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You’ve likely heard of coriander, but did you know that this humble herb plays a significant role in creating distinctive and alluring perfumes? Today, we’ll explore the delightful surprises that coriander brings to the fragrance industry. By the end of this journey, you’ll discover an aroma you may have smelled but never identified. So stick with us, and unravel the tantalizing mystery that lies beneath the surface of this unassuming spice.

The Fascinating World of Cilantro: Not Just a Spice

Coriander, known as “cilantro” in many parts of the world, is a flavorful herb treasured in culinary arts. But its magic extends beyond the kitchen. The cilantro seeds, when distilled, yield an essential oil that is used in perfumery due to its unique, aromatic profile1.

Cilantro’s scent is a curious blend—woody, spicy, and slightly fruity—enveloped in a soft balsamic undertone. This complex mix of aromas, somewhat similar to nutmeg and cinnamon, provides an interesting depth to fragrance compositions2.

The Aura of Coriander: A Symphony of Scents

A perfume bearing the whiff of coriander captures a sense of the exotic, transporting you to far-off markets resplendent with colourful spices such as masala, paprika, and cumin. Its essence can be particularly evocative, stirring a comforting familiarity with a touch of mystery.

Imagine standing amidst the bustling lanes of an Indian bazaar, where a pot of Chana Masala simmers nearby. As the fragrance wafts by, you catch a hint of the intriguing spice blend — Garam Masala, hinting of cardamom, Ajwain (or carom seeds as known in English), and of course, coriander. Just like this imagery, a perfume with coriander at its heart brings together a myriad of olfactory experiences.

Cilantro in Perfumery: The Subtle Balm of Attraction

The inclusion of cilantro in perfumes is no random choice. The spice is believed to exude a subtle pheromone-like effect. Though not as directly influential as synthetic pheromones used in perfumery, cilantro holds a subtle attraction, much like the natural aura we emit3.

The odor of cilantro seeds contains compounds that can subtly influence human behaviour and interaction4. Although the exact mechanism is not fully understood, the warm, spicy balm of cilantro has been associated with feelings of comfort, familiarity, and attraction.

The Lasting Impression: Coriander, A Spice That Clings

Coriander in perfumery isn’t just a passing note. This spice lingers, leaving a lasting imprint on the olfactory senses. But why is it so memorable? The answer lies in the chemical compounds within coriander, such as linalool, that are characterized by their long-lasting, pleasant odor5.

So, the next time you sense a warm, spicy, and slightly fruity scent in your perfume, know that you’ve just encountered the fascinating world of coriander. This humble spice carries the potential to create an enchanting aura, leaving a lasting, pleasant memory. As you continue on your fragrance journey, consider exploring other spices and their distinctive roles in perfumery. You’ll be surprised at how these everyday ingredients contribute to the world of scent.


  1. Coriandrum sativum: A review on its botany, uses, composition of essential oils, and pharmacological activities
  2. Essential oils in the spices of Coriander
  3. Pheromones in the perfume industry
  4. Effect of odor on helpfulness in rats
  5. Volatiles of coriander
  6. Musk scent
  7. Pinus scent