Our Top 4 Ways to Use Vanilla Oleoresin - Everyday Essentials

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Vanilla Oleoresin from Plant Therapy on pink background

Our Top 4 Ways to Use Vanilla Oleoresin

Oh, vanilla.

It’s hard to think of any other smell that can conjure up such pleasant memories. Maybe it transports you back to a simpler time when you were a little kid in Grandma’s kitchen, impatiently waiting for those delicious cookies. Or maybe it strikes you as a more sensual scent that’s perfect for a romantic night out with your partner.

No matter where you fall on that pretty wide spectrum, most of us can agree that vanilla has a totally unique, distinct, and delicious aroma. It’s definitely worthwhile to take a closer look at this famous crop, how it gets bottled up, and some great ways to bring it into your life.

So where does vanilla come from? Well, the vanilla plant is a climbing vine with lovely greenish-yellow orchid flowers. One blossom produces one bean, or seed pod, which is where we get the oleoresin from. For this to even happen, the blossom must be pollinated when it opens, which is only once and for a mere few hours.

Vanilla flower with vanilla beans on a gray background

Vanilla is clearly a very labor-intensive crop. It takes about 3 to 4 years from the time vanilla is planted until it can be harvested. Then,  it takes an additional 3 to 6 months to cure the beans. There are only approximately 3,000 tons of vanilla produced each year, which mainly comes from vanilla fields in Madagascar [1, 2].

You may think “wow, 3,000 tons sounds like a lot”. But when you stop to consider how many beauty products, perfumes, cooking and baking recipes, and supplements include vanilla, you’ll see that this amount just is not a lot for the world to share. So if you are lucky enough to have a bottle of Vanilla Oleoresin, treat it lovingly! Not everyone gets to enjoy it.

Plant Therapy offers Vanilla Oleoresin. Why not Vanilla Essential Oil? Because that doesn’t exist. There are vanilla extracts, oleoresins, absolutes, infusions, and fragrance oils, but no pure vanilla essential oil. Unlike many of the other aromatic plants and fruits we enjoy, like lavender, peppermint, and lemon, vanilla beans do not release their aromatic molecules when steam distilled or cold pressed.

The dark, viscous liquid of Vanilla Oleoresin is produced using solvent extraction and offers that wonderfully warm and welcoming aroma so many of us have come to know and love. Now, let’s take a look at how to get the most out of your bottle!

Great for some much-deserved R & R!

Vanilla Oleoresin helps promote relaxation before sleep

When you want to settle your body and mind down before going to bed, Vanilla Oleoresin is the perfect nightstand companion! Its rich, warm aroma is incredibly relaxing and can help out when you’re feeling too much nervous tension or agitation to find peace in your bed [3]. It’s also a great choice for passive diffusion. Simply a drop on a cotton ball and placing it near your pillow.

Or, try our Bath Bomb recipe for a wonderfully relaxing bath experience to help you wind down after a long day.

Great to help feel calm and collected!

Vanilla beans next to an essential oil bottle filled with diffuser reeds

Sometimes we all could use a few moments to relax, gather our thoughts, find our smiles and go back to making the most out of our day. Vanilla Oleoresin has been found to encourage positive feelings while also helping to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety [3].

Try diffusing 2 drops of Vanilla Oleoresin, 2 drops of Sweet Orange, and 1 drop of Neroli to help relax your mind when stress is starting to take too much control. This would also make a fantastic blend for a personal aromatherapy inhaler.

Vanilla Oleoresin has been known to clog diffusers, though this does not typically apply to ultrasonic diffusers. However, to err on the side of caution, make sure to clean away the Vanilla after use! Please do not to let it sit in the diffuser.

Vanilla is wonderful to blend with other oils, due to its ability to soften and round out aromas. Try experimenting with citrusy, spicy, or woody aromas to find what combination you like best!

Perfect to help set the mood.

Vanilla Oleoresin is an aphrodisiac

The scent of Vanilla is a great way to set the scene for romance! It can help heighten the senses while calming the mind, helping you and your partner enjoy more intimate moments.

Try your hand at infusing one of your favorite carrier oils with some Vanilla Oleoresin for a romantic and sweetly scented massage oil. To do this, simply add a few drops to your chosen carrier oil and let it sit for a week or two. Then, decant the oleoresin and enjoy your lightly infused carrier oil!

Ready for an exotic “getaway” in your bedroom?  Diffuse 2 drops of Vanilla Oleoresin, 2 drops of Pink Grapefruit, and 1 drop of Sandalwood.

