The use of essential body oils has been going on for a long time. One of the most popular ones is vanilla essential oil. Get to know more about this essential oil in this article.
The scent of vanilla is one of the most recognizable. Vanilla has been used for more than a thousand years in making scented soaps and candles.
Its aroma is sweet and quite inviting. It is also a staple ingredient in many essential oil and fragrance blends.
The vanilla plant’s botanical name is Vanilla planifolia. It is categorically a type of orchid. It is a native of Central America and Mexico. Its main chemical component is vanillin. The largest producers of vanilla products are found in Mexico and Madagascar.
All products are produced by utilizing vanilla bean seed pods. The vanilla plant has beautiful yellow orchid flowers. Seed pods replace these flowers when the flowering season commences.
Vanilla pods look like long beans, hence, the name vanilla bean. These pods are harvested before they are subjected to different extraction methods to manufacture different vanilla products.
Vanilla scent is woody, gourmand, and oriental. It has a creamy warmth which makes it a popular base note for perfumes. It blends well with citrus oils, like lemon, tangerine, and sweet orange. It also improves the floral nature of some essential oils, like rose.
Vanilla helps even out the piquant edge of some spicy oils, including black pepper and ylang-ylang.
Is it an essential oil?
Vanilla gives out a complex yet stable aroma. It is often used in cooking.
However, there is no pure vanilla essential oil. The extraction process for vanilla essence is quite different from the traditional process of extracting essential oils.
Traditional extraction process include steam distillation, cold-pressing, or with the use of an expeller. The vanilla bean pods cannot be used for any of these methods, hence, technically there is no such thing as vanilla essential oil.
Vanilla can be categorized as extract, absolute, or fragrance oil. Vanilla fragrance oils are manufactured in laboratories with the use of synthetic ingredients.
A pure vanilla extract is produced through CO2 extraction or with the use of a solvent, like ethanol. Vanilla absolutes are actually the closest thing to essential oils in terms of benefits and uses.
Vanilla extract is often used in culinary schools. It is manufactured using a different process. Vanilla pods are turned into powder before soaking in an alcohol solvent.
The mixture will be allowed to “age”, that could take months to be completed. As regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, vanilla extract should contain a volume ratio of 35% ethanol.
Vanilla Bean Oil
Vanilla bean oil is produced by soaking vanilla beans in carrier oil, like almond oil or coconut oil. the oil infusion process produces aromatic compounds that lend floral and fruity notes. Vanilla oil is often used in lip balms and skin care products. It is not edible.
This is the most common type of vanilla. Production involves the use of a solvent to release its aromatic substances. Vanilla absolute is used in beauty products and perfumes. It is not edible.