Vanilla has been widely utilized for centuries, beginning in Central America and Mexico. The word “Vanilla” is actually derived from the Spanish word “vainilla” which means little black pod. The Aztecs used vanilla to flavor a drink called cacahuati that was meant only for Gods and Kings. As time has evolved, vanilla gained even more use in cooking, pharmaceuticals, and perfumery.
The Vanilla plant is a large climbing vine with clusters of flowers that transform into “little black pods” with incredible fragrance. Though indigenous to Mexico and Central America, Vanilla is now cultivated in subtropic regions including Asia, Northern Europe, and Madagascar. Since Vanilla is too delicate to be placed through steam distillation, the flowers are instead extracted as an absolute so that no water or heat can diminish the true aroma.
This sweet, rich Vanilla absolute oil is naturally very thick and dark, similar to molasses. It also has a tendency to “bloom”, or increase in aroma as it ages. Though Vanilla is best known for its culinary and perfumery uses today, it’s also documented to have antioxidant, antidepressant, and aphrodisiac qualities that provide important therapeutic benefits.
Emotionally, Vanilla absolute oil has a soft, soothing scent that is very calming and comforting. It’s these exact properties that can ease anxiety, stress, depression, and even insomnia. Since its warm fragrance dissolves anger, negativity, and frustration, it’s perfect for relaxation.
Physically, Vanilla absolute oil can be diluted in a carrier oil to soothe burns and promote healthy skin. Diffusing Vanilla can even relieve nausea, enhance libido, and potentially fight some types of cancer.
More than anything, Vanilla absolute oil is cherished for its soothing and uplifting scent that works so well in aromatherapy, perfumery, and skincare products. It is especially powerful when blended with Bergamot, Frankincense, Jasmine, Lemon, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetiver, and Ylang Ylang.