Is vanilla an essential oil? Many readers ask us this question. Perhaps you have even seen products that are marketed as vanilla oil. The truth is that vanilla essential oil does not exist. We know; it’s very disappointing, especially since there are products that appear to be made of pure vanilla. They are actually imitations or oleoresins which means they don’t have aromatherapeutic or other health benefits. They do, typically, smell nice, so that is one thing that they have in common with essential oils.
So there isn’t much to say about this essential oil since it isn’t real. However, we can explore the manufacture, uses, and benefits of other vanilla oil products. You can still enjoy this scent while being a cautious and informed consumer.
How to Make Vanilla Essential Oil
As we’ve mentioned, pure vanilla essential oil is not real. The vanilla pods cannot be processed in the same way as say, orange peels or eucalyptus leaves. Therefore, any vanilla oil-type substances are either absolute oils, oleoresins, or some other combination of vanilla and another chemical. You may be able to create a vanilla fragrance oil, though, which would be used only for the aroma, not for any particular health or therapeutic benefits.
If you are looking for a vanilla essential oil recipe, you may be able to use another essential oil as a substitute to achieve a scent that is similar to vanilla. Most people love vanilla because of its sweet, musky fragrance. The oils that have the most similar scent profile are sandalwood and balsam. You can try mixing those, perhaps with a bit of patchouli or perhaps a floral oil for added sweetness. Vanilla oil blends well with citrus oils, like orange and lemon, and also with popular florals, like lavender and jasmine essential oil.
Other Vanilla-Scented Products
Vanilla is a very popular fragrance with a wide variety of uses. You can find products that contain vanilla or vanilla bean that don’t contain essential oil. For example, many beauty products use vanilla to enhance their scent profiles. You can find vanilla hair oils, shampoos, lotions, and perfumes. Besides smelling wonderful, these vanilla products can have great benefits for your appearance and health.
Vanilla candles and room sprays are another great way to use this sweet, relaxing scent in your home. You can find many varieties: Tahitian vanilla, vanilla bean, vanilla blends, French vanilla, etc. Using a vanilla diffuser is an effective way to create a warm and calming atmosphere. Of course, the same effect can be achieved by baking homemade cookies with vanilla extract.
Vanilla Essential Oil vs Vanilla Extract
You may find yourself wondering, can I use vanilla extract instead of vanilla essential oil? In most cases, the answer is no. Vanilla essential oil fragrance products are created through different means. Their composition usually includes an actual oil, like jojoba or coconut oil. Vanilla extract, which is used for baking, is created using an alcohol. They are different substances and, therefore, not suited for the same purposes.
Where to Buy Vanilla Essential Oil
As we have explained, true vanilla essential oil does not exist. If you search for Doterra, Young Living, or Now vanilla essential oil online, you won’t find any products from these brands. However, you may find oils listed as vanilla essential oils on Amazon or in stores like Walmart. These oils are not 100% pure essential oils. They may be absolute oils or oleoresins, which contain only the aroma of vanilla. There are also many synthetic vanilla products on the market. These may be suitable for their fragrance value, but they are not fit for any true aromatherapy and wellness program. There are plenty of other pure and true essential oils on the market, so you can avoid “vanilla” products. Why not try something more exciting, like lavender, geranium, frankincense, or basil?