Finally a Vanilla Lotion. One of my Florida customers would ask me when she walked by my booth on Saturdays, “ Have you made the Vanilla Lotion yet?”
I tried some different brands of vanilla essential oil and finally settled on a
wonderful vanilla absolute. This is a ten-fold absolute, which means that the terpenes have been removed so that it does not irritate the skin. The final lotion smells just like a vanilla latte you might buy at your favorite coffee shop, and is that lovely light coffee color so I call it Vanilla Latte Lotion. The lotions smell as if you could eat them. It’s a wonderful choice as the weather grows cooler and we head into the fall and winter months.
Vanilla planifolia is a yellow green orchid that grows on trees in the tropical areas of Central America. Flowers are usually hand pollinated, because they only bloom for a day, so the pollen must be moved right away to assure that the flower will be pollinated and the fruit will develop.
From the flower long pods develop. These pods are crushed to create vanilla extract for flavoring cookies and cakes. They also create vanilla
absolute and vanilla essential oil. In everyday language we call them “vanilla beans,” but they are not beans at all, but the fruit of the orchid flower.
I’ve painted this little orchid to give you an idea of what it looks like. It is not at all what I used to think of as Vanilla. The pods grow from the end of the blossom after the blossom has died.