Botanical Name: Vanilla planifolia Jacks.
Synonyms: V. fragrans (Salisb.) Ames; Bourbon vanilla; Mexican vanilla; Madagascar vanilla.
Origin: Native to Mexico and South America. It is cultivated mainly in Madagascar, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Tahiti, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Reunion Island. The major exporting countries are Madagascar, Indonesia, the Comoros, Reunion, Mexico, and Tahiti. Vanilla CO2 extract
is one of the most expensive products used in aromatherapy today.
Botanical Description: A perennial, evergreen, herbaceous climbing fleshy vine up to 25-m (100 ft.) high with thick, dark-green leaves, green unlignified wide stem, and lilylike, whitish-green flowers. The fruit is vanilla 'pods' or 'beans' and are cured and conditioned to produce the fragrant brown vanilla beans. The beans are about 5 in. long and one-half in. thick. A healthy vine produces around 100 pods per year, which mature 8 to 9 months after flowering. All vanilla is produced by hand pollination.
CO2 Extraction: The extract is obtained by supercritical fluid extraction of the fragrant brownish beans using carbon dioxide as the solvent. It is a light brown, very viscous liquid.
Aroma Profile: The top note is deep, rich sweet balsamic. The aroma is lingering sweet balsamic.
Major Constituents: Vanillin, vanillic acid, p-hydroxy-benzaldehyde.
Adulterants: Synthetic vanillin.
Regulatory Status: GRAS 182.20.
Aromatherapy: Calming, comforting, balancing
Blends well with: Sandalwood, Peru balsam, vetiver, coriander, cinnamon.
Safety Data: Non-toxic. Non-irritant.