You and your partner might not be able to take that tropical vacation of your dreams, but hopefully, this blend will help evoke that feeling of relaxation and romance!

Soothing on stomach discomfort.

Vanilla Oleoresin can support stomach discomfort

It seems like vanilla might be something that gives you a stomach ache, not one that helps you get over one! But actually, inhaling Vanilla Oleoresin or applying it topically can help a temperamental tummy find some comfort.

This is actually another great reason to try your hand at infusing one of your favorite carrier oils with some Vanilla Oleoresin. Or, use in your aromatherapy inhaler and sniff away whenever your digestive system needs a little support.

Add Vanilla Oleoresin to your cart

Do you love Vanilla and want to learn more? Read Vibrant Vanilla for more ideas on ways to use it, plus some pretty interesting history on this famous crop! And don’t forget to head over to our Safe Essential Oil Recipes Facebook group for even more recipes, ideas, and inspiration!


[1] CBSnews. (2017). Vanilla Bean Shortage in Madagascar drives up prices in the U.S.  CBS This Morning. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vanilla-bean-shortage-madagascar-drives-up-us-prices/

[2] Fieldhouse, Crystal, Ecology Skincare. ( 2017). What the Worldwide Vanilla Shortage means for Ecology Skincare. https://ecologyskincare.com/worldwide-vanilla-shortage-means-ecology-skincare/

[3]. Harding, J. (2008). The Essential Oils Handbook: All the Oils You Will Ever Need for Health, Vitality and Well-Being. Watkins Publishing. Pgs. 628-629


98 thoughts on “Our Top 4 Ways to Use Vanilla Oleoresin”

  • So I’m confused. The Oleoresin doesn’t combine with the eos, even when I shake vigorously. I thought I read that it needed to be infused in carrier, but it still clumps in that situation. Does the scent combine, even though the ‘body’ sits on the bottom of the bottle?

    1. Hi Kelly, when you infuse Vanilla Oleoresin in a carrier oil, it will absorb the scent even though it won’t emulsify in the oil. You can find more info about infusing Vanilla in Jojoba here.

  • Great info! I just got vanilla oleoresin today.. I can’t wait to try some of these ideas!

  • When you infused a carrier oil with vanilla ole do you strain it after? Or just not use bottom of the bottle? Or just shake it up before adding? How many drops per an ounce of carrier oil?

    1. I do not strain my vanilla oleoresin infusions. I just siphon off the carrier oil with a pipette as I need it.

  • These are great ideas! Thanks for reminding me of even more ways to use this precious liquid.

  • So much information I did not know about the Vanilla O. I had been diffusing with Orange Sweet but did not know that it could possibly clog the diffuser. I have never had this problem because I clean after every use, but will use an older diffuser in the future. I do make Vanilla infused Jojoba with it and it smells amazing.

  • I love vanilla and never thought to put a few drops on a cotton ball rather than diffusing it. I’ll have to try this!

  • Thanks for all the ideas, I just bought this oil recently and im absolutely loving it. Thanks Plant Therapy!

  • I feel like the possibility for this oil is endless it turns in citrus oil to a cream citrus. Not to mention one for the smells that attract men is vanilla. I just replaced all my candles.

  • I love the smell of vanilla so have been keen to purchase the vanilla but was worried about the fact that it didn’t mix with carrier oils. I like the sound of the vanilla infused oil. I might give that a try.

  • I recently purchased Vanilla and I LOVE it by itself and blended with other oils. This is a great article about the different uses. Thank you!

  • My family loves the smell of vanilla. I wasn’t aware of the setting the mood part for the bedroom.

  • Love vanilla! It has quickly become a favorite in our home. I love vanilla and Vetiver at bedtime and my kids love vanilla and lemon cupcake.

  • I love vanilla! It is a staple in my house! I had never thought of using it in these ways before. I am excited to try them!

  • My daughter loves vanilla. I didn’t know it could be used for tummy troubles. Will be trying it. Thanks for the info

  • Great ideas! I bought 3 bottles by accident and needed some ideas and inspiration. I like how vanilla seems to “tone down” or “mellow” other scents I’m not fond of.

  • Didn’t know all these things that vanilla is good for! Bought it because I loved the scent but I can’t wait to also gain the benefits too! Thank you Plant Therapy for sharing so much information about all your oils and highlighting a new one each week to help us get to know each oil better!

  • I just got this today I can’t wait to try it out! Thanks for the warning about diffusers and I had no idea it help tummy aches. I know what I can try on the kids next time!

