmine, peppermint, lavender, chamomile, and lemon are just a few that go well with vanilla essential oil.

1. Sandalwood and Vanilla

The sandalwood and vanilla in the scent make it smell warm and sensual. The sandalwood gives it a smell of wood and earth, and the vanilla adds a little sweetness and depth. Together, these notes make a scent that is rich and complex, perfect for a romantic evening or a night at home to relax. The sandalwood gives the scent a sense of stability and calm, while the vanilla adds a creamy, decadent touch. This smell is both comforting and high-end, which is why many people who like perfume love it.

2. Orange and Vanilla 

The sweet scent of oranges provides an excellent pick-me-up, making you feel light, airy, fresh, and summery. According to some aromatherapists, smelling citrus and drinking a large glass of cold water is even better than a cup of coffee.

When we smell vitamin C-rich fruits, studies show that it boosts energy, calms nerves, and increases alertness, and citrus scents, in particular, can reduce stress and leave a positive impression on others. The smell of oranges is often referred to as an aphrodisiac because it increases blood circulation to the veins of the body.

Adding the scent of vanilla to the mix raises the mood even higher. Vanilla has a sweet, warm, sophisticated, and comforting aroma. Researchers discovered that just one whiff of vanilla can instantly induce feelings of joy and relaxation. It soothes the nerves in the same way that citrus does, but the active compound, vanillin hydroxybenzaldehyde, also helps with anxiety and depression. Vanilla is not only a happy scent, but it also has a calming effect that allows you to sleep better.

3. Vanilla and Cinnamon

It can take years to find the best cinnamon vanilla perfumes. The cinnamon and vanilla flavor combination is gourmand-inspired. This is why, as with the taste of desert and food in general, there are so many interpretations of what truly smells good in this combination.

Cinnamon and vanilla can have a variety of nuances depending on where they are sourced. Many factors influence how these notes smell, from Ceylon cinnamon to Cassia cinnamon, and from Tahitian vanilla to Madagascar vanilla. However, in perfumes, the majority of these notes are 

it will be more difficult to find a more natural version of vanilla in our favorite cinnamon and vanilla colognes.

4. Lavender and Vanilla 

Lavender oil

The combination of lavender and vanilla is sweet, light, and appropriate for any season, whether you’re using an Aromatherapy blend or lighting a candle for ambiance.

Furthermore, the benefits of aromatherapy are incredible. This soothing combination calms the mind and relaxes the body, so it is highly recommended if you have trouble falling asleep.

5. Jasmine and Vanilla

When vanilla and jasmine are mixed together, they make a scent that is unlike any other. It is both exotic and appealing, but also comforting and familiar. Together, they make the perfect perfume for anyone who wants to add a little mystery and romance to their life. Whether you like the sweet smell of vanilla, like jasmine scents, or just want to try something new, jasmine vanilla perfumes are definitely worth looking into.

6. Vanilla and Ylang Ylang 

This synergy mix is an easy way to get into the “romance room” of your mind, if you will. In a different way, Vanilla Ylang Ylang is known to spark creativity. This makes it a great thing to have around when you want to get in touch with the romantic artist in you.

7. Peppermint and Vanilla 

The cool smell of peppermint and the sweet smell of vanilla come together to make a very festive scent. The essential oil recipe is great for both skin care and making your home smell nice.

8. Lemon and Vanilla 

Vanilla and lemon smell so fresh and tangy, yet sweet and creamy at the same time. It’s a great way to get rid of lemons that are going bad.

Why do people blend essential oils?

If you already have a favorite essential oil scent, like vanilla, that you love to use in your homemade products, it might not make sense to mix it with other oils. But making blends can be a fun way to make your own unique and signature scents that use notes from other oils and add to your favorite scent instead of taking away from it.

When essential oils are mixed, they start to work together in a way called “synergy.” This means that the weaker parts of each compound are balanced out by the stronger parts of the other compounds.


If you like to combine fragrances so that you can mix and match to create your own scent, you might be wondering what goes well with vanilla. There are no rules when it comes to layering scents, but classic vanilla tends to go well with woody, spicy, or smoky notes.