We like it in our perfumes and candles, and atop sugar cones in the summer. But do you know where vanilla comes from and how it ends up on store shelves?

Mmm, vanilla: what’s not to like about this comforting, sweet-smelling spice? Most of us associate vanilla with pleasant childhood memories, sweet treats and ice cream on vacation – hence vanilla’s ongoing popularity, according to The Smell Report, published in 2009 by the Social Issues Research Centre, a UK-based research firm focused on social and cultural trends.

A 2013 survey by the International Ice Cream Association, a trade group, found vanilla was America’s most-favored flavor, followed by chocolate and butter pecan. The nonprofit Fair Trade Vanilla Cooperative reports that the US consumes the most vanilla globally, using it as flavoring in sodas, baked goods, ice cream, syrups and perfumes.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS