The Scent Guide: What Does Coriander Smell Like?

 coriander bunch essential oil on table

Source: Halil ibrahim mescioglu/

Homesick has put together a large collection of scent guides to help you find your all-time favorite aromas. From flowers like gardenias, magnolias and iris to the wood-derived frankincense, oak moss and balsam, scents come from all kinds of places. Scents can even come from food — like pumpkin, cinnamon and coriander.  

However, many of us are already familiar with the autumnal smell of pumpkin or the spicy scent of cinnamon. But coriander? It’s not a scent that many of us are familiar with. So what does that smell like exactly? In this scent guide, we reveal where coriander comes from, how it’s often used and the unique aroma it gives off. And if it’s a scent you think you might love, we’ve gathered together a collection of our best-selling candles with notes of coriander and coriander-like scents you can light at home.

The Coriander Plant

Coriander is a plant and a variation of the parsley family. However, like parsley, this plant produces several edible parts that we use as ingredients in our foods and fragrances. One of the most well-known ingredients and parts is cilantro, which is used all around the world. In fact, “cilantro” is the Spanish translation for coriander. But there is another ingredient that we use as well: that of the small coriander seed. Like cilantro is used as an herb, the light tan-hued coriander seed is often used as a spice in a broad range of dishes from Thai curries to Indian garam masalas. 

Discover More Spicy Candle Scents

What Does Coriander Smell Like?

Despite what you may assume, coriander both smells and tastes different from cilantro. While the cilantro herb has a citrusy or soapy or stink-bug scent (depending on your senses) and taste that lends a fresh aroma to dishes, coriander seeds offer a warmer and spicier taste and scent, very much like cinnamon or cumin flavor profiles. And if you are one of the many people who share an aversion to cilantro’s soapy taste due to an individual genetic trait, don’t be! Despite coming from the same plant, coriander doesn’t share the same soap-like effect. 

Since coriander lends a spicy and nutty aroma with a hint of the citrus cilantro is known for, it pairs wonderfully with warmer notes. Think of other spices like ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. To bring forth the subtle citrusy notes, lemon, grapefruit, lavender and even woodsy notes like sandalwood and cypress are excellent pairings as well. The scent of coriander also offers a few benefits. It can give off a calming effect and a mild stimulant that boosts the mood and offers clarity. All in all, coriander makes a lovely scent in a variety of candles. 

Pair It with a Pumpkin Candle

Homesick Candles with Coriander Notes

Coriander lends a warm and spicy note to many of Homeisck’s scented candles. And if you love the spicy scent of coriander, you’ll love many of our other candles with coriander-like fragrances of cinnamon, nutmeg and more too. Here’s a collection of our favorite Homesick candles with coriander and coriander-inspired notes. 

Homesick Austin Candle

The Austin Candle

Austin candle is one of candles in our City Candle collection that offers a mid note of coriander, merged with amber and daffodil. Carrying the underlying citrusy notes through the warm spice, this candle features top notes of grapefruit, bergamot and fir needle. To counterbalance this striking scent that brings to mind mornings on Lady Bird Lake, the Austin candle offers sultry and smoky base notes of suede and smoked cedar. Even if you’re not a Texan or Austinite, this candle is the best coriander-infused scents Homesick offers!

The Spring Cleaning Candle

The Spring Cleaning Candle

Ignite the Spring Cleaning candle to give your home a fresh scent. But don’t worry — the coriander notes won’t make it smell soapy like the plant’s cilantro leaves. Instead, this coriander-scented candle blends elegantly with notes of basil and lime to enhance the refreshing zesty fragrance. Grounded with musk, agave and vetiver undertones, it balances out the bright and nutty notes of coriander and clove leaf. It smells just like clean linens and open windows. 

Of course, if you love the Spring Cleaning candle, then take a look at our other Spring candles, including the Gone Hiking and Wildflowers candle. 

Cinnamon Candles

As mentioned, cinnamon pairs rather well with coriander, lending to its spicy and warm scent. So if you like coriander, chances are you will love candles with notes of cinnamon too. But instead of listing just one cinnamon candle, we encourage you to explore all of them! Our best cinnamon candles include the Pumpkin candle, Nutcracker candle, Apple Orchard candle and Grandma’s Kitchen — among others!