  • Vanilla is my favorite scent of all time!! I’m so excited to make lotions and soaps with this!! Thank you for the informative article!!

  • I make lotion bars with Vanilla Oleoresin and Orange EO and it smells absolutely amazing. It works well in lotions and body creams also. So many different variations in scents that Vanilla Oleoresin can make the scent extra special and delightful.

  • I think I need to make some of this into a lotion. I’m worried about diffusing it because I’m awful at remembering to clean my diffuser right away, but I love the other ideas posted here! Thank you!

  • I love the recipe for the Vanilla/Sandalwood/Pink Grapefruit blend. I’m looking forward to making some perfume blends using Vanilla and Sandalwood and trying other top note oils – I can see how versatile these these two oils could be in all kinds of blends. This is a great article. 🙂

  • I love making vanilla infused jojoba with Vanilla Oleoresin. Also lip balms and lotions. Going to try and do some new things in the future as it is one of my favorite oils.

  • Well, I sure learned a lot from this article! I always wondered why vanilla beans were so expensive, and now I understand. I recently made my own vanilla infused jojoba that smells absolutely heavenly! I also understand now why vanilla oleoresin isn’t always available, and I will hold it higher with respect. Thank you Plant Therapy!

  • My vanilla oleoresin just came in and I can’t wait to try it out. I knew I’d love the smell – who doesn’t love the smell of vanilla – and I can’t wait to try it out in some lip balm. This blog has given me ideas for even more uses. Great information, as usual!

  • I was wondering if I can use vanilla oleoresins in a lip balm that I make from s mixture of beeswax, Shea butter and coconut oil.

  • Vanilla is one of my favorite scents! I just ordered a second bottle after reading about all these uses. Thank you!

  • I love vanilla. I like the suggestions for different roller bottles for staying calm and being relaxed. I will definitely try them. I have only diffused vanilla never tried it yet in a roller bottle.

  • I have been wanting to buy vanilla for a long time and finally did. I can’t wait to use it. Thanks for the information, I especially didn’t know it can clog diffusers!!!

  • I add this to hand lotion and lip balm, truly a delightful fragrance boost. I enjoy my flecks in lotion, an unusual oleoresin but awesome to have!

  • Vanilla is one of my absolute favorites. It blends so well with so many different scents and is so warm and comforting

  • Great ideas. (as usual). My original 10 ml bottle was down to mere drops so I ordered the 30ml bottle very quickly! I’m just dying to make the bath bombs!

  • This is one of my favorite oils !I originally bought the 10ml and I love it so much that I had to order the 30 ml it works great when blending with other oils that I don’t love the scent of but need to use for the benefits. Haven’t found a oil that vanilla oleoresin doesn’t blend well with!

  • I love love love vanilla! I have not diffused it yet, but I just learned that I could in my ultrasonic diffuser…I use it in perfume roll ons but add a bit of Everclear to the blend to get it to mix up…I do need to shake it before applying though…I have added it to some Jojoba oil to infuse the oil…plan on making lip balm eventually with it and also for some new blends to roll on…never knew about the tummy thing!

  • I love the scent of vanilla, so to see this oil and read about it is awesome! I have so many plans for how to use this!

  • I purchased vanilla this week as it is the oils of the week. So excited to get it and use with blends I have been researching that calls for it.

  • This is more a general question, not specifically a vanilla question. But when you diffuse oils, do you need to have a strong scent to get the emotional and therapeutic benefits? Like if I diffuse 2 drops, do I still get the benefits if I’d diffuse 10 drops and have a super strong scent in the room?

    1. Lisa, you absolutely do not need a strong scent to get the benefits! Actually, if the scent is too strong, it may not even be effective or cause negative reactions, like headaches and nausea. If 2 drops are all you need to enjoy the slight aroma of your oil, that’s great! There is no need to overdo it. Also, remember that our brains become quickly sensitized to smells, so just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean the aroma isn’t providing the benefits. I hope this helps!

  • I live overseas, but I ordered this and can’t wait for my mother-in-law to bring it when she visits!

  • Thank you for this information on Vanilla Oleoresin. I never thought to use it for tummy troubles. It does smell wonderful. I have it but haven’t used it yet. I now have a reason to use it.

  • Vanilla is a staple in my collection, I just can’t do without it. I have not had an issue with diffusing it, but I do clean it well after using it. I love blending it with ginger, flowery aromas to tame them, and of course all citruses – and PTs is my favorite. I will treat myself to the vanilla CO2 someday.
    I am curious why in the intro gender specific language is used, whereas in the ‘set the mood’ section the more appropriate ‘partner’ is used.

