A humble seed pod from the tropics is responsible for the largest amount of fragrance consumption on the planet - vanilla. Natural vanilla contains over 200 different fragrance compounds which combine beautifully to produce that unmistakable creamy sweet scent unparalleled in its fragrance and taste.
The main component which is responsible for the characteristic vanilla smell is vanillin which can sometimes be seen on dried pods as a white powder. Because of the expense and relatively low yield of vanilla, most vanilla fragrance is produced artificially by recreating the vanillin, which is a nature identical compound and is commonly used as both a flavouring (cream soda, anyone?) and a fragrance ingredient.
In 2018, the global market for vanilla was 2,580 tons and for vanillin was 37,286 tons. Used in all sorts of products from carpets and new cars (to combat the new plastic/chemical smell) to ice cream, lipstick, perfume and of course incense!