The Mysterious Tonka Bean Revealed

New to tonka beans? You're not alone. It's a fairly uncommon scent, particularly in the deodorant world. However, you may find the tonka bean's aroma to be reminiscent of something quite familiar. While these wrinkled little delicacies are uniquely sweet and complex, their aromatics are akin tradition vanilla. We like to think of them as vanilla's seductive cousin.

Bowl of tonka beans

Where do tonka beans come from?

Tonka beans are a small, aromatic seed (or bean) harvested from trees in Brazil, as well as Guyana, Venezuela, and West Africa. The flavors and aromas of this wrinkled delicacy are complex. That's one of the reasons why we're harnessing this multi-layered aromatic profile for our products.  


Woman on the beach smelling deodorant stick

What do tonka beans smells like?

The tonka bean has a rich, caramel-like aroma with touches of sweetness containing notes of vanilla, cherry, almond, the faintest hint of spiced cinnamon, and fresh-dried hay. Many South American cultures consider the tonka bean (also known as "love beans" and "wishing beans") a good luck charm. 

Tonka bean is the new vanilla

We no longer use vanilla in our Palo Santo & Frankincense and Patchouli & Copal scents due to a lack of sustainability around its sourcing. In fact, the demand for vanilla is much higher than the supply, which often results in adulterated products and can take a toll on the communities that harvest it. In looking for a suitable alternative for our top-selling scents, we discovered the amazing tonka bean!

The scent profile is still very similar and many of our staff members and customers like it even better than the original. 

Shop the deodorants with tonka bean: Palo Santo & Frankincense, and Patchouli & Copal


  • Humble Brands

    Hi Garnett! We have discontinued our Forbidden Tonka Bean scent, as it wasn’t preforming as we had hoped. We are happy to offer scent recommendations if needed.

  • Humble Brands

    Hey Holly! We have discontinued our Forbidden Tonka Bean scent, and we don’t have any current plans to bring it back. We know it can be hard to replace a favorite, and we are happy to offer scent recommendations if needed!

  • Holly

    I really loved your forbidden Tonka bean scented deodorant, will it be available again in the future ?

  • Garnett Zamboni

    What happened to Forbidden Tonka Bean? That was quiet and sensual. All you have now are musty or earthy scents. I’m sad. Now I have to find a new deodorant that works and smells delicious. What a bummer.

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