  • I love love having Vanilla O around! I am currently infusing some in coconut oil! I can’t wait to see how it turns out! Thank you for sharing this info with us!

  • I was surprised to read about the stomach relief!! I had no idea!! 1 more reason I’m so excited for my spotlight of the week!! Oh man am I excited to use this!!

  • I ordered Vanilla Oleoresin a few months ago to blend into my DIY lotion and face serum. It is the most wonderful oil!

  • I just picked some up a week or ago. It smells so nice! But, it can take over a blend and overpower them. But, still delicious!

  • This is bad advice. I’ve ruined 3 diffusers with vanilla oleoresin. It smells great but should not be used in a diffuser.

  • Thanks for these great tips to use Vanilla! I mixed Vanilla with Peppermint Essential Oil to make a candy cane scent. I put it in a roller bottle with coconut oil for use when I need a pick me up, headache, stomach ache, or nausea. Vanilla is great!

  • I am so glad I read this blog. I didn’t realize Vanilla O. is so good for so many things. I plan to make an infusion with Vanilla O and I just acquired Vanilla Beans while in Mexico so I’m hoping to put them to good use too!

  • Vanilla has always been one of my favorite scents. I never knew how long it took to harvest the beans from start to finish. Wow! Thanks for the spotlight info PT!

  • Does anyone know if this will stain clothes or fabrics if I added a few drops to a vodka-based spray? Love vanilla and can’t wait to try this!

  • I love the Plant Therapy blog. I always learn a lot. I did not realize that there is no such thing as vanilla EO and that vanilla is goo for stomach issues. Thanks PT for all the great information!!!!

  • I might have to buy this again! I had tried Peru Balsam as a sub for Vanilla Oleoresin but it just doesn’t have the same sweetnes/softness as the latter!

  • Need to get this on my wish list. Will be great to run before house showings for people looking to sell. Run before but turn off during showing and the smell will linger.

  • I absolutely love vanilla! These are some great tips to use it as well, I’ve been hoarding my bottles because I wasn’t sure what to do with them!

  • Vanilla has always been a favorite scent of mine, usually as the extract. I am excited to take this opportunity to add the oleoresin to my oil inventory. Thanks PT!

  • Vanilla is my favorite scent, and I am so glad to learn more uses for it- thank you for the new ideas! Lately, I have been into Lavender Vanilla everything….I tried putting a drop of vanilla oleoresin into my roll on bottle of lavender….and it is HEAVEN.

  • Vanilla is the most calming scent to me. I’m thrilled I was finally able to order it this week! I hadn’t thought about using it for tummy aches, but I will definitely be making an inhaler for that purpose.

    1. I’m so excited. I just ordered it this week also. I’ve been wanting to get vanilla. It blends so well with almost everything. It softens other scents to make them smell delicious and calming. Can’t wait to get it!

  • I never thought of getting vanilla until I read this article. I am definitely going to get one to try it out. I’m already imaging the blends and aromas I can create using this one.

  • Vanilla is one of my favorite scents! I didn’t know it was good for tummy troubles. I am going to make an infused oil with it (jojoba or coconut- will it work with coconut oil?) can’t wait to try this!

  • I was able to visit a plantation while on the island of St Lucia. There I learned how intense the process of growing vanilla beans and the care it took to get us our beloved vanilla!
    Nothing is quite so beautiful as the sight of vanilla growing up a trellis. Thanks for an informative article.

  • Vanilla is one of my faves! I always make sure I have it in my collection, it’s in my regular rotation of oils. I can’t get enough of this one.

  • Loved reading about where this comes from. I had no idea! I do not currently have this oil but it is one that I have been thinking of adding to my growing collection. My son just had the stomach virus that has been going around his school…wish I had this to diffuse as I think it could have helped.

  • I just ordered this! I love the smell of vanilla and excited to learn all the benefits of this yummy oil!

  • PT is so so so generous! After having vanilla as the spotlight oil just last September to have it again has me over the moon! I can’t wait to try the vanilla bath bombs and I use it in so many diffuser and perfume blends that I’ve gone through one 30 ml bottle and am a quarter of the way through the one I bought in September. I try to use sparingly but I turn to this scent often for the whole family! Thank you for the discount and for the ideas.

  • I have been interested in trying this ever since I got the birthday oil Lemon Cupcake last year!

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