Vanilla: a podful of wellbeing

A classic that never goes out of fashion — vanilla is far from plain. In fact it’s one of the most expensive spices to cultivate because the flower can only be pollinated by hand or by a rare Central American bee. No wonder it was treasured by the Mexican people who discovered it. Now available around the world, vanilla is highly valued as a fragrance, as well as being a popular ice cream flavour. What's more, vanilla can help to improve the health and wellbeing of your family in some unexpected ways.

Vanilla flower
vanilla scent

The origins of vanilla

Vanilla was discovered in Mexico and now grows in tropical climates across the world. To produce the precious, sticky vanilla pods, farmers must be quick to pollinate the orchid — which flowers for one day only. Nestled inside are the vanilla seeds, which carry the delicious flavour and fragrance.

Home sweet home

Unilever consultant neuroscientist, Dr Pradeep, says "the reason we like a particular scent is because it triggers memories and emotions in the brain. Many of these associations can be traced back to childhood because they're formed when we first experience the smell. Vanilla often reminds us of home baking. The rich aroma can improve our wellbeing by conjuring up the love we felt as a child and the prospect of eating something delicious".

Sweet cravings

What if smelling the yummy aroma of vanilla could stop you craving — and eating — sweet treats (like cakes and biscuits)? That’s what happened when dieticians at a London hospital gave overweight people vanilla patches to wear. Try it at home by burning a vanilla scented candle or using the fragrance on your clothes.

Keep calm and use vanilla

Lighting a vanilla fragranced candle could be the solution the next time you want to unwind. The Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York reported that patients having an MRI (where your body is placed in a scanner) were far more relaxed after they'd inhaled a vanilla scent.

Heaven scent

In the last 20 years vanilla has become an increasingly popular ingredient in fragrance, body lotions and other personal grooming products. The warm, sensuous scent has inspired several Comfort products. Because our fabric conditioner has a long lasting formula, your clothes will continue to release a hint of vanilla scent all day long — keeping you relaxed, attractive and sweet-smelling.