Vanilla Flavours

Vanilla flavours for diy

Vanilla proudly holds the title of the worlds most popular flavour, and there’s little doubt It’s one of the most loved. The same could be said of vanilla concentrates, and they’re one of the most important flavours to have. But you need more than just one!

Introduction to Vanilla

I’ve never thought of it a stand alone flavour, but it’s a perfect fit for so many profiles and recipes. I use vanilla’s extensively in tobaccos, fruits, bakery, desserts and beverages, not to mention fusions, which covers most of the spectrum.

Like all flavours, choosing a vanilla comes down to trial and error, however, some will prove more suitable for specific applications. A plain vanilla may be more suitable for a DIY smoothie drink, and a vanilla bean for adding some vanilla subtlety to a cake recipe, or even a coffee mix. 

I classify vanillas under four categories –

Vanilla Bean
General Vanilla Flavours
Vanilla Fusions

Fusions come in all forms such as creams, ice creams, puddings, custards, tobaccos or cakes and cupcakes.

These fusion types, such as custards and ice creams, are being added to our Flavour Page


Vanillin is a Phenolic aldehyde, an organic compound that’s the primary component of the vanilla bean.  Although it’s utilised in the DIY community, it’s extremely strong, very sweet, and has a tendency to dominate everything in the mix. 

If you choose to utilise vanillin, you should consider low percentages and or making a lighter base blended with one of the vanilla flavours we’ll look at below. You could also incorporate some cream/s.

Vanilla Bean

In terms of using vanilla bean, either straight or blended with other vanillas, it can at times be preferable over general vanilla concentrates; this is largely due to its distinct characteristics, authenticity and potency.  When it comes to DIY concentrates, other than vanilla bean ice creams, there’s not a lot of straight vanilla bean choices. I’m only aware of Flavorah and Juice Factory and have only used Flavorah’s.

Vanilla Flavours

Regular vanilla concentrates vary to some degree, as some tend to be richer like French vanilla,  while others push the boundaries and lean more toward a cream, icing or soft serve ice cream.  Whilst I can’t possibly discuss every vanilla, l have selected a few stand-outs that should cover everyone’s needs. 

Vanillas are a perfect example of a flavour that can be used as either a general layered flavour or an additive-enhancer. Being such a popular ingredient of e-liquids, it pays to have a least a couple of varieties on hand.

Vanilla Uses

Much like creams, the uses for vanilla are virtually endless, depending on what your aim is of course. Desserts and bakery are perhaps the most common, but mixes from all of the flavour groups can welcome a touch of vanilla.

They’re wonderful to blend with tobaccos, liquors and coffee is an absolute must, as vanilla not only flavours but can tone down, smooth or mellow.  Fruits such as strawberry, orange or banana are common and they make for an easy mix.  

Pairing Examples

Most pairing examples are the same as with creams. so check cream flavours. I’ve included some specific concentrates under the tips section too. Personal choice as well as trial and error will no doubt offer up some good results.

Recommended Concentrates

I’ve experimented with a number of vanillas and I’ve listed ones I feel are on par or even superior to others. When I discover more I’ll add them, but these should cover all your needs.

TFA Vanilla Swirl
Probably the most popular vanilla concentrate worldwide. An excellent flavour which tastes like a blend of vanilla and whipped cream with a hint of vanilla bean. Add this one to your inventory.
CAP French Vanilla
An artificial and dominating full bodied vanilla that tastes like coffee creamer. Slightly dry yet sweet.
Juices Factory Vanilla Super Concentrate
This is pretty much straight up vanilla, with a subtle hint of cream/s in the back. The aroma is much like a commercial vanilla diffuser. Very useful as a generic vanilla.
FlavourArt Vanilla Bourbon
Not a bourbon flavour, but the name for a vanilla grown in Madagascar and other islands in the Indian Ocean. A superb flavour with distinct woody notes, making it perfect for tobacco, dark fruits and coffee.
Inawera Shisha Vanilla
A fairly dense mouthfeel with some decent body, offering a semi-rich, earthy, yet creamy vanilla with just the right amount of sweetness.
Flavorah Vanilla Bean
A straight-up light in body-mouthfeel vanilla bean with some soft cream and dairy. Perfect additive and or enhancer for other vanillas. 

Tips for testing flavours

Tips on Using Vanilla

You’re going to want more than one vanilla. If you’re after just plain vanilla, grab either Juice Factory super concentrate Vanilla, FlavourArt’s Vanilla Bourbon, or Inawera Shisha Vanilla. However, TFA’s Vanilla Swirl is so commonly used in recipes, those fairly new to mixing should have this too. 

  • Don’t base your assessment of vanilla as a whole if you’ve only tried 1 or 2 vanilla flavours. True, some are rather similar, but when you test vanilla bourbon for example, against vanilla swirl, a whole new world of possibilities open up.
  • A number of vanillas contain ethyl alcohol which will blend and mellow slightly when steeped. 
  • If making a vanilla base, pick two vanillas and or a vanilla bean, and experiment working in some creams such as FA Fresh Cream or Flavorah’s Cream. Use 5 ml batches and let them steep for at least a week.
  • Coconut is a great pairing for vanilla, and works exceptionally well with tobaccos and fruits.
  • FlavourArt or Purilum’s Marshmallow can add a nice touch to vanillas. Marshmallow also adds some extra body and mouthfeel and can complement a wide variety of flavours. Start out low with percentages from 0.25-0.5%.
  • Butter, be it TFA’s or FA, adds a nice dairy richness that compliments vanilla, and is great with tobaccos, bakery and dessert vapes. It can be heavy and overpowering so start with 0.25-0.5%
  • Sweet Cream by TFA or Flavorah is an obvious companion to vanilla. Although I love to blend vanilla with cream, be cautious, as many vanillas already contain cream, albeit that they may contain small traces. Experiment, but generally you can go as high as 1%, depending on intentions.

How I Test Flavour Concentrates

Flavours are mixed in a 50-50 blend of PG & VG. Zero nicotine and generally steeped for 2 weeks. Three vape devices are used including an RDA.

Testing flavours with e-cig
RDA for testing flavours
RDA for testing flavours

How I Test Flavours

Flavours are mixed in a 50-50 blend of PG & VG. Zero nicotine and generally steeped for 2 weeks. Three vape devices are used including an RDA.

Charles Yates

Ex-smoker and current vaper. Started The Vapers Table in 2011. Interests are - Advocacy and helping smokers quit with vaping. Food-cooking, music, recording technology, travel & country road trips